Monday, August 29, 2016

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Norwegian Government Joins BDS-Funding Framework
Norway has joined Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands in funding the Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, allocating to the framework NOK 5 million (over $600,000) in the second half of 2016. The HR/IHL Secretariat is an intermediary that distributes funds to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns and other forms of demonization against Israel. It is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm, based in Sweden.
According to an internal report, 80% of the HR/IHL Secretariat’s distributions are allocated to core NGO funding. NGO Monitor research shows that out of 24 core recipients, 13 support BDS, receiving $5.78 million (more than half) out of an operating budget of $10.38 million over the course of four years. Some grantees have also promoted antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to the PFLP terrorist organization. Core group members receiving funding include BADIL, Al-Haq, Addameer, and MIFTAH, all vehemently anti-Israel NGOs at the forefront of BDS campaigns.
Norway’s decision to join the HR/IHL Secretariat on June 1, 2016 contrasts sharply with the criticism and debates in the Swiss and Dutch Parliaments regarding the donor framework. In June, the Dutch government passed a resolution calling for a review of its funding to the Secretariat due to its support of BDS. The Swiss Parliament is due to vote in its Fall session following a motion signed by 41 Members of Parliament questioning its funding to the Secretariat.
According to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, “The objectives stipulated in the Norwegian agreement — promoting gender equality, good governance and democratization — are entirely disconnected to the realities of the HR/IHL framework. None of these terms applies to the activities of BDS grantees, leaving major questions regarding the Norwegian government’s decision making process and the requirement for due diligence.”
Reply to Ruby Hamad’s Don’t ask athletes to set aside politics ‘in the spirit of the Olympics’
Is there even one Palestinian in the Lebanese Olympic team?
There are few things more hypocritical than Lebanese claiming to snub Israel because of what we allegedly do to the Palestinians. If there is one country in the Middle East whose treatment of the Palestinians most closely resembles Apartheid-era South Africa it is Lebanon.
This response should have been released during the 2016 Rio Olympics but I only read Ruby Hamad’s justification for not even trying to follow de Coubertin’s ideals for the games into the second week and other projects took precedence.
In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.
Olympic Oath

Never mind, Her piece has gone viral and the same false arguments continue to rise even when thoroughly debunked.

IsraellyCool: Whatever Happened To Peyman Yarahmadi, The Crying Iranian Wrestler?
It is the video that has just now gone viral (weirdly enough, given it is part of a documentary from 2013) – a young Iranian wrestler crying after being told he might have to forfeit his next match.
Watching it, I could not help but feel sorry for the young man, who obviously just wanted to compete and do his best, yet was being told he might just have to feign injury to get out of competing against an Israeli. And of course I felt anger towards the coach and the regime, which encourages such unsportsmanlike, hateful, and cowardly behavior.
I also wondered whatever became of the young wrestler, whose name is Peyman Yarahmadi.
Interestingly enough, in May of this year, he competed in “United in the Square,” the seventh annual Beat the Streets gala wrestling competition – held in New York City’s Times Square. He was defeated by former Olympic gold medal winner Jordan Burroughs.
Which begs the question: why are the Iranians ok with competing with US athletes – even on US soil – but not Israeli athletes, given the US is supposedly the Great Satan to our Little Satan?
Perhaps institutionalized antisemitism has everything to do with it after all.

Shmuley Boteach: Israelis Seem Blind to the Seriousness of BDS
You’d think it would be obvious to Israelis that their country is being demonized around the world. You’d guess that they’d be well aware that a hypocritical United Nations is regularly condemning them while turning a blind eye to near-genocide of Arabs across the border in Syria. You’d imagine that 7 million Israelis are aware that they’re up against an onslaught of billions who are unsympathetic or hostile.
Amazingly, they’re not.
Yes, the Israeli people are deeply familiar with BDS. And yes, they know that European antisemitism has reared its ugly head yet again, just 70 years after the Holocaust, in the form of grotesque anti-Israel bias. But fighting this global onslaught is simply not a priority for the Israeli people. It’s not very high on their radar screen. After my speech, I found myself in spirited debate with my listeners, many of whom felt I was overstating the case. Israelis, in their opinion, have far bigger fish to fry, like stabilizing the security situation, creating affordable housing, reducing unemployment and growing the economy.
As an American Jew who visits Israel frequently, I can posit a number of reasons for this glaring omission.
First, for Israelis, Israel’s foremost threat is understandably not a public-relations debacle but physical annihilation. Every day, Israelis face an existential threat from potential Iranian nukes, Hezbollah terror raids, Hamas rockets and Palestinian stabbings and bombs. The last thing that’s on their mind is a couple of students out in Berkeley who want to pass a BDS motion at the student council.
Second, Israelis survive through sheer toughness and pure grit. They know they are a nation alone. They are conditioned not to give a flying damn about what people think of them. A nation of people who are proud to call themselves “Sabras,” the famous cactus fruit with its prickly exterior, is hardly going to start worrying what Socialist Worker activists in Trafalgar Square think of them.
Report: 5-Star Hotel in Rhodes Distinguishes Israelis From Other Tourists With Blue Wrist Bands
Israeli visitors are tagged differently from other guests at a five-star resort in Rhodes, Greece Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the plastic wrist bands given to guests at the Imperial Hotel – to enable them unlimited entrance to the spa and other facilities – are color-coded (in blue) only for customers from the Jewish state.
When asked about this procedure, a representative of the hotel told the network’s Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz that the colors simply identify the country of the guest’s origin. However, an investigation into the matter by the TV duo revealed that this was not the case – and that only Israelis were given a specific color to wear, while tourists from various European countries were given bracelets of all colors.
An Israeli airline adviser said he was unaware of this practice.
“When it happens and everyone keeps quiet, nothing changes,” said Yehuda Zafrani. “This story has to be told.”
Ryan Bellerose: Why I Think I’m Going To Rock As B’nai Brith Advocacy Coordinator for Western Canada
Aussie Dave: B’nai Brith Canada recently announced the appointment of Israellycool’s Ryan Bellerose to the newly created position of Advocacy Coordinator for Western Canada. Based in Calgary, Ryan has been tasked to help re-energize the B’nai Brith presence throughout Western Canada, and will regularly visit communities across Alberta and B.C.
Ryan explains why he thinks he is a good fit for this position.

I have been getting a lot of support regarding taking a position with B’nai Brith Canada, and I also received a few messages asking me “ Why B’nai Brith?” So I thought I should take a few minutes to explain my rationale.
I am kind of known for being blunt. I think the main reason that what I say resonates with people is because I don’t try to baffle them with bull – I just speak plainly and without any pretense. I know that this turns some people off, but those people are not my target audience. My audience consists of young people and people who are tired of the same boring monotone status quo and PC droidism that has taken over this space. They feel like they get enough flowery words and prefer truth unvarnished.
There is a perception that because a lot of pro-Israel people like to hear the sound of their own voice and have the very Jewish predisposition towards verbosity, somehow it is an effective way to communicate. It also very corporate and to be quite honest, tends to alienate the average person who in today’s world of soundbites and YouTube, needs a reason to pay attention. They tune people out very quickly and you can tell because of the lack of engagement. When people stop listening to important messages you have a problem.
Why gunning down cartoonists has had the desired effect
Say what you will about the rights and wrongs of machine-gunning cartoonists at their easels, it is an invigorating lesson to those creative types in their garrets contemplating a putdown or a pas de deux with the prophet. In 2016, the threat of Islamic violence sits like a ticking gargoyle on every writer's desk, on every painter's palette, and in every filmmaker's studio.
I proposed a novel to a publisher in which a sexual encounter between two Australian schoolboys, one of them a Muslim, is secretly filmed and exposed on Facebook. There follows a sort of queer/religious Montague/Capulet tale of unrest in which the deadweight of family, community, and belief bear down on a young person – and that young person either survives, or succumbs. Don't know. Haven't got to that part yet. And, anyway, it's wrong to give away the ending of a book.
Now, being neither Muslim nor gay, there is a fair amount of presumption in the task. But "presumption" is just another word for "fiction". Most bookshops have a presumption and a non-presumption section.
The publisher thought the idea was great, but … he warned we must tread carefully. He said he'd talk to his guys. This could be dangerous for booksellers. This is not an abstract issue, he said. He made it clear he wasn't saying not to do this. But he had his company to think of.
I told him literature had to be brave, or it wasn't worth the ticket, and he agreed. We both said a few things about how brave literature had to be. And we meant it, too. Still, he said, we live in strange times. And the last thing he wanted was, in three years' time, to be sitting there with his head in his hands at the news of a dead bookseller.
Clinton Foundation donor denied entry to US on terrorism claims
A Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire who donated millions to Clinton-family nonprofits was denied a visa to enter the United States last year on terrorism-related grounds, according to a new report.
Gilbert Chagoury, who donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and in 2009 pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative, was denied entry last summer amid a review of his ties in Lebanon to Hezbollah, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
The Trump campaign quickly renewed its call for a shutdown of the Clinton Foundation.
“The fact a major Clinton Foundation donor was denied entry into the US over ties to the terrorist group Hezbollah is deeply troubling, especially when this individual had access to top aides at Hillary Clinton’s State Department,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Sunday, calling for the release of Clinton’s schedules and the shutdown of the charity.
The Trump team also released a new Web ad Sunday accusing the Clinton Foundation of being a “slush fund” that “sold access to the State Department.”
“Hillary Clinton’s corruption has been exposed again,” the ad says.
Chagoury, who owns Africa’s largest construction company, had unique access to the State Department, Hillary Clinton’s e-mails revealed.
Huma Abedin’s mom linked to shocking anti-women book
As secretary of state, women’s-rights champ Hillary Clinton not only spoke at a Saudi girls school run by her top aide Huma Abedin’s ­anti-feminist mother, but Clinton invited the elder Abedin to participate in a State Department event for “leading thinkers” on women’s issues.
This happened despite ­evidence at the time that Saleha M. Abedin had explored the religious merits of sexual submissiveness, child marriage, lashings and stonings for adulterous women, and even the ­circumcision of girls.
The elder Abedin, whose daughter helps run Clinton’s presidential campaign, did take a pro-gender-equality stance on at least one issue: Muslim women’s right to participate in violent jihad alongside men.
As The Post first reported, Huma’s mom edits the Journal of Muslim Minority ­Affairs, which has suggested that America had 9/11 coming to it, because of “sanctions” and “injustices” the US allegedly imposed on the Muslim world.
The journal also opposed women’s rights as un-Islamic, arguing that “ ‘empowerment’ of women does more harm than benefit.”
But that’s not all.
In 1999, Saleha translated and edited a book titled “Women in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations,” published by the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs. Written by her Saudi colleague Fatima Naseef, the book explains that the stoning and lashing of adulterers, the killing of apostates, sexual submissiveness and even female genital mutilation are all permissible practices ­under Sharia law.
“The wife should satisfy her husband’s desire for sexual intercourse,” the book states on Page 202, even if she is not in the mood. “She has no right to abstain except for a reasonable cause or legal prohibition.”
MSM Cover-Up: President Hillary's Biggest Security Risk Is Anthony Weiner
Our thoroughly corrupt mainstream media will not tell you this, but Anthony Weiner isn't just married to a Hillary Clinton staffer, he is married to Hillary Clinton's right-hand woman, her closest aide and confidante Huma Abedin. The two are so close, Bill Clinton presided over Huma and Anthony's wedding.
And what do we have in Weiner that the MSM refuses to discuss? A massive security risk if Hillary is elected president.
After already being busted twice for sexting, it looks as though Weiner was busted yet again over the weekend, this time while sexting with his own infant baby in the photo. The fact that Weiner deleted his Twitter account this morning tells you the new sexting stories are probably true.
Weiner's recklessness is astounding. First, he sexted as a sitting Congressman. Then he sexted while running for the Mayor of New York. Now he is apparently sexting while his wife's boss is in a close race for the presidency. How do you even begin to explain this kind of pathology?
What won't this man do?
What isn’t he capable of?
Then there is the issue of blackmail, especially at the hands of a foreign government.
BREAKING: Huma Finished With Weiner
Trump bashes Clinton for calling ex-KKK member her 'mentor'
The Trump presidential campaign has attempted to make a link between Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and the Ku Klux Klan.
On Saturday evening, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump shared a tweet in which he wrote "Crooked Hilary getting desperate. On TV bashing Trump. @CNN, she forgot how she said a KKK member was her mentor."
The tweet was referring to the late Robert Byrd, a United States senator from West Virginia and one of the longest serving US senators in history. In the 1940s, Byrd was an active member in the Ku Klux Klan, even creating a local chapter of the group. However, he dropped his membership before entering politics in the early 1950s, and in later years heavily apologized for his involvement with the group.
When Byrd passed away in 2010, Clinton mourned him as a "friend and mentor."
The ‘Operational Art’ of Fighting BDS
Fortunately, fighting against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement does not require the same level of operational artistry as does organizing one giant army to kick another giant army out of Kuwait. But the multi-step planning and pre-positioning of material before the battle associated with the “operational art” does have an analog in propaganda warfare.
By way of illustration, one of the best counter-attacks of the now predictable Israel-Apartheid Weeks took place at Columbia University this Spring when a group of pro-Israel students erected a 12-foot-high inflatable Pinocchio right next to the BDS-ers “Apartheid Wall,” causing the boycotters to fly into a panic and run to the administration to get the “threatening” puppet pulled down.
As described earlier, this was a brilliant use of surprise that pushed the enemy off-balance. And now that Columbia’s experience has taught us what that enemy will do in response (i.e., demand administrative action to get an opposing displayed removed), there are different combinations of planning and logistics that can be done to take advantage of likely repeats of this scenario. For instance:
  • A pro-Israel campus group can research the official steps needed to set up their counter-display and, if appropriate, start the process of obtaining appropriate permissions. This will obviously eliminate the element of surprise we saw at Columbia, but it also gives our side the chance to mirror the exact same steps the boycotters have taken to set up their displays, restricting the choices of the powers-that-be to permitting or rejecting both displays (either of which is a victory for our side).
  • If our side chooses to repeat a surprise display, having an attorney and reporters (or, better yet, several of each) ready to challenge any attempt to take down Pinocchio (or whatever else we come up with) can tie up decision-makers long enough to ensure no action is taken until “Apartheid Week” is over. This tactic takes advantage of the generally timid nature of administrators who will do whatever they can to avoid either a lawsuit or bad press.
  • When Pinocchio came down at Columbia, the students behind that political action immediately began a “#FreePinocchio” campaign on Twitter that had some impact on campus discourse over the issue. So imagine what can happen if other groups prepare a full-on campaign along these lines in advance, papering campus with fliers, running articles and letters in the newspaper, and making sure the only subject under discussion during “Israel Apartheid Week” is how thin-skinned censors of the BDS “movement” ran to daddy to stop other people from exposing their lies.
German Public TV demonizes Israel’s water policy report, unleashes storm of criticism
ARD reporters Susanne Glass and Markus Rosch wrote on the station’s website that they could not find Israeli experts because of the “Jewish holiday.” They did not specify to what “holiday” they were referring. In any case, critics said there was no time-sensitive requirement for the report and that the journalists should have waited to secure comments from Israeli hydrology experts.
Two days after the ARD report, BILD journalist Antje Schippmann spoke with two Israeli water experts – Uri Schor, spokesman of the Israeli Water Authority, and Haim Gvirtzman of the Hebrew University’s Earth Science Institute, widely considered one of Israel’s top hydrologists. Both experts rejected Messerschmid’s assertions in the highly detailed BILD report on the politics of water in Israel and the disputed territories.
Glass and Rosch, however, defended Messerschmid, who has worked for 20 years as a hydrologist for international organizations.
Rosch and Glass cast doubt on the existence of Engelmeier’s Facebook post, which readers and journalists located on her Facebook page, and it is unclear why Rosch and Glass could not find the MP’s FB post.
German tax payers fund the ARD and its Tagesschau program, which broadcast the water report, is viewed by some 5 million people.
In a Friday article on the website of Mena- Watch alleging Rosch “demonized” Israel, the German journalist and expert in modern anti-Semitism, Alex Feuerherdt, said Rosch’s “unwillingness to research” is not merely “sloppy” journalism but “politically damage the Jewish state.”
AJC campaign urges 50 US governors to reject BDS
The American Jewish Committee has launched a program to obtain the signatures of all 50 state governors on a declaration rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and criticizing its goal of isolation instead of engaging with Israel.
The “Governors United Against BDS” petition already has the signatures of 16 governors and officials at AJC have said that they have “every confidence” that the overwhelming majority of governors will sign on.
“We, the undersigned governors, reject efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel – America’s democratic ally in the Middle East – through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” reads the declaration.
The statement says that “the goals of the BDS movement are antithetical to our values and the values of our respective states” and that the movement “seek[s] to isolate Israel – a pluralistic nation with deep cultural, familial, security, educational, scientific and commercial bonds with our state and with the United States as a whole – rather than recognize the profound mutual benefits of our engagement with it.”
At Stockholm rally, Lapid accuses Swedish FM of anti-Semitism
Appearing at a pro-Israel rally in Stockholm on Sunday, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid accused the Swedish foreign minister of anti-Semitism, for attacking Israel in a way that did not reflect the reality on the ground.
“If the Swedish foreign minister is so worried about the state of human rights in the Middle East, she should talk about the use of children as terrorists or human shields, the discrimination against the LGBT community in the Palestinian Authority, the incitement disseminated by the Palestinian Authority against Jews akin to [Nazi propaganda newspaper] ‘Der Stürmer,’ the exploitation of women in Gaza, and the human rights situation in Iran,” Lapid told the 500-strong crowd who turned out for the annual “Taking Back Zionism” rally.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom sparked a row in December last year, when she accused Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial executions” in response to a spate of attacks by knife-wielding Palestinians.
She followed this up in January with a demand for “thorough” investigations into the killing of Palestinians by the Israeli army.
In the wake of last November’s terror attacks in Paris, she also identified the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the factors explaining why “there are so many people who have become radicalized” — comments Israel called “appallingly impudent.”
StandWithUs LIVE Interview Yair Lapid
Sweden rallies to celebrate Israel and call out Antisemitism in Stockholm with the Sionistiska Federationen i Sverige.

Highlights From Omri Casspi’s Recent “Cultural Tour” in Israel
You may recall Israeli NBA basketballer Omri Casspi brought some NBA players and other sportspeople and celebrities to Israel as part of the 2nd annual Omri Casspi Foundation trip. I was all over that trip like a team all over their opponents during a full court press. Ok, maybe a half court press.
Now NBPA (The National Basketball Player’s Association) has come out with this highlights clip from the trip.
Omri Casspi x #FromThePlayers Host Israeli Cultural Tour

French doctor, 33, realizes his dream of IDF service
A 33-year-old French doctor broke the mold when he enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces four months ago. Fifteen years older than the recruits who were beginning their mandatory service with him, Dr. David Smadja was the oldest lone soldier in IDF history.
Smadja, the son of doctors living in Paris, completed his medical studies in France and made aliyah less than two years ago, aged 31. He studied Hebrew in an ulpan, an intensive Hebrew language program, before joining the IDF.
After completing basic training, he continued on to a course in military emergency medicine, and began working as a doctor in the Givati Brigade's Shaked Battalion on Sunday.
"I studied medicine for 11 years in France, including completing a residency as an eye doctor in the U.S. and Paris," said Smadja, who has two brothers, one also a doctor and the other a tour guide in Israel.
"The decision to make aliyah and serve in the army came to me over 10 years ago, when my brother, who is two years older than me, came to Israel and served as a lone soldier in the Paratroopers' Special Forces. My parents and I visited my brother in Israel many times. I was impressed with the country and the army, and I decided that I also wanted to go for it," he said.
Government ministry appoints first Arab legal advisor
A Christian Arab has been nominated to become the legal advisor to the Ministry of Development in the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, making him the first Arab ever to occupy the position of a legal advisor in a government office.
Maron Halifah, a 34-year-old resident of Haifa, began his career in 2005 under then Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. He then moved to the President’s Residence where he served as deputy legal advisor and in 2009 returned to his former position which later evolved into the aforementioned office under the leadership of Silvan Shalom.
Three years ago Halifah switched positions once again and became the legal advisor in the northern district to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services before taking on his new post.
“This is a pride which has broken a kind of glass ceiling for the first time,” Halifah commented. “I hope that this will open the way for others to reach the top and shatter the conventions. I feel at home in the office and everyone is like one big family. It is fun to be here and to work for residents of the periphery.”
Halifah added that for him, working for the state was second nature and was a goal which had been instilled into him from a young age.
Number of Arab teachers in Jewish schools rises by 40%
The number of Israeli Arab teachers working in Jewish state schools has increased by 40% in recent years to reach 588 in the last school year, up from 420 just three years ago, the Walla news website reported Monday.
The jump is the result of an Education Ministry program to integrate Arab teachers of English, mathematics and science, among other subjects, into Jewish schools, reducing the surplus of teachers in the Arab sector and promoting coexistence.
The program, launched in 2013, is run jointly by the Education Ministry's Teaching Personnel Department and the Merchavim Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel.
According to Education Ministry figures, the school subjects with the biggest jump -- 76% -- in the number of Arab teachers are English, math and science. The number of Arab teachers instructing Arabic language classes at state schools also increased by 40% from 2013 to 2016.
In first, short story on Ethiopian Jewry added to national literature curriculum
In a first, the new literature curriculum in Israeli schools for the upcoming school year will include an award-winning short story by an Ethiopian-Israeli author, as part of a set of education reforms to the school program recommended by the Biton Committee.
The committee, which submitted its recommendations to Education Minister Naftali Bennett in July, was tasked with determining ways to balance Israel’s educational curricula to include greater emphasis on the story of Jews from Muslim lands and Jews from Ethiopia. For decades, the curricula have been criticized for an allegedly biased emphasis on European, or Ashkenazi, Jewish history, to the neglect of Jews from other traditions and cultures.
The short story — through it’s the tale of an elderly couple making their way to Israel and the many difficulties they face along the way and once they arrive — is essentially the story of thousands of Jews who made the journey from Ethiopia to Israel
Written by Germaw Mengistu, an Ethiopian-born Jew who came to Israel in 1991, “A Dream at the Price of Honor” (Hebrew link) will be taught in Israeli junior high schools and high schools starting next month.
Israeli Olympic medalist raises over $50,000 for charity in eBay auction
Israeli Olympic bronze medalist, judoka Yarden Gerbi, has auctioned off her name patch from the recent games in Rio for a whopping $52,100.
The winning bid was placed by a so-far unidentified bidder on Sunday before the online auction closed on Monday.
In total, 87 bids were placed by 22 bidders for the Israeli athlete's name patch with an autographed dedication.
Gerbi, who won a bronze medal in the women’s 63-kg judo competition at the Rio Olympics said she will donate the proceeds of the auction to charity.

The proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to be used to purchase medical equipment, Gerbi said in her description on the auction website.
Israeli directors win MTV award for Coldplay music video
The Israeli directors of a popular music video for British rock band Coldplay’s song “Up&Up” won an MTV Video Music award for best visual effects on Sunday night in New York.
Israel natives Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia were also nominated in the category of “best direction,” but fell short to Melina Matsoukas, the director of pop sensation Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video.
The “Up&Up” video, released in May, was the third single released from Coldplay’s new album, titled A Head Full of Dreams.
Heymann and Muggia’s production featured a unique interpretation of the whimsical, from a digital perspective, and includes the juxtaposition of everyday objects and environments and situations unnatural to them: Paratroopers are captured diving into a bowl of pasta rather than the earth below, a stingray floats above a sea of surfers, a dryer contains the depths of the sea, a volcano spews popcorn rather than lava and the Empire State Building stands tall in a cereal bowl. It is bizarre, unique and beautiful.
Musicians rally in memory of pride parade stabbing victim
A year after 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered at the 2015 Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, her parents have announced the establishment of a new organization dedicated to educating the public about tolerance.
The organization, "Shira Banki's Path," will hold lectures, classes and a series of podcasts about historical figures who fought for the inclusion of others.
A Headstart crowdfunding campaign has been launched to finance the organization's educational programming.
A number of prominent Israeli musicians have contributed to the campaign in a show of support, many of them offering tickets to their concerts. Among the artists who have contributed are journalist and playwright Yehonatan Geffen, rocker Yehuda Poliker, hip hop group Hadag Nahash, and singers Shlomi Shaban, Efrat Gosh, Nadav Abukasis, Rona Kenan, Danni Bassan, Aya Korem.
Gene Wilder, beloved for his epic comedy roles, dies at 83
Gene Wilder, the frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers” and the deranged animator of “Young Frankenstein,” has died. He was 83.
Wilder’s nephew said Monday that the actor and writer died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement that Wilder was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, but kept the condition private so as not to disappoint fans.
“He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” Walker-Pearlman said.
Wilder started his acting career on the stage, but millions knew him from his work in the movies, especially his collaborations with Mel Brooks on “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.” The last film — with Wilder playing a California-born descendant of the mad scientist, insisting that his name is pronounced “Frahn-ken-SHTEEN” — was co-written by Brooks and Wilder.
“One of the truly great talents of our time,” Mel Brooks tweeted. “He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.”

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