Daily Kickoff: Remembering Orrin Hatch + Passover growth in the UAE – Jewish Insider

Posted By on April 25, 2022

Spy Secrets:InThe New Yorker, Ronan Farrowexploresthe use of the NSO Groups controversial Pegasus spyware by governments around the world, and efforts to find and block the spyware on targets devics. Its outrageous, [NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio] told me. We never sold to any country which is not an ally with the U.S., or an ally of Israel. Weve never sold to any country the U.S. doesnt do business with. Deals with foreign clients require direct written approval from the government of Israel, Hulio said. I think that it is not well understood by American leaders, Eva Galperin, the director of cybersecurity at the watchdog group Electronic Frontier Foundation, told me. They keep expecting that the Israeli government will crack down on NSO for this, whereas, in fact, theyre doing the Israeli governments bidding. Last month, theWashington Postreported that Israel had blocked Ukraine from purchasing Pegasus, not wanting to alienate Russia. Everything that we are doing, we got the permission from the government of Israel, Hulio told me. The entire mechanism of regulation in Israel was built by the Americans.[NewYorker]

Seder in Odesa:UnHerds David Patrikarakosreportsfrom Odesa, Ukraine, where he attended a Seder hosted by a local rabbi. If the rabbis message tonight was clear, the God of the Talmuds is clearer. Passover is not just a story of triumph, but of sadness. And here in Odessa, amid the joy there is darkness, too; amid what we hope is eventual victory is tragedy. This great port city, which once looked out onto the world and welcomed nationalities of all kinds, now walls itself up behind sandbags and wire. Its surrounding waters, which once brought in goods from Africa and India and Asia, are mined. Each day, I listen to Odessans mourn their countrys dead in a war that was forced upon them by the bloodlust of a Tsar in Moscow. Ukrainians, like the Israelites, will be free. Theirs will also be a story of victory, but it will also be one laced with tragedy and sorrow.[UnHerd]

No Comic Relief:InThe Atlantic, Devin Gordonlooks atthe challenges facing former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who, even with a new show, has struggled to find his professional footing in the years since signing off as host of the popular Comedy Central program. Once upon a time, if you accused Jon Stewart of actually trying to solve problems, of attempting to contribute something more useful than dick jokes, hed plead dumb comedian Im just here to make people laugh! It was insincere then, and now its being parroted by Joe Rogan to excuse spreading COVID lies around the world. Yet again Stewarts tactics have been weaponized by forces of disinformation. Stewarts reaction, though, has been to drop the veil of comedy altogether. Aside from his Jon Stewart thing at the beginning of The Problem and a few wry asides during interviews, hes not even trying to be funny. When you take the comedy out of topical comedy, though, you become the media.[TheAtlantic]

Prayer Power:In theWall Street Journal, David DeStenolooks atthe correlation between religion and ethical behavior. The answer to whether religion improves morality doesnt come down to a simple yes or no. Thats because when it comes to morality, the power of religion is more in the doing than in the believing. Studies of religion and health show that identifying with a religion saying you believe in God or going to worship once a year on Easter or Yom Kippur means very little. Epidemiological research shows that it is people who live their faith, regularly going to services and engaging in their religions rituals, who tend to live longer, healthier and happier lives. In most faiths, being religious isnt just defined by a creed but by rituals and practices that permeate daily life. When we pray and sing together, listen to readings from scripture, or give offerings and blessings of thanks to God, our minds and bodies arent passive. Theyre subtly being nudged toward virtue.[WSJ]

Ink Industry:The New York Times Isabel KershnerinterviewsWassim Razzouk, whose family has owned a tattoo parlor in Jerusalems Old City for 27 generations. Mr. Razzouks tiny store is something of a haven amid all the hostility, a symbol of religious and political tolerance. I have tattooed Christians, Palestinians, Ethiopians, Israelis believe it or not, Ive tattooed an Orthodox Jew with sidelocks, said Mr. Razzouk, who identifies as a member of the Palestinian Christian minority. Ive tattooed nuns, atheists and bishops.[NYTimes]

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Daily Kickoff: Remembering Orrin Hatch + Passover growth in the UAE - Jewish Insider

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