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Al Jazeera, Dr. Ruth, and Jewish Disco Queens: A Kosher Combination

I get a weekly email from the Forward, which I do not open unless I am somehow enticed or titillated by the subject line. Today's looked like this: Al Jazeera's Jews * Zion's Mafia * Dr. Ruth's Advice Hmm, I thought … Read More

By / April 26, 2007

I get a weekly email from the Forward, which I do not open unless I am somehow enticed or titillated by the subject line. Today's looked like this:

Al Jazeera's Jews * Zion's Mafia * Dr. Ruth's Advice

Hmm, I thought to myself. Is that all one topic?

No, it was actually three separate issues, but I couldn't help but appreciate the unlikely pairing of the three, all of which were actually interesting.

I learned three things, each more provocative than the next:

1.) Al Jazeera apparently has "no problem with Jews." And it seems that several top employees at the network's English operation are Jewish.

Some participants at the third-annual forum of the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera were sorry they didn’t bring matzo with them — had they known how many fellow Jews were attending the media conference, they would have made a Passover Seder.

That would've been interesting to see on Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera has been harshly criticized in the West for providing airtime to terrorists like Osama bin Laden, but it notes that American networks borrowed that material. It was also the first Arabic network to give Israelis air time. “Al Jazeera was seriously attacked by Arabs — Islamist, nationalist, and even governments like Saudi Arabia — for inviting Israeli journalists and government officials to present their point of view,” Atwan said.

Oh, okay. I'm convinced.

2.) According to a new book called Blood and Volume: Inside New York's Israeli Mafia, you can be a "gangster with a soul." And, of his girlfriend, Honey Tesman, the Brandeis-educated daughter of a successful Long Island laundry-plant owner, Israeli mafioso Ron Gonen says:

“She’s my disco Jewish queen . . . Smart like a wiz, gorgeous, speaks beautiful Hebrew, and she’s a fighter — it’s what I love about her.”

I want to be someone's disco Jewish queen when I grow up.

3.) Dr. Ruth can provide more than just sex tips. The Forward is bringing back its Bintel Brief column:

Started in 1906 by the Forward’s legendary editor Abraham Cahan, the Bintel Brief — literally “a Bundle of Letters” — dispensed advice on life, love, family, faith, work and why, contrary to popular superstition, having a spouse with a dimpled chin won’t lead you to an early grave.

And to kick it all off, they're bringing in Dr. Ruth, who has been spending less of her time teaching women how to perform oral sex, and more of it teaching a class at Princeton University on the Jewish family. I can't wait to read the Bintel Brief in the Forward — I'm so excited!

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