Here’s what we’re reading: Meet Abby Stein — a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov (the founder of hasidism) who has come out as a trans woman. The leader of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice says Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry is hardly a laughing matter. And — file under: how is this still a thing? — Israel has just gotten around to allowing 3G wireless for Palestinians.
Srully Stein was born into the restrictive life of one of the most well-known hasidic dynasties. Stein was married by 18 and has a son. After a time, he left the ultra-Orthodox world to pursue a college education. Now 24 and re-named Abby Stein, she is a student at Columbia University and began hormone therapy in September. As the Forward notes, Stein made waves with a recent blog post about coming out as transgender:
“I want people to know that there are other Hasidim who feel just as I do.” Stein said. She added that within the first day of publishing her blog, around 15 Hasidim had already contacted her, asking for advice.
Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy is treated as a joke by many — but that covers up the dangerous implications of his nativist rhetoric, M Dove Kent writes in The Guardian:
Demagogues are quick to use the Holocaust as a prop to make their points, so like many Jews, I am hesitant to compare current day politics to the violence and virulent anti-semitism of the Nazis. But the parallels between what Trump is proposing and what European Jews faced in the first half of the 20th century are too blatant for me – or the US Holocaust Memorial Museum – to ignore.
Israel will soon allow a Palestinian 3G network in the West Bank. Israeli settlers already enjoy 3G or 4G connections in much of the territory, but not so for Palestinians and their wireless carriers, reports Quartz:
Israel’s reasons for keeping Palestine on 2G up to now are not entirely clear. The Electronic Frontier Foundation suggested, in an analysis earlier this month, that less-secure 2G networks are easier for the Israeli authorities to monitor-or at least to monitor without detection, since surveillance might be a violation of the 1995 [sic] Oslo peace accords.