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We binged ‘Fauda’ season 4 + Ron DeSantis needs to understand ‘never again’

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In season 4 of ‘Fauda,’ Israeli tactics come under fire — and so do the show’s heroes: Our PJ Grisar has been busy binging all 12 new episodes. “Revenge, legacy and the harms of deceit are perennial themes” of the series, he writes. “But Fauda’s durable formula has never been able to keep pace with the reality on the ground.” Alas, this season began airing in Israel before its Nov. 1 election, so of course could not anticipate the heightened concerns about the fate of its democracy amid the season’s American debut on Netflix. Read his review ➤ 


We want Judd Hirsch to win an Oscar — but not like this: The tireless PJ was all over yesterday’s Academy Award nominations, in which Hirsch got a nod for a quintessentially Jewish role in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. PJ says it’s a caricature akin to “the entire fish line at Zabar’s” and lacks nuance. “While there’s no doubting Hirsch’s Jewish bona fides,” he adds, “there is the uncomfortable fact that his performance plays somewhere closer to Eddie Murphy’s Jewish barber shop patron in Coming to America.” Read the story ➤

Related: Here’s a list of all this year’s Jew-ish Oscar nominees.


Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said a course on Black history ‘significantly lacks educational value.’ (Getty)

Opinion | As Jews, we need to speak out against Ron DeSantis’ efforts to erase Black history: The Florida governor this month banned a high school African American studies course. That’s a mistake, argues Josefin Dolsten, suggesting that U.S. schools teach about the ugliness of slavery and Jim Crow be taught forthrightly, as Germany mandates Holocaust education. “The Jewish community and its allies,” she notes, “have done a remarkable job of educating about the Holocaust, with the aim of preventing history from repeating itself.” Read her essay ➤


Opinion | I’m an Orthodox parent of a non-binary child. I am confident Jewish law can accommodate LGBTQ Jews: Rabba Aliza Libman Baronofsky knows, on a personal level, the challenges Orthodox LGBTQ Jews face. Yet she was horrified by the recent news that a New York shul told a trans woman she could not sit in the women’s section. Baronofsky argues that rabbis have a halachic responsibility to consider the human dignity of the individuals affected by their rulings and to “grasp the divinity inside of each and every one of them.” Read her essay ➤


But wait, there’s more…

  • Twitter on Tuesday reinstated the account of Nick Fuentes, a notorious white supremacist. Fuentes made headlines in November when he dined at Mar-a-Lago with Kanye West and former President Donald Trump. Here’s a list of all the prominent antisemites who have been allowed back on Twitter since Elon Musk took over the company.
  • Just back from a trip to Israel and the Gulf states that signed the Abraham Accords, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, told our Jacob Kornbluh: “I have never come back from a trip where I felt this optimistic that there is a path to peace and regional stability.”
  • The suspect in the 2018 murder of Blaze Bernstein, a Jewish and gay college student, will be in court Friday. Prosecutors are expected to present the case as a crime of both antisemitism and homophobia.

  • Almost half of Americans in a new survey don’t know how many Jews died in the Holocaust.

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Israelis protesting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swarmed the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night. (Getty)

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.



On this day in history (1949): The Television Academy held the first Emmy Awards ceremony at the Hollywood Athletic Club. Syd Cassyd, the group’s Jewish co-founder, initially proposed naming the award “Ikes,” short for the television iconoscope. When his co-founders deemed it too reminiscent of Dwight D. Eisenhower, they settled on “Immy,” after the image-orthicon tube, which later became “Emmy” to complement the award’s winged-woman statuette. The following year, the Television Academy awarded Milton Berle “Most Outstanding Kinescoped Personality,” making him the first Jew to win an Emmy.

In honor of National Florida Day, read our interview with a non-Jewish nanny in Boca Raton who knows more about keeping kosher than most of us.





In the French thriller The Man in the Basement, which opens in the U.S. on Friday, a Jewish man and his family find their quiet life upended by a Holocaust denier who takes up residence in their basement. Simi Horwitz praised the film for its portrait of a uniquely pernicious villain, “not drawn as a larger-than-life Hitlerite, but rather a slimy, wretched human being who just happens to be the newest iteration of a particularly virulent form of antisemitism.” Read her review ➤


Thanks to Nora Berman, PJ Grisar, Rebecca Salzhauer and Talya Zax for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at


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