"Every new member of Israel’s Knesset gives a debut speech, and this year, with 48 rookies, the docket was full, with parliamentarians introducing their résumés, their proposed policies, and their hopes for the coming four-year term. One decided to ignore convention altogether. This member of Knesset used the allotted time to teach Talmud. A full third of the 19th Knesset are observant Jews, but it wasn’t any of them. It was a woman named Ruth Calderon, a Talmud scholar and the founder of two Jewish houses of study. She was elected to Knesset as No. 13 on the list of Yesh Atid, a new party headed by former journalist Yair Lapid that swept the recent elections, earning 19 seats on a promise to bring about a more equal Israel..." [more inside]
After the president of Mexico introduced his bill, legislators stormed and barricaded the podium in the House; Senators began fasting in protest. The occupation continues after 2 weeks, with opponents camping out and padlocking the doors of Congress, aiming to run out the clock until adjournment on April 30th. Mexico's top electoral body ordered a TV ad (comparing opposition leader Lopez Obrador to Hitler) off the air. Here in the U.S., little notice: the WSJ calls this "heated debate." [more inside]
Felipe Calderon has been declared the next President of Mexico, but the controversy has not ended as his rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to stay in the streets. The most intense conflict has been in Oaxaca, but this is underreported in the US media. Tie this in with a recent Mother Jones article describing the current influx of Mexicans into the United States as an exodus from a failed economy, and all of a sudden the reports coming from Mexico take on a very different meaning.