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Newsbits: Dublin, Shalom Bollywood, and Hating On Haaretz

The New York Times travels Dublin, Ireland’s old Jewish neighborhood of Portobello and the century old Bretzel Bakery to explore the new food scene and trendy restaurants in what used to be Ireland’s “Little Jerusalem.”

Speaking of Dublin, BBC3 is broadcasting a new show about Jewish conversion called My Big Gay Jewish Conversion about County Mayo, Irish TV presenter Simon Atkins who takes the cameras along on his personal journey as he explores whether – given his love for his Jewish boyfriend, Matthew – if he should convert to the Jewish faith.

And The Hundustan Times ponders the relationship between India’s Jewish community, early Bollywood films, and its Jewish celebrities. Professor Danny Ben-Moshe of Melbourne’s Deakin University is working on a film “Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema” about the stars that included Sulochana, Pramila, Nadira (Florence Ezekiel), and Uncle David.

From The South African Jewish Report comes word of a King David Victory Park school student play on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – in J-Burg. Sadly, a group of students from other high schools interrupted the event with shouts of Heil Hitler… essentially bringing home the point of the production. Their chants continued even into the dressing rooms. No comments yet from Dr Larry Harmer, the headmaster of Edenvale HS, where many of the rowdy racists were from, or from Waterstone College, Kibler Park, which hosted the Grads One Act Play Festival. Edenvale has a reputation for having strict policies for students and having stern discipline… so let’s see if this plays out at all.

When a few students at Middlebury College in Vermont invited Charles Murray to speak on campus, many students and Jewish groups protested and criticized the selection. But free speech pervailed, and he arrived to speak. A protest was held, violence erupted, the car in which he was riding was attacked, and a professor (Allison Stanger) was injured. This week, it was reported that no students were expelled for the violence, but dozens were disciplined. They got off light compared to student at Fordham University in New York City. Earlier this year, student protesters “forced their way” into the foyer of the president’s office. Because “force” was used, at least 14 students received non-academic suspensions (not allowed on campus except for classes), and students living in dorms were evicted.

Speaking of dorms, Haaretz profiles some North American Jews who are among over 100 who are helping Palestinian families that are facing evictions from an area they named the Sumud Freedom Camp. This camp has no swim period. In a related story, Haaretz reports on an American Jewish activist from Washington DC and future Reconstructionist rabbinical student who broke an arm while protesting Jerusalem Flag Day at the entrance to the Old City.

Speaking of Haaretz, Shmuel Rosner (the political editor at The Jewish Journal, and a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute) wrote on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times that “Haaretz is an Israeli newspaper. Admired by many foreigners and few Israelis, loathed by many, mostly Israelis. Read by few, denounced by many, it is a highly ideological, high-quality paper. It has a history of excellence. It has a history of independence. It has a history of counting Israel’s mistakes and misbehavior. It has a history of getting on Israel’s nerves.

I get nerves on Wednesdays. The Wednesdays before Passover and Rosh Hashanah yield the best new holiday recipes in newspapers. Now Ramadan has become a highlight, too. This past Wednesday’s Washington Post featured several recipes from Bonnie Benwich for Ramadan, including Chickpea and Artichoke Tangine; Carrot Coconut Cake; and Chicken and Lentil Soup.

Speaking of coconut cake, Montana area media reported that multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana’s only U.S. House seat on Thursday despite being charged with misdemeanor assault after witnesses – including Fox News reporters – said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground for asking a question on healthcare policy and legislation. Gianforte, who lost in an earlier race to be Montana’s governor, defeated Rob Quist. Over 50% of Montana’s ballots had been cast prior to Gianforte’s arrest for attacking Ben Jacobs and the withdrawal of several endorsements for his candidacy. Several white power groups applauded his attack on the Jewish reporter. During his vistory speak, Gianforte said, “Last night I made a mistake and I took an action I can’t take back and I am not proud of what happened. I should not have responded the way I did and for that I am sorry.” he added, “I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that I’m sorry, Mr. Jacobs.”

In the video below, Gianforte shoots a computer. Luckily, he only body-slammed a reporter.

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