Bintel Blog

China Is the New Texas: Even for Jewish Eating Joints

By Dan Friedman

Click for larger view

Marshall “Masher” Grainge, my fearsome (but fearsomely fair) high school vice principal, always used to say that “they do things big in America.” But then China came along and did things multiple factors bigger. Leeds-New York-Beijing. Big-bigger-biggest. Huge-huger-huguosi.

By 2050, when Jews only speak either Mandarin or Hebrew, we’ll look back on this transitional Yid-Chinglish with fond incomprehension. Until then we’ll keep squinting at the signage and eating in Huguosi Nosheries around the world.

Hat tip, as always, to Nick “Huguosi” Frisch.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: China, Yid-Chinglish

Jewish Conspiracy Theories All The Rage in Asia

By Gabrielle Birkner

Books that purport to chronicle world Jewry’s plot to rule the world are flying off shelves in China and Japan. Such conspiracy theories are also prevalent in Malaysia, the Philippines and, to some extent, throughout Asia, according to a recently published essay by the Anglo-Dutch writer Ian Buruma. But unlike standard-issue Western antisemitism — accusations of Christ-killing, blood libel — the anti-Jewish propaganda in contemporary Asia is not religious in nature, Buruma writes:

“So what explains the remarkable appeal of Jewish conspiracy theories in Asia? The answer must be partly political. Conspiracy theories thrive in relatively closed societies, where free access to news is limited and freedom of inquiry curtailed. Japan is no longer such a closed society, yet even people with a short history of democracy are prone to believe that they are victims of unseen forces. Precisely because Jews are relatively unknown, therefore mysterious, and in some way associated with the West, they become an obvious fixture of anti-Western paranoia.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: China, Asia, Antisemitism, Ian Buruma, Japan

Kosher Food — Made in China

By Lindsay Feldman

Woody Allen once said, “My view of reality is that it has always been a grim place to be … but it’s the only place you can get Chinese food.”

In this week’s New Yorker, writer Patricia Marx tags along with rabbis/kashrut supervisors working in China — the fastest-growing exporter of kosher goods on earth. The rabbis in Marx’s story don’t care much for Chinese food (and one of them has never even heard of Woody Allen), but they do offer a theory on the affinity that Western Jews have for Eastern dishes: “Are there any foods that Jews don’t like?”

To the backdrop of China’s thriving kosher food industry, books such as “The Jewish People’s Bible for Business and Managing the World” — yes, managing the world — and “The Jewish Way of Raising Children” were Chinese-language bestsellers last year, Marx writes.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: New Yorker, China, Kosher

The Sanhedrin vs. the Beijing Olympics

By Daniel Treiman

Human rights activists critical of the upcoming Beijing Olympics have gained a surprising new ally: the “re-established Sanhedrin.”

Yes, that’s right, the re-established Sanhedrin — a body launched in 2004 by a group of Israeli Orthodox rabbis in a somewhat audacious attempt to reconstitute the ancient supreme rabbinic court of the same name — has reportedly ruled that “participating in these Olympics will be deemed a danger to the well-being of humanity,” pointing to the Chinese communist regime’s human rights abuses.

Even more surprising is that, according to YNet, these Orthodox rabbis were spurred in part by claims from Israeli athletes who are practitioners of Falun Gong and complained of the persecution of Chinese members of the Buddhist-influenced exercise movement. The Sanhedrin also approached the Chinese embassy in Israel to hear the regime’s side. Ultimately, however, the Sanhedrin appears to have weighed in firmly on the side of the Falun Gong practitioners.

YNet reports:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Olympics, China, Sanhedrin, Falun Gong

Sharon Stone Pulls a John Hagee

By Daniel Treiman

Pastor John Hagee landed himself in hot water for suggesting that Hurricane Katrina may have reflected God’s wrath over a planned gay pride event, that antisemitism may have its origins in Divine anger over Jewish transgressions and that God may have used the Nazis as Divine instruments to return the Jews to Zion. But Hagee isn’t the only high-profile figure who would be better off avoiding the topic of theodicy.

Case in point — as the Guardian reports — Sharon Stone:

Stone sparked an international outcry with her remarks, made last week during a red carpet interview at the Cannes film festival. “I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else,” she said.

“I’ve been concerned about how should we deal with the Olympics, because they are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine.”

“And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?”

Some Chinese were, understandably, not pleased by the actress’s musings. Stone has since apologized.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: John Hagee, Sharon Stone, China




Find us on Facebook!
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.