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Netanyahu Calls for New Golan Settlement Named for Trump

By the Jerusalem Post

If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has his way, alongside Katzrin, Ramot and Ramat Magshimim on the Golan Heights, there may someday soon be a community named Kiryat Trump. Netanyahu, who on Tuesday toured the Golan with his wife and sons, said a community or neighborhood on the Golan Heights should be named after President Donald Trump in appreciation for his decision last month to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau. "I am here with my family and many citizens of Israel at the foot of the Golan Heights, happy with the joy of the holiday and our beautiful country," Netanyahu said in a video post. "And there is more joy - a few weeks ago I brought President Trump's official recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights forever." Netanyahu said there "is a need to express our appreciation by calling a community or neighborhood on the Golan Heights after Donald Trump. I will bring that to the government [for approval] soon." Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights came in late March, some two weeks before the April 9 elections, 52 years after Israel captured the region during the 1967 Six Day War, and 38 years after Israel annexed the region. Israel annexed the mountain plateau in 1981, a move unrecognized by most of the international community. An estimated 20,000 Israelis live in Golan Heights settlements, which most of the international community considers illegal.

Socialist Bernie Sanders Calls Netanyahu's Right-Wing Government `Racist'

By World Israel News

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a socialist senator from Vermont, is standing by his criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying the American goal in the Middle East must be to try to bring people together and "not just support one country, which is now run by a right-wing, dare I say, racist government." Sanders said Monday at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire that he believes the United States should "deal with the Middle East on a level-playing-field basis. What I believe, and you know the United States gives billions of dollars in military aid to Israel, what I believe is not radical." He told the audience that "as a young man I spent a number of months in Israel, worked on a kibbutz for a while; I have family in Israel, I am not anti-Israel, but the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly." Sanders claimed that he is "100% pro-Israel" and that the country has "every right in the world to exist and to exist in peace and security and not be subjected to terrorists' attacks." However, soon after declaring his second run for president, Sanders reportedly hired two senior advisers with anti-Israel backgrounds.

Campaign manager Faiz Shakir and foreign policy adviser Matthew Duss have been accused of furthering anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during their tenure at the left-wing think-tank Center for American Progress (CAP), reported the Washington Free Beacon.

Jerusalem Woman Admits Planning US Terror Attacks

By IsraelNationalNews.com
An Israeli Arab woman has plead guilty to planning a terrorist attack in the United States. Waheba Issa Dais, a 46-year-old mother of seven who has lived in Wisconsin since 1992, admitted that she had planned a terrorist attack on behalf of the ISIS terrorist organization. She signed a plea bargain saying she was thankful that she had tried to recruit operatives to poison water sources and carry out suicide attacks. Dais, originally from Jerusalem, was arrested last June for training activists belonging to the Islamic State Organization over the Internet. She showed them how prepare deadly ricin poison, and authorities found in her house books containing information materials on the preparation of explosive belts, poison and bombs of various kinds. Dais' arrest was made possible following her correspondence with a police informant on social media. She instructed him on how to make a poison and asked him to pour it into water reservoirs. According to her confession, she used several social networking accounts to communicate with the recruits. "Dais faces a sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of about a quarter million dollars," enforcement officials said. "Her verdict is due in September." Her lawyer, John Campion, told the New York Times that he expects the court to discuss her complex history.

Why Jews Should Watch `Ramy,' a New Hulu Show about a Millennial Muslim

By JTA

Along with matzah, sugary wine and the influx of relatives, Passover weekend brought us "Ramy," a new comedy on Hulu about a millennial Muslim that's earned rave reviews. The New York Times calls it "quietly revolutionary" and a "soulful, funny leap of faith." Rolling Stone labels it a "triumph." And Vulture says there's never been a show like it. It lives up to the hype. And while it's mostly about Islamic soul-searching, there is plenty for Jewish viewers to connect with and some intriguing Jewish content as well. On the surface, "Ramy" — created by and starring comedian Ramy Youssef — is another millennial-themed comedy about "figuring it all out" in one's 20s, in the vein of Lena Dunham's "Girls" or Aziz Ansari's "Master of None." Some of the humor brings to mind Donald Glover's "Atlanta," too. (It was also probably somewhat influenced by "The Carmichael Show" — Jerrod Carmichael and Youssef are friends, and Carmichael is an executive producer of "Ramy.") Ramy Hassan, the show's protagonist, is a 20-something living at his Egyptian and Palestinian parents' house in the northern New Jersey suburbs. He's pretty aimless after quitting the pre-med track and early in the season works at a generic startup that's far from his true calling. His cap — sometimes backward, sometimes forward — and beard would have him fit in comfortably with the Brooklyn hipsters of "Girls," etc. But Ramy isn't the average hipster — he's a religious Muslim who prays regularly, observes holidays pretty strictly and doesn't drink alcohol. During Ramadan, he even surprises his family and friends with his religiosity when he digs his childhood thobe out of the closet. He does, however, have plenty of premarital sex, something he's constantly conflicted about. In addition to the groundbreaking portrayal of Muslims on screen, this is what makes the show stand out: Its hip millennial character engages deeply with religion — not just the spiritual side, but also the day-to-day lifestyle and ritual choices — in a way that makes for a compelling combination rarely, if ever, seen on television. In modern "Jewish" TV shows — such as "Transparent," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Broad City" or others — the protagonists telegraph their Jewishness through comedy and constant cultural references. Only sometimes will the Jewish characters dip their feet into religious Judaism. They might celebrate holidays, or have a vague spiritual awakening, or date a rabbi. In the case of "Mrs. Maisel," the world may be almost entirely made up of Jews, but Judaism rarely intrudes in a meaningful way. These characters never engage very deeply with any tenets of Jewish practice, worship or thought, especially the strict ritual components — such as keeping kosher and observing Shabbat — that define the daily religious aspect of Jewish observance. ("Shtisel," the Israeli show that became a surprise hit on Netflix, is an exception here, although that focuses on Israeli haredi Orthodox Jews, whose lives are entered around observance, study and relative insularity. The American Muslim community "Ramy" portrayal is closer in lifestyle to America's Modern Orthodox community, and to Conservative and Reform Jews who regularly attend synagogue and otherwise "engage" frequently.) Ramy's life, on the other hand, is very directly affected by his religious choices. His waffling on the sex issue brings him into some rather awkward situations, and the tenet on abstaining from alcohol and drugs causes real social anxiety for him at parties and in interactions with women. More broadly, his straddling of the moral, religious world and the secular 21st century — full of casual sex, porn, social media and other indulgences — makes him constantly question his path. Ironically, the only non-Muslim women he seems to get intimate with are Jewish. One is the granddaughter of an Orthodox man who buys a watch from Ramy, on Shabbat (how the customer gets around the Sabbath restriction on doing business, bending his own religious tradition, makes for a hilarious scene). When Ramy meets her at a party, she takes Ecstasy before realizing he doesn't want to partake. That kills the vibe, and when they cross paths later as Ramy is leaving, she stops in a hallway, very high, to say "I feel so bad for Palestine." "Yeah, me too," Ramy says.

The more central Jewish plot point of the show involves Ramy's uncle, who sells diamonds and other jewelry, mostly to local Orthodox Jews, despite being incredibly anti-Semitic. For example, he embraces the conspiracy that all Jews stayed home from work on 9/11 because they knew the terrorism was going to happen. But Uncle Naseem is used ultimately to show how similar Jews and Muslims really are. As the show progresses, small holes in his anti-Semitic views start to show, and the viewer can almost sense a fondness between Naseem and his customers — only partly because they help sustain his business. "At least they believe in something," he says at one point. There are Jewish echoes, too, when Ramy visits some of his extended family in Egypt, in part because it's hard not to compare the trip to a Jewish person visiting Israel. Before leaving, Ramy says he wants to get back to his roots by visiting a place where there are only Muslims, where he feels he might fit in. In Cairo, Ramy's relaxed plans for a spiritual homecoming are taken over by his party-happy cousin Shadi. One night, after Shadi drinks heavily and snorts cocaine, Ramy cracks and criticizes him about it. Shadi angrily pulls him out of the party to explain that since the Egyptian revolution in 2011, part of the Arab Spring, everyone in Egypt feels lost because most people know someone who was killed in the violence. Again, to a Jewish viewer, that sounds like an Israeli talking about life after a war, or the constant dread of living in fear of terrorist attacks. While Muslim leaders in America have complained at times about a "liberal individualism" and a rejection of traditional Muslim authority by young Muslims, Islam has few organized institutions similar to Judaism's Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements. In the world of "Ramy," it's more like the choice is between Orthodox Islam or nothing. Maybe Ramy is advocating for a Reform or Conservative version of his religion — we'll have to see in a future season. All these comparisons aim to point out that there currently is no "Jewish" show like "Ramy." What that might look like is hard to pinpoint exactly: It could involve a Modern Orthodox protagonist from the Upper West Side who hangs out in Brooklyn, wears a baseball cap over his kippah and occasionally rushes from a partner's bed to morning prayers. The nuance and triumph of "Ramy" is that its central character occupies multiple modern worlds while sticking to religious tradition, raising questions about that tradition — and the concept of faith and how it fits into contemporary America — along the way.


Anti-Gay Kuwaiti Academic Claims Suppository `Cure' for Homosexuality

By the Jerusalem Post

A homophobic Kuwaiti academic claimed on Scope TV in March that she invented a cure for homosexuality based on Islamic medicine. "I discovered therapeutic suppositories that curb the sexual urges of boys of the third gender as well as the fourth gender, which is butch lesbians. They have excessive sexual urges," said the anti-gay and anti-lesbian researcher Dr. Mariam Al-Sohel. The Scope TV station, based in Kuwait City, broadcast in the interview that the cure is based on "prophetic medicine." Al-Sohel claimed, "This is science, and there is nothing to be ashamed of," and "the sexual urge develops when a person is sexually attacked, and afterward it persists because there is an anal worm that feeds on semen." Al-Sohel said her inventions of suppositories "cures those urges by exterminating the worm that feeds on the semen." She added, "Bitter foods increase masculinity" and "the ingredients [for the cure] are the same (for both sexes) but I made them into different colors." The Kuwaiti emirate criminalizes homosexuality under its "debauchery" law. Cross-dressing is also illegal in the Gulf state. Kuwait's anti-gay law means homosexuals could be face lengthy prison sentences. Middle East Media Research Institute posted the Kuwaiti Scope TV interview with Al-Sohel on its Twitter feed on Tuesday. The German Green Party politician and LGBT expert Volker Beck told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday: "The cure for homosexuality is popular among religious fundamentalists. It is quackery and charlatanry. Such therapies and their apologists must be warned. Whether it is Al-Sohel's suppositories or from Catholic doctors in Germany, it is hocus pocus that reveals much about the mental state of these people." In 2017, Gulf News reported Kuwait "deported 76 homosexuals and shut down 22 massage parlors. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any morally objectionable activities and we will not be lenient with anyone who breaks the rules or puts the health of Kuwaiti citizens and residents at risk," Mohammad Al Dhufairi, a Kuwaiti official, told Gulf News at the time. In 2017, Kuwait's National Cinema Company banned a gay scene from the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.

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