This Month In Jewish: November 2012

“Someone get out your iPhone. We need to Instagram this.”

Hey kids, welcome to This Month In Jewish: a monthly installment for TC Jewfolk where we recap all the important (and some unimportant) stories you may have seen this past month. TMIJ had to take a couple months off, but we’re back and better than ever! We’d love to stay and chat, but we have to get back to editing this dinky blog so let’s get started…
… with the big news out of the Middle East. Israel’s Pillar of Defense has turned into more of a Scaffold of Defense. If Israel were a Three Little Pig, they’d be the one who built the wood house. A little more sturdy than that idiot who built the straw house, but not even Lionel Richie And The Commodores believe that Israel’s built themselves a sturdy brick house with this latest ceasefire.
The act that sparked it all off, the assassination of the head of Hamas’s military wing, Ahmed Al-Jabari, was called shortsighted by some, heroic by others, and even innovative. The IDF posted the assassination to YouTube, almost as it was happening! Then they tweeted this:

“We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”

That’s what we in the media like to call chutzpah. Hamas, or at least their Twitter presence then tweeted back (what the kids these days call replying on Twitter) at @IDFSpokesperson with this:

@IDFSpokesperson Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are (You Opened Hell Gates on Yourselves)”

You know what this is? It’s a literal Twitter War. I don’t mean this kind of Twitter war, but a real life war—simulcast to Twitter. This is some pretty high-level, advanced military psychological tactics, right? This is some Moshe Dayan-esque, walk the walk military brass running this Twitter offensive, right? Right? Wrong. The IDF’s entire social media presence is run by a 26-year old dude who likes to snowboard and buy cheap vodka. Oh yeah, he might also be a racist. (TMIJ wants to clarify that we do not think Sacha Dratwa is a racist; more likely just some crazy brah who made a mistake.) All told, Israel claims not only victory in the Twittersphere, but they say they also foiled 100 million cyber attacks. To be fair though, most of them were just trying to hack into Bar Rafaeli’s home movies.


The war disrupted the daily lives of thousands of Israeli citizens, including the athletes in the Kraft Family Israeli Football League. But after taking a week off due to the instability in Israel, the IFL returned to action with a quadruple-header of rib-pounding gridiron melee. Israel has a football league, dear readers! And according to the scrolls, this is old news! Apparently, the Kraft Family IFL has been around since 2005, and despite what the name makes it sound like, it’s not a league played by hobos in New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s backyard. By all accounts Mr. Kraft is fantastic and generous man, and we at TMIJ always applaud people for pursuing their (non-malicious) passions. We just want to point out that team names in the IFL include the Haifa “Real Housing” Underdogs (real name), Leo Bloom’s Herzilya Hammers (real name), and the Kibbutz Yotvata Cow Tippers (fake name).


Uh-oh, what’s that sound we hear? Could it be? Yes, it’s former Minnesota Twin Delmon Young shouting, “You F&*%@ing Jews!” That means it’s time for our favorite game at TMIJ: Anti-Semitic?
First up, Mr. Young. In April he drunkenly abused—verbally and physically—some New York Jews, for which he was suspended without pay seven games by Major League Baseball. This month he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a program at New York’s Museum Of Tolerance. Hopefully, it’s nothing like South Park’s Museum Of Tolerance. So is Delmon’s rant anti-Semitic? Or just the idiotic ramblings of a career underachiever? Is TMIJ just bitter that the Twins traded a promising young pitcher for an anti-Semitic flame out, then got nothing for him when we traded him away three and a half years later? Maybe.


Let’s move away from sports and focus on an organization that stands up for those without a voice, calls attention to a serious global problem, and invokes the Holocaust in a wildly inappropriate manner. What organization could possibly fit that description? People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, of course. Just because they have a name that sounds like a tasty Israeli snack doesn’t give them the right to compare factory chicken farms to Holocaust barracks. And this month even a European high court said so. PETA has been banned from using the slogan “The Holocaust On Your Plate,” in their marketing campaign, with a side-by-side picture of emaciated Jews and caged chickens. PETA is no stranger to controversy, and some would say that they’ve already achieved their marketing goals, with people like TMIJ talking about, and linking to a picture of their ad. So is it anti-Semitic? Nah. It isn’t pleasant, that’s for sure. But in many ways chickens are being treated much like Holocaust victims were treated: as units of production rather than individual beings. The big difference: Holocaust victims are/were HUMANS, and chickens are NOT HUMANS. It’s still wrong—as philosopher Peter Singer argues, chickens seem to be capable of suffering, and thus deserve our moral consideration—but it’s also not genocide.


Finally, like seeing your rabbi at a heavy metal concert, here’s some stuff that didn’t fit:
Larry David made a Thanksgiving cartoon.
The Jewish Daily Forward came out with their annual list of the top 50 American Jews in the news. Sheldon Adelson and Lena Dunham both made the top five.
TMIJ can’t stop listening to this punk cover of Hava Nagila


That’s all for this month; next month be on the lookout for these hot stories:
Hamas Says They Don’t Hate Israel; Violence All Part Of Elaborate April Fool’s Joke
Local Jew And Muslim Find Common Bond Over Mutual Love Of Spicy Lamb Skewers
New Weekly Advice Column: Ask The Mohel
(Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons via IDF)