The Shmooze

What a Boob! Kardashian Deletes Gaza Tweet

By JTA

getty images
Kim Kardashian

Reality television star Kim Kardashian apologized for tweeting about the Gaza conflict.

Kardashian apologized after two tweets in which she first told her followers she was “Praying for everyone in Israel,” and then tweeted that she was “Praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”

Kardashian later deleted both tweets and issued an apology: “(A)fter hearing from my followers, I decided to take down the tweets because I realized that some people were offended and hurt by what I said, and for that I apologize,” the statement, published on her blog, said in part.

The statement continued: “I should have pointed out my intentions behind these tweets when I posted them. The fact is that regardless of religion and political beliefs, there are countless innocent people involved who didn’t choose this, and I pray for all of them and also for a resolution. I also pray for all the other people around the world who are caught in similar crossfires.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: reality, palestine, kim kardashian, jewish, gaza, israel

Jon Voight Visits Terrorism Victims at Soroka Hospital

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

He’s known to many as the father of superstar and international do-gooder Angelina Jolie, but Jon Voight is also recognized as a longtime supporter of Israel. The actor made a Chabad-sponsored trip over the weekend to Israel, surprising victims of last week’s terrorist attacks and the ongoing missile barrages from Gaza with a visit to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva.

Voight told reporters who met up with him at the hospital, on his way to cheer up the critically wounded victims, that this was his third visit to the country, and his second to the South. He specifically mentioned that he had been in Sderot last time and had to take cover there when an alarm sounded, so he knows what the security situation for residents of the Negev is like.

The actor emphasized that Israel needs friends, and that he thought that the U.S. should be Israel’s best friend. He has been a vocal advocate for Israel, having appeared at a rally in Los Angeles last year condemning Turkey’s role in the Flotilla incident, and having written a letter to President Obama accusing the Administration of abandoning Israel.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Soroka Hospital, Jon Voight, Israel, Gaza, Chabad

Giant Israeli Pumpkins Fertilized With Qassam Rockets?

By Nathan Jeffay

Wikimedia Commons

One common interpretation of the symbolic significance of the egg on the Seder plate at Passover is that it represents the paradox of the Jews. Suffering at the hands of oppressors, from ancient Egyptians onward, made us stronger. Likewise, eggs are one of the few foods that get harder when boiled.

There’s nothing new there — but could violence from our enemies also somehow help our crops?

Farmers in Southern Israel say they have never seen pumpkins so enormous as those grown in a field twice hit by rockets from Gaza. The Mines family of Kfar Maimon have grown two supersize pumpkins, one weighing 140 pounds and another weighing 100 pounds.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Qassam, Pumpkins, Passover, Israel, Gaza, Farming

Holiday News From Israel

By Nathan Jeffay

The Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha is upon us, and just like everything in the Western World, it has been commercialized. Check out this video about the Israeli electronics store that tried to boost its Arab clientele by offering a free sheep with every purchase. A central Eid tradition is to slaughter an animal.

In Gaza, which is under blockade from Israel, animals for slaughter are nevertheless in plentiful supply. They are arriving through smuggling tunnels.

In other holiday related news, if you’re sending a Hanukkah gift to friends of family in Israel, make it a good one, as you may decide it’s the last. The Israel Postal Company is going to start charging people $10 to receive a package from abroad, supposedly to cover the trouble of clearing packages through customs, even if there is no duty to pay. So after the charge comes in on January 1, gifts sent to Israel may be slightly less welcome.

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Rabbi Funnye's Sukkot Plans

By Renee Ghert-Zand

While President Barack Obama spent Labor Day weekend at Camp David, his wife Michelle’s cousin, Rabbi Capers Funnye, is heading out for a very different kind of camp experience over Sukkot.

While Obama and his diplomatic team will work (thanklessly in some quarters) through a historically intractable conflict to spread a sukkah of peace over Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Funnye will be focusing on bringing Jews of diverse backgrounds and cultures together under a single metaphorical roof to celebrate the Jewish Thanksgiving.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Michelle, Rabbi Capers Funnye, Thanksgiving, Walker Creek Ranch, Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation Chigago, Gaza, Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken, Barack Obama

Survey: One in Three Spaniards Is Anti-Semitic

By Michael Kaminer

Look at the bright side… Muslims here are hated even more than Jews!

That’s the line Spanish government officials are using to mitigate the damage from a new survey suggesting one-third of Spaniards harbor anti-Semitic sentiments.

According to AFP, The “Study on anti-Semitism in Spain” revealed 34.6 percent of Spaniards had an “unfavourable opinion” of Jews compared to 48 percent who said they had a “favourable opinion.” Considering that the poll was initiated by two government institutions, it could charitably be labeled a backfire; its sponsors were Casa Sefarad-Israel, which was founded by the Spanish government to promote closer ties between Spain and Israel, and the opinion-research think-tank DYM Institute.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Anti-Semitic, Casa Sefarad, DYM, Gaza, Israel, Moratinos, Muslims, Spain, Spanish

Canada Halts Mail to Gaza

By Josh Tapper

First it was building materials, now it’s the mail.

In the latest international Gaza blockade spat, Israel’s national mail carrier, Israel Post, told the Canada Post last week it would not deliver Canadian mail to the Strip, citing circumstances “beyond their control.” It’s not known what caused the mail stoppage.

Just days after the embargo was announced, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued a statement of solidarity with Gazans, pledging to get residents their mail. Moreover, the CUPW voiced support for Canada Boat Gaza, which plans to send an aid ship through the Israeli blockade this fall.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Blockade, Canada, Canadian Union Of Postal Workers, Gaza, Israel, Israel Post, Mail

Gaza Kids Attempt To Break World Record for Bouncing Balls

By Lauren F. Friedman

In a rare piece of lighthearted, apolitical news from the Gaza Strip, AP reported that more than 7,000 Palestinian children there spent five minutes on Thursday simultaneously dribbling basketballs in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

The children, among 250,000 in the Gaza Strip who attend United Nations summer camps, were aiming to beat a previous record set in Indiana in 2007. (The political angle here — and there always is one — is that about 100,000 other children in Gaza attend competing summer camps run by Hamas, where they reportedly learn Israel-hating, along with swimming.)

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: World Record, Palestinian, Hamas, Guinness, Gaza, Basketball

University of Haifa Awards Honorary Doctorate to Druze Spiritual Leader

By Nathan Jeffay

The name Shaykh Mowafak Tarif probably doesn’t mean much to you. But among Israel’s Druze minority, everybody has heard of him — he is the community’s spiritual leader.

Today he will receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Haifa. There is much excitement about the award in the Druze community, where it is seen as a well-deserved recognition of his contribution to Israeli society.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: University of Haifa, Shaykh Mowafak Tarif, Minority, Israeli, Gaza, Druze




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