Tuesday, September 22, 2015

From Ian:

Methodist-Affiliated Conference Promotes Hate for Israel as a Hobby
People do all sorts of things with their leisure time. Some people read mystery novels or watch PBS. Others go to car shows or art museums. Some go to the gym or take their dogs on long walks. Others attend science fiction conventions wearing the costumes of their favorite fictional characters. There’s even a group of retired baby-boomers who travel across the country (and sometimes to Israel) to hear stories of Jews behaving badly.
That’s what about 100 Christians, most of them in their late 50s and 60s, did for three days last week at the United Methodist Church in Lexington, Mass. They attended a conference organized by Rev. Dr. Peter Miano, a Methodist pastor and executive director of the Massachusetts-based Society for Biblical Studies. At the opening of the conference, which began Sept. 17, about 100 people showed up to hear Noam Chomsky, a retired linguistics professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, rail against American exceptionalism.
On the second day, about 80 people heard Miano declare that nationalism, Jewish nationalism especially, is a bad thing. Miano who, under questioning, admitted that Palestinian nationalism is also problematic, also told attendees that modern-day Jews have a tenuous connection to the Israelites described in both the Christian and Jewish scriptures. (Judaism is only mentioned once in the Bible, he said.) With this line of reasoning, Miano suggested modern-day Jews don’t really have a legitimate claim to the land of Israel, even if they did endure a lot of suffering during the Holocaust.
After Miano spoke, Jean Zaru, a Palestinian Christian from the West Bank, tried to portray the uprising against the British in 1936 in Mandatory Palestine — which witnessed the death of 80 Jews during riots precipitated by an anti-Jewish boycott — as an example of Palestinian non-violence.
They also heard Israeli historian Ilan Pappé declare Israel guilty of the crime of genocide against Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. The historian also described people who support a two-state solution as folks who “don’t come from the belly of the beast. I know the beast and it’s a hungry beast.”
Palestinian human rights advocate says world ignores PA corruption
I recently sat down in Jerusalem with Bassem Eid, one of the top Palestinian human rights advocates.
Bassem began his career with Israeli organization, B’Tselem, documenting offenses committed by the Israeli army but in 1996, he resigned in order to create a Palestinian organization that would focus on the Palestinian Authority when he saw how little trust the Palestinians had in their own leadership.
He provides many examples for why that is and says that despite billions in international aid sent over the past 20 years, the Palestinian people have little to show for it.
He also offers his unique perspective on what all those involved, including Israel, should do.
Don't miss Part 2 of the interview with Bassem on the role the media plays in portraying Israel.
Palestinian human rights advocate: World ignores PA corruption

Michael Lumish: The Impending Transformation of Europe
We in the West like to think that everyone ponders more or less as do we. This is arrogance. The fact of the matter is that different cultures are, in fact, different and therefore hold to different cultural, religious and political tendencies. Whatever the cultural, religious, and political tendencies of these many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of immigrants washing into Europe, the continent will have no choice but to absorb and integrate those tendencies.
So, is Bill O'Reilly in the United States correct to call the mass immigration of Arabs into Europe an "invasion."
I do not think so. The word is loaded. It implies an intent to do harm, whereas the vast majority of immigrants are simply seeking better circumstances for themselves. Nonetheless, still another consequence will be an increase in Jihadi violence throughout Europe.
It is hard to imagine that the Islamic State, and other organizations in the Middle East devoted to political Islam, are not embedding operatives into the Arab population streaming into Europe. What this means, of course, is that in short order we will start hearing of additional bombings throughout the continent.
The Western European inclination to take in these immigrants and refugees is grounded in humanitarianism and is, therefore, admirable.
But as we say in the United States, no good deed goes unpunished.

Art Garfunkel Warns Influx of Muslims 'Could Change the Nature of Europe Forever'
Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel fame, recently told the Daily Mail that the influx of Muslim migrants into Europe “could change the nature of Europe forever.”
The 73-year-old 60s icon addressed the recent influx of Muslim refugees by saying, “We are at a very interesting stage right now, where people are escaping from horrendous situations all over the world.” He talked of reading, Reflections Of The Revolution In Europe—a book he says is intended to get the reader to “Look at the shopkeepers, look at the dry cleaners, and it’s all turning Islamic.”
He made clear he does not want to pass judgement on Europe for taking in the Muslims migrants and refugees, yet at the same time, he wants them to understand that there are ramifications.
Garfunkel put it this way: “Look, I’m not going to make any judgments about this, but I want you Europeans to see that the changing face of Britain, of Germany and all over Europe is happening. It’s becoming much more Muslim. These are the facts.”
The Politicization of Middle East Studies
Had such abuse been meted out to any other state, religious community, or ethnic/national group in the Middle East (and beyond), it is doubtful whether MESA would have considered it a "valid topic of academic discussion." Yet its leaders and luminaries have had no qualms about singling out Jews and Israelis for disproportionate and unique opprobrium and denying them—and them alone—the basic right to national self-determination while allowing it to all other groups and communities, however new and tenuous their claim to nationhood. The late Edward Said, who exerted immense influence on the association despite having done no independent research on the Middle East or Islam, was a vocal proponent of the "one-state solution"—the standard euphemism for Israel's replacement by an Arab/Muslim state in which Jews would be reduced to a permanent minority. Past MESA presidents like Rashid Khalidi (holder of the Edward Said chair at Columbia University), Joel Beinin, Juan Cole, among others, have, in one form or another, publicly advocated the destruction of Israel as a state. This is not a legitimate "philosophical and political criticism of the State of Israel" but reiteration of the millenarian anti-Semitic myth of the "Wandering Jew": a rootless nomad lacking an authentic corporate identity and condemned to permanent lingering on the fringes of history without an indigenous place he could call home.
MESA's Jewish and Israeli members should therefore insist that their association reverts to its original mission to "foster the study of the Middle East, promote high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourage public understanding of the region and its peoples" rather than endlessly obsess with Israel and Jews. Should this demand prove unavailing, as it most likely will, they should shun membership in the association. Fortunately enough, MESA is no longer the only professional venue in the field of Middle Eastern studies.
Outrage After UC Refuses to Openly Condemn Anti-Semitism
Steps taken by the University of California are not sufficient to battle rampant anti-Semitism, UC regents stated Thursday, after UC leaders released a statement about intolerance that did not specifically address hatred against Jews.
"To completely disregard people who brought a problem to your attention, I think is frankly insulting,” Regent Norman Pattiz stated at a debate over the statement at UC Irvine.
The statement of intolerance was released in lieu of an official statement against anti-Semitism, local media reports. Campus Jewish groups and regents had campaigned for the UC board to adopt the official US State Department definition of anti-Semitism as “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.”
Regents are livid over the toned-down statement, however - and at least one, Regent Dick Blum, the husband of US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), have vowed to "remain critical" of UC unless further action is taken.
During the hearing, at least ten students took the stand anonymously to recount anti-Semitic incidents on university campuses.
Jeremy Corbyn Is Placing Himself at the Head of Britain’s ‘Palestine Solidarity’ Lynch Mobs
In Warrant For Genocide, Norman Cohn’s classic study of antisemitic conspiracy theories, he made an astute observation: “There exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people, who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility.”
Such a moment is now upon us with the landslide election of left-wing extremist Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, the official opposition to the Conservative government. Corbyn, who was chosen by a quarter of a million Labour members, is the embodiment of the half-educated fanatic described by Cohn.
A dogmatic socialist who was quick to appoint a supporter of Castroite Cuba as his spokesman on the economy, Corbyn has backed the “titanic struggle” of the Ba’athist and Islamist mass murderers responsible for the slaughter of scores of thousands of civilians, as well as thousands of American and British troops, in post-Saddam Iraq. He is an apologist for the dictatorship of the ayatollahs in Iran. He is a patron of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and an advocate of the Palestinian “Right of Return” to Israel. He is a longstanding associate of the antisemitic organization Deir Yassin Remembered, which is run by Holocaust deniers. He described the genocidal criminals of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.” He championed the Islamist cleric Ra’ed Salah, a proponent of blood libels.
Tom Watson says Jenny Tonge would be “welcome” in Labour
A peer and former Liberal Democrat MP is considering defecting to Labour because Jeremy Corbyn’s “honest” politics are “a breath of fresh air”.
Baroness Tonge claimed “lots” of Lib Dems were thinking about shifting their allegiance following the left-winger’s election as Leader of the Opposition.
Her comments came after Lib Dem leader Tim Farron raised the prospect of winning over Labour members who were concerned about Mr Corbyn’s politics and revealed he had been in contact with opposition MPs “distressed” about the direction the party was taking.
Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore ditches Davila
The Human Welfare and Community Action Commission of Berkeley, charged with dealing with the issues of poverty in Berkeley is under fire for bypassing their central mission and instead focusing on the Israel/Palestinian issue.
Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore, appalled at the misuse of the commission, terminated his appointee after she refused to withdraw the matter. Cheryl Davila had been a commissioner since 2009.
Anti-Israel groups packed the South Berkeley Senior Center last Wednesday evening to urge the commission to pass a divestment from Israel resolution. Three supporters of Israel also addressed the council.
The events in Berkeley highlight the narcissism at the core of the BDS movement, and the hypocritical willingness of anti-Israel activists to sacrifice anything to achieve their goals- including those they purport to represent.
Hundreds of Palestinian lost their jobs because of the BDS vendetta against Sodastream. On Wednesday night, the same phenomenon was on display. Berkeley’s poor were simply collateral damage as JVP and AROC pushed to have the resolution passed.
Richard Millett: Fanatics sing on despite racist protests as Maccabi Tel Aviv crash at Chelsea.
Chelsea and Maccabi Tel Aviv supporters were greeted with the usual racist scenes before and after last night’s UEFA Champions League match at Stamford Bridge which the Israeli side lost 4-0.
Maccabi Tel Aviv were never really in it as the step up to Champions League football after 11 absent years proved beyond them.
However, their 3000 traveling supporters, the Fanatics, jumped up and down and sang throughout the game. And they had a chance to celebrate when Eden Hazard blasted his penalty over the bar when the score was still 0-0.
Before the game about 8 to 10 anti-Israel activists outside the ground welcomed refugees but not the players of the Israeli side. And after the game a more aggressive group screamed for the destruction of Israel. The protests had little impact on the fans of both sides apart from being a little irritating.
Ann Coulter Shows How Pro-Israel the GOP Really Is
The most notable aspect of the controversy over Ann Coulter’s ugly remarks about Jews and Israel is just how unusual they are for a prominent conservative nowadays.
There was a time when the likes of Pat Buchanan, Joseph Sobran and Secretary of State James Baker were so prominent in the Republican-conservative world, that one could reasonably argue that there was a wing of that camp that was hostile to Jews.
But that was decades ago. Sobran is dead; Baker, at 85, is long past his years of serious influence; and Buchanan has long been reduced — in no small part because of his antisemitic leanings — to a minor figure in the punditocracy. The Republican Party and conservatives in general have become so strongly and unwaveringly pro-Israel since then, that — until Coulter’s outburst — one would be hard-pressed to name a single genuinely influential conservative figure who could be described as anti-Israel.
A Gallup poll earlier this year found that only 48 percent of Democrats say they sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians. By contrast, 83% of Republicans side with Israel — up from 53% in 2000.
The Jewish and Zionist organizations that are today sputtering with rage, demanding Coulter apologize or be forced off the airwaves, are missing the bigger picture. The world of American politics will always have a few anti-Israel types at either extreme. An insincere apology or another pointless shouting match over whether to ban those who hate us will not change that.
The more important point to take from this controversy is to note the difference between how the two parties treat their respective extremists.
BBC exploits European migrant crisis for political messaging on ‘educational’ site
But then the material promoted by BBC News as educational background to the current migrant crisis takes a sinister turn as Curtis continues:
“As you watch the film – it raises complex reactions and thoughts in your mind. But it is ironic that, although the two events are in many ways completely different, the Israelis are now preventing Palestinians and supporters of Hamas from doing what the Israeli defence organisation – the Haganah – tried to do over 60 years ago.”
Yes – BBC ‘educational’ content on the subject of Holocaust survivors trying to reach Mandate Palestine really does promote a politicized and totally redundant comparison between the story of the ‘Exodus’ and the agitprop of the Mavi Marmara incident which took place two days before Curtis published this post.
The third item on this feature’s homepage is titled “Palestinians in exile”.
There too audiences see highly partisan archive material which fails to explain to viewers why refugees who received Jordanian citizenship and were at the time living in territory occupied by Jordan were still the holders of refugee status. Those clicking on the link titled “Obstacles to Arab-Israeli peace: Palestinian refugees” arrive at the highly problematic article of the same name dated 2010 (but actually produced by Martin Asser quite some time before that) which was previously discussed on these pages.
Telegraph report questioning antisemitic incident in Paris continues to unravel
We posted recently about a shameful article in The Telegraph which attempted to undermine multiple undisputed accounts of an antisemitic attack in France last summer.
We noted that media outlets across the board agreed that, on July 13, 2014, a violent mob of over 100 pro-Palestinian rioters tried to storm the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue in eastern Paris, trapping hundreds of Jews inside.
There are videos and photos of the attack – representing but one incident within the larger tsunami of antisemitism that has plagued French Jews in recent years.
Telegraph writers Peter Allen and James Rothwell specifically took aim at a story published in last month’s edition of Vanity Fair (The troubling question in the French Jewish community: Is it time to leave?, Marie Brenner, August 2015) which provided readers with the harrowing details of the attack.
In our post, we refuted most of the allegations in the Telegraph’s “expose” of the Vanity Fair (VF) article.
However, one charge in particular still needed to be answered: the suggestion that worshippers at the Paris synagogue, including Paris’s chief rabbi, Michel Gugenheim, were not in fact trapped inside the building, threatened by an angry Palestinian mob and rescued by police. Indeed, The Telegraph claimed that the account was denied by a spokesperson for the synagogue.
UK Media Watch prompts Guardian correction to false claim about US and #Israel
In a post yesterday (The Guardian’s Chris McGreal gets it wrong on Israel…again, Sept. 10th) we demonstrated that a claim concerning the US and Israel by the paper’s former Jerusalem correspondent was inaccurate. McGreal, in a long article published on Sept. 7th, about the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, claimed “the US has exercised its security council veto to protect Israel…more times than the total number of vetoes cast by the other permanent members combined”.
In response, we cited a UN document clearly demonstrating that the US has exercised its veto on Israel related resolutions only 42 times, while the total number of vetoes by other permanent members is 157.
McGreal got it wrong.
We contacted Guardian editors, who replied by acknowledging the error and promising a formal print correction within the next few days. The online edition has already been corrected, and the following addendum added.
More BBC Bowen beating of the Assad regime drum
In a report from the same location dated September 15th – “Syria: On the front line in Damascus” – Bowen once again provided an unchallenged platform for Syrian regime propaganda – this time from an officer in the Syrian Republican Guard.Bowen filmed 15 7 Damascus
Bowen: “The colonel and his men say they are patriots fighting terrorists. He rejects accusations that the Syrian army targets civilians. The claim is that more civilians are killed by the Syrian army than by any other armed force here in Syria.
Col. Sultan: “This is all propaganda to slander the reputation of the army. It’s all lies. We were brought up not to harm peaceful civilians. We only kill people we see with our own eyes holding a weapon.”

Bowen made no attempt to challenge that obvious falsehood on camera and neither was any qualifying statement reminding audiences of the numerous incidents which contradict Sultan’s claims added to Bowen’s voice-over in later editing.
Interestingly, the keen interest in alleged breaches of the laws of armed combat displayed by Jeremy Bowen in his reporting from the Gaza Strip in July 2014 appears to have completely evaporated upon his arrival in Damascus.
BBC fails to meet its remit in article about Rafah tunnels
Further, one aspect of the tunnels which has nothing to do with Egypt’s offensive in Sinai is highlighted. The caption to the main image illustrating the article reads:
“Tunnels have been used for smuggling weapons between Gaza and Sinai, but have also been a lifeline for civilians“.
And in the body of the report readers find the following:
“The tunnels, which emerge in the Sinai Peninsula, have played a vital role in the economy of Gaza, which has been under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007 as a measure against the territory’s Islamist Hamas rulers.”
Clearly that portrayal’s omission of the crucial factor of terrorism from the Gaza Strip – the real reason for the measures introduced by Israel in September 2007 – actively prevents audiences from building an understanding of the issue – as does the unqualified amplification of Hamas propaganda.
“Hamas has accused Egypt of collaborating with Israel to try to further isolate Gaza.”
This article represents just one more link in a long chain of BBC failure (see related articles below) to provide its audiences with a comprehensive picture of the connections between elements in the Gaza Strip and the Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. Hence, whilst BBC audiences may now know that Egypt is flooding tunnels in Rafah, they still have no idea why.
In first since 2007, Israel okays imports of Gaza products
The IDF will permit the export of furniture, textiles and iron from the Gaza Strip for sale in Israel the first time since 2007, an NGO said Monday.
The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories — the Defense Ministry unit responsible for civil affairs in the West Bank and Gaza — proposed the move in an effort to improve the economy of the Palestinian enclave and raise the employment rate, Israel Radio reported.
It is slated to go into effect October 7.
Gisha, an NGO advocating freedom of movement for Palestinians, said in a statement that while the Gaza furniture industry has “tremendous potential for growth,” Israel’s limitations on the import of wood beams larger than one centimeter in width stifles production.
Earlier this year COGAT restricted the import of wood to the Gaza Strip after officials said it was being used to reinforce terror tunnels.
2 Jews shot with BB guns in Orthodox section of New York City
Two Jews were shot with BB guns in a heavily Orthodox neighborhood of New York City.
City Councilman Rory Lancman said that the victims, neither of whom was seriously injured, were shot over the past 10 days in the Kew Gardens Hills section of Queens, the Queens Chronicle reported Monday.
The New York Police Department is investigating the incidents as potential anti-Semitic hate crimes.
A spokeswoman for Lancman told the paper that the first incident was approximately 10 days ago, but she was not sure of the precise date. The second incident occurred on Friday.
Both victims were wearing clothing traditionally worn by Orthodox Jews. The gender of the first victim was not specified, but the second one was male.
Austria Sends Jewish Historian to Jail After He Exposes Holocaust Crimes
An Austrian Jewish historian and journalist named Stephan Templ is scheduled to soon begin serving a year in government prison. Officially, he is accused of misrepresenting information in his family’s application for restitution as victims of Nazism. But there are grounds to fear that he is being punished for exposing Austria’s failure to return seized property to its Jewish owners.
Templ’s story is entangled in the troubling history of Austria’s resistance to paying restitution and returning property. Since the day World War II ended, Austrians have claimed that they were not partners of the Nazis but were actually “the first victims of Nazism.”
This attitude was most memorably reflected in a dispute that erupted during the filming of the movie “The Sound of Music” in Salzburg in 1964. Part of the story takes place after the Nazis had taken over Austria, so the filmmakers wanted to display Nazi flags on the homes in those scenes. The Salzburg authorities initially refused to permit the flags to be filmed, lest it appear that the town had willingly sided with the Nazis. They relented only after the producers threatened to use actual newsreel footage that showed the cheering crowds which greeted Hitler and his army when they marched into Austria in 1938.
By maintaining the “we-were-victims-too” fiction, the Austrians created a kind of loophole to avoid paying restitution. Because if Austria was a victim, it was helpless to prevent the Nazis from persecuting the Jews, and therefore could not be held legally or financially responsible for making amends now.
Israel’s 27 hottest startups of 2015
The always-hot Israeli startup scene has been going even more bonkers lately.
2015 has been a record-breaker for VC funding. The valuations of young companies are skyrocketing and private-equity bankers have arrived in droves, as have Chinese investors.
It all adds up to a very healthy tech community, overflowing with innovation.
We recently visited Israel and met with many, many people in the tech industry and we asked all of them: which startups are you watching?
Of the dozens of startups we heard about and talked to, these are the ones that we found to be particularly outstanding for any number of reasons: their growth, their products, their mission and/or the pedigree of their founders.
Israeli Internet merger to create $1.2-billion behemoth
A merger between Israel-based digital delivery giant ironSource and Israeli-owned mobile ad firm Supersonic is set to form what may be Israel’s first Internet conglomerate.
The hookup, announced Thursday, will create a mobile ad and app behemoth that will reach over a billion users, based on the current reach of both companies — and not even accounting for the expansion the new entity is likely to experience as a result of the new products and services the companies plan to develop together.
IronSource, a company that is not quite five years old, is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, with revenues said by analysts to be in excess of $300 million a year (the company does not issue financial data, as it is privately held). It partners with just about every tech and web giant there is, from Microsoft to Google to Yandex, the giant Russian search engine.
Over 100 million people per month use ironSource’s tech services, the company says, and industry experts believe that if it decided to go public, the valuation of ironSource would be pegged at over 1 billion dollars. The company employs over 600 people, most of them in Israel, with offices in the US, Europe, and China.
India to buy armed Israeli drones in $400M deal
The Indian government last week approved the purchase of 10 Israeli-made armed Heron drones for the sum of $400 million.
Indian publication The Economic Times called the purchase of the missile-armed drones “a crucial acquisition that will enhance India’s cross-border military strike capability.” According to the report, the drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force, and will join its fleet of reconnaissance drones. The Indian Air Force also has a fleet of Harpy unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel — craft that self-destruct and are primarily used to destroy enemy radar positions.
According to the Economic Times, senior officials at the Indian Defense Ministry say the project was accelerated at the order of “the highest levels of government,” and the drones could be in service within 12 months.
The sale is the latest move in an ongoing thaw in relations between Israel and India. A senior delegation from the Indian Foreign Ministry visited Jerusalem in July, just days after New Delhi dramatically changed its traditional voting pattern at the United Nations in Israel’s favor.
Smart locks next big IoT thing for Israeli firm
After smart TVs and smart refrigerators, the next battleground for Internet of Things technology is – the front door.
Israeli door and lock manufacturer Mul-T-Lock is marketing a new Bluetooth-based lock, which lets users create virtual “keys” on the spot to allow or deny access to homes or offices. Now owned by Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy, the Yavne-based company’s ENTR system lets users control entry from a smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-enabled device.
Designed to be retrofitted into existing doors, the ENTR system lets users lock or unlock doors from their device – or to create or disable “virtual keys” using the ENTR app. The virtual key consists of a series of letters, numbers, and signals – a key code, essentially – that is registered with the lock, enabling access to users who punch in the numbers correctly. The keys can be permanent, or created on the fly, to allow entry for one-time visitors or “latchkey kids” who come home when their parents are out.
The app can also bar anyone – even if they have a valid code – from entering during specific scheduled times. And, it can schedule the door to unlock itself at a specific time – perfect, for example, for Sabbath-observant Jews who won’t use the app on Shabbat (the system also allows use of a physical key for those users).
Rutgers announces 'N.J.-Israel Healthy, Functional and Medical Foods Alliance'
On Friday, Representatives from Rutgers, Israel's Tel-Hai College and its Economic Development Taskforce, Choose NJ and the New Jersey state government gathered at the new facility for Rutgers' New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition & Health.
The panel discussed prospects and implications of a joint venture between the two colleges, Rutgers and Tel-Hai, in regard of spurring innovation of treating health issues with food and the resulting economic boost of such innovation.
After speeches from representatives from the involved institutions, the speakers signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the New Jersey-Israel Health, Functional, Medical Foods Alliance.
Israeli Persian-language film to contend for Oscar
Israel’s first-ever Persian-language film, “Baba Joon,” won the country’s top film award on Monday, securing it a spot as Israel’s submission for the 2016 Oscars in the Foreign Language Film category.
“Baba Joon,” which tells the story of an Israeli family of Jewish immigrants from Iran, won Best Picture at the prestigious Ophir Awards (also known as the Israeli Oscars).
The film, directed by Yuval Delshad, won four other awards including Art Direction (Yehuda Eko), Music (Eyal Saeed Mani), Costume Design (Ofer Yanov) and Casting (Noa Ella).
The night’s other big winner was Erez Tadmor’s “Wounded Land” (Best Director — Erez Tadmor, Best Actor — Roy Assaf, Best Makeup — Orly Ronen and Shiran Cohen). Moran Rosenblatt won Best Actress for Wedding Doll.
How big data in the backroads of Africa will help feed the hungry
To do good, gathering donations from good-hearted people isn’t enough. The most efficient and effective way to bring about positive change is through business, partnering the profit motive with a project that helps improve lives.
That’s the kind of model Chamutal Afek Eitam is trying to develop in order to feed starving kids in Africa – the last scenario in the world where one would expect an investment and profit model to work. Yet Eitam has developed a model that will bring aid to the neediest and food to the poorest people in the world, in a program that will be funded not by donations, but by investments – which Eitam believes will return a profit for investors.
“Investments are a better way to fund things than donations, and our model marries business methods with assistance,” Eitam said. “Our objective is to change the way aid is distributed, eliminate waste in the aid industry, and spread resources more effectively.”
Eitam was one of 200 entrepreneurs, investors, and visitors from abroad who gathered at the annual ID2 (Israeli Designed International Development) conference in Caesarea to discuss ways investors can impact the developing world, both for positive effect and for profit.
The ultimate guide to Israel’s sizzling art scene
Zooming through Israel’s Judaean Desert, with views of the sparkling Dead Sea to my side, I headed to the Masada — the ancient fortress that became an everlasting symbol of Jewish resistance following the Roman siege in 74 AD — but not solely for a lesson in history. Once I arrived, I took a peek over the rocky edge to see a vast sprawl of modern construction at its base, highlighted by a large amphitheater on the dusty ground below. I’d come to attend an opera festival.
Growing up Jewish, the typical religion-focused trip to Israel was never a priority. But after years of listening to friends recount their visits here, I decided to take the plunge. And during just one week in June, I discovered something unexpected: A bustling arts scene that has helped Israel emerge as a prime cultural destination.
Indeed, for a country as small as New Jersey, Israel has an unexpectedly wide array of cultural events and world-class institutions whose presentations and premieres make the nation a travel must-try at most times of the year.
What I found most compelling were the events that blend the arts with history, of which Israel has plenty. By bringing a fresh breath into ancient fixtures, they made for spectacles that were uniquely Israeli.
Qanta Ahmed: At al-Aqsa, a sentinel moment for Islam
For some years the gentle rhythm of the Jewish calendar has whispered in my Muslim ear. As my many Jewish friends around the world make their various observations — whether in degrees of devout orthodoxy or — in their own words – ‘culturally Jewish’ but ‘avowedly secular’, it has over the years become impossible for me to ignore the arrival of this, the holiest time of the Jewish year.
It was in South Carolina that I first attended Shabbat services. It was in New York that I first learned of Selichot. It was in Ra’anana, Israel that I first fasted on Yom Kippur. It was in Long Island that I first recited the Kaddish, as we buried my rabbi. It was in Boston that I first celebrated a Jewish marriage. In the intervening years I have grown to anticipate and enjoy the arrival of Rosh Hashanah — the Head of the Year — and the Days of Atonement which immediately follow. As I watch my friends retreat into private observations and reflections, I too reflect, and account, hoping my name might also be recorded in the Book of Life anew.
My Jewish year began with a Jewish wedding in Tel Aviv, Shabbat in Melbourne and Sydney, memorial services in Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz as I marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, springtime in Jerusalem joining others in combating anti-Semitism, my witnessed commitment to defend the vulnerable as I accepted an Honorary Fellowship at The Technion-Israel Institute of Science and Technology, and an East Coast summer considering my contribution to honoring Jewish memory with colleagues at the Shoah Foundation.
In between, I have practiced medicine and Islam. I have observed Ramadan, performed my salaat and, as every Muslim with means is required, spent freely in the name of my Maker. Though not a Jew, increasingly I find my Muslim life enriched by the Jewry surrounding it, my Islam informed by the mysteries of the Jewish year experienced through the Judaism vividly embodied by the diverse Jewish people who accompany me in this life.
New dig fails to shed light on ancient Maccabee tombs
Israeli archaeologists had hoped to finally uncover the mystery of the ancient tomb of the Maccabees — but they have been thwarted once again.
Archaeological authorities said Monday they had carried out another excavation at a site near Modiin northwest of Jerusalem to determine “once and for all” whether the tomb was indeed there.
The tomb of the family that led the Jewish revolt against the Greek dynasty of the Seleucids in the 2nd century BCE is believed to have been among ancient Judea’s most impressive structures.
“We exposed again the base of what survived from this magnificent building — this is a rare and unique building — but yet we didn’t find the smoking gun, the hard evidence which would enable us to tell you that this is for sure the tomb of the Maccabees,” said Amit Reem, an official with the project.
The Real Tomb of the Maccabees?


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