Ynet's perception of Israeli soldiers on Facebook: Naked.

I gave away the punch line in the title, but there ain’t much more to say than that. Here’s the headline of a Ynet news article from today:

Classified info exposed on Facebook

Basically, some members of the Israeli security establishment were caught with photos of classified soldiers and locations exposed on their Facebook accounts. But what interests me more – aside from the stupidity of the Israeli security establishment – is Ynet’s perception of Israeli soldiers surfing the web:

Israeli soldier naked on Facebook

Is Ynet so desperate for female readership?

Priorities, people.

I was passed an article about a Charedi wedding that took place after being protested by the bride’s parents and the “most prominent Orthodox rabbis.” The daughter of multimillionaires was sent to Israel to seminary and fell in love with a Charedi “yeshiva dropout.” They managed to get married yesterday after getting through protests from all sides (even picketers at the wedding).

I will defer my own original wording and frustration to the talkback of this article I just read, and it’s not about the actual story.

First, excerpts of the article reflecting the prominent Orthodox rabbis’ actions, then the talkback:

West Side Story, Meah Shearim style

The bride’s parents objected, rabbis protested and the public took to the streets – but the young couple refused to give up. Against all odds and despite violent demonstrations outside the wedding hall, a young ultra-Orthodox woman from overseas and her Jerusalemite fiancé were married in the capital Tuesday evening…

The family also appealed to the most prominent Orthodox rabbis, asking that they exert efforts in a bid to cancel the planned wedding. The rabbis even issued a manifest against the engagement, but to no avail…

At the beginning of the week, the family discovered that the wedding would take place Tuesday evening. Claiming that the young man’s family had exploited wealthy families  in the past, the woman’s family managed to convince prominent rabbis to issue another manifest against the wedding…

Leaflets slamming the marriage were hung in haredi neighborhoods, carrying the signatures of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Rabbi Nissim Karelitz and Rabbi Michal Yehuda Levkovitch…”Who can tolerate such a marriage with such great sorrow on the part of the daughter’s mother and father? It is a defamation of God to marry a person from the street considered problematic like the groom.”

Addressing the groom’s father, the rabbis wrote, “After hearing from important scholars that your son is about to marry a girl as opposed to the Torah’s wishes, we demand that you prevent this marriage which will not be held according to our dedicated Jewish law… (ynet)

For the whole story, definitely click and enjoy. It gets more ridiculous by the paragraph.

However, my focus in this story is the following… Thank you, שרה, for highlighting this in your talkback, which everyone else seems to be missing:

Does anyone else find it totally disturbing that all the rabbis come out of the woodwork to speak out against this marriage but none of them are speaking out against the horrible stories of child abuse we’ve been seeing in this country lately!? They’re busy protecting this young woman from a marriage to another religious Jew when down the road, there are mothers/monsters in prison for beating their children…and the rabbis haven’t banded together to say anything about that?!

Ignorance is momentary bliss.

There’s only so much I can ignore the news here when things take a turn for terrible. At a certain point, it smacks you in the face and then maybe you’re tearing up at your desk with the paper on-screen or you’re cringing at the hourly news on your way home.

I’m not at that point yet. I’ll start paying closer attention soon. For now – to ignorance, and beyond.

My reactions to the Winograd report.

No, I haven’t written any thoughts on the Winograd report given the other night. So what do I think, you ask?

I think the question – at this point – is how have I reacted to the Winograd report? I knew what my response would be whether or not I agreed with the outcome. It’s been planned for a while, actually.

My reaction was to take stock piles of old newspapers from the last months of Prime Minister Olmert still being in power, of terrible governing and bad governmental memories, and crumple them up, toss them into boxes, and settle my delicate glassware on the faces of ineffective world leaders.

I think it’s been a pretty healthy response, actually.

To snow, or not to snow…

It’s 6 p.m., and all the Israeli news can report about is the impending ‘snow storm’. It’s been hyped about all day, with news reporters actually looking excited as the students who await instruction to stay home from school tomorrow.

The sky has been eerie and gray and has given an extra-apocalyptic feel to the whole weather prediction of Jerusalem. Many people worked from home today and others prepared to leave early to avoid harsh driving conditions.

As a former New Yorker, I’m enjoying all this on multiple levels… But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t childishly excited for the winter’s day of my youth. Plus, my husband has yet to experience his first real snow storm. We’ll see if this one lives up to the hype, though in Israel, it’s pretty rare that they do.

Today's word: Etrog Journalism.

I learned a new word – or rather, term – today at the Arab-Israeli Journalism panel I sat on: etrog journalism.

The idea, thunk up by a Haaretz reporter a few years ago, is that certain items of news need to be treated as delicately as an etrog, the yellow citrus fruit we Jews use on Succot. We keep them in boxes, wrapped carefully in styrofoam or straw hair-like substances so as not to break the end of it.

The example given, and the original story, apparently, was that Sharon needed to be protected like an etrog to play down corruption in the government so that other news about the peace process and disengagement could prevail. From there came “etrog journalism”: protecting an issue so that other issues can thrive.