The Shmooze

Evangelical Group's Attempt To Convert Dominique Strauss-Kahn Misfires

By Nathan Burstein

iStockPhoto

If he’s getting bored under house arrest, accused sex offender Dominique Strauss-Kahn can at least look forward to receiving some Hebrew-language reading material.

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, who pleaded not guilty yesterday to sexually assaulting a maid in a New York City hotel, was the intended recipient of a package of “Hebrew books” sent by a group targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity.

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Philatelists Beware: Have You Seen a Hitler Skull Stamp?

By Josh Tapper

In 1996, the New York Times reported that there were around 20 million stamp collectors in the country, and 550,000 of them were serious about it, carefully analyzing stamp research and slowly growing their collections. The hobby may not have much spark and intrigue, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fruitful financial investment. More profoundly, stamps can be cultural or historical reference points. The infamous Hitler Skull Stamp has had philatelists drooling for years.

In a Mental Floss blog earlier this week, Rob Lammie wrote about Operation Cornflakes, a clandestine Office of Strategic Services (a CIA forerunner) propaganda operation that began toward the end of World War II. The goal was simple enough. The O.S.S. would influence German citizens by infiltrating the German postal system, sending them envelopes stuffed with anti-Nazi literature. To get the mail to its final destination, the Allies would blow up German mail trains; in the confusing aftermath, German couriers would pick up and deliver all the loose mail, never really stopping to closely examine the forged stamps that the Allies created. (Even more confusing: What if the mail was destroyed?)

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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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