From the (Israeli) finance desk: A top official at the Bank of Israel quit, saying he can’t remain “while democracy is in danger.” … Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli economists published an “emergency letter” today warning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-reaching judicial shakeup could “cripple” the economy … And, finally, several Haredi Knesset members submitted a bill proposing that all banknotes issued by the Bank of Israel include the Hebrew phrase for “In God we trust.”
💸 An Israeli group that supports the extremists convicted in the country’s most notorious hate crimes – including the man who assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – is collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans, according to an investigation by the Israeli nonprofit newsroom Shomrim and the Associated Press. (AP)
🇦🇺 Kanye West wants to meet his girlfriend’s parents, who live in Australia, but the country may not let him in. Former government officials and Jewish groups are urging the immigration minister to deny a visa to the rapper, whose legal name is Ye and who went on a weeks-long antisemitic tirade this fall. (Sydney Morning Herald)
🏫 Stanford University is investigating a photo posted to Snapchat of a student reading Hitler’s Mein Kampf. This follows an October incident when a mezuzah was ripped off the door of a Jewish graduate student on the campus. (Stanford Daily)
✝️ In a wide-ranging new interview, Pope Francis, 86, said that “being homosexual is not a crime” and that bishops need to recognize the dignity of everyone. He also opened up about his health, his critics and the future of the papacy. (AP)
🚗 Uri Levine, one of the three Israeli founders of the Waze navigation app, writes about its genesis in a new book. Turns out it started when Levine was the last to head home from a Rosh Hashanah gathering in Metula, a village near Israel’s border with Lebanon, and called friends who had already driven home to find out the quickest route. (New York Times)
Best opening lines of an article published yesterday ➤ “In ancient Jerusalem, an aged King Solomon observed ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’ Solomon never knew George Santos.” – Ben Jacobs in Vox.
Best ‘Jeopardy!’ answer on last night’s show ➤ “What is kosher?”
Shiva calls ➤ Victor Navasky, the longtime editor of The Nation and the author of a book about Hollywood’s blacklist, died at 90. He possessed, “at least outwardly,” writes Benjamin Ivry, “the carapace of an armadillo,” and assumed “that everyone else should too.” Read our appreciation ➤
What else we’re reading ➤ A new Supreme Court case could turn every workplace into a religious battleground … Alleging antisemitic bullying, Bulgarian-Israeli musician quits as director of a German orchestra … Meet the 32 year old actor helping ensure the future of Yiddish.