Hilary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State has put all issues on hold worldwide, in order to work on a gefilte fish importation crisis. No, seriously, this is not a Purim spoof. According to the Associated Press, there is a trade dispute. Clinton drew chuckles from a congressional panel when she said that getting nine containers of Asian Carp filets from an Illinois fishery to a processing plant in Israel in time for the Jewish holiday “sounds to me like one of those issues that should rise to the highest levels of our government.” She promised Republican Congressman Don Manzullo (IL) that she would find out why Israel slapped a 120% import duty on the fish.
Speaking of Asian carp, Affirmative Action, Affirmative Reaction, Josh Li vs. Josh Leibowitz, Jeff Yang, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, asked whether Asian Americans are the “New Jews.” Such a minor story, subtitled “Is it really kosher to call Asians the “new Jews”?”, blew up when he received 300+ comments in just a few hours, many of them of the anti-Jewish flavor.
Over in Europe. the BBC reports the the EU has determined that products made in West Bank settlements may not be consdiered products of Israel. The ruling on Thursday by the EU court in Luxembourg stems from a case brought by the German drinks company Brita. It imports products from an Israeli company based in Mishor Adumin in the West Bank and was refused preferential trade treatment by the German customs authorities. The EU Court has not yet ruled on whether Alsatian products are French or German
What would Esther Do?? The Seattle Times reports on the Northwest yeshiva of Mercer Island (Seattle), WA. They were to play a prestigious basketball tournament game during the Fast of Esther, against St John-Endicott. They chose to forfeit the game. (Note: St John-Endicott is a US public high school in St. John WA, and not a parochial religious high school)
And What Would Mordechai Do? The NYT reports on another case in which a suburban community is wary of the effect of a Chabad center or synagogue on its community property values or suburban master plans. It seems as if residents in Millburn NJ are choosing sides and debating whether a variance shall be approved for a homeowner to change his home into a “chai” center. And so the story continues.
And What Will a Family Court Judge Do? A story over the transom last week was that of a divorced couple and their child. Newsweek writes on the upcoming case of Joseph Reyes, a law student who converted to Judaism to marry Rebecca Shapiro in 2004. The divorced in 2008 and Joseph Reyes has non custodial parent visitations with their 3 year old daughter. But, when Mr. Reyes had the daughter baptized during one visitation, and then took her to church with camera crews in tow… well, the the hamantaschen hit the fan. A judge (Mr. Reyes says their divorce judge was Jewish) will have to decide future visitation rights, issues of contempt, restraining orders, and whether visiting church is harmful to the child.
Speaking of shalom bayit, one of the most talked about NYT obituaries continues to be that of Yitta Schwartz, who, having passed away at 93, probably left 2,000 or more Satmar Hasidic descendants. That’s a lot of DNA.
While none of Ms Schwartz’s girls went bad, the same can;t be said for these women. The most important story is from the Denver Daily News. Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad will perform in Denver, the mile high city, for Purim.