Sunday, May 17, 2015

From Ian:

Breaking the Silence about EU-backed NGO War on Israel
The truth about Europe is that while anti-Semitism went underground there for a period of time, it never really disappeared, and it is now resurfacing. The 2012 vote at the UN was just one sign. It is most noticeably visible in the rise in violence against Jews on the streets of European cities, but street violence is not the only manifestation of the resurgence of Europe’s anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is re-asserting itself in the governments of the EU’s individual member states, as well as in the European Parliament itself.
NGO War Goal – Tie the IDF’s Hands
One of the less visible ways that European anti-Semitism is manifesting is in the EU giving direct financial support to Non-Governmental Organizations (“NGO’s”) operating inside of Israel whose sole actual role, despite their protestations to the contrary, seems to be defaming Israel in the international media.
Breaking the Silence (BTS), for example, has been featured prominently in the news this month, for releasing a collection of anonymous, unsworn, uncorroborated “testimonies” in an attempt to malign Israel to the international press over its conduct during Operation Protective Edge.
In 2013-14, according to the group NGO Monitor, BTS received funding directly from the EU itself, as well as directly from the government of Norway, and indirectly, through a group called Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, from the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
BTS’s unstated but apparent actual goal is not to uncover IDF misconduct; if that were the goal, BTS would provide the details of events so that the IDF could investigate and, if warranted, prosecute misconduct. Instead, BTS aims to shackle the IDF so that its ability to defend Israel is markedly decreased.
Jpost Editorial: Dutch shame
Presumably there is no law in any Western democracy that prohibits any national from living in a given locale on the grounds of citizenship, ethnicity or religion. Presumably, for example, Dutch citizens are allowed by Dutch law to reside in Fairbanks, Famagusta or the Falklands (even though the latter two are occupied territories).
Dutch expats are not forbidden to move nor do they expect to be penalized (especially not by their own government) because of where they choose to put down stakes. The very notion that Dutch citizens would be told that they cannot dwell somewhere because of who they are – i.e., to which parents they happened to have been born – would be seen as inherently and intolerably discriminatory.
But there appear to be exceptions to the liberal rule.
These apply exclusively to Israel and to Jews – even to Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands.
Compassionate treatment of Immigrants by Israel in contrast to the Muslim world
Most Muslim countries jail immigrants who come illegally and then deport them back to their country of origin without thinking for a second about the persecution they may face back at home. Most Muslim countries have a similar track record. Jordan did take Syrian refugees in but strictly keeps them confined to camps and they are treated very harshly even when they share the same language, culture and religion.
Now lets compare the same situation to Israel which is often painted as war criminal and what not. Israel has airlifted Jews from all over the world , transported them via air lift , ships every means possible, without any charge to the immigrants. Israel has taken in refugees and Immigrant Jews from Yemen,Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Morocco and multiple other locations. Israel took in refugees from different cultural back grounds and race without any discrimination. Israel laws stipulates that any Jew from anywhere in the world can claim citizenship of Israel. And keep in mind that Israel is not a very large country. It is a fairly small country with not much natural resources and is forced to spend a large amount of its budget on defense due to security threats. But even then Israel has a huge heart and welcomes every one in. Israel has even taken in non Jews many times. As per Israeli law if a person who faces persecution in their country arrives in Israel (even illegally) he/she cannot be deported back to save their life. Many Muslim and christian refugees also live in Israel and many even have citizenship now.
I have a simple question now.
Who is humane among them ? Israel or the Muslim countries
Muslim countries must stop accusing Israel of Crimes against humanity when they themselves are committing it right now by forcing rohingya migrants back into the sea to die.
Long Live Israel

Time to get a grip over Israel-Palestine conflict
Historic borders are collapsing, religious blocs are in total conflict across the region, new alliances and enmities are being formed, and thousands of innocents are being killed as the months go on.
All this needs to be higher on the world’s agenda than the Israel-Palestinian conflict. And, in fact, the nations of the Middle East that are still functioning recognise that Israel is not the enemy, but a potential powerful ally.
It is time that Western governments left the Israelis and Palestinians to sort out their own peace (not unreachable) and focussed more effort and money on the cries for help still echoing across the troubled Middle East from minorities in real danger of extinction or slavery.
Let’s get our priorities right for once.
Israel at center of international diplomatic storm as vatican, FIFA, EU step up pressure
The Palestinian decision to internationalize their conflict with Israel seems to be paying off as Israel is coming under diplomatic pressure on several fronts at the same time. The Vatican decision to recognize “Palestine” as a state, an expected French-sponsored resolution to the United Nations Security Council, and the possible expulsion of Israel from FIFA, the international soccer federation, are creating the sense that Israel is losing the diplomatic battle.
“There is a sense of erosion,” a senior Israeli official told The Media Line on condition of anonymity. “We see more and more countries and organizations buying into the unilateral logic of the Palestinians.”
But he warned, ultimately it will not be possible to create a Palestinian state without Israeli approval.
“No matter how much the Palestinians obtain in declarations and international organizations it can’t replace negotiations,” he said. “Palestinians have given up on negotiations and we believe it’s a huge mistake.”
An open letter to the Pope
Your Holiness, you are about to sign off on recognition of an Arab-Palestinian state. We are not so naive as to think that you believe that this will promote peace. It's more likely that you think that by doing so, you'll save what remains of the ancient Christian communities in our area from being destroyed by Islam.
We Jews have long been wronged by the Church. What Islam is doing to Christianity today, Christianity did to the Jews for centuries. A brutal historical irony, indeed -- the work of a divine hand. Generation after generation, you blamed us for the crucifixion and death of your savior and forced us to feel his pain. What was anti-Semitism if not a forced return to the cross? A single Jew was crucified in Jerusalem at the start of the first millennium, and for the 2,000 years since, an entire people has been crucified all over the world.
Your Holiness, establishing a Palestinian state on the Samarian hills in the heart of the historic Land of Israel is the latest attempt to nail the entire Jewish people to the cross.
Pope Francis canonizes first Palestinian saints
Pope Francis on Sunday canonized two nuns from what was 19th century Palestine in hopes of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists.
Sisters Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas were among four nuns who were made saints at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and an estimated 2,000 pilgrims from the region, some waving Palestinian flags, were on hand for the canonization of the first saints from the Holy Land since the early years of Christianity.
The canonization came a day after Francis called Abbas “an angel of peace,” comparing him to a medallion he presented which represents a figure that “destroys the bad spirit of war.”
MSM fail: Pope did NOT call Mahmoud Abbas an ‘angel of peace'; *UPDATE*, with double-down
Fueled by wire stories from AP and AFP, the mainstream media have been running with a headline that Pope Francis, during a meeting at the Vatican on Saturday 16 May, called Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas “an angel of peace.”
The problem: the pope did not call Abbas — aka the terrorist Abu Mazen — an “angel of peace.”
He did utter the words “angel of peace,” and he suggested that Abbas could or might be one. In the context of the pope’s complete statement about the meeting, the implication was that Abbas could be an angel of peace if he resumed direct negotiations with Israel.
Why did Francis say the words “angel of peace” at all? Because he was making a gift to Abbas of a medallion engraved with an image of the Angel of Peace.
A more direct, exact translation is as follows:
Jorge Mario Bergoglio [i.e., the pope, but using his given name as the head of state of the Vatican] gave the Palestinian leader, as is his custom with heads of state and government, a medallion with the image of the Angel of Peace, commenting: “The angel of peace destroys the evil spirit of war. I thought of you*: that you might be an angel of peace.” Pope Francis had called Abu Mazen a “man of peace” during the visit to Bethlehem in May 2014, just as he called former Israeli President Shimon Peres a “man of peace” at his next stop in Jerusalem.
…And Then Pope Francis Called Him An “Angel Of Peace”
As far as popes go, Pope Francis started to get along pretty well in my books. That is of course until Mahmoud Abbas visited the Vatican and he said this.
So I thought I’d make some graphics for His Holiness to show Abbas’s most angelic moments (h/t Zaba)
Has America lost its allies in the Middle East?
Where Mr Obama sees a potential partner against common enemies, the Gulf states perceive Iran as an implacable foe, determined to restore its ancient dominance of the Middle East. In their jaundiced gaze, the constant meetings between Iranian and US envoys are not a welcome sign of enlightened diplomacy, but evidence of a wily old power deceiving and beguiling a naïve new one.
These worries are so visceral that the Arab states are even willing to make tacit common cause with Israel, which broadly shares their view of Iran. Thus the Sunni block that lines up against Iran has an undeclared honorary member beside the Mediterranean.
And that leads to the next question: does this block of worried allies have a problem with Mr Obama, or with America itself? Will the rift be healed once this president leaves office in January 2017?
This is perhaps the most fundamental shift of all. For years, America was tied to the Gulf monarchies by its overriding need to buy their oil. Today, by contrast, the US is steadily gaining energy independence. One benefit of this achievement is the ability to take decisions with less regard for fearful friends.
Today, America is free to serve its own strategic interests. That will not change whoever occupies the White House.
The Arguments over Jerusalem
In considering the arguments that Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews each make for Jerusalem as their capital, only one party makes a truly compelling case.
Jerusalem has long been considered the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinians Question. In 1947, when the United Nations put forward a plan to partition the land into two states, it proposed placing Greater Jerusalem and Greater Bethlehem into an international zone called the “Holy Basin.” This Holy Basin would be neither part of Israel nor Palestine, to remove the sensitive region from the conflict.
However, as fate would have it, the partition plan was rejected by the Palestinians who then launched a war to destroy Israel in May 1948, together with armies from Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq. At war’s end, the Holy Basin was divided with the western half of Greater Jerusalem and Hebrew University falling under Israeli control, and Greater Bethlehem and the eastern half of Jerusalem falling under Arab control (Jordan annexed the area and granted the Palestinian Arabs there citizenship).
The Holy Basin remains an outstanding issue. In a two-state resolution, the Israelis propose to split the Holy Basin whereby they control all of Greater Jerusalem and the Palestinians would have Greater Bethlehem; the Palestinians seek to have all of Greater Bethlehem AND the eastern half of Jerusalem as its capital, while Israel would only have the western half of Jerusalem. Which side has a better claim?
Honest Reporting: Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities
The history of Jerusalem did not start in 1967. Thousands of years of Jewish history took place in what is now called "Arab East Jerusalem."
Only when the Jewish residents were driven from their homes in 1948 was the city divided between East and West.
This video shows the reality of Jerusalem today and includes interviews from survivors of the fall of Jerusalem. 

Israel Must Reshape its Relations with Sweden
Good news first. Ed Milbrand and his Labour party overwhelmingly lost the election in Great Britain. Had he won, Israel was at risk of being further alienated and isolated, not because of its own policies, but because of the increasingly anti-Israel left paradigm in European socialist circles.
Sweden’s acknowledgment of so called “Palestine” is the result of several years’ propaganda and campaigns aimed at weakening Israeli democracy.
One needs to bear in mind that Western Europe for decades has been funding organizations that delegitimize the Jewish state and its values. What would have been the reactions in Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France et al if their countries were under constant attack from foreign entities that questioned and delegitimized their very existence as a nation?
Countries like Sweden claim that by acknowledging a terror state like Palestine, they are saving the vision and idea of the two-state solution - without even acknowledging that Middle East national states de facto are collapsing this very instant. The national state concept as we know it has ceased to exist in today’s Middle East.
Sweden further claims that they are in favor of a two state solution. Their actions speak louder than their words.
My Classmate Was Run Over by a Terrorist in Israel Today
I had just hung up with a friend studying in Northern Israel for the year who wanted to meet up in Jerusalem for a beer. He was hoping I’d make it in time for Happy Hour. I thought it’d be better to meet on Sunday, as the Religious-Zionist community is celebrating Jerusalem Day. It commemorates the successful Israeli counterattack against the invading armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, resulting in the miraculous Israeli victory of six days and the recapture of a holy city, which would immediately become accessible to all religions.
If I would have hopped on the next bus, I’d probably be dead or injured. As it turns out, the sirens I heard outside my dorm in Alon Shvut were coming to rescue four Israeli teenage students, who were waiting for a bus and were intentionally struck by a Palestinian driver. The most severely injured is my age and a classmate of mine at the gap year program I attend. This is the second such car ramming attack at the bus stop since November, not including the two stabbings that occurred here in the Fall. It was at this locale, where in June, three boys on their way back from school were kidnapped and subsequently shot, helping spark the summer conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Well, it was nearing 2:00 and a few of us Americans usually volunteer at the local elementary school every Thursday to help some of the kids from disadvantaged backgrounds with their homework and more importantly, to serve as that older guy who speaks a smattering of Hebrew, but wants to be your friend. The consensus was mutual. There was no way we would let fear get in the way of the right thing to do. The bridge to the school overlooks the fateful site, splattered in blood; the three boys who crossed it would have this moment etched in their memories.
Kids Who Try to Kill With Rocks, and the Media That Ignores Them
My eye was drawn this week to one of those little news items that appear in the Israeli media, but never make it into the American press. I call them the near-misses: the bomb that was discovered just before it went off, the bullet that struck just inches from its intended target. No casualties? That apparently dictates that the news is not fit to print.
This time it was a shower of rocks that were hurled at an Israeli automobile on the afternoon of May 8. Chen Borochov made the mistake of driving through an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem known as A-Tur. He wasn’t provoking anybody. He was just driving home. His crime was that the color of his license plate identified him as an Israeli.
And that was enough for Borochov’s assailants to launch a violent ambush. One of the huge rocks smashed through the right side of his car’s front windshield. “If someone had been [sitting] next to me, he would have certainly died or remained a vegetable for the rest of his lifetime,” Borochov later remarked.
Some Americans—Thomas Friedman of the New York Times comes to mind—seem to have trouble recognizing that rocks can kill. But Arab terrorists and their Israeli victims understand that fact very well. The terrorists know it—that’s why they do it. And the Israelis know it because they have to bury the victims. At least 14 Israelis have been murdered by Arab rock-throwers since the 1980s.
The Arabs who attacked Borochov’s car weren’t trying to scratch or dent it. They were trying to stone him to death, the same way killers in the Middle East have been executing their victims for innumerable centuries.
Homicide Rate Four Times Higher in PA Than in Israel
Murder rates were four times as high in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza than in Israel in 2012, according to a new study on homicide released last week.
The findings are part of a global study on homicide by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazilian think-take.
Last week, Igarapé released an interactive Homicide Monitor Map, which allows users to browse a wealth of public data on homicide for nearly every country in the world from as far back as 2000 and as recent as 2012.
134 people were killed in Israel in 2012, according to this database - assuming it is not including terror victims - at a rate of 1.8 murders per 100,000 people.
By contrast, 312 people were killed in the PA that same year, or a staggering 7.4 murders per 100,000 people.
Looking for an Apartment in Gaza?
In spite of evidence to the contrary, anti-Israel advocates are still claiming that Gaza has been unable to rebuild following the 2014 war with Israel. The repeated claim is that thousands remain homeless, and that Gaza is under rubble.
NGO Gisha has claimed that not a single home has been rebuilt Yet since August, over 62,000 tons of construction supplies have entered Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Forty-three thousand Gazans have purchased material to rebuild their homes.
This clip on youtube is advertising vacant apartments in Gaza City.

Report: Hamas Recruiting Students in Malaysia, Training Terrorists in Turkey
Hamas is actively recruiting Palestinians studying in Malaysia to join the terrorist organization, according to an indictment of Hamas operative Waseem Qawasmeh, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) reports. In a separate instance, a captured Hamas terrorist told interrogators that he was sent to Malaysia, along with nine others, in order to train using hang gliders for conducting a terrorist attack against Israel.
Qawasmeh was charged in March with working with a banned organization and receiving money from it. In his indictment, prosecutors allege that Hamas directs Palestinian students and lecturers to engage in significant cultural and social activities at the International Islamic University of Malaysia. Through these activities, Hamas operatives recruit and finance people to train in Turkey for future deployment to the West Bank and carry out attacks against Israel.
Israel’s domestic intelligence agency believes that 40 Palestinian students were recruited to Hamas’ military wing this way.
Qawasmeh’s indictment refers to Hamas operating bases in Malaysia and Turkey and says Qawasmeh pledged allegiance to the group in December 2013. Ma’an Khatib, a university professor who is responsible for Hamas’ operations in Malaysia, allegedly was present for the ceremony. Last year, Qawasmeh participated in Hamas’ social activities program and was recruited to the Muslim Brotherhood by Mustafa Nijm, the head of Hamas’ da’wah (Islamic outreach) committee at the Malaysian university.
Malaysian officials deny the allegations, but ITIC assessments accuse local Malaysian authorities of allowing Hamas to operate in the university.
NGO Montior: An open letter to top Presbyterian theologian
To David Esterline, incoming president of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: First, congratulations on your appointment, as reported in The Jewish Chronicle. I wish you all success in your new endeavor.
I take a special interest in your support for the divestment resolution at last year’s General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), as highlighted in the Chronicle story. On that subject, allow me to bring to your attention our report, “The Role of Anti-Semitism in the Presbyterian Church’s Decision to Support Divestment.”
The accusation of anti-Semitism is a highly charged one, and is something I generally avoid unless there is well documented evidence to support it. I am hoping you will read the report, as it fully documents clear instances of a strong undercurrent of overt anti-Jewish bigotry within the Presbyterian Church’s Israel Palestine Mission Network, as expressed on the group’s Facebook page. The IPMN is a primary advocate within the church on behalf of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS), whose goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel and lead to that country’s dissolution.
Numerous postings uploaded to the IPMN Facebook page by organization members over a period of two years demonstrate an ongoing pattern of expressions of anti-Semitism. More disturbing is that the site, administered by five IPMN leaders, includes members who are senior staff of the church, theologians, clergy and laity. At no point did any of these site administrators or any of the church’s staff or clergy take any overt action such as speaking out against the blatant anti-Semitism, rebuking members for their intolerant statements or removing them from the site’s membership.
Last year, I shared this report with the leadership of the Presbyterian Church and received no response.
Ithaca “Jewish Voice for Peace” activists swing at Israel, hit China boycott
One aspect of the failed boycott effort involved China.
What could China have to do with the BDS movement?
Well, GreenStar actually has had a China boycott in place for a decade because of China’s treatment of Tibet. Ithaca has an influential Tibetan community. The Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca is the North American Seat of the Dalai Lama.
Efforts to remove the China boycott at GreenStar failed in the past.
When the Israel boycott petition for a referendum was submitted to the GreenStar council, the anti-boycott, pro-peace Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East submitted legal arguments that the boycott would violate the NY Human Rights Law because it was based on national origin.
Those legal arguments carried the day at GreenStar, as expressed in separate opinions from GreenStar’s own legal council that the Israel boycott exposed GreenStar to substantial legal risk.
But the GreenStar council didn’t stop there. Based on the legal opinions with regard to Israel, the GreenStar council included in its resolution rejecting the Israel boycott a notice that it would have to reconsider the China boycott:
Vancouver gay film festival bans national symbols after Israeli flag ad
A gay film festival in Vancouver banned “overt expressions of nationalism” after organizers came under fire over an advertisement featuring an Israeli flag.
The advertisement in last year’s guidebook for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, placed by the local gay Jewish group Yad b’Yad, featured a gay pride flag alongside an Israeli flag. That led to accusations of “pink washing,” the supposed tactic of using Israel’s support for gay rights to divert attention from its treatment of the Palestinians.
Following the ad’s publication, two directors withdrew their films from the festival and the festival donated the ad revenue to a third party, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
“We now have stronger policies that will enable us to make sure all our partnerships reflect our values and allow us to focus on bringing people together through film,”Shana Myara, the festival’s director of programming, told the newspaper.
Jonathan Lerner, spokesman for Yad b’Yad, told the CJN that the festival’s revised policies are a form of censorship.
US ‘deeply concerned’ by death sentence for Egypt’s Morsi
The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi’s death sentence Sunday, joining a growing list of countries and international groups who have condemned Saturday’s court decision to execute the former leader.
Judge Shaaban el-Shami sentence Morsi and over 100 others to death over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and later brought Islamists to power for the first time in Egypt.
Before a death penalty decision can be finalized against Morsi or the over 100 other defendants included in El-Shami’s decision, however, the case must be reviewed by Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, according to Egyptian law.
Though the decision is not yet final, the ruling has drawn a chorus of international condemnation, joining Washington, Hamas and a host of others in opposition to the execution.
US raid in Syria said to kill 32 Islamic State members
A US special forces raid in eastern Syria killed 32 members of the Islamic State jihadist group, including four leaders, a monitoring group said Sunday.
“The US operation killed 32 members of IS, among them four officials, including IS oil chief Abu Sayyaf, the deputy IS defense minister, and an IS communications official,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
US officials have said “about a dozen” people were killed in the operation on Friday night, which was conducted by Iraq-based US commandos in order to capture Abu Sayyaf.
Abdel Rahman said three of the four leading officials killed in the raid were from North Africa, but that the IS communications official was Syrian.
US President Barack Obama approved the special forces operation, a rare use of “boots on the ground” by the United States, which has fought the jihadists almost entirely from the air.
Swastika found at Drexel University
A Jewish student at Drexel University discovered a swastika and the word “Jew” written near an Israeli flag displayed outside his dorm room earlier this week.
From the Jewish Exponent:
“I was deeply distressed to learn of an incident that occurred in one of our residence halls, in which a student was targeted on the basis of religion with the posting of a hate symbol,” Drexel president John Fry said in a statement to the Drexel community after the student found the vandalism on May 12. “Whether this malicious act was a hate crime or just blatant ignorance, it is unacceptable and incompatible with the ethos of our University.”
How to keep spear-phishers away
The email looks legit. It’s addressed to your work account from a sender you know well, and the message makes reference to intimate details only a friend would be familiar with. So you click on the link — and inadvertently expose your entire company’s network to some of the most sophisticated hackers on the planet.
You’re not alone. This type of attack – known as “spear phishing” – is becoming increasingly common. And it’s running rings around standard anti-malware systems.
Hackers go spear phishing to acquire usernames, passwords and credit-card details. They target specific individuals within an organization, using information available on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, or stolen from an acquaintance of the target to create messages that appear real.
The answer to the spear phishing scourge, says Eyal Benishti, founder and CEO of Israeli security startup Ironscales, is education and training. Ironscales has built an automated system to teach users how to spot a fake email and not click the link.
It’s not an either/or situation – Israeli security powerhouse Check Point Software is not in danger of losing its cybersecurity business – but people-powered malware defense needs to become part of a complete solution, Benishti argues.
Heidi Klum stars in ad
Supermodel Heidi Klum is the newest face of Israeli web development platform, The latest adverts, which also feature actor Rex Lee, are a follow up of the company’s #ItsThatEasy campaign launched at the Super Bowl.
Klum, who is also known as a successful entrepreneur, takes on the ‘silly’ role in this spot.
The premise of the advertisement is that Klum is seeking to start a new business and runs her ideas by Lee, the Entourage actor who plays her agent. When she finally has that ‘eureka’ moment, Klum surprises by creating a beautiful website without any help.
“When technology gives people the freedom to get creative, the way Wix does, it creates a space where function, beauty and self-expression come together. Heidi is the perfect person to drive this message home. She’s an entrepreneur who knows the value of a comprehensive solution that lets you stay in charge and effectively grow your business exactly the way you want it,” said Wix CMO Omer Shai.
Backstreet Boys make good
They’re here, they’re here! (Cue the squeals.)
The Backstreet Boys, fresh from their last performance in Perth, Australia, touched down in Israel early Sunday morning, and made their way to Tel Aviv’s Dan Hotel, where they will be staying for the next five nights.
The five band members, A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell, are performing three sold-out concerts in the Ra’anana ampitheater on May 19, 20 and 21.
Originally scheduled to perform last summer, the concerts were canceled due to the war in Gaza and rocket fire throughout the country. Last September, band member Howie Dorough sent a recorded message to fans, letting them know that the band was planning on rescheduling its canceled July performances.
The sounds and silence of Art Garfunkel
A curious mix of new age platitudes, New York City bombast and motivational speaker enthusiasm, the 72-year-old Garfunkel is generous in sharing his memories, philosophy and advice as he prepares to give his first-ever solo concert in Israel, June 10 at Bloomberg Stadium (Simon and Garfunkel performed here once in 1983).
With 12 post-S&G albums to his credit including worldwide hits like “Bright Eyes” and “A Heart in New York,” Garfunkel will be accompanied at the show by guitarist Tab Leven, and promises a wide selection of S&G faves as well as his own work.
“Tad’s a brilliant Nashville player, he has that Paul Simon picking thing that we know so well from ‘The Boxer.’ And he has a very fluid folkie style that’s an essential ingredient. He makes ‘Scarboro Fair’ feel like it’s wafting along,” says Garfunkel.
During the half-hour conversation last week, he expounds on relationships – his complex one with childhood friend Simon, his faded one with Judaism and the thorny one between Israelis and Palestinians. Garfunkel often thinks out loud and frequently goes off on verbal riffs that he truncates with a sheepish chuckle and a “Let’s go on to another topic, shall we?”
Holocaust drama 'Son of Saul' leaves Cannes audiences shaken
A Hungarian film that takes viewers into the hellish heart of the Holocaust has left Cannes reeling.
"Son of Saul," the first feature from director Laszlo Nemes, has become an early favorite to win the Palme d'Or and has been praised for re-imagining the way the Holocaust is depicted onscreen.
The Hollywood Reporter called the film "remarkable -- and remarkably intense," while Variety judged it "terrifyingly accomplished." The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw said it was "devastating and terrifying" and praised its "gaunt, fierce kind of courage."
It's rare for a director's first film to be chosen for Cannes' main competition, rarer still for it to be met with such an enthusiastic response.
Cinematographer Matyas Erdely said Friday the challenge for the filmmakers was "how to show things that are not possible to show."
"The genius idea of Lazlo's was that we just won't show things that cannot be shown," he told reporters. "Basically our approach was to exclude everything that is not fundamental to our story."
"Son of Saul" focuses on an Auschwitz death camp Sonderkommando, one of the Jewish prisoners forced to help dispose of the corpses of those killed in the gas chambers. The Sonderkommandos were given better food and living conditions than other inmates but were inevitably executed after a few months to prevent them from revealing the secrets they knew.
Israel’s humanity in Nepal
I saw and read the inflammatory reports and statements leveled against Israel for sending medical delegations to Nepal, especially the inhumane questioning of Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW). There we were, covered in blood, drenched in sweat, and sometimes tears, and exhausted, both mentally and physically after ending another 12-hour shift during which we saved multiple lives and mended broken bodies as best we could.
It is ironic that Roth can pontificate from the safety of a nice warm home thousands of miles away from the grief and devastation on his computer or smartphone about a nation he constantly maligns as non-caring and heartless.
Here in the depths of despair, when the Nepalese cried out for assistance, Israel sent its sons and daughters to their aid. This is how someone who is serious about human rights acts.
Less than a year ago I joined my Nachal Brigade as they entered Gaza to end the rocket barrages on our population centers. There too my task was to heal the sick and treat the wounded.
It mattered little whether it was my fellow soldier or a Gazan youth that required attention.
Regardless of headline-grabbing reports and anonymous sources pounced on by the international media like those from Breaking the Silence, we who serve in war and in peace know the truth.
We don’t seek acclaim or thanks, our sense of collective solidarity even with strangers across the world impels us to assist, to treat and heal.
This is Israel, Mr. Roth.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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