Monday, August 22, 2016

From Ian:

Israel Thrives: Surprise, surprise. JStreet U officer supports Black Lives Matter platform on Israel
Tablet Magazine ran a few great takedowns of Black Lives Matter's platform as it concerns Israel. Unfortunately, they were followed by an article by Daniel May, a past Director of JStreet U, essentially saying that Israel's occupation policy is responsible for BLM's platform. While nearly every paragraph of May's deserves criticism, in particular his parroting of Haaretz's lies, I'd like to focus on his original sin. In the final paragraph, May writes:
Palestine will never advance so long as Jews deny the cost of Zionism. The Jewish nation’s independence was won only through the dispossession of another nation.
Everything in the case against "the Occupation" stems from the accusation the Jewish sovereignty was won by dispossessing another nation. From the dispossession narrative comes the "right to resist" which justifies Palestinian terror and, with such actions being justified, delegitimizes Israel's countermeasures. Hence we see the one-sided description from JStreet and their ilk.
To understand dispossession as it pertains to the "Palestinians," consider a counterfactual from American history. Suppose that when the Pilgrims came to Massachusetts (for simplicity, I will be using present-day names for places), the population of Indian tribes native to Massachusetts was small. However, just before then, a handful of tribes from Quebec had started migrating to Massachusetts and accelerated during the Pilgrims' lifetimes. Subsequently, the Pilgrims' descendants stopped the inflow from Quebec and imposed population controls on the Indian population in Massachusetts, affecting the Quebec tribes because they were the larger presence. Would such an action constitute dispossession for the Quebec tribes? Such is the case with the Palestinians.

Richard Millett: The Guardian provides a platform for Daniel Barenboim to slam Israel.
Last week Aditya Chakrabortty interviewed Israeli, or to be more accurate Israeli and Palestinian, conductor Daniel Barenboim for the Classical music section of the Guardian.
In his article headlined “Daniel Barenboim on ageing, mistakes and why Israel and Iran are twin brothers” Chakrabortty included political views which would have been more at home in an opinion piece than the Classical music section.
Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a mix of Israeli and Arab musicians, which played at the London Proms last week prompting a 5 star review by the Guardian’s Andrew Clements. The review was delightfully free of politics.
Barenboim’s interview with Chakrabortty goes into how and why the Orchestra came together in the first place, the perfectionist that Barenboim is, how hard he works his musicians and questions whether the Orchestra is actually achieving anything positive.
Then the interview enters its gratuitous political mode. After describing the insults Barenboim received after playing Wagner, the Nazis’ favourite composer, in Israel Chakrabortty writes
“For his part, the musician has called the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank “immoral” and backed a boycott of the Israeli government.”
Michael Danby MP: World Vision: Eyeless in Gaza
Australia - All. up Halabi says he diverted 60 per cent of World Vision’s Gaza budget to Hamas for six years. Costello is waiting to see the evidence, which is fair enough. But if it’s true, a latterday Philistine exploited World Vision’s tunnel vision and rendered it as blind as Samson, ‘eye­less in Gaza’.”
But worse for World Vision is yet to come. The U.S. Government gifts World Vision $200 million per annum. Can you imagine what American congressional committees will do when they require or subpoena World Vision to give public testimony on whether U.S. Taxpayers money has been misspent on subsidising Hamas to build extensive concrete tunnels into Israel?
Professor Steinberg concludes in his Wall Street Journal article “World Vision’s failures in Gaza highlight the problems of a multibillion dollar NGO industry that remains largely unregulated and unexamined. With so much money involved, including private and public funds, and given the stakes in environments of terrorism and guerrilla warfare, the need for transparency, accountability and detailed guidelines is clear. If the officials who run organizations such as World Vision aren’t willing to take the lead, then the governments that contract out their aid budgets must act.” The Wall Street Journal, 11 August 2016
I hope, against hope, but I doubt that these revelations will lift the mote from Tim Costello and World Vision’s eye about good and evil in the Middle East.
No-one wants to stop aid to those who need it, but the blindness to terrorists diverting aid for their evil purpose will give government and individual donors to those charities good reason to insist on a genuine accounting of every dollar and shekel they claim to have spent on the welfare of the people of Gaza and the West Bank. Until that happens, World Vision, and others who are eyeless in Gaza, will be rightly shunned by responsible Western governments and even happy idealistic optimists who support them in favour of more responsible and accountable charitable and foreign aid causes.

Douglas Murray: UK: Clerics Who Threaten Reformers and Praise Murderers
Elsewhere, the "Sacred Journey" tour has already thrown up another interesting connection. Mohammed Shafiq runs a one-man outfit called the "Ramadan Foundation" in the UK, and is regularly called upon by the British media. He appears to be viewed as a "moderate" Muslim because he has been outspoken in opposition to the mass rape of children by gangs of Muslim men. Despite this heroism, his own liberal credentials (not least as a member of the Liberal Democrat party) have often come into question. Several years ago, for instance, when the Liberal Democrat candidate and genuine anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz re-Tweeted an innocuous cartoon from the "Jesus and Mo" series, Shafiq was among those who tried to get up a lynch-mob against Nawaz. Shafiq wrote on social media that Nawaz was a "Ghustaki Rasool," Urdu for "defamer of the prophet." He warned that he would "notify Islamic countries." Shafiq angrily denied that these and other messages constituted incitement against Nawaz.
But now, on the visit of two clerics to the UK who applaud and mourn Mumtaz Qadri, where is Mohammed Shafiq to be found? Why, warmly greeting the cleric who praises the murderers of reformers and glad-handing with the terrorist-apologists and blasphemy lynch-mob, of course.
Almost everyone in Britain is pleased that the loudmouth Anjem Choudary has gone to jail. Like the hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza before him, Choudary was -- as a case -- almost too easy. He was the most visible part of the problem. But he was not the greatest or deepest problem in this area. That problem is shown when two extremist clerics with pre-medieval views come to Britain, they are welcomed by an ignorant British establishment. The problem is shown when they tour mosques, they do so to packed houses because they have "hundreds of thousands" of followers of Pakistani origin in the UK. The problem is shown when you scratch the surface of one of the self-proclaimed "moderates" like Mohammed Shafiq and discover that he is happy to pal around with the people who threaten reformers and praise murderers.
That is the problem for British Islam in a nutshell. And that is a problem we still remain woefully unable to confront.
France: "First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People"
The path of Adel Kermiche, born in France to immigrant parents from Algeria, and one of the two men who murdered the elderly priest Father Jacques Hamel, looks like the path followed by many young French Muslims: school failure, delinquency, shift towards a growing hatred of France and the West, return to Islam, transition to radical Islam.
The French education system does not teach young people to love France and the West. It teaches them instead that colonialism plundered many poor countries, that colonized people had to fight to free themselves, and that the fight is not over. It teaches them to hate France.
All political parties, including the National Front, talk about the need to establish an "Islam of France". They never explain how, in the internet age, the "Islam of France" could be different from Islam as it is everywhere else.
Many French Jews fleeing the country recalled an Islamic phrase in Arabic: "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people." In other words, first Muslims attack Jews; then when the Jews are gone, they attack Christians. It is what we have been seeing throughout the Middle East.
Keeping up the illusion
As I was traveling to Europe this summer, it struck me what especially distinguishes Israeli from European ‎security measures: Israeli security is about dealing with the harsh reality. European security relies largely on wishful thinking ‎and denial.‎
Take airports for example. Airport security has been an issue since Arab ‎terrorists began hijacking airplanes in the 1970s. It is very far from being a new issue. Israeli ‎airports, as a consequence, are the safest in the world. European airports generally are among the least ‎safe, because in most cases anyone can enter from the street and blow himself up, as happened in ‎Brussels in March. In that coordinated, three-pronged attack, 32 civilians were killed.
I find it astounding that even after ‎Brussels, anyone can still enter an airport in Europe without seeing any visibly armed security or without undergoing any kind of security check until reaching the departure hall. Do European airport authorities ‎seriously believe that what happened in Brussels could not and will not happen again?‎
Of course not. But there is an official mantra that has been repeated ad nauseam as European leaders continue to maintain their denial about the nature of Islamic terrorism: We ‎must continue business as usual or the terrorists will have won.‎
Man charged with attempted murder for stabbing Strasbourg Jew
A mentally disturbed man who stabbed a religious Jew while shouting “Allahu Akbar” in the French city of Strasbourg on Friday was charged with attempted murder for the attack that is being viewed as a hate crime, judicial sources in France said Saturday.
Prosecutors said a criminal investigation is underway into the attack, “for the attempted murder of the victim based on his real or inferred race or religion.”
The attacker, who has a record of anti-Semitic violence and mental health problems, was remanded into custody and held under psychiatric observation.
Witnesses said the attacker shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is greatest,” as he stabbed the 62-year old kippa-clad man in the city’s Jewish quarter.
Strasbourg Chief Rabbi Rene Gutman said the victim was admitted to the hospital with moderate injuries.
Democrats Must Condemn Extreme Voices in Their Party
Jews who vote for Democrats need to decide if they can continue to stand with a party where prominent voices like George Soros and Sidney Blumenthal are so influential. There as been some deafening silence from the Pro-Hillary Clinton crowd when it comes to distancing the Democratic Party from these extremists,
Take for example the fact that George Soros is one of Hillary’s largest donors, despite his long history of alarming commentary on the West — including saying that “America is the gravest threat to world freedom,” and that “the main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” Recently leaked emails reveal that Soros is an active donor to organizations that are committed to “challenging Israel’s racist and anti-democratic policies” in international forums, in part by questioning Israel’s reputation as a democracy.” His organization, Open Society, has among many other things, advocated, the “development of a more organized and efficient PCI advocacy and presence in international forums (UN, EU, US) especially in light of the increasingly limited domestic avenues available for seeking justice.”
Soros has a long history of hostility towards Israel. In front of the Jewish Funders Network, he said that “European antisemitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States.”
Hillary is also close to Sidney Blumenthal, who has been described as “an intimate family friend…for two decades, and the emails between them show late night calls, social visits to one another’s home, and all the informality expected of two close and trusted friends.”
Hillary Gal Pal Huma Abedin Worked At Mother’s Radical Muslim Journal, Blaming US For 9/11, Opposing Women’s Rights For Islamic Law
Hillary Clinton’s closest aide and gal-pal, Huma Abedin, is once again under scrutiny following revelations that she worked for a radical Muslim journal.
From 2002-2008, Huma worked at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, a publication that not only opposes women’s rights but blames the United States for 9/11.
Editing countless articles to eventually rise to the role of “assistant editor,” Abedin worked under the tutelage of her radical mother, who remains editor-in-chief of the publication to this day.
Huma’s mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is as radical as they come.
As the Muslim World League’s delegate to the UN conference in 1996, the elder Abedin even blasted Clinton and her ilk for pursuing a “very aggressive and radically feminist” agenda that contradicted Islamic values.
Emails show Bahrain leader sought meeting with Clinton through foundation
Previously undisclosed emails indicate the Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain sought an audience with Hillary Clinton in 2009 through his connections to the Clinton Foundation after he was denied access through the "normal channels."
The emails, made public Monday in a batch of records obtained by conservative-leaning Judicial Watch, show longtime aide Huma Abedin coordinated with Doug Band, then an employee of the Clinton Foundation, to secure a meeting with Salman and Clinton in June 2009.
Band stressed that Salman was a "good friend of ours." The Kingdom of Bahrain has given up to $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Abedin said Clinton was initially reluctant to commit to the meeting "until she knows how she will feel" on the day Salman requested an appointment.
Stay abreast of the latest developments from nation's capital and beyond with curated News Alerts from the Washington Examiner news desk and delivered to your inbox.
The email chain was just the latest record to show the special access that was afforded to Clinton Foundation donors by Clinton's State Department staff.
In another exchange from Abedin's private inbox, Band asked the Clinton aide to intervene on behalf of a wealthy foundation donor whose client was struggling to obtain a visa for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas.
Is Donald Trump’s proposal to keep out anti-Semites practical — or ethical?
How extreme does vetting need to be to keep anti-Semites from entering the United States, and is Donald Trump’s plan worth the effort?
The Republican nominee’s proposal to apply an ideological test to potential immigrants is based on precedent: The United States in the last century instituted a broad ban on communists and their sympathizers, and Jewish groups after World War II sought to extend similar strictures to those who sympathized with Nazis.
Nonetheless, Jewish civil rights and immigration groups today have questions about the viability of Trump’s proposal and whether it is ethical to institute an ideological litmus test on arrivals from countries with vastly different values and education systems.
Trump in his Aug. 15 speech noted the precedent.
“In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test,” he said. “The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting.”
Among those excluded, Trump said, would be anti-Semites.
“As we have seen in France, foreign populations have brought their anti-Semitic attitudes with them,” he said.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Obama To Unveil Kenyan Birth Certificate Day After Leaving Office (satire)
Sources close to US President Barack Obama reported today that immediately after returning to private life, the president intends to finally lay to rest questions of his legitimacy for the office he held for eight years, by releasing the original copy of his birth certificate from Kenya.
White House officials speaking on condition of anonymity revealed that Obama is counting down the days until he can come clean, and that the question of his country of birth has been weighing on him since early in his first presidential campaign in 2008.
“He’s been sitting on this thing forever,” said one staffer. “It’s eating away at him, and you can tell how the tension actually builds from week to week. I have mixed feelings about sticking around long enough to see what the atmosphere here is going to be like come December or January.” Obama’s second and final presidency ends on January 20, 2017.
Another official voiced anticipation, not anxiety. “I want to be here when that goes down, and as it’s about to go down,” he admitted. “It’s not everyday you get to see a bombshell such as this one building and building, knowing exactly when it’s going to be dropped. I kind of want to fast forward to January already.”
Thousands of Labour supporters could be expelled from party over anti-Semitism and abuse allegations
Thousands of Labour members and supporters could be suspended or expelled from the party over allegations of abuse and anti-Semitism, it has emerged.
Almost 6,000 people have been reported to the party’s National Executive Committee as part of a new initiative introduced in mid-July to curb threats and poor behaviour.
It came as Tory MP Andrew Bridgen revealed he had been approached by Labour MPs as part of an attempt to secure an early general election to “get rid of Jeremy Corbyn” as the party’s leadership contest continues.
Mr Bridgen said he has been approached by three Labour MPs in Westminster who have asked for him to continue his bid for a nationwide vote in order to oust Mr Corbyn.
The MP claims that the Labour members warned the only way to rid the party of Mr Corbyn would be for Labour to be “wiped out” at a general election and prove his unpopularity with the public.
Mr Corbyn has been criticised for failing to do enough to tackle abuse and allegations of anti-Semitism within the party. Though condemning abuse as unacceptable in any form, he has repeatedly told party members to ignore nasty comments, stating earlier this year: “The best way of dealing with abuse is: ignore it.”
Hijacking of #BlackLivesMatter by anti-Israel activists already has damaged the movement
The “Movement for Black Lives,” a coalition of approximately 50 Black Lives Matters groups, recently issued a policy platform which raised issues such as mass incarceration, policing, and other issues of importance.
Yet in that platform were included deranged libelous accusations against one and only one foreign country – Israel. That section of the platform was not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to our coverage of how anti-Israel activists methodically and deliberately set out years ago to stoke racial tension against Israel by falsely accusing Israel of being responsible for local police shootings of blacks in the U.S. That effort went into overdrive during the Ferguson riots after the Michael Brown shooting in the summer of 2014.
Since then, redirecting the U.S. Black Lives Matters movement to turn it as a weapon against Israel has been a top priority for anti-Israel activists, including those working under the banner of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
The platform language against Israel was a milestone in that effort, putting the Black Lives Matter movement in the position of accusing Israel of the Crimes Against Humanity of Genocide and Apartheid. But in order to do that, those terms had to be redefined in ways that are applied to no one else.
Israeli Police threaten jail for PLO flags at Celtic game
Israeli police have warned fans of the Celtic Glasgow soccer team that they’ll take a zero-tolerance approach if PLO flags are waved during Tuesday’s return leg of the Champions League qualifying round in Be'er Sheva.
Celtic is already under investigation for the hundreds of PA flags held up by Celtic fans during their team's 5-2 win over Hapoel in Scotland.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld made clear that police do not have patience for a repreat of the events of last Wednesday: “This is a professional football game and not a political opportunity."
He added, "It is not illegal to have a Palestinian flag in Israel but provocation by fans of either side is and we will not tolerate it. Any material that would cause incitement to violence would definitely not be permitted to be taken to the game to prevent any disturbances inside the stadium or outside."
Fans will be searched for PA flags, which will be confiscated. Fans with those flags could face arrest.
How much Kiwi money Has World Vision sent to Hamas?
In 2011 World Vision, along with aid organisation Tear Fund sponsored the touring of the film ‘With God on our Side’ throughout New Zealand. This film claimed to be providing a “missing narrative” of the Middle East conflict, but instead provided an error-strewn, biased and simplistic view of the situation. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre described it as containing “monstrous distortions” and “making a strong emotional argument built on lies”.
Also of concern is the relationship between World Vision and news outlets which could be perceived to undermine journalistic objectivity. The practice of co-sponsoring the production of news segments has been going on since the 1980s. World Vision’s role in criticising only one party to the conflict and downplaying (if not ignoring) the role of oppressive and corrupt Palestinian leaders became particularly evident during the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the summer of 2014. In New Zealand, TV3’s Mike McRoberts produced a video in Gaza about the situation there, in co-operation with World Vision, which lacked context and balance. The video highlighted the suffering of children and other Palestinians whilst strongly implying that Israel was targeting civilians and completely responsible for the conflict. It ignored the fact that Israel made strenuous efforts to minimise casualties, while Hamas failed to protect civilians including children, even using them as human shields.
Dark shadows are now cast over how World Vision uses donor funds. In whose pocket do they end up? Until these questions can be answered satisfactorily, fair-minded New Zealanders should think carefully about supporting an organisation with a history of anti-Israel bias and an unwillingness to investigate allegations of misuse of funds, an NGO that, under cover of its purported humanitarian objectives and Christian principles, insidiously pushes a one-sided political agenda. The possibility that Kiwis might have, in good faith, given money for humanitarian purposes that has instead aided and abetted a terrorist organisation and been used to create more misery, is very troubling indeed.
Activist Exposes ‘Insane Hypocrisy’ of Qatari-Owned Outlet’s Popularity Among Western Liberals (INTERVIEW)
Many young Americans who get their news from the AJ+ online media channel are unaware of its ties to the Qatari government-owned Al Jazeera network, a young Zionist activist from Minnesota told The Algemeiner on Sunday.
“As someone who is 17, I’m surrounded by people my age who tend to lean left, if not far-left, who love self-proclaimed liberal, progressive news,” Leora Noor Eisenberg said. “One of their main news sources is AJ+. You see this on Facebook, where they share AJ+ interviews all the time. This is all well and good, until you realize that it’s crazy. AJ+ is a subsidiary of Al Jazeera, and we all know what Al Jazeera is — it goes completely against their self-proclaimed liberal values.”
She continued: “Most people don’t even know that the ‘AJ’ in AJ+ stands for Al Jazeera. People don’t know what AJ+ actually is.”
Eisenberg, who will enroll at Princeton University in September, said the “insane hypocrisy” of AJ+’s popularity among liberals is what drove her to make a video to expose its “hidden hateful agenda.”
The video was posted on Facebook on Thursday, and since then, it has received around 160,000 views, “which for someone my age is pretty amazing,” Eisenberg said.
IsraellyCool: Qatar Wipes Israel Off The Map
Update: A previous version of this post blamed this on Iran. It turns out, this was not Iran, after all. It was beIN SPORTS, whose headquarters are in Doha, Qatar. I was mislead by a tweet I was sent. My bad.
Having this occur in Qatar is worse, actually. We almost expect Iran to do something like that. But “moderate” Qatar?
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place there. Perhaps that should be reconsidered.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Haaretz Writer Suffers Hernia Refraining From Using Nazi Analogies (satire)
A reporter for Israel’s only broadsheet daily newspaper underwent surgery today to repair a hernia that occurred as a result of straining not to use Israel’s Olympic achievements as evidence the country has become a latter-day iteration of Nazi Germany, an editor said today.
Julius Streicher, a columnist for Haaretz, checked into Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv this morning after the effort not to employ analogies to 1930’s Germany in his commentary on Israel’s Olympic team cause a rupture in his abdominal wall through which a portion of his lower intestine pushed into the inguinal canal. Doctors successfully restored the intestinal tissue to its proper position and repaired the breach. Streicher remains under observation, and will return to work within the week.
In an article about the two bronze medals that Israeli athletes earned in judo, Streicher had just completed a sentence asserting that the achievements of the two athletes of non-Ashkenazi ancestry embodied the racist, Eurocentric attitudes that Zionism represents. The next natural rhetorical flourish for both Streicher and most other Haaretz writers would involve inserting the name of a prominent Nazi and directly or indirectly linking Israel to that regime. However, for unknown reasons Streicher restrained himself, incurring the injury in the process.
Al Sharpton Rewrites Crown Heights History, With Jews as Rioters
Al Sharpton has been a minor player in the Black Lives Matter chaos, but returned to his divisive habits last weekend with an op-ed in the New York Daily News on the 25th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots, casting Jews as the aggressors.
In his re-telling, the young black boy who died tragically in a traffic accident involving the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s motorcade, Gavin Cato, was a precursor to Michael Brown, the black teen who attacked a police officer and was killed in Ferguson, Missouri.
Not only does that parallel insult Cato’s memory — unlike Brown, he was an innocent child — but it also paints the Rebbe, one of the kindest souls the world has ever known, as a kind of villain.
To do that, Sharpton has to distort history: “… a Hasidic-run ambulance service took the Jewish driver responsible for the accident away, but not Gavin or Angela,” he says.
As the exhaustive Girgenti Report showed (p. 56), police instructed the ambulance service to leave. A false rumor spread that the Jewish paramedics had abandoned the black child — a rumor that triggered the violence, and that Sharpton has now repeated.
(Ironically, in 2011, on the 20th anniversary, Sharpton admitted: “Our language and tone sometimes exacerbated tensions and played to the extremists.” Since then, the left has found political reasons to play to the racial extremists again, evidently.)
Goebbels’ wife had Jewish father, new document shows
The wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels had a Jewish father, according to a new document discovered in the Berlin archives.
The document was published in the German newspaper Bild, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.
It shows that the father of Magda Goebbels was a Jewish businessman named Richard Friedlander, who married Magda’s mother, Auguste Behrend, when Magda was about 7 years old. Friedlander had an affair in 1901 with Behrend before she married German engineer Oskar Ritshel, who had been blamed for impregnating Behrend before their wedding.
Friedlander’s residency card, the document found in the archives, states that Magda is his biological daughter, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Friedlander died in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1939; his daughter did not attempt to help him.
The Goebbels had been portrayed by the Nazis as the ideal Aryan family.
Czech activists seek proper burial for assassins of Nazi chief
Czech activists are calling for the government to give a proper burial to two daring Czech resistance fighters who assassinated a Nazi chief, who was one of Hitler’s most fanatical henchmen, according to The Daily Mail.
In 1942, Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, British-trained Czech paratroopers, ambushed Reinhard Heydrich’s car in Prague, killing the Nazi.
The two were killed in an SS attack on their hideout but buried in an unmarked grave that is thought to be close to an area where political prisoners were buried after being killed during the former Czechoslovakian communist regime.
The mission, Operation Anthropoid, was organized by British special forces and the Czechoslovakian government-in-exile to assassinate Heydrich.
Kubis and Gabcik managed to maim Heydrich with a grenade explosion and he died one week later. The operation is to be recounted in the film Anthropoid, which is set to be released next month.
Israeli movies abound at this year’s Toronto Film Festival
A partial list of the Israeli films that will be shown at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which will take place from September 8-18, has just been released, and the newest movies by veteran Israeli directors Avi Nesher and Joseph Cedar will have their world premieres there.
Avi Nesher’s new film, Past Life, starring Nelly Tagar and Joy Rieger, was accepted to the prestigious CW Speakers program, which features five of the most prominent international films of the year. This is the second time one of Nesher’s films has been selected for this program.
Past Life tells the story of two ambitious, competitive sisters. One, played by Tagar (Zero Motivation), is a journalist who exposes scandals for a risqué Tel Aviv magazine, while the other (Rieger) is a repressed, talented musician, trying to make her way in the male-dominated world of classical music. Set in 1977, a year of great political upheaval in Israel, they learn a family secret that changes both their lives. The movie was filmed in Israel, Poland and Germany.
Avi Nesher said, “It is deeply moving to discover that a film like Past Life, which tries to understand Israeli reality through dealing with Israel’s past, has earned respect and recognition from such an important international festival. The screenplay for Past Life was inspired by a true story stranger than any fiction, and the collaboration with the musicians and the actors was one of the most fascinating and rewarding experiencing of my filmmaking career. For me, this is ‘our film,’ not just ‘my film.’”
Joseph Cedar’s first English-language film, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, starring Richard Gere, will be shown in the Gala section. The movie, which was filmed both in New York and in Jerusalem, stars Gere as Norman Oppenheimer, a conman who ingratiates himself with a rising Israeli politician (Lior Ashkenazi). The politician later becomes prime minister, and Norman’s fortunes change through their connection. The movie, which co-stars Steve Buscemi, Dan Stevens, Josh Charles, Michael Sheen and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will be released worldwide in 2017 by Sony Pictures Classics.
Cedar’s previous two films, Footnote and Beaufort, were nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Peru's half-Jewish president conducts Israel's Philharmonic in Lima
Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, whose father was a Jewish refugee, conducted Israel’s Philharmonic Orchestra during the playing of the Peruvian national anthem at a Lima concert earlier this month.
The Israeli orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed August 15 at the National Grand Theater during celebrations of the 109th anniversary of the Lima Philharmonic Society, reported El Comercio newspaper.
“More than 1,400 people who attended the concert celebrated the pleasant surprise and revelation of our president as a conductor. Later, conductor Mehta did the same with the anthem of Israel,” read a note from the Lima Philharmonic Society.
Kuczynski, who has studied music and plays the flute, was elected president of the South American country in June. He was born in Lima to a French Protestant mother and a German Jewish father who fled the Nazis in 1933.
Seinfeld star lands in Israel
Wayne Knight, who starred as Newman in award-winning 'Seinfeld' Television comedy series arrived in Israel Sunday morning for 4-day trip; actor to be photographed for Ikea catalogue campaign.
The actor, Wayne Knight, most familiar for his role as Newman in the acclaimed comedy series ‘Seinfeld,’ landed on Sunday morning in Israel.
Knight will be staying in the country until Wednesday and will be photographed for the launch campaign of a new catalogue for the furniture company giant Ikea.
Israeli Arab Paralympian takes pride representing Jewish state in Rio
Elham Mhamid doesn’t take her responsibility lightly. Neither does she take her handicap too seriously. The 26-year-old from Umm el-Fahm worked hard to become captain of the Israeli women’s goalball team. She also happens to be legally blind, suffering from achromatopsia, a hereditary disorder characterized by decreased vision, light sensitivity and a complete inability to see color.
She takes great pride in representing Israel in international competitions. And no competition is bigger for her than next month’s Paralympics in Rio.
“For me being captain comes with a lot of pride and responsibility and I think I deserve this responsibility,” Mhamid told The Jerusalem Post. “I will do everything to make my country, my relatives and the Arab sector proud, showing that there is no difference between all of us and that we can live together.”
Israel’s Olympic tally: 2 bronzes, 7 finals, a delegation with more than half women
The Rio Olympics ended its 16-day run Sunday with a festive blowout celebration in the picturesque city.
For Israel, the Games marked a better-than-average showing, a small but noticeable improvement over past years, even if Israeli Olympians failed to bring home the gold (or the silver).
Ilana Koshbetzki, captain of the rhythmic gymnastics team, which finished sixth on Sunday, carried the flag as the Israeli athletes still in Rio — many had already returned to Israel — marched in the closing ceremony.
Israel’s 47-member delegation to Rio, the largest ever, returned home with two bronze medals, both in judo. It was a marked improvement on the 2012 showing in London, from which Israel’s athletes returned without a single medal.
The biggest disappointments came in two sports, rhythmic gymnastics and sailing, where Israel has a history of successes and in which its athletes came close to the performances of the top three winners at Rio.

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