Sunday, February 15, 2015

From Ian:

2 dead in Copenhagen shootings; one victim was Jewish guard outside synagogue bat mitzva
The first attack, in broad daylight on Saturday, targeted a cafe attended by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. Also attending a debate at the cafe was French ambassador Francois Zimeray who praised Denmark's support for freedom of speech following the January attack in Paris on the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo that killed a dozen people.
Witnesses said that barely had the envoy finished an introduction to the meeting, when up to 40 shots rang out, outside the venue, as an attacker tried to shoot inside. Police said they considered Vilks, the main speaker, to have been the target. A 55-year-old man died as a result of that shooting, police said early on Sunday. Police said earlier the victim was a 40-year-old man.
Hours later, during the night, shots were fired at a synagogue in another part of the city, about a half hour walk away from the cafe.
A man was shot in the head, and was later confirmed to have died. Two police officers were wounded. It was later reported that the victim, a Jewish community member in his 30s, was guarding outside a bat mitzva celebration at the synagogue, according to Denmark's BT newspaper. It was reported that 80 people were attending the celebration at the time.
“We had contacted the police after the shooting at Café Krudttønden to have them present at the bat-mitzva, but unfortunately this happened anyway," Copenhagen Jewish community leader Dan Rosenberg Asmussen told Denmark's TV 2 News, as reported in The Guardian. “I dare not think about what would have happened if (the killer) had access to the congregation."
PMW: Abbas' Fatah threatens rocket attacks and "the end of Israel"
Last week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party posted three images glorifying the use of violence against Israel on its official Facebook page. The above image showing rockets being launched appeared with the text:
"We have more [rockets], Zionists!"
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Feb. 9, 2015]
Another image also showed a Fatah fighter with a rocket and others firing weapons.
A third poster showed a man firing an automatic rifle, with the text:
"The end of Israel, the liberation of Palestine"
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Feb. 9, 2015]
Names such as "the Path of the Storm" or "the Rage of the Storm" also appeared on the posters and refer to Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel during the 2014 Gaza war. This reference to the recent war, coupled with the words "the end of Israel," implies that Fatah is threatening to renew such attacks.
Richard Behar: I Don’t Trust the AP’s Report on Civilian Deaths in Gaza and Neither Should You
The Israel-hostile Associated Press is at it again. Note this article from Friday alleging that IDF air strikes on Gazan houses killed mostly civilians during last summer’s war against Hamas. The article—entitled “AP Exclusive: Israeli house strikes killed mostly civilians”—was penned by Karin Laub, Fares Akram and Mohammed Daraghmeh.
Have a read, and then consider this:
1. First, given what I revealed about AP’s civilian casualty reporting DURING the war—in my “Media Intifada exposé at Forbes.com—I simply have no faith in their examination now of these 247 airstrikes. I simply don’t trust them, and nor should you. They violated their responsibilities to readers during the war, and have never come forward to acknowledge that their prior journalism was sloppy and improper (or worse). In that prior reporting, AP and other major media outlets (including the New York Times and Reuters) simply parroted the Hamas claim that most of the war dead were civilians. Sometimes they attributed it to the UN, which received its figures from Hamas. Why did this matter? Because every time a major media outlet reported that “a majority” or “a vast majority” or the “overwhelming number” of casualties were civilians, it reverberated around the globe like a missile—fueling anti-Israel and general anti-Semitic sentiment (and violence against Jews in Europe and elsewhere).
So what was AP’s methodology for its current “examination” of the 247 airstrikes on houses? We’ll never know, because the wire service doesn’t tell us. What specific problems did they encounter that might have skewed or affected their research? We’ll never know, because AP doesn’t tell us those anecdotes.



Victim in Copenhagen Attack Was Jewish Community Member Guarding Synagogue During Bat-Mitzva
The civilian who was shot and killed earlier on Sunday in the terrorist attack on the Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen, Denmark, was a member of the Jewish community named Dan Uzan, who was guarding the synagogue at the time of the shooting, Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, head of the local Jewish community, told Danish television.
Uzan was described by members of the community as a brave young man, who was well liked and who had for years been serving it faithfully as a guard at community events.
Rosenberg Asmussen also said that around 80 people from the community were gathered inside the house of worship for a bat-mitzva celebration at the time of the attack.
“The Community is in shock, it is like the shootings in Paris,” Rosenberg Asmussen said, “we had contacted the police after the shooting at Café Krudttønden to have them present at the bat-mitzva, but unfortunately this happened anyway.”
Rosenberg Asmussen said he was not present at the celebration and that he was afraid to think of what would have happened had the assailant been able to force his way into the community center.
Copenhagen shooting: we debated free speech despite the gunfire – we will not surrender
I was invited to Lars Vilks* Committee in Copenhagen to present Passion for Freedom London Art Festival. The committee is organised annually, on the anniversary of Salman Rushdie’s fatwa. The meeting started with a short introduction from one of the organizers followed by François Zimeray, the French ambassador, commemorating Charlie Hebdo and discussing the challenges that we face when it comes to the threats to freedom of speech and democracy in our countries.
After a short introduction, Inna Shevchenko opened the panel and started to talk about Femen and her work. She also discussed her close friendship with Charb, the editor of Charlie Hebdo, and how they both stood strong exercising their right to freedom of expression. A few minutes into her speech we heard separate bangs.
It sounded like crackers. Everyone was sitting and Inna was speaking as the bangs turned into a shower of bullets. It sounded like a machine gun. There was lots of shouting in Danish, the security shouted that Lars should evacuate, everyone started to run or hide. A few people remained sitting. I slid behind the stage to hide.
After the shooting subdued everyone started to come together. We decided to continue with the presentation. I presented Passion for Freedom’s work and we took a few questions from the audience. Everyone thanked us that we continued. We will not surrender; they cannot kill all of us.
Islamic terrorism attack on Lars Vilks free speech event in Copenhagen - 1 dead, 3 injured


‘We are all Danish tonight,’ says Charlie Hebdo columnist
A columnist for French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Saturday condemned a shooting in Copenhagen that targeted a debate on Islam and free speech, saying: “We are all Danish tonight.”
One man was killed and three police officers were wounded when a gunmen attacked a cultural center hosting a seminar attended by the French ambassador and a Swedish cartoonist who has faced threats over his depictions of the Prophet Mohammed.
“They targeted an artist and also France,” columnist Patrick Pelloux told AFP. “We must fight fascism at all costs. We are all Danish tonight.”
Pelloux narrowly escaped the attack by two Islamist gunmen on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7, which left 12 people dead and kicked off three days of jihadist violence in the capital.
Brendan O’Neill: Copenhagen: the bloody, murderous No Platforming of blasphemers
Another month, another murderous assault on those who believe in and exercise the freedom of speech. Today’s shooting at a free-speech debate in a cafe in Copenhagen may not have been as bloody as the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January: according to reports, one person is dead, and the cartoonist who was presumably the target – the Muhammad-mocking Swede Lars Vilks – survived. But the intent seems to have been the same: to punish those who blaspheme, who dare to say offensive things, who refuse to bend the knee at the altar of PC and instead either say and draw scurrilous stuff or defend the right of others to do so. In the second decade of the 21st century, a couple of hundred years since those dark days when it was the norm in Europe for the spouters of strange or ‘wicked’ or simply unpalatable things to be executed, a fashion for killing the free-speaking seems once again to be stalking the continent.
What is especially disturbing about the shooting in Copenhagen is that it was an assault not only on Islam-ridiculing cartoonists — which would be, and has been, heinous enough — but on what seem to be ordinary, engaged citizens, keen to discuss the value of freedom of speech. This gathering of people, who had come to hear not only Vilks but also the French ambassador to Denmark, who was speaking about the post-Charlie Hebdo situation, found themselves under a hail of bullets simply for taking part in a debate on ‘Islam, blasphemy and free speech’. This should feel chilling to everyone who is interested in public debate and the liberty to think and say and discuss what we please. For now, even those of us who aren’t especially interested in drawing cartoons of Muhammad, but who do want to speak and argue in favour of other people’s absolute freedom to do so, find ourselves to be potential targets. Today, it seems, it isn’t only the exercise of freedom of speech that can earn you summary punishment; so, too, can simply thinking about freedom of speech.
Joel Pollak: Copenhagen: We Need to Wage Ideological War
The pair of deadly shootings on Saturday in Copenhagen–one at a free-speech debate, one near a synagogue–reprise last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris by targeting journalists and Jews once more. If, as suspected, the shootings are the work of Islamic terrorists, it is clear that the West faces an enemy determined not only to kill, but to destroy our core values. That, in turn, means that the West must wage ideological war against radical Islam. “Pinpoint” air strikes are not enough.
The type of equivocating, navel-gazing response offered by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast is also woefully inadequate. The president’s attempt to mollify the Islamic world by drawing a moral equivalence between radical Islam and medieval Christianity suggests a kind of paralysis that encourages the radicals to believe they are winning. They compare their own religious fervor with the West’s self-doubt, and feel assured that the balance is tipping in their favor.
Moreover, when the President of the United States cannot even bring himself to identify the victims of an antisemitic terror attack as Jewish, that sends a signal that the West secretly holds Jews in contempt, too. That, in turn, may encourage radical Islamists to feel assured that by targeting Jews they are, in a sense, liberating the West–an idea that jibes with the many conspiracy theories of Jewish control that the Muslim world has imported from Europe over the past century.
Netanyahu to European Jews: Terror attacks in Europe will continue, Israel is your home
In the attacks, Jewish synagogue guard Dan Uzan was murdered early on Sunday, in addition to an earlier victim shot Saturday afternoon outside an event about Islam and free speech.
"Extreme Islamic terror in Europe has struck again and this time it's in Denmark. We send our condolences to the families of those killed. They are once again killing Jews on European soil simply for being Jewish."
"The wave of attacks against Jews in Europe is expected to continue and it is up to us to stay prepared," he said. "Jews need protection wherever they are, but we're telling you: Israel is your home," he said.
The prime minister said that Israel is prepared for a massive wave of immigration from Europe. "Israel is there for [European Jewry] and Israel is their home. Today, the government will discuss a NIS 180 million program to support aliya and we are going to create more programs for Jews around the world. Israel is waiting for you with open arms."
Denmark contradicts Netanyahu, urges Jews to stay put despite terror attacks
The Jewish community is an integral part of Danish society and it ought to remain in the country despite this weekend’s terror attacks, Copenhagen’s envoy to Israel said on Sunday.
“The solution for the Jews of Denmark is not to leave in the wake of the terror attacks in Copenhagen on Saturday,” the ambassador, Jesper Vahr, said on Sunday. “Our prime minister said that an attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all of Denmark’s citizens. I echo this sentiment. We will do everything in our power so that the Jewish community in Denmark feels safe.”
Vahr made the statements in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s earlier entreaties for Danish Jews to relocate to Israel.
The ambassador said that “this was a horrible day for both Denmark and Israel as well as for the values represented by Western culture: democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of worship, tolerance, all of which are the cornerstones of our society.”
Danish PM to Jewish Community: You Are Not Alone
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has tried to reassure the country's Jews after two shooting attacks rocked the nation's capital city Copenhagen on Saturday.
The first attack occurred during a free speech event at a cafe. A gunman fired over 200 bullets into the cafe, killing a 55-year-old man, and wounding police three officers.
A synagogue hosting a Bat Mitzvah celebration was the target of the second attack. Jewish security guard Dan Ozen, 38, was killed, while two others were injured.
During a press conference Sunday, Thorning-Schmidt turned to the Jewish community in an attempt to ease their tensions, after what she referred to as a "cynical act of terror."
"Jews are a very important part of Danish society," she stressed. "I say to the Jewish community - you are not alone."
Liberman calls for ‘war on Islamic terror’
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday morning that the ongoing terror incidents in Copenhagen over the weekend prove the need for “a truly uncompromising war against Islamic terror and its causes.”
The Jews, Liberman said, were the canary in the coalmine.
“The string of terror incidents in Copenhagen, at the synagogue and at the free speech event, prove what we have been saying for years, that Israel and the Jews are the first to experience this terror because they are the front line in the terror war against the West and the entire free world,” the foreign minister insisted.
“The international community in its entirety cannot be satisfied with declarations and demonstrations against this terror, but must throw off the rules of political correctness and conduct an a truly uncompromising war against Islamic terror and its causes,” Liberman said.
'You Can't Make Europe's Streets an Anti-Semitic Shooting Range'
Diaspora Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett spoke with the leaders of the Jewish community in Denmark Sunday, expressing condolences and solidarity after a lone gunman shot at a Copenhagen synagogue, killing one.
"We will not agree to get used to the point where people can just shoot the Jews in the streets of Europe," Bennett said. "You cannot make the streets an anti-Semitic shooting range."
"The State of Israel is standing with you at this difficult time and is ready to help," he added.
After Copenhagen Synagogue Attack, Jewish Leaders Urge Authorities to Protect Local Community, Fight Islamist Extremism
Hours following a deadly shooting attack outside the Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen, Denmark, major Jewish leaders called on authorities to protect the local Jewish community, and for global efforts to fight Islamist extremists.
“We are confident the Danish government will take all necessary measures to bring those responsible for these attacks to justice, and we urge them to help secure the local Jewish community against anti-Semitic violence,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said.
“These attacks in Copenhagen follow the similar, brutal targeting of Jews and others in Paris and across Europe,” he added. “European governments should recognize that we are facing a vicious new wave of anti-Semitism and violence. It is crucial that Europe contends with this growing threat.”
Former Chief Rabbi: Copenhagen Attacks 'Not a Surprise'
Rabbi Lexner gave more details about the attack on the synagogue, noting that some 80 people were inside celebrating a Bat Mitzvah, including several children.
The assailant then shot at the security guard at the gate, he recounted. Extra police forces were there monitoring the site, as the gunman had launched an attack just hours before on a local café holding an event on Islam and free speech.
Rabbi Lexner noted that the attack was not a surprise.
"It's not a surprise because we know that Denmark is on the top list" for terror attacks, he said, "because Denmark is involved in Afghanistan and in the ICC and so on." Rabbi Lexner added that, as such, Copenhagen has been on "high alert" for some time.
Despite the attacks, he does not think that more Danish Jews will be inspired to make Aliyah, however.
"We are used to it," he said, "and those who have decided to make Aliyah decided a long time ago."
German city cancels parade over Islamist terror threat
The German city of Braunschweig cancelled a planned carnival parade Sunday because of a “specific threat of an Islamist attack,” police said.
The event, which was to begin at 11:20 GMT, was called off following a tip by “reliable state security sources,” police said in a statement.
“Police request all visitors not to go to the planned parade route or not to make the trip to Braunschweig in the first place,” the statement said.
Police chief Michael Pientka told public broadcaster NDR there was no link between the cancellation and two fatal attacks in Copenhagen Saturday, which had come little more than a month after Islamist attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead.
Organizers said the annual event in Braunschweig was normally the biggest parade in northern Germany during February’s Roman Catholic carnival season with up to 250,000 visitors expected.
NYT Lost On What Synagogue, Kosher Market Have In Common (satire)
Editors at the New York Times are struggling to find a common denominator among shooting incidents that targeted Jewish sites in Europe, wondering whether in fact Europe is simply being convulsed by random acts of violence, the paper noted today.
In an editorial published Sunday, the board of the paper lamented the seeming upsurge of attacks by radicalized men, but admitted failure in forming a coherent picture that might explain why such seemingly unrelated locations as a Jewish house of worship, a Jewish museum, a Jewish school, and a kosher supermarket would all be targeted. The editors urged investigators to remain vigilant and warned readers not to jump to conclusions about the events, especially conclusions that might give rise to Islamophobia.
“Observers, especially those with a political agenda, might be tempted to rush to judgment that a spate of attacks by men professing Islamic faith on individuals and institutions associated with some Jews might be more than mere coincidence,” declared the editorial. “But sober minds such as President Obama’s know that the victims could easily have been selected at random. We must not foment sectarian flames, given the very real danger that Muslims might be made to feel uncomfortable.”
Editors offered two alternative angles for viewing the attacks that might explain what they have in common. “The HyperCacher supermarket in Paris and the Kruttønden cafe both have sans serif fonts,” notes the editorial. “Establishments such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Crate & Barrel might do well to beef up security in the wake of such a realization. Not that we wish these stores to overdo it, but we cannot think of what else the attacks have in common, if anything,” it suggested.
Hundreds of British artists announce cultural boycott of Israel
Some 700 British artists pledged to boycott Israel on Saturday in reaction to what they termed “the Palestinian catastrophe,” the British newspaper Guardian reported on Saturday.
The artists, who include Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Richard Ashcroft, and others, pledged that they “will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel.”
“We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government,” the letter read.
“Now we are saying, in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon or Ariel, we won’t play music, accept awards, attend exhibitions, festivals or conferences, run masterclasses or workshops, until Israel respects international law and ends its colonial oppression of the Palestinians,” the letter reads.
Daphne Anson: Quelle Horreur! 100 "Stars" & 600 Spear Carriers Won't Be Going To Israel
This one concerns another, if less worrisome, example of Israel-demonisation coming out of the messed-up old Mother Country.
For playing now at The Guardian Theatre of the Absurd is The Peter, Mike, and Miriam Show.
Yes, the cultural boycott of Israel has been declared in a letter to The Guardian, that usual repository of such onslaughts against the little Jewish State, signed by various theatrical, artistic and musical types including a number of "ashamed Jews" with the prominent three whose forenames I give above leading the cast. Peter Kosminsky, Mike Leigh, and Miriam Margolyes (pictured) need no introduction as stars of the anti-Israel pantheon.
They are among 100 advance guards (the ones whose names are best likely to resonate with the general public) of a 700-strong boycotting brigade – many very small fry indeed, and unlikely to be much missed in Israel or any other overseas or domestic venue for that matter – have warned (in that typically self-righteous egotistical style that all such statements share) that:
'Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. '
Edgar Davidson: Incredible new boycott announcement from Israel boycotting artists (satire)
We are a group of 700 extremely important and famous artists and actors. One of us was in a pop group 35 years ago and another played a minor character in one of the Harry Potter movies. We even boast a comedian who appeared in an episode of the Young Ones 33 years ago. In our letter to the Guardian yesterday we announced a boycott of Israel, singling out the tiny Jewish state for punishment for a set of made-up offences communicated to us by a respected member of the peaceful Hamas organisation. Even if these fabricated offences had been true they pale into insignificance compared with the crimes against humanity being carried out by many dozens of countries around the world which we would never dream of criticising and where we would love to offer our services if only they would have us.
Our letter therefore proves beyond doubt that we are all
Anti-Semitic Sanctimonious Hypocritical Old Leftist Egotistical Scumbags (ASS-HOLES)
Hence, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with ASS-HOLES - i.e. ourselves. We demand ASS-HOLES cease all participation in any event we have been invited to work on. This will be very painful as it means collectively we will have to turn down at least 3 jobs scheduled for the next 5 years. Since the boycott applies to all cultural and social interactions this also means that any ASS-HOLES who are married to each other must get divorced immediately. ASS-HOLES who have non-ASS-HOLES as partners should also ask their partners – and indeed all other family members - to cease speaking with them. For the sake of optimal family cohesion we recommend that ASS-HOLES remove themselves entirely from the family home and live in isolation. ASS-HOLES will continue our boycott of all ASS-HOLES until we stop spewing our anti-Semitic lies and admit that not only do we know nothing about Israel, but that we only signed our letter in the desperate hope of reviving our moribund careers.
Where Roger Waters Attacks Israellycool
Roger Waters is not happy. Not happy at all. After unsuccessfully trying to turn Alan Parsons to the dark side, Alan Parsons responded with this:
He then ripped Waters for not honoring his request to keep the issue private, followed by performing like a boss to adoring Israeli fans.
So Waters has now responded. With an attack on Israellycool.
Wow – A Netanyahu video you will not soon forget
Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video as part of his campaign.
It’s the type of statement I can only imagine Netanyahu, among current Israeli politicians, giving.
I don’t know how the election will go, and I don’t pretend to understand how Israeli voters will view it, but sitting here on the other side of the ocean, it’s just wow.
“Many people around the world ask me, ‘how does such a young country, such a small country, who is attacked by enemies at every turn – how does such a country reach such great achievements?” Netanyahu begins.
Netanyahu then related to a personal story, about his grandfather, Natan Netanyahu Mileikowsky.
“He stood at a train station in the heart of Europe at the end of the 19th century, along with his younger brother Yehuda – two yeshiva [Torah academy - ed.] students,” he recounted. “Suddenly, they saw many anti-Semitic thugs waving batons, screaming, ‘Death to Jews.”
“My grandfather turned to his brother and told him, ‘Run, Yehuda, run!’” he continued. “He tried to chase after the thugs to save his brother. They beat him until he lost consciousness.”

“They left him to die.”
“Before he lost consciousness, lying in his own blood, he thought to himself: ‘What a shame. The descendants of the Maccabees are lying here in mud, unable to defend themselves,” he continued. “He promised himself that if he would survive the night, he would bring his family to the Land of Israel and help build a new future for the Jewish people in Israel.”

Bennett on CNN: Israel Will Not be the Next Czechoslovakia
Speaking to CNN, Bennett explained that the speech is important in order to stop a bad agreement between Western powers and Iran. He added that Israel cannot stand by in the face of an existential threat such as the Iranian nuclear program.
“We’re in the money time. On March 24 the deadline for these negotiations ends,” he said, explaining that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress will lay out Israel’s case “at the very last moment”.
“The current deal that’s being discussed is a very bad deal,” continued Bennett. “Essentially it allows Iran to retain the machine that produces nuclear weapons and it only presses the pause button” meaning that, in a few years, Iran can produce nuclear weapons easily.
“We’re fighting for our very survival and we have to make our best case to the American people.”


Commander: November Hit-and-Run Was a Terror Attack
The IDF insisted in November 2014 that the driver of a Palestinian Arab commercial vehicle who attempted to run over the soldiers as they were on duty near a guard stand outside of Kafr Al-Arub was "not a terrorist."
But on Sunday, a senior command official involved in the case broke a months-long silence over the declaration - asking why the IDF declined to admit that it was a terror attack.
Palestinian rappers rage over use of song in Likud ad
Members of the Amman-based alternative hip-hop group Torabyeh accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday of putting their lives at serious risk by linking them with terrorism and associating them with Islamic State fighters, following the apparently illegal use of a rap song performed by the band in a controversial campaign ad posted online by the Likud party Saturday night.
“In the last propaganda video released by the Israeli Likud Party which is headed by the criminal Benjamin Netanyahu (Zionist right-wing), the song called ‘Ghorbah’ by Torabyeh has been used,” a statement posted on the band’s Facebook page read.
In the Likud ad, several jihadists in a pickup truck flying the IS flag stop to ask an Israeli driver for directions to Jerusalem. The Israeli replies: “Take a left,” followed by the flash of one of the Likud’s campaign slogans, “The left will surrender to terror.”
Greg Gutfeld: MacLaine Using Holocaust Victims' Hell For 'Fun & Profit'
Greg Gutfeld tonight slammed Holocaust remarks from Shirley MacLaine's memoir.
MacLaine wrote:
"What if most Holocaust victims were balancing their karma from ages before, when they were Roman soldiers putting Christians to death, the crusaders who murdered millions in the name of Christianity ... The energy of killing is endless and will be experienced by the killer and the killee."
“That’s not just offensive but an example of imposter intelligence, for intellect without boundaries is mere stupidity,” Gutfeld said.
“The Five” co-host drew a parallel between MacLaine’s statements and those of a 9/11 truther.
"They weren't in New York. They didn’t see the planes hit the buildings or the people die. Lucky them - they can ‘pose questions’ minus the intimacy of suffering,” he said. "Likewise, Shirley wasn't in a concentration camp, allowing her to use their hell for fun and profit.”
He wondered, “Did Shirley write this awful book as punishment for her being a horrible creep in a previous life? No, because she's a horrible creep in her present life.”
Israel Museum opens 50th anniversary with new series
The Israel Museum is turning 50, and the seminal cultural institution is kicking off a year of celebrations with a broad range of exhibits.
“What we did here is something that most museums don’t do,” said museum director James Snyder, referring to the museum’s broad collections of art and archaeology. “And it all works.”
The sprawling museum campus of low, flat buildings constructed on a barren Jerusalem hilltop in 1965 was designed by architect Alfred Mansfeld to echo an Arab village on a hilltop. Mansfeld, noted Snyder, was awarded the Israel Prize for his groundbreaking design.
The core of the campus, said Snyder, is the same now as it was 50 years ago, when Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, the guiding spirit behind the museum, gathered the country’s leaders to inaugurate the cultural institution.
There have been changes, of course. A $100 million renovation completed five years ago enlarged the number of galleries, bring a fresh, new contemporary look. This helped increase the number of visitors to between 750,000 and one million each year, said Snyder, who was former deputy director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and who has been with the Israel Museum since 1997.
S&P affirms Israel's A+ credit rating
The international ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Friday affirmed Israel's credit rating as A+, giving the local economy a stable outlook. This was the second positive rating since S&P representatives visited Israel in June 2014. The agency said it based its credit rating and economic outlook review on its belief that Israel's economic growth and fiscal stability projections would remain unaffected by the results of the March 17 elections.
Sources in the Finance Ministry said S&P analysts projected the Israeli economy would resume its 3percent growth rate in 2015, after noting 2.5 percent growth in 2014. The dip in growth rates in 2014 has been attributed to last summer's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, which affected market investments in the third fiscal quarter.
S&P ratings are affected by geopolitical risks and their potential economic ramifications, especially the response of foreign investors and the international community to market fluctuations.
The rating agency's review said that the tensions on Israel's northern borders, as well as the aftermath of the Gaza campaign and the precarious security situation in Judea and Samaria will spell an increase in defense spending in 2015, regardless of the political makeup of the next government.
Bluesman Robert Cray to perform in Israel
Grammy winner and blues guitarist/songwriter Robert Cray will perform in Israel this April.
Considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, the Columbus, Georgia-born Cray will perform April 11 in Tel Aviv’s Charles Bronfman Auditorium and on April 12 in the Shuni Ampitheater in Binyamina.
The bluesman heads his own band and has played with musicians Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Cray, 60, said in a 2014 interview in magazine Guitar World that he began playing guitar around 1965, after seeing the Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan Show, and was turned onto the blues by his parents, who had “a great record collection.”
Israel Declares Day Of Mourning Over Death Of Nutella Maker (satire)
Already grieving over the death of an Israeli-Danish Jew in yesterday’s Copenhagen synagogue attack, Israel was buffeted today by the news that the candy magnate responsible for Nutella had died, prompting the government to declare a national day of mourning.
Michele Ferrero, whose company also produces Kinder chocolate eggs and Ferrero Rocher confections, was perhaps the world’s richest candy maker. His Nutella cocoa-hazelnut spread has had the greatest impact on Israelis, who consume the spread in obscene quantities, primarily as a filling in French crêpes, making the Ferrero family obscenely rich; their estimated wealth stands at about $24 billion, or approximately the amount cut from Israel’s education budget this year.
President Reuven Rivlin called Mr. Ferrero “an inspiration,” remembering how he and longtime legislative comrades would chow down on Nutella at the Knesset cafeteria before health standards were introduced there. “We would put that stuff on everything,” he reminisced. “[Former Likud MK] Naomi Blumenthal loved how it tasted on rolled-up banknotes and hotel-suite vouchers.” Blumenthal was indicted for corruption more than ten years ago and forced to retire from politics.
Figures from across the cultural and political spectrum recalled their favorite moments involving the spread. “I celebrated the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens last summer with Nutella-dipped deep-fried dough,” said author Amos Oz. “And I remember all those years ago, thinking how wonderful it would be if we could just give up all the area we captured in 1967 and eat Nutella as we were driven into the sea.”


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