Friday, August 28, 2015

From Ian:

Report: Iran Cancels Berlin State Opera Show in Tehran over Israeli-Argentine Conductor
Iran said it canceled the concert of a Berlin orchestra set to be led by renowned Jewish conductor Daniel Barenboim because they consider his Israeli citizenship “illegitimate,” a BBC reporter revealed Friday on Twitter.
BBC correspondent Hadi Nili said a spokesperson for the Iranian Culture Ministry announced the cancellation, adding there is “no room in Iran for artists related to Zionist regime.”
Barenboim, the general music director of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, the Staatskapelle, announced this week his plan to take Germany’s top orchestra to Iran for a concert. His decision sparked outrage and protests from Israel, who lobbied the German government against the visit, The Guardian reported.
Barenboim, who moved to Israel from Argentina with his family when he was 9, has spent most of his career in Germany. He also has a Spanish and Argentinian citizenship.
The Israeli-Argentinian conductor has yet to comment on the cancellation of the concert.
Who’s Funding Pro-Palestinian Israeli ‘Human Rights’ Groups?
The organization goes by the unwieldy name of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat. According to its annual report, it is “a project implemented by NIRAS NATURA AB – Sweden, and the Institute of Law, Birzeit University, Birzeit, Palestine, with generous support from the governments of Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.”
In other words, the money itself is European. But the ones who decide what to do with it are Niras Natura – which describes itself as an international consultancy firm in the field of sustainable development – and the faculty of Birzeit. And since the Birzeit people are the ones actually on the ground, they presumably have considerable influence over how the money is spent.
The Secretariat’s main job appears to be funneling money to other organizations. According to the annual report, it had 24 “core grantees” and 19 “project grantees” last year. Nine of the former and two of the latter are Israeli; the rest are Palestinian.
When the war broke out in July 2014, the Secretariat put out a call to its core grantees soliciting emergency funding requests. “The emergency funding call focused on activities related to monitoring and documentation of IHL [international humanitarian law] and human rights violations in the Gaza Strip, arising from the then ongoing war,” the report said. Requests were received from 11 organizations, including three Israeli ones, and the Secretariat decided to fund nine of them, including two Israeli groups – B’Tselem and BTS.
But the money was intended for “monitoring and documentation” of alleged violations by one side only – Israel. That’s crystal clear from the report’s summary of its emergency grantees’ “achievements”: Not one of the nine says a word about the massive Palestinian violations of international humanitarian law.
The section on Breaking the Silence is particularly blatant. The Secretariat would have considered its money well spent, the report declared, had BTS managed to scrounge up even a single anti-Israel testimony from Israeli soldiers:
Watch How Anti-Israel Protest Leader Responds When We Ask Her if Hamas Is a Terrorist Organization
The leader of an anti-Israel protest in New York City Wednesday contended that the United States government is “much worse” than Hamas when asked if she would characterize the group as a terrorist organization.
“Do you think of Hamas as a terrorist organization?” a reporter for TheBlaze asked protest leader Lana Povitz, who represents Jewish Voices for Peace.
“I think of the United States government as a terrorist organization,” she responded.
“What’s worse: Hamas or the United States government?” our reporter pressed.
“The United States government is much worse,” Povitz said.
The anti-Israel activist said that Hamas is “not my favorite,” adding that her “first fight isn’t with them.” When asked who her first fight is with, Povitz answered, “The U.S. government because they are funding Israel.” (h/t Effect)
U.S. Government Worse Than Hamas, Says Anti-Israel Protest Leader

What Do Israeli Christians, Druze and Bedouin Think About the Jewish State?
In a recent groundbreaking event, Israeli Christian, Druze and Bedouin leaders gathered in Nazareth in a new display of unity to discuss their role as citizens of the Jewish State. Nazareth is the largest city in northern Israel, and functions as its Arab capital. However, the town where Jesus grew up is now becoming known as the birthplace of a movement that encourages minorities to participate fully in Israeli society.
The leaders' remarks, recorded in an Acts News Network video, published August 20, 2015 on YouTube, demonstrate that the escalation of radical Islam throughout the Middle East, and the accompanying persecution of all minorities, has made Christian, Druze and Bedouin citizens of Israel ever more thankful for the security and freedom provided for them by the Jewish State.
As Ayoob Karra, the former Deputy Minister of Development for the Negev and Galilee pointed out: “If you look around in Syria, in Lebanon, in Egypt, you can find that it is not the human rights for Christians in all these states. Only in Israel they have power to say everything loudly.”
While Karra only mentioned Christians by name, his statement applies to all minorities. Only in Israel are they safe from the discrimination and persecution experienced by “the other” in the rest of the Middle East, and only in Israel do they have the freedom to speak out.
A notable example of the freedom to speak – and get results – is demonstrated through the success of the Aramaic Christian Association in Israel and its chairman, Shadi Khalloul, in winning state recognition of Christian Arameans as a distinct religious and ethnic group vis-à-vis Arabs.
In order to achieve this acceptance, Khalloul presented a convincing case that, in spite of the fact that Arameans speak Arabic, their Aramean ethnicity is evidenced by the use of Aramaic in their schools and religious services. Indeed, Aramean Christians emphatically denounce Arab identity and choose instead to be integrated within the Jewish State.
Col Richard Kemp: Turning our back on Afghanistan could trigger another 9/11
Col Richard Kemp, who headed up the UK’s military involvement in Afghanistan in 2003, said there was a “big danger” the country could once again become a “safe haven for terrorism”.
He warned that the Taliban want to regain control of Afghanistan and said there was a risk Isil could also increase their influence in the region.
It comes after Britain’s withdrawal from Iraq was followed by the advancement of Isil, who took control of large swathes of the country last year.
Barack Obama has pledged to close the remaining America bases in Afghanistan and consolidate US forces in Kabul by the end of 2016.
Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Col Kemp warned of withdrawal, saying: “That is when the risk really kicks in of Afghanistan again becoming a safe-haven for terrorism launched against the West.”
He added: “We may then risk the same situation in Afghanistan as we’ve seen in Iraq when all US forces withdrew in 2016. So I think it’s important that not only US but other Nato forces put a significant effort in to assisting the Afghan government for as long as is needed.”
Col Kemp said there was no such thing as a “moderate Taliban” and suggested they should not be part of a power-sharing agreement in the country because they are not “people who will want to compromise”.
Foreign Ministry head Gold ‘hopeful’ Israel, Turkey will reconcile soon
Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that he is “hopeful that in the not too distant future Israel and Turkey will find a way to reestablish their relationship.”
Gold, who held secret talks in Rome in June with his Turkish counterpart, Feridun Sinirlioglu, said that regional developments and challenges are compelling Ankara to make some changes of its own.
“The strategic environment around Turkey is much more complicated than it was two or three years ago, with the rise of ISIS as a challenge to Turkey, not just Syria, and the growth of Iranian power, which is not just a problem for Israel, but for Turkey as well,” Gold said.
Asked why the two countries have not reconciled if indeed the situation facing Turkey today is much more difficult than it was at the time of the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010 that led to a rupture in the ties, Gold responded: “Everything takes time.”
As to whether he thinks that Israel could ever reestablish relations with Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the country’s helm, Gold replied: “I think countries ultimately operate according to their interests, and I think Turkey and Israel do have important converging interests.”
David Singer: Palestine – Changed Narratives Needed To Nurture New Negotiations
France is not expected to present its anticipated draft proposal for the declaration of a Palestinian State to the U.N. Security Council in September – having reportedly been criticized both by Israel - which does not want any external solution imposed on it – and by the PLO – which fears the Security Council will not meet its demands.
The Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap are dead and buried – even if the headstone is yet to be ceremoniously unveiled marking the actual date when the collective records, transcripts and secret minutes detailing fruitless negotiations conducted during the last 20 years between Israel and the now-disbanded Palestinian Authority were finally consigned to the graveyard of history.
It is now also becoming increasingly apparent that creating a 22nd independent Arab State between Israel, Jordan and Egypt can:
1. ever peacefully eventuate without Israel, Jordan and Egypt’s express consent
2. be unilaterally imposed on Israel as a result of any resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council contrary to the express terms of its own Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
Filling this potentially explosive void will require the groundwork to first be meticulously prepared before any new negotiations can actually be undertaken to try and resolve competing Arab and Jewish claims to sovereignty in the remaining 6% of the territory of the former Mandate for Palestine – Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza – where sovereignty still remains undetermined (”the disputed territories”).
Such groundwork will require the following factual narratives to have been commonly agreed on and adopted by the negotiating parties prior to commencing negotiations to resolve the conflict:
Arab Spring May Be Blowing into Gaza
An Arab Spring rebellion against Hamas may be blowing into Gaza as summer ends, Channel 2 television reported.
The match they may ignite a full-scale rebellion may have been lit yesterday by a corn vendor, who poisoned himself after Hamas closed down his stand. He now is in critical condition in a Gaza hospital.
The television channel’s English report stated:
He decided to protest in a manner that has an uncanny resemblance to the Tunisian Revolution that led to the Arab Spring.
It added that “many” Arabs in Gaza are calling for protests and are urging people burn down Hamas institutions.
By all accounts, Gaza has been a hell-hole ever since the Oslo War, or Second Intifada, when Yasser Arafat’s campaign of terror forced Jews in Gaza and in urban centers in Israel to stop employing Arabs because of terrorist attacks.
UN to decide September 15 on whether to raise Palestinian flag at headquarters
A draft resolution was presented to the United Nations on Thursday to request that the Palestinian flag be raised the next time world leaders convene at UN headquarters, according to AFP.
The resolution was presented in advance of the annual 193-nation UN General Assembly set for September 25. It originally included a request for the the Vatican flag to fly as well, but was removed at the Vatican's insistence.
A vote on the resolution, sponsored by 21 countries, will take place September 15. Among the co-sponsors are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and Jordan.
Both the Vatican and Palestinians have observer status at the UN and are not considered to be full members.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Pope Francis are planning to attend the event at headquarters in New York.
PM: Power of Israeli technology is stronger than any boycott.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, arrived in Italy for an official visit on Thursday, landing in Milan, where they were escorted to the Milan Expo 2015 world trade fair now underway in the city. This year's fair is focused on innovative technology in agriculture and food.
Netanyahu was scheduled to meet with the heads of the Jewish community in Florence on Friday and with the Italian prime minister on Saturday.
At the Milan Expo, Netanyahu visited four booths, operated by Israel, Italy, the U.S. and China.
"I am very excited to be here," he said.
"I am even more excited by the fact that Israel is an enormous global powerhouse in the fields of technology and agriculture and in developing new innovations.
"The world's population is approaching 8 billion people and science is charging forward and developing new strains of grain and rice and animals and other capabilities that are unimaginable. Israel is a world leader in these fields and has been for more than 70 years, since before the establishment of the state.
CAMERA Analyst on WSJ Video Discusses Reggae, Anti-Semitism, and Spain
When the extremist BDS movement directed its "coercion and threats" at a Spanish reggae festival due to a scheduled performance by an a Jewish-American musician, the festival initially caved in to the threats. The organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash festival demanded that the singer, Matisyahu, make political statements in order to remain on the schedule.
Matisyahu declined, and Sunsplash revoked his invitation. But after news of the Jewish performer being singled out sparked outrage, including from the Spanish government and its major newspapers, Sunsplash backtracked and reinvited Matisyahu.
CAMERA senior research analyst Gilead Ini discusses the incident with Wall Street Journal editorial board member Mary Kissel in a brief segment on WSJ Video:
Going Back to School? Here’s How To Fight the Israel Haters
As a prelude to the discussion, and if the subject is one you wish to address intellectually as well as emotionally, you’d do well to consult with two recent publications by two organizations dedicated to doing work on the ground. In its annual report, released last week, the Israel on Campus Coalition, the frontal lobe of the loosely affiliated nerve center of groups and individuals combating anti-Israel bigotry, found much cause for concern. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the number of campuses plagued with anti-Israel efforts, the ICC reported, spiked by a whopping 31.2 percent and now stands at 181. Students for Justice in Palestine—the most prevalent of the anti-Israel groups, whose members frequently express support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah while calling for the unequivocal destruction of the Jewish state—has opened new chapters on 40 additional campuses last year alone, and the BDS movement, which calls on organized and bigoted boycotts of Israel, expanded its efforts by 132 percent, to 44 campaigns last year, up from 19 in 2013-2014. Given this groundswell of bias and bile, Amcha, a spirited grassroots organization dedicated to monitoring and fighting anti-Semitism, released a helpful questionnaire designed to help students and parents alike ascertain whether or not their institution of higher learning is, to borrow a phrase from the custodians of collegiate political correctness, a safe space for Jewish students.
With these assets in mind, I’d like to offer my own prescriptions for the fight about to begin all over again with the upcoming academic year. Myself a former college professor, not yet fully recovered, I’ll present them not as steely tactics but as a set of three contradictions, complex structures to keep in mind if we want not merely to win the vulgar ideological knife fights that constitute much of what passes for collegiate discourse these days.
The dastardly YMCA-YWCA of Norway aim for future without Israel
Once more, the Christian elites in Norway show their true colours on Israel and the Jews. Once more, when they have been called out, they label their critics blind pro-Israel dunces.
YMCA-YWCA’s mistakes and defects
YMCA-YWCA leaders’ loyalty points toward a future in which Jews in Israel, at best, are systematically discriminated against under Muslim domination.
Øystein Magelssen and Fredrik Glad-Gjernes YMCA-YWCA (20/8 in Our Land) claims it is only “the extreme elements in Palestine” who do not work for “a two-state solution”. There was no answer at MIFF questions (11/8 in Vårt Land). We asked for the names of Palestinian politicians working with the goal of a Palestinian state and a Jewish state – “two states for two peoples”.
Neither Fatah or Palestinians affiliated YMCA-YWCA works for this. They might say they want two states, but both should be Arab / Palestinian.
It is evident when they are fighting for the need to move millions of Palestinians into the State of Israel, so that the Jews coming in the minority in their own country. YMCA-YWCA Palestinian collaborating partner, YWCA Palestine, are among the front fighters for this. Fatah leadership has made it clear time and again that they do not under any circumstances can recognize Israel as a state where Jewish majority and identity consists. We’re still waiting on some names from the YMCA-YWCA!
Guardian defends publication of letter deemed antisemitic
On August 20th, the Guardian published several letters in response to an article published in the paper which noted questions raised about Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism (Corbyn faces questions over meeting with alleged extremist, Aug. 19th).
One of the letters was signed by Lydia, Joel and Andrew Samuels of London:
We write as members of a Jewish family, current and former constituents of Jeremy Corbyn. The accusations of antisemitism are, of course, political manipulations (Corbyn faces questions over meeting with alleged extremist, 20 August). Influential sections of the Jewish community, maybe guided by their Israeli contacts, are frightened that a notable critic of Israel’s policies and actions might attain a position of prominence in British politics. There are two background issues to which we would like to draw attention, aside from joining in the increasing number of Jews who say, of Israel’s behaviour, “not in our name”. The first is that the hysterical pressure to desist on anyone who wants to talk to Hamas and Hezbollah has been destructive to the prospects of peace. The second is that the repeated conflation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism is no accident. It is done quite consciously.
Shortly after the letter’s publication, Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, complained to the Guardian’s readers’ editor. Here’s part of his email.
“I am sure I do not need to point out to you that this is one of the oldest, most explicit antisemitic memes in existence – the idea that Jews are guided by, and owe their allegiance to, a foreign power (Israel, in the modern world).
“I am, quite obviously, one of those who is accused, since my newspaper has led the way in asking questions of Jeremy Corbyn.
“I should point out that not once have we accused him of antisemitism. Nor have we mentioned the word Israel.
“Not one of the stories we have published has been about Israel; they have all been about antisemitism on the part of his associates.”

A few days later, the Guardian replied to Mr. Pollard and rejected the accusation that the letter was antisemitic.
CAMERA Rebuts Zogby Op-Ed in The Hill
(The CAMERA Op-Ed below was posted on The Hill newspaper's Congress Blog on Aug. 27, 2015 in response to an omission-laden commentary by Arab-American Institute head James Zogby. Zogby alleged a pattern of discrimination by Israeli immigration authorities against Arab Americans. The Hill serves members of Congress, staff, policy analysts, lobbyists and others.)
James Zobgy’s recent commentary “US passports scoffed at by Israel; US stands by” (Aug. 24) misleads readers through omissions. Zogby, the founder and President of the Arab-American Institute, falsely asserts that “in the past year Israel has continued…their practice of discriminating against persons of Arab descent” and cites the stories of what he implies to be two disinterested parties to advance this allegation.
The author cites two specific individuals who he claims were detained, interrogated and denied entry into Israel at Ben Gurion International airport—and relies exclusively on their accounts to allege mistreatment. Zogby identifies the two men, George Khoury and Habib Joudeh as simply “American citizens of Palestinian descent.”
Yet, Joudeh, identified only as a “pharmacist” by Zogyby, has been the vice president of the Arab American Association of New York since 1994. The director of that association, Linda Sarsour, has falsely accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and has dismissed reports of attacks by terror group al-Qaeda as conspiracy theories.
George Khoury—identified only as a “professor” and “deacon at his church”—is an anti-Israel activist who has previously alleged that as a nation, the Jewish state commits crimes “daily.” By failing to disclose the background, biases and associations of the two men, but uncritically recounting their unsubstantiated allegations, the author misleads readers.
Why is BBC Arabic amplifying Syrian regime propaganda?
Readers may recall that some two and a half years ago the BBC got itself into hot water by promoting Assad regime propaganda on its English language website. Two days after the appearance of an article claiming that “Israeli strikes on Syria ‘co-ordinated with terrorists'” the corporation responded to considerable public outcry by amending the headline.
Apparently though, lessons have not been fully learned from that incident.
As has previously been noted here, on August 21st a report appearing on the BBC News website’s Middle East page amplified a claim promoted by Syrian state TV according to which five men killed in an Israeli strike following a missile attack on northern Israel were “civilians”.
BBC Arabic however went even further. In a report dating from August 20th relating to Israeli airstrikes on regime targets in Syria which took place in response the same day’s missile attack on Israel, readers were provided with unadulterated Syrian state news agency propaganda.
“A statement by the agency SANA that the Israeli attacks aimed at “supporting armed terrorist organizations and raise the morale collapsed,” a reference to armed groups in Syria, which is fighting to overthrow the Syrian regime.”
Spanish Radio Station Pulls Program Linking Jews and Satanism
Spain public radio RNE said Thursday it had removed an episode of a program that linked Jews to Satanism from its website after receiving complaints from Jewish groups, AFP reported.
"The director of Spanish National Radio (RNE), given the controversy and annoyance caused be the program, has removed this episode from the Internet," a spokesman for the broadcaster, Carlos Garrido, told the news agency.
The management of the station also apologized to the former spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, Yigal Palmor, who "raised the problem" in an article in the Jerusalem Post, he added.
The spokesman stressed that the program was "radio fiction and in no way was a news segment."
The half-hour program "From the Inferno", which has been broadcast since 2009 in the early hours of Saturday, deals with myths about the devil throughout the ages. Episodes have dealt with devil myths in the Third Reich in Nazi Germany and during the Iraq war.
The episode which sparked the controversy, called "The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult", was broadcast on July 25, according to AFP.
Israel warns citizens not to visit Morocco
Moroccan tourism will be hard hit by an Israeli security alert warning Israeli tourists to avoid visiting the kingdom, Actu-Maroc reports.
Israelis come to Morocco at different times of the year to visit family or take part in pilgrimages to saints' tombs, or simply to see the country of birth of their parents.
This bonanza will dry up in view of the Israeli authorities' firm insistence, on the basis of its information sources, that terrorist attacks are increasingly likely.
Moroccan tour operators have been pinning their hopes on increased Israeli tourism for the festival of Hanucah between 6 and 15 December. Whole families have tended to come to Morocco at that time to visit the graves of their ancestors.
Holocaust commemoration NGO recovers Jewish tombstone fragments from Polish river
A volunteer from a Holocaust commemoration organization stumbled across a fragment of a Jewish tombstone in Warsaw's Vistula River this week, leading to the discovery of dozens of fragments of this kind.
The volunteer works for the Matzeva (tombstones) Project of the From The Depths NGO, which aims to preserve cemeteries and tombstones.
"In the past we've heard rumors that these tombstones were taken, stolen, from Bródno Jewish cemetery," says Jonny Daniels, head of From the Depths, noting that pre-war there were 400,000 Jewish tombstones there of which only 3,000 remain.
The rest, he says, were taken and used for all kinds of purposes, including building parks and even Warsaw's zoo.
Over the next few weeks the organization will send volunteers from Poland to scour the base of the Vistula River, which is currently at the lowest point it has been at in 50 years, making this operation possible. "We'll see what more there is for us to discover," Daniels says hopefully, describing the discovery as "an incredibly important find, that enables us to take these tombstones back and document them." With this new information, Polish Jewish descendants may be able to locate the gravestones of their relatives.
For Hikers, Israel’s 620-Mile National Trail Brings Jewish History to Life
It was a brave—some may argue foolhardy—lot who recently braved the August heat of the Negev desert to walk a short segment of the Israel National Trail (INT) at around noontime.
But the nearly 100 young men in blue Israel Defense Forces t-shirts didn’t appear to mind the blazing white heat. They were on the INT (Shvil Yisra’el in Hebrew, though to most Israelis it’s just “the Shvil”) to train.
“We get lots of practice on different altitudes,” says Aaron Lion, 20. “The Shvil is a really good place to learn how to survive in lots of different conditions.”
Now celebrating its 20th year, the INT takes a meandering 1,000-kilometer-plus (620-mile) route from Kibbutz Dan, among Israel’s northernmost points, to the southern tip of Eilat’s Gulf of Aqaba.
Since hiking enthusiast Avraham Tamir, fresh off an Appalachian Trail experience in America, dreamed of a national trail in Israel and made it a reality in 1995, hundreds of thousands have hiked its byways—from the green mountains of the north, to cities and towns, to the seemingly endless expanse of the Negev in the south.
Hebrew U’s ‘liver-on-a-chip’ research flags new Tylenol danger
Although it’s generally considered safe when used as recommended, acetaminophen – the widely used over-the-counter analgesic sold commercially under several brand names, the most popular of which is Tylenol – can be fatal when overused. Now, new research by scientists at Hebrew University, working with colleagues at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Germany, shows that acetaminophen can be toxic at far lower doses than previously thought.
While many people who have a headache don’t think twice before downing a couple of Tylenols, the truth is that what most regard as a mild, over-the-counter stopgap can actually be lethal. According to a study by the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center acetaminophen overdoses claim more lives annually than traffic accidents. Acetaminophen poisoning is the leading cause of liver failure in the US, according to the study (McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Tylenol, currently faces dozens of personal injury lawsuits in the US).
Acetaminophen is primarily metabolized by the liver and a too-high dosage can simply overwhelm the organ, forcing it to shut down operations. However, according to the new Hebrew U-Fraunhofer study, acetaminophen has a negative impact even at lower, ostensibly “safe” doses. According to current scientific thinking, acetaminophen breaks down to a toxic compound called NAPQI before damaging cells; the new research shows that the drug blocked cell respiration much faster and at a much lower dose than previously believed – even in the absence of NAPQI, explaining much of the “off target” side effects of acetaminophen (upset stomach, bowel issues, itchiness, others), the researchers said.
It’s the Talmud — with zombies! — in new Israeli horror film
An Israeli documentary about disabled children was rejected by a Norwegian film festival because it “failed” to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same time, Israeli horror movies, such as the hot new English-language “JeruZalem” by Yoav and Doron Paz, are winning awards and drawing sell-out crowds at film festivals all over the world.
Go figure.
The horror genre is as old as cinema itself. French film pioneer Georges Méliès made “Le Manoir Du Diable” (The Devil’s Castle) in 1896. Other notable early scary movies include Frankenstein (1910) and Nosferatu (1922). Israel, however, came late to the fright fest.
Horror cinema in Israel is said to have started in 2010 with “Rabies.” The film was written and directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado and starred Lior Ashkenazi (“Footnote”) and Yael Grobglas (“Jane the Virgin”).
Keshales and Papashado went on to make another Hebrew horror movie, “Big Bad Wolves,” in 2013, also starring Ashkenazi. Quentin Tarantino called it the “best film of the year” and it won 17 awards, including the Jury Prize at the Fantasia Film Festival.
Bono anoints Israel’s solar power ‘king’
The only thing missing from solar power star Yosef Abramowitz’s celebrity meeting with U2 frontman Bono at an eastern Rwandan solar field was his family.
“Being Knighted by Bono in our solar field, using the wrist band, with the declaration: ‘You are an incredible dude,'” wrote Abramowitz on Facebook. “I can’t believe my kids weren’t there to witness. Here’s the video evidence, maybe they will respect that.”
Bono was in Rwanda visiting the solar field with a group of US representatives to explore ways in which the US and Africa can expand economic development opportunities.
The rock star has long been involved in African development through his ONE campaign, which fights extreme poverty and disease and also backs the Electrify Africa Act, an act to help bring electricity to 50 million Africans.
The $23.7 million field, a solar field developed by Abramowitz’s Gigawatt Global, supplies about 6 percent of Rwanda’s power and is set on the land of an Israeli-inspired youth village, the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, the first of its kind in East Africa.
IsraelDailyPicture: Painting of Jews Arriving to Ottoman Empire in 1492 Posted by the Ottoman Imperial Archives
The Ottoman Imperial Archives continues to release amazing pictures, photos and documents from the rich Ottoman history. The painting below is the latest example. We thank the archivists for their wonderful work which can be seen on Twitter @OttomanArchive as well as the archives' website.
The modern-day caption says "More than 150,000 Spanish Jews Fled the Spanish Inquisition and Brought to the Ottoman Empire in 1492." The painting shows Jews who escaped the Spanish expulsion and rabbis getting off their ship and meeting dignitaries.
The online reproduction is of low resolution and we cannot read writing on the bottom left of the painting. We have unsuccessfully searched for other copies or details that would indicate when the painting was drawn and the artist.
Brothers-and Sisters-in Arms
Today the Palmach is a handful of proud men and women (the Palmach was one-third female, with countless women in combat positions), the youngest of whom are now in their mid-eighties. My grandfather, Paul Kraus, who is nearly 90 years old, was there as well. A survivor of Auschwitz, he had spent the early post-war years with my grandmother helping to smuggle Jews across the European borders to the boats that would taken them to Palestine. The young couple arrived in Haifa when Israel was barely a week old. My grandfather was enlisted in the Palmach the very next day, and fought in the battles defending Jerusalem.
The Palmach was a shoestring army created from scratch, a far cry from today’s IDF with its F-16s and Iron Domes, and yet Israel’s own Greatest Generation won a war and created a state out of thin air, while paying the ultimate price: 1,168 of its 6,000-strong force—or nearly twenty percent—were killed.
Last night was the tenth such Palmach ceremony, equal parts class reunion and farewell party. Though the attendees were almost uniformly spry and feisty, their numbers are dwindling and the eightieth anniversary will doubtless be a very different affair. Above all else, the Palmachnik’s irreverence will be sorely missed. Even if President Rivlin is correct in his celebration of Ben Gurion’s mamlachtiyut, Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu is heavy on rhetoric and pomp and circumstance but could do with more Palmach-style chutzpah, which may very well not be reproducible. That healthy disrespect for the trappings of statehood, coupled with unerring patriotism, comes naturally, I suppose, to Palmachniks like my grandfather and so many others, who have visceral memories of Israel when it was barely a start-up, and for whom generations of its most storied leaders and most beloved citizens were their closest friends, their brothers in arms.
New Video Shows Israelis Thanking Shanghai for Sheltering Jewish WWII Refugees
The clip, which was shot in several Israeli cities, was shown at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum on Wednesday and is set to be screened in other parts of the city, the People’s Republic of China’s official press agency Xinhua reported.
Arnon Perlman, Israel’s consul general in Shanghai, said his team began making the film late last year and it took four months to finish. He told CNS that the final version of the film, which is 60 seconds long, was created from four hours of footage. Copies of the clip will be sent to all consulates in Shanghai and embassies in China, he said.
“It is here, in Shanghai, where Jewish refugees could find shelter from the Nazi regime. It was here, in Shanghai, where Jewish refugees were received with open arms by the Chinese people,” Perlman told CNS. “It is only logical that we should express our gratitude.”
He said the video is not just a thank you to Shanghai, but a way to remember the past. He told journalists, “If you remember the past, you can look to optimism in the future.”
Israelis send thank-you video to Shanghai for WWII refuge

Jewish cafe reopens in Shanghai
A cafe in Shanghai that was a popular meeting place for Jewish refugees during World War II has reopened.
The Zum Weissag Rossi’l Cafe, or White Horse Cafe, originally opened in 1939. It opened again in a ceremony Wednesday after being rebuilt, according to the news website Shanghaiist.
“A lot of people visited, Jewish people and non-Jewish people,” said Ron Klinger, 74, the cafe co-founder’s grandson, who grew up in the cafe, according to Shanghaiist. “It was like [a] cafe, bar and nightclub. It was very popular.”
The cafe was rebuilt about 100 yards from its original location, and is located next to the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Shanghaiist reported that the city is applying to have the neighborhood, which was home to about 20,000 Jews during the Holocaust, included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Registry.
WATCH: First Jewish war memorial unveiled in UK
In this newsreel, members of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women conduct a ceremony in Willesden, North London. During the event, a memorial is unveiled, dedicated to British Jews who fell while fighting for the British Commonwealth during the two world wars.
“The consecration was performed by the chief rabbi, Dr. Israel Brodie,” the narrator announces. “Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer unveiled the memorial.”
Hebrew and English script on the monument commemorate the many thousands of Jews who died serving Britain.
“Their name liveth forevermore,” the inscription concludes.

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