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Conan to Tel Aviv, Jewish Women at SlutWalk, Rabbis Fight Charlottesville Nazis, Army Chaplains Share, and More Newsbits

Conan O’Brien, American talk show host, Harvard grad, and height-advantaged superstar celebrity tweeted that he will help fellow Harvard alumnus, Jared Kushner, broker peace in the Middle East by taking his show – without borders – to Israel.

Previously he has visited South Korea, Cuba, and Armenia.

Conan will record his show there for nearly a week this month. The CEO of Keshet Media Group, Avi Nir, along with Sam Grundwerg, Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles and Hollywood helped to arrange the project. They also snagged Assaf and Roni Nawi of the Nawi Pro production company to act as local producers. Will Gal Gadot show him around? We hope so. Will Billy Eichner, Mayim Bialik and Madonna appear? I hope their schedules allow it. What about Yacoub Shaheen, winner of the Arab Idol? Can’t wait to see.

When Conan visited the Noryangjin fish market in Seoul, he quickly saved the life of a small octopus. Who knows what he may save in Israel?

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Speaking of Jared Kushner… his wife Ivanka wpke out againt the racism that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. While her father, the current president of the United States, was mild in his outrage, Ivanka, wrote that, “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis. We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville”

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Speaking of progressive Jewish women, there were Zionist Jewish women on the periphery of Chicago’s Slut Walk. About 150 people participated in the rally and march.

SlutWalk—Chicago is the oldest continuously organized march in the country that fights sexual assault and the objectification of women. A “Zioness Movement” tried to join the rally and march after organizers banned “Zionist displays” — a move they said they did in solidarity with people who identify as Palestinian. SlutWalk-Chicago organizers later clarified that after banning them, they would now allow Stars of David.

Oh, praise the Lord.

This all came about after the Chicago Dyke March in June, where some Jews and supporters of Israel were discriminated against.

Amanda Berman, Director of Legal Affairs at the New York-based Lawfare Project, is one of the leaders of Zioness. She told the Chicagoist that, “The purpose [of the march in Chicago] is to say women should be free to wear what they want with out being targeted, to wear nothing in fact… We want to express ourselves, too. We are progressive Jewish Zionists and in fact maybe there may be progressive non-Jewish Zionists.”

Over a minyan of Zioness’es attended the SlutWalk-Chicago rally — on the outskirts. Some tried to join the invited groups to get closer to the speakers, and show their posters. They were blocked by other attendees – non-violently. They covered the Zioness signs with their own signs, or used large red umbrellas (symbols of solidarity with sex workers) to block the Zioness posters. Some Zioness shouted at the speakers when they attacked Israel from the podium.

Also in attendance where members of the the Jewish Voice for Peace – they were among the invited groups – who advocate the boycott BDS movement against Israel and were accused of attacking young queer Jews at the NYC Saltue to Israel parade in June.

SlutWalk’s Facebook event page says, “we demand an end to sexual violence and to the social codes of shame, silence, and blame surrounding it. The idea that that acts of violence can be excused due to a person’s dress, state of intoxication, location, and sexual history is ludicrous and feeds into the violent cultural view: that sexual assault is not a real crime. We actively fight against victim-blaming, ableism, body-shaming, slut-shaming, whorephobia, queerphobia, transphobia, racism, classism, misogyny, fascism, and the racist policing/judicial/prison system.”

The fact that toward the end of the speeches, which concluded with a Palestinian activist telling the crowd “you cannot be a Zionist and feminist,” and the crowd breaking into a chant of “Free Palestine,” make you ralize that the SluWalk was really about promoting a Jew-phobic agenda

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Speaking of protests and rallies, rabbis and rabbinical students, as well of Jews of all beliefs, traveled to Virginia to fight the alt-right (Alt-wrong), KKK, neo-Nazi, and hate filled white supremacists who led a torch lit evening march and daytime park rally in the city.

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, a Reconstructionist rabbi and founding board member of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights said that he has attended demonstrations and counter-protests for five decades but “have never seen the level of chaos and hatred that I saw today.” Bryan Mann, a rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Boston and member of Moishe Kavod House, reported that he and others were called “kikes.” On Friday night, Jewish clergy participated in an interfaith gathering at a local church. Rabbis from Congregation Beth Israel stood at the front singing “Olam Chesed Yibaneh” (“The World Will Be Built With Love”). Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz of Norfolk, VA, reported that when he saw that the Nazi salute had been raised, he organized a counter-protest. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe fought the hatred with words, as did Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, who is a member of the Jewish faith.

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And speaking of faith, The U.S. Army News concluded its four part series profile a variety of Army Chaplains, including Captain David Ruderman, the rabbi and chaplain at West Point, NY’s U.S. Military Academy and Army Islamic Chaplain Lt. Colonel Ibraheem Raheem, who is one of five Islamic chaplains out of the 1,445 Army chaplains on active duty. Ruderman, 42, hails from Massachusetts and teaches Krav Maga as well as Torah. Chaplain Raheem, a nurse who grew up Baptist, shared his enjoyment of a Passover Seder he attended in South Korea.

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