Friday, July 26, 2019

From Ian:

Noah Rothman: Democrats Throw BDS and the ‘Squad’ Under the Bus
Omar tried to drum up support for her competing resolution in support of BDS by likening Israel to Nazi Germany and comparing the Hamas-linked movement to the Boston Tea Party. Tlaib, too, echoed these themes. The anti-BDS resolution, she said, “attempts to delegitimize a certain people’s political speech and to send a message that our government can and will take action against speech it doesn’t like” (a federal judge in Arkansas has already dismissed Tlaib’s constitutional objections). “My concern with being overly punitive on nonviolent forms of protest is that it forces people into other channels,” said squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The congresswoman has a habit of speaking in vague terms so that she can plausibly deny the obvious implication, but her meaning is clear enough; if boycotting Israeli goods isn’t an option, opponents of the Jewish state will be forced to take more drastic measures.

These arguments were not enough to sway an overwhelming majority of the Democratic Caucus. They weren’t even sufficient to convince squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who voted with the majority.

Though a vote in support of Israel’s right to produce and export goods abroad was not a tough one, the decision to hold the vote was. Progressives lobbied leadership against holding such a vote, noting that it would be construed as an attack on the Democratic Caucus’s progressive members just days after Donald Trump had attacked them. Even moderate Democrats expressed concerns about the prospect of exposing the ideological fissures within the party’s House majority. But whereas a union between the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus forced Democrats to scuttle a resolution condemning Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks, that alliance has been strained in recent weeks. The squad climbed out on a limb, and House Democrats sawed it off.

Say what you will about Donald Trump’s sloppy and counterproductive execution, the president knows how to pick his targets. Trump’s effort to elevate the most progressive members of the Democratic Caucus beyond their relative statures in Congress is a clever and calculated strategy. The vote on this resolution betrays how discomfited Democrats are by the views of their most impetuous members (as if more confirmation was needed). Democrats are happy to wrap their arms around the “squad” so long as they don’t have to talk about what its members actually believe. The GOP’s job will be to make that balancing act untenable. If this vote is any indication, the GOP’s job won’t be all that difficult.
Progressives Discard the Truth to Demonize Israel
It is shameful to liken Nazi Germany to a country full of survivors, and descendants of survivors, of the Holocaust. One reason why so many Jews were slaughtered in Europe is because they could not flee to Israel, then known as Mandatory Palestine, where Arabs actually revolted to prevent Jews from coming there.

Unfortunately, attacks like Rhodes and Tlaib's are now typical of far-left progressives, who have made hatred of the world's only Jewish state part of their moral and political doctrines. Such attacks reveal a creepy obsession with Israel, a country about the size of New Jersey that, in the progressive worldview, is somehow behind much of the world's evils.

Progressives are not just affecting Israel; they are inspiring hatred everywhere, including in the United States. Just look at Sam Zahr, a Lebanese-American who lives in Dearborn, Mich. Zahr recently delayed the scheduled opening of a franchise of Burgerim, a restaurant chain founded in Israel, after the Arab-American community lashed out at him. His kids were bullied, and he even received threatening messages, all because the burger company started in Israel. Progressives like Rhodes and Tlaib inspire—one could even argue encourage—such hatred by demonizing and delegitimizing Israel, making it seem perfectly fine to terrorize a man to crush his dreams. Zahr is a victim of the BDS movement, which Rhodes may not explicitly support but certainly helps with his rhetoric and actions.

This kind of behavior will inevitably target Jews, who are already the main victims of hate crimes, even without such pervasive assaults on Jewish sovereignty. There have been numerous examples of hatred toward Israel manifesting as attacks on Jews. The line is so blurred, in part because Israel and the Jewish people are inexorably linked. Criticizing Israel is fine, but demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state crosses a clear, red line, into the realm of something much worse. When progressives discard the truth to demonize Israel, they also demonize the Jewish community, whether they know it or not. They are creating an environment hostile toward Jews—an environment that, one day, may make Jews in the West that much more grateful for having Israel as a refuge.
Who boycotted the Nazis and who didn’t?
SOME LIBERAL academics supported the boycott. Others not only opposed the boycott, but personally violated it by visiting Germany in the 1930s and maintaining student exchange programs with German universities that were totally controlled by the Hitler regime. The sordid details are recounted in Prof. Stephen Norwood’s study, The Third Reich and the Ivory Tower.

Smith College president William Neilson, a longtime NAACP board member, visited Nazi Germany in 1933 and found “no cases of mistreatment” of Jewish citizens. Barnard College dean Virginia Gildersleeve, a staunch Roosevelt supporter, announced after touring Germany in 1935 that Hitler’s desire to acquire “new land” was “legitimate,” and that the sharp reduction in the admission of Jews and women to German universities was justified.

Pacifists such as Vassar College president Henry MacCraken saw the boycott as a step toward war, and in 1934, organized a tour of Nazi Germany for college students and professors. Footage of the trip was used for a Nazi propaganda film called Germany Today, which was shown in the United States in an effort to soften Hitler’s image.

Another prominent pacifist, Bryn Mawr professor Henry Cadbury, denounced the boycott as “simply war without bloodshed.” He admonished American Jews to “display good will instead of hatred” toward Hitler, claiming, “By hating him and trying to fight him, you will only help make him worse in his attack on the Jews.”

The boycott controversy roiled the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a leading left-of-center activist group. Its mostly-Jewish Brooklyn chapter asked the group’s national leadership to endorse the boycott. The request was rebuffed. WILPF leaders said they resented the notion of “separating the Jewish question from the larger minority problems.” One WILPF leader confided to a colleague, “For the first time in my life I am beginning to feel a little antisemitic.” Many members of the Brooklyn branch, and nearly the entire Bronx chapter, resigned in protest over the boycott issue.

Although the boycott fell short of its goal of driving Hitler from power, its impact was evident from the significant decline in German exports and the repeated complaints by German officials to the US ambassador in Berlin about the damage the boycott was doing to their economy.

What one US sailor did when a German ocean liner flew the Nazi flag in 1935 NYC
A symbol of hate over the Hudson River, the swastika flag fluttered from the bowsprit of the German luxury liner S.S. Bremen in the summer of 1935. At the time, the Bremen made regular visits to New York, and many Americans ventured on board to marvel at this floating symbol of the Reich’s technology.

Others, however, looked beyond the gleaming decks and Oompah bands, and focused on what was happening across the Atlantic, as the Nazis assaulted Jews in bloody riots.

On July 26, 1935, a group of Americans took action. Led by 20-year-old merchant seaman William “Bill” Bailey, they snuck into the ship’s going-away gala, determined to remove the Nazi flag waving in public view. Pursued by the crew and New York policemen, Bailey succeeded in sending Hitler’s emblem plummeting into the Hudson.

The incident made worldwide headlines. The United States government repeatedly apologized to the outraged Nazi regime. Bailey and five co-participants, collectively nicknamed the Bremen Six, were put on trial and eventually acquitted by Judge Louis B. Brodsky.

But despite the celebrated nature of the event, Bailey was soon forgotten by history.



A rescue story beyond black and white prisms
RED SEA Diving Resort stars Ben Kingsley, Chris Evans, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michiel Huisman and Alona Tal. I am curious to see the movie – and to see international response to it. I got a small taste of the latter this week when a friend posted on Facebook about the Netflix debut, along with a picture from the trailer featuring Evans and Huisman.
I was not prepared for the comments.

“Why are there two white/European dudes in the foreground?” read the first comment. “Can’t this story be told through Ethiopian eyes? In reality were there really any non-Ethiopian guys hanging around helping people through these harrowing journeys of escape?”

“Good point... Tone deaf to have two white dudes... advertising a movie about black people. They could have chosen an image of something other than two white Mossad agents to better appeal to American audiences,” added someone else.

“Is this a show about Jews from Ethiopia who brave a terrible trek, whose devotion and courage bring them to Israel, with the help of some white dudes; or is this a show about some superstar white dudes who save some poor, lost black folks and bring them to another country?” commented another.

By this point, I had stopped rolling my eyes and started hitting my forehead with my palm instead. Figuratively, I was bashing my head against a wall – a politically correct wall, opaque and unbreakable.

Not only did I feel people were missing the point, it felt like we were communicating in two different languages.

Red Sea Diving Resort is not about “superstar white dudes” who save “some poor, lost black folk and bring them to another country.” It’s about super Mossad agents bringing some 7,000 black Jews home to Israel – at great risk. It’s probably the only sophisticated mass rescue ever of Africans from Africa. It’s the exact opposite of America’s history of transporting Africans from one continent to another. This is about freedom, not slavery; Jewish unity not black and white divisions.

“The Ethiopian Jews are the real heroes of the story,” Shimron said on an interview on KAN 11 this week. This is part of their story, a part that should not be overlooked because a certain sector of American audiences insists on defining everything by color and race. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Don’t Americanize Israel’s Ethiopian Riots
The tendency of an observer in the United States to Americanize this Israeli issue is natural. To identify them, look for headlines with the automatic catchphrase “Black Lives Matter.” Indeed, comparing black protests is tempting: Black Israelis are raising a flag of racism and discrimination. Black Israelis argue that white Israelis are not sensitive to their daily struggle. Black Israelis take to the streets to protest against police brutality. Is this not exactly like America?

It is not. And the reason why begins with two very different histories of two black communities. Africans were shipped to America as slaves. Ethiopian Israelis were brought by their own country to play their part in the great Zionist saga of gathering Israel’s tribes. Moreover, African Americans had to fight for equality. Ethiopian equality, at least the principle of it, was a given. And yes, mistakes were made. And yes, there are clearly some issues that are not yet resolved. And yet, Israel invested resources in helping the newcomers more than in any other community. There are social workers and educators, there are government branches and non-governmental organizations, there are programs and subsidies. There are also successes. Many successes. Ethiopian Jews came to Israel with very little property. They came to Israel unprepared for modern life. As a group, they made a giant leap in a relatively short period of time.

Alas, what they see is not yesterday’s achievements. What they see is today’s failures. The community, on average, is still poor. It still has a high rate of crime, suicide and domestic violence. It still has an image problem.

The majority of Israeli Jews want Ethiopian Jews to integrate and succeed. The majority of Israeli Jews say that Ethiopian Jews contribute to the prosperity and well-being of the country. But it’s hard to deny that there is a problem connected to the fact that Ethiopians are easily identified because of skin color. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Film on rescue of Ethiopian Jews to debut in SF Jewish Film Festival
A new Netflix film that explores the heroic rescue of Ethiopian Jews in the mid-1980s will make its world premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival next week, ahead of its screening by the American streaming giant.

"The Red Sea Diving Resort" is the incredible story of an operation by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, a group of international agents and brave Ethiopians, who in the 1980s used a deserted holiday retreat in Sudan as a front to smuggle thousands of refugees to Israel.

The movie was written and directed by "Homeland" executive producer Gideon Raff, based on the book "Mossad Exodus" by former intelligence officer Gad Shimron.

It stars Chris Evans ( "Fantastic Four," "The Avengers"), Michael K. Williams ("The Wire"), Haley Bennett ("The Magnificent Seven"), Michiel Huisman ("Orphan Black, "Game of Thrones"), Alessandro Nivola ("American Hustle"), Greg Kinnear ("As Good as It Gets," "House of Cards") and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley.

The movie will premiere on July 28, as the festival's closing night event. It will be released by Netflix on July 31.
BBC’s ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’ documentary maker in conversation
In the latest episode of his podcast series British journalist Jonny Gould talks to John Ware about his documentary “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?” which was aired on BBC One’s ‘Panorama’ earlier this month.

“…the [Labour party] press operation is frankly inept…it’s difficult to take some of their stuff seriously.”

“None of them [the Labour party leadership] would submit to questioning. It’s impossible to interrogate them because any communication is conducted…by e-mail, by written answers…it’s not an ideal way to get to the bottom of something…”

“…the Labour party’s relationship to the truth on some of these issues is not what it should be, has not been what it should be.”

The podcast is available here or in additional formats here.
Corbyn’s new antisemitism website: ‘No room for anti-Semites, we’re already’ full’ (satire)
On Sunday, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn admitted that his party has “a real problem” with antisemitism, while launching a website to educate the party’s members and supporters about bigotry.

Called “No Room for anti-Semites, We’re Already Full,” the website provides “some basic tools to understand antisemitism so that we can hide it better.”
The website includes a video of Corbyn denouncing antisemitism in his party. He apologized for the “hurt that has been caused to many Jewish people,” admitting that attempts to hide the antisemitism in his party have been bungled.

Corbyn said that he spent his entire life campaigning for a multicultural society. He credits the Jewish people for being at the “heart of the Labour Party” but that the concerns of the Jewish community in the U.K. could now be dismissed, given that Labour had a new much larger block of voters.

People should not use antisemitic “poison,” in his name or the name of his party, stresses Corbyn, unless, of course, it helps win votes.

He said that under his leadership, the Labour Party will take whatever measures are necessary to “support and guarantee the security of all Jewish communities and their culture against right-wing bigots. Against left-wing and Muslim anti-Semites, they are on their own.”

Corbyn said that he wants the Jewish people to “feel at home in the Labour Party”, as long as they stop whingeing so much about how they are treated, and if not, they can f#ck off.
CNN editor praised murder of ‘Jewish pigs’ in terrorist attack on Israeli bus
Social media posts from years ago by a CNN photo editor and writer reveal that he called Jews "pigs" and praised their deaths.

In a 2011 tweet, Mohammed Elshamy, 25, wrote, "More than 4 jewish pigs killed in #Jerusalem today by the Palestinian bomb explode. #Israel #Gaza." Elshamy joined CNN in January 2019.

The tweet was an apparent reference to the March 23, 2011 bombing of a crowded Jerusalem bus stop that injured 39 people and killed two, not four. Among them was a 14-year-old girl who remained unconscious in the hospital for six years until her death in 2017.

The terrorist attack, which took place after a bomb in a bag hidden behind a telephone booth exploded, was the first to strike the Israeli capital since 2008.

In another tweet from 2011, Elshamy said, "Israel is the main enemy for the people of Egypt and shall always remain rulers who lick Jewish legs."

In a series of tweets from 2010-2012, Elshamy also praised the terrorist organization Hamas, used "Zionists" as a slur, and also appeared to downplay the Holocaust.
CNN Photo Editor Resigns Over Anti-Semitic Tweets
CNN Digital Worldwide & Great Big Story Communications Vice President Matt Dornic said in a statement to the Journal, “The network has accepted the resignation of a photo editor, who joined CNN earlier this year, after anti-Semitic statements he’d made in 2011 came to light. CNN is committed to maintaining a workplace in which every employee feels safe, secure and free from discrimination regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview that he didn’t think CNN’s statement on Elshamy was good enough.

“They owe the Jewish community and the victims of terrorism an apology,” Cooper said.

UPDATE: Elshamy issued a statement on July 26 apologizing for his past tweets.
“I want to unequivocally express my apology to everyone, especially those in the Jewish community, who were offended by my tweets,” Elshamy said. “I want to apologize to my family, friends, and mentors who I am ashamed I have let down in this way.”

Elshamy added that he was 16 years old at the time of the tweets were written, and he no longer holds those views.

“I would like to thank everyone at CNN, especially my manager, for the opportunity they have me,” Elshamy said. “It is with great regret that I have presented my resignation.”
Hamas official contradicts BBC’s ‘permanent archive’ messaging
Such framing is not limited to that specific report. In an article published the following month the BBC’s Martin Asser told audiences that:

“The Palestinian Authority leadership has frequently condemned the tactic of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians as a means of combating Israel’s occupation, saying such attacks harm the Palestinian cause, not help it.”

In a backgrounder published in February 2003 the BBC told its audiences that:

“The [Israeli] government accuses Mr Arafat of failing to contain militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad which carry out many of the attacks. But analysts are now increasingly arguing that Mr Arafat is in no position to control them.”

A 2003 profile of Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade informed readers that:

“Mr Arafat’s tacit backing for the brigade has also allowed Israeli officials to paint him as backing terrorism.”

Yasser Arafat’s actual role in instigating and directing the terror war known as the second Intifada has long been acknowledged by numerous Palestinian figures. The latest among them is Hamas’ Hassan Yousef who recently gave an interview which was translated by MEMRI.
French official celebrates with Nazi cake, Wiesenthal Centre: take action
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is calling on the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR) to compile and maintain a watch list of “notorious racist bigots who hold municipal standing or platforms" after a member of the city council posted a photo celebrating his birthday with a Nazi cake.

Djamel Bouzaam, elected to the town council of Montpellier (Herault), recently posted on Twitter: “I spent a beautiful day with my family, music, food in the home of my SS friend, then my birthday cake arrived, a gift from my SS friend...”

The cake is decorated with a swastika.

In a letter to Benedetto Zacchiroli, president of the 158-member municipalities of the ECCAR, Wiesenthal’s director for international relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, drew attention to Bouzaam’s behavior.

According to the French National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, Boumaaz has been fined in the past for his numerous “quenelles” - inverted Hitler salutes - an action banned by law in France, Weisenthal reports. Furthermore, he had also been sanctioned for having torn down a “rainbow pride flag” hoisted by the Montpellier Municipality on the International Day Against Homophobia.
Holocaust-Denying Poster Placed on Jewish Heritage Museum in Cleveland
A poster denying the Holocaust was placed outside a Jewish museum in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

According to The Vindicator, the poster read, “Holocaust=Fake News,” and was posted on an electronic sign outside the Malz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood last week.

It also read, “Brought to you by your local Stormer book club,” referring to the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.

“Daily Stormer” is also a direct translation of the name Der Sturmer, a notoriously antisemitic Nazi-era newspaper in Germany.

Dahlia Fisher, the spokeswoman for the museum, said the institution was taking steps to boost security following the incident.
Louis Farrakhan: pedophilia, homosexuality, sex trafficking is Talmudic
Did you know that pedophilia, homosexuality, sex trafficking is the word of Talmudists?

In a new video published by Minister Louis Farrakhan, he says that Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein committed their crimes because they felt entitled by Jewish law.

“Weinstein and Epstein and all of those top Jewish Talmudists who are in media, television that abuse women – there aint nobody talking about Weinstein, there aint nobody talking about Epstein,” said Farrakhan. “You don’t hear anybody talking about the man who set up a hedge fund. Because Talmudic, Satanic Jews are the ones that feel nobody has a right to punish them for what the Talmud has made lawful to them.”

Weinstein is an American former film producer. He has been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least thirty years. Epstein is currently under investigation for sex trafficking.
Antisemitism vote in Vancouver city council delayed
Jewish organizations in Canada have reacted with disappointment following a decision by the Vancouver City Council to postpone the vote on a motion aimed at combating antisemitism in the city.

The 6-5 decision to delay was voted on at a council meeting on Wednesday.

The motion, which included the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, was introduced to the council by city councilor Sarah Kirby-Yung, in response to the rising number of antisemitic incidents taking place in Canada’s third-largest city.

B’nai Brith Canada said it was “disappointed by Vancouver City Council’s decision... to refer a motion on endorsing the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism to committee, rather than adopting it immediately.

“Our 2018 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents recorded a 126.7% spike in antisemitic incidents… so this is an urgent problem that must be addressed. Nevertheless, we remain confident that Vancouver will take the important step of adopting the IHRA definition in due course, along with other cities across Canada.”
Following outcry, France cancels Israeli flag ban ahead of soccer match
Following a major backlash, the French policing authority and the Strasbourg’s county governor has reversed its decision to ban Israeli flags and limit the amount of Israeli fans allowed to attend the Thursday’s UEFA Europa League match between Maccabi Haifa and RC Strasbourg Alsace.

Earlier in the day, the county governor enraged Israeli soccer fans, not to mention the country’s Culture and Sport Ministry and its Foreign Affairs Ministry, when he limited the number of Israeli fans allowed to enter the Stade de la Meinau. The governor had said local police were concerned about ensuring public safety at the soccer match.

However, a little over an hour before the 7:45 p.m. kickoff, the French policing authority - known as the Prefecture - rescinded the decision, but made it clear that Israeli flags were only allowed inside the stadium and not in the streets or in public squares outside.

Following the initial flag banning decision earlier in the day, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev called the decision “unbelievable” and said it’s “unthinkable that a supporter of an Israeli team will walk around in fear in a French sports stadium and banned from carrying his team’s banner or national flag.”
The Man Who Saved The N.Y. Holocaust Museum
Even into the late 1980s, arguably the greatest Jewish city in the world had no Holocaust museum.

Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, had been open for more than 30 years. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam opened in 1960. Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, had yet to really catch on here. And it would not be until 1993 that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum opened its doors in the nation’s capital.

But in the late ’80s in New York City, home to tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors, there was almost no public presence of the defining event in modern Jewish history, save for a small Holocaust memorial park in remote Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Enter Robert Morgenthau.

With fundraising for a planned Holocaust memorial in New York City stalled, Mayor Ed Koch called on Manhattan’s district attorney to help out. Mr. Morgenthau was co-chair of the city’s Holocaust Memorial Commission, which had made the recommendation for a museum to Koch.
Israeli Technology Promises to Revolutionize Bone Healing
Israeli biotechnology company Bonus BioGroup has developed a unique technology to revolutionize bone healing. It has the world's first viable human bone graft manufacturing facility, where bone grafts are constructed outside the body from the patient's own live tissue. A new bone is grown in a laboratory bioreactor and then implanted back into the patient.

"Because every patient gets his own tissue and own cells back, the safety profile of this kind of therapy is very high," said Dr. Shai Meretzki, president of Bonus BioGroup. "There is no immune reaction to the implant, never mind rejection....We see a very nice recovery and complete healing of the bone gap."

For those with osteoporosis which involves large bone cavities instead of gaps, "to overcome this, we grow the bone in thousands of tiny particles and then we can just inject those particles into the cavity. The bone is filled with tens of millions of cells that keep growing, and become bigger and solid within 24 hours. Filling the cavity with injectable bone reduces a painful operation of 15 hours into a treatment of 10 minutes, and within two months, the bone is healthy, alive, viable and active again."

"We take the hardest cases where people have already given up on them. They are all back on their feet or have full use of their hands. One patient, 13 months after he had a bone implant in his leg, completed the Ironman Triathlon."
Ozuna brings Spanish flavor to Rishon
Following a lightning show by Daddy Yankee on June 27th at LivePark in Rishon Lezion, YouTube singing sensation Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado – known onstage as Ozuna – headlined his first ever concert in Israel at the same venue on Wednesday night. The outdoor amphitheater sold out 15,000 seats, though no one actually sat during this spirited show. Israeli fans of Ozuna knew every word of his, belting out the Spanish lyrics, and experiencing a meltdown when he thanked the crowd using Hebrew.

The set started out slow with “Unica” from his latest 2019 album Aura and gradually gained steam half way through as Ozuna internalized the growing energy of the audience. The turning point was “Dile que tu me Quieres,” a popular song from his first album Odisea (2017) that brought listeners a bit closer to the classic reggaeton beat they know and is the very signature sound that his fans love him for. After that halfway point of the set’s 28 songs, the concert lifted into an all-encompassing experience for fans who lost themselves in the Caribbean beats and danced without inhibition.

Set design was cleverly constructed to reinforce Ozuna’s strong brand. Images of his logo, a cartoon bear, appeared on screen behind him while he sang. The association is so strong, that fans everywhere know his work at the sight of this image. The pigment seen on stage was uniform; each song having a different color scheme. The most compelling was an all orange light design with fire shooting up from the base of the stage. After the first few songs, Ozuna brought out an Israeli flag and held it high, followed by his home flag – Puerto Rico. In Spanish, he asked the fans to put out their hands if they knew he cared about their city.


He don’t run: Bon Jovi’s rocking return to Tel Aviv more welcome than elections
On a hot Tel Aviv night, over 45,000 people rocked out during the triumphant return of classic rock band Bon Jovi. Considering I have a word limit, “on a hot Tel Aviv night” may have been the most unnecessary lede in the history of journalism. Then again, some called this very concert “unnecessary” after the band’s 2015 visit.

Friend: “They were just here a few years ago. Isn’t it too soon?”
Me: “THAT’S too soon? We’re having national elections twice in five months.”

When you can revisit the songs that made “Slippery When Wet” and “New Jersey” two of the best-selling albums of the 1980s, it’s never too soon. And having attended both shows, I can honestly say, to my surprise, that Thursday night exceeded my expectations.

Produced by Live Nation Israel, the two-and-a half hour sold-out performance began with “This House is Not for Sale,” the name of the tour and a reminder of the challenges of home ownership in Israel. (The tour has already earned over $43 million, roughly the asking price for a crappy studio on Dizengoff street.)

Jon took the stage wearing a long-sleeved shirt with some kind of red and white design (I wasn’t sent for my fashion credentials, as evidenced by my “Three’s Company” t-shirt). From the start, he urged the crowd to clap, sing, and add our “na na”s during “Born to Be My Baby.”


Production Begins on New Israeli TV Series ‘Valley of Tears,’ Set Against Yom Kippur War
Production kicked off on Sunday for a new Israeli TV drama show, “Valley Of Tears,” industry magazine Deadline reported.

The eight-part miniseries, filmed in Hebrew, will be set against the backdrop of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and based on true events. It will focus on the fighting through the first-hand accounts of young soldiers and will follow the stories of three individuals affected by the brutalities of war.

“Valley of Tears” will be Israel’s highest-budgeted program, with each episode costing around $1 million, according to Deadline.

The show will star Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi, and a number of the most prominent Israeli novelists in Israel took part in scripting it, alongside screenwriter Daniel Amsel, of the popular Israeli show “Euphoria.”

The miniseries is being produced by the UK-based company WestEnd Films, Endemol Shine Israel, United King and the Israeli public broadcaster KAN.

The show’s Israeli writers, Ron Leshem and Amit Cohen, talked about “Valley Of Tears,” saying, “This is a universal story about a group of young men, full of life, thrown into the shock of battle and its intoxicating, addictive effects as well as its absurdity. It is also the most dramatic moment in Israel’s history, a chapter never before depicted on television.”
Colossal ancient structures found at Gath may explain origin of story of Goliath
A giant of a man may have sprouted from an equally giant-sized city. Super-sized remains of “enormous” architecture and fortifications from a new, unexpected “biblical-era” layer of the Philistine city of Gath were unearthed this summer at the ongoing Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project.

Whereas most of the site’s previously excavated areas date to the 10th and 9th centuries BCE, this new layer dates to the 11th century, when, according to the biblical narrative in Samuel I 17, the future King David slew the giant Goliath.

“For those scholars that accept that David was a historical figure — and I’m among them — the late 11th-, early 10th century BCE, the time of the earlier phase of the city of Gath, whose impressive remains were just found, is the time frame in which David existed,” Bar-Ilan University Prof. Aren Maeir, the 23-year excavation director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath dig, told The Times of Israel. The dating follows the chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah as presented in the Bible.

“If in fact David did confront an opponent in single combat, most often identified as Goliath, this would, more or less, be the time of this early Iron Age phase of the city of Gath,” said Maeir. He emphasized that “it is hard to say whether or not there is a historical kernel to the story, and if there is in fact a kernel, what this kernel was.”

There is still no inscription conclusively stating that “this is Gath,” however the previous two decades of excavation at Tell es-Safi/Gath have uncovered a massive Iron Age Philistine site that served as the region’s center of gravity in the 9th and 10th centuries, said Maeir. The settlement was destroyed by the Aramean King Hazael around 830 BCE, which is echoed in the account of Gath that is written in Kings II 12:18.



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