Saturday, June 03, 2023

06/03 Links: Troops killed along Egypt border named: Ohad Dahan, Lia Ben Nun, Ori Yitzhak Iluz; Hamas denounces UNRWA for ‘bowing’ to US pressure to renew funding

From Ian:

Three IDF soldiers killed in shootings carried out by Egyptian policeman
Two IDF soldiers were shot and killed in a security incident on the Israeli-Egyptian border early on Saturday morning, the IDF confirmed early on Saturday afternoon.

An additional third soldier was killed by the same terrorist several hours later in an exchange of fire.

The soldiers were identified as Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun, St.-Sgt. Uri Itzhak Ilouz and St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan.

Ben-Nun and Ilouz were found lifeless at an IDF guard post sometime after 6 a.m. by members of their team who had been sent to check on their wellbeing after they failed to respond to their radios, an initial investigation has shown.

Following the discovery of their bodies, additional reinforcements arrived and a search operation was carried out in order to locate the perpetrator, who was believed to have infiltrated Israel from across the border at some point during the night.

The terrorist was later confirmed by the IDF to be an Egyptian police officer. The IDF added that it and the Egyptian military were conducting a thorough investigation.

Shortly after midday on Saturday, the IDF confirmed an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and the terrorist, who was killed in the exchange.

During the operation, Dahan was shot and killed, and an additional soldier was lightly injured. The injured soldier was hit in his hand by shrapnel but was released from the hospital in the late afternoon.

The Egyptian army later said in a statement that he was chasing drug smugglers, adding that "during the chase, the security man was involved in an exchange of fire that caused the deaths of three Israeli soldiers."

They did not add how the police officer ended up in a shootout with IDF soldiers when he should have been chasing drug smugglers.
Netanyahu Vows Inquiry Will Get to Bottom of ‘Anomalous’ Egypt Border Attack
The joint Israeli-Egyptian inquiry into the cross-border attack that saw a Egyptian policeman kill three Israeli soldiers will get to the bottom of the tragic and “anomalous” incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.

The Israeli leader conveyed condolences to victims’ families and praised Israel Defense Forces troops for the swift action in eliminating the terrorist.
Troops killed along Egypt border named: Ohad Dahan, Lia Ben Nun, Ori Yitzhak Iluz
The three Israeli soldiers killed by an Egyptian policeman in attacks on the border on Saturday morning were named by the Israel Defense Forces as Staff Sgt. Ohad Dahan, Sgt. Lia Ben Nun, and Staff Sgt. Ori Yitzhak Iluz.

Dahan, 20, from the southern city of Ofakim, Ben Nun, 19, from the central city of Rishon Lezion, and Iluz, 20, from the northern city of Safed, all served as combat soldiers in the Bardelas Battalion.

They were posthumously promoted from the ranks of sergeant to staff sergeant and corporal to sergeant, respectively.

There are five mixed-gender infantry units within the IDF’s Border Defense Corps, which is responsible for defending Israel’s borders with Jordan, Egypt, as well as the West Bank security barrier. The Bardelas Battalion is tasked with the Egyptian border.

The circumstances of the incidents on Saturday, which occurred between Mount Sagi and Mount Harif in the Negev desert, were under investigation by the military, including how the gunman, an Egyptian policeman, managed to infiltrate Israel from Egypt and remain undetected for several hours before and after the initial attack.

According to IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, Ben Nun and Iluz began a 12-hour shift together at 9 p.m. on Friday night at a military post on the Egyptian border. After the soldiers did not answer calls on the radio on Saturday morning, an officer reached the scene and discovered the pair dead in separate areas of the post. Hagari said the IDF believed they were killed at around 6 or 7 a.m.

Several hours later, shortly before noon, the Egyptian policeman attacked troops who were scanning the area. During the clash, Dahan was killed and a non-commissioned officer was lightly wounded. The gunman was killed several minutes later by another group of soldiers, according to the military.

The IDF was investigating how and when the Egyptian attacker infiltrated into Israel, how he was not detected for several hours, and what the military could have done to prevent the deaths of the three soldiers.

Phyllis Chesler: Women who fan the flames of hatred
Have you noticed how many of Israel’s loudest defamers are women? And women from cultures or families that have either forced them to or rewarded them for wearing hijab? (And here I include the Western academic and media world, which has increasingly upheld a politically correct version of Sharia law).

I am thinking of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), political activist Linda Sarsour and Fatima Mousa Mohammed, who delivered a hate-filled, anti-Israel speech at the May 12 graduation ceremony at CUNY Law School.

What these three women have in common is how they’ve used the word “Palestine” as an insurrectionary soundbite in order to climb up the greasy academic, political and media poles. Bare-headed women, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Professor Lara Sheehi at George Washington University are similarly fanatical and strategic about their use of Palestine as a symbolic bludgeon to bash Israel, Jews, capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, racism, the police, etc. Some of these women also curse nonstop; dare I say, even more than the proverbial sailor.

I find it curious that such defenders of All that is Right and Good rarely condemn sexism, either in the West or in “Palestine;” nor do they try to boycott those countries in which forced child marriage; forced marriage to a first cousin; forced pregnancies; honor killing, polygamy; and FGM are pandemic. As yet, none of these women are denouncing or trying to influence American government policy vis à vis the way in which the most heroic Muslim women are being jailed by Muslim governments, sometimes for decades for their dissident writings on social media; for allowing their hijab to slip; or for risking their lives in order to attend school.

None dare describe Muslim countries as the greatest practitioners of both religious and gender apartheid. Like so many others, these Western-educated Arab, Muslim or Druze women, who live safely in the United States, only accuse Israel of the crimes that their own people are committing. Psychologically, this is called “projection.”

Many white leftists, including feminists and lesbian feminists, are also riding the Palestine train to glory. Is this simply conformism to a “woke” post-colonial version of Marxism or, since they themselves claim discrimination, is this an attempt to elevate their victim status by identifying with the most sacred victim of the moment—Palestinian Arabs who are allegedly oppressed by Israeli Nazis? Is this also a way of gaining approval from those who might otherwise dislike or even persecute them?
Biden's haphazard approach reigns supreme: From Iran to combatting antisemitism
Biden's passive approach on the issues of both antisemitism and Saudi Arabia is very reminiscent of his approach to Iran. Everything seems to indicate that Biden is not going to take action. Although he has stated hundreds of times that he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, now on his watch Tehran is closer to the bomb than ever before.

Additionally, the US Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley made a disturbing statement in Congress that the "United States remains committed, as a matter of policy, that Iran will not have a fielded, nuclear weapon." It is okay for Iran to develop the weapons but not deploy them. This statement should set off alarm bells in Israel, and make it clear that just like on the issue of antisemitism, Biden may want to take action but cannot.

In fact, those who follow US news know that Biden never goes all the way. Regarding the war in Ukraine, the effort to stop illegal immigration to the US, or even this week when he let the Republican speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, call the shots on raising the debt ceiling. As a skilled politician, he mediates between hawkish groups and maneuvers between pressures; however, unconventional decisions have not been a hallmark of his presidency.

"On both issues (the war on antisemitism and the Iranian challenge), there is a struggle between two different camps within the administration – center-Left and far-Left," says Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in the US and a former senior official in the Trump administration.

"Those who push for the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism or a tougher stance towards Iran are pushed back by those who oppose the IHRA and support a worse deal with Iran. That is why in both cases it ends up with such a mixed policy, full of contrasts and internal contradictions," explains Goldberg.

What is clear is that someone who is not able to go all the way and stay true to their inner convictions regarding relatively simple issues such as antisemitism however committed he may be, will certainly not go all the way on monumental struggles, when the establishment opposes the decision and the political party is rebelling.

It's a shame to live in a fantasy world. There is no chance of peace with Saudi Arabia during Biden's current term. Unfortunately, regarding Iran, we do not have the luxury of waiting until January 2025.
Hamas denounces UNRWA for ‘bowing’ to US pressure to renew funding
Hamas on Saturday denounced the decision by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to renew a framework agreement for the year 2023-2024 with the US.

Hamas called on UNRWA to immediately retract the agreement and “provide all political and legal support to Palestinian refugees.”

The Framework for Cooperation was signed last week during a virtual signing ceremony. It reaffirms the US commitment to support UNRWA, its mandate, and the rights of Palestinian refugees and establishes shared goals and priorities.

The agreement sets forth understandings between UNRWA and the US. It includes multiple specific commitments to advance UNRWA’s ability to deliver effective and efficient aid to Palestinian refugees through strengthened accountability, transparency, and consistency with UN principles, including neutrality.

According to the agreement, the US and UNRWA share concerns about the threat of terrorism, including within the context of the UN’s firm commitment to counter-terrorism. It stipulates that “no contributions by the US shall be made to UNRWA except on the condition that [UNRWA] take all possible measures to assure that no part of the US contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training …or who has engaged in any act of terrorism.”

On Friday, the US announced a contribution of $153.7 million to UNRWA in support of humanitarian assistance, human development, and protection of Palestinian refugees,” according to a statement by UNRWA.
CUNY law-school’s hate-filled BDS proponent prompt letter to IRS
Inspired by the heavily condemned 12-minute commencement speech by City University of New York (CUNY) law-school graduate Fatima Mohammed and support for the anti-Israel BDS movement, the National Jewish Advocacy Center (NJAC) and the International Legal Forum (ILF) have called for federal scrutiny into the CUNY School of Law.

Mark Goldfeder, director of the NJAC, and Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of ILF, sent a letter on June 2 to Daniel Werfel, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service urging action.

“While the CUNY Board of Trustees and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez have denounced the ‘hate speech’ in Ms. Mohammed’s address and deemed it ‘unacceptable,’ we find their response to be not only late but also grossly inadequate.” they wrote. “This is particularly troubling considering CUNY’s well-documented history of antisemitism and its failure to take any meaningful action in response.”

The letter notes that CUNY’s law-school faculty council endorsed a BDS resolution in May 2022 and describes the school as “a staging ground for the systematic promotion of BDS activities, and anti-Zionist and antisemitic bias on campus, all of which are the opposite of ‘educational,’ as well as clear violations of New York state law and federal policy.”
Israel Advocacy Movement: Jews debate Palestinian Islamic Jihad

EXCLUSIVE: Jonathan Pollard tells all
In this week’s “Wine with Adam,” host and CEO of Israel Innovation Fund Adam Scott Bellos is joined by ex-spy Jonathan Pollard in an exclusive tell-all interview.

Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for giving highly confidential security documents to the Israelis while working for U.S. Naval Intelligence. The length of this sentence had long been protested as too harsh, and in 2015, Jonathan was allowed to go free after 35 years in prison. Five years later, Pollard and his wife, Esther, made aliyah. She died on Jan. 31, 2022, due to complications from COVID-19.

The discussion takes place over a glass of Kabir Winery’s Merlot.

Dual loyalty
Bellos questioned Pollard about the damage he did to the American Jewish community in making them suspect of having more loyalty to Israel than to America. Answering defiantly, Pollard said, “I don’t give a damn,” and shot back that American Jews should have condemned the American government at the time for scapegoating them for his personal sins. According to Pollard, he represented the American Jewish establishment’s “worse nightmare” in that he had shown that the US/Israel “special” relationship was not as it seemed.

Special relationship?
Maintaining his claim that he gave crucial security information to the Israelis that the Americans were withholding, he said that his case and circumstances showed that there are forces within the U.S. government that seek to harm Israel and do not have its best interests at heart.

The Israel Guys: The Two State Solution is Dead | HERE IS WHY
After discovering an extremely dubious article on CNN, Ben breaks down exactly why this article about a “Peaceful Palestinian City” is so purposely misleading. Ben also breaks down exactly why the “Two-State Solution” is virtually dead in modern times. You might be surprised at how simple it actually is!

Qanta Ahmed: An Endgame for Iran: A Saudi-Style Revolution from Above
Recently, I shared my thoughts about the parallels between Saudi Arabia and Iran with a Los Angeles-based Iranian activist I know. After listening to my hopeful scenarios of possible Saudi-like reforms in Iran, he sounded a cautionary note: “We had eighty years of liberal reforms in Iran, but the extremists were always there.… They had never gone away.” He urged me to read about Reza Shah Pahlavi, the first leader of the Imperial State of Iran, who was succeeded by his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah ousted in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Born Reza Khan, the first shah was an officer in Iran’s Cossack Brigade when he and his supporters seized power in 1921. Over the next two decades, he instituted ambitious infrastructure programs and sweeping educational, military, and economic reforms, building the foundation for the modern Iranian state. Much like Saudi Arabia’s recent rulers, Reza Shah sought to rouse the country’s national identity as a way of bridging its numerous tribal, ethnic, and provincial divisions. And like King Salman and MBS, he pursued policies of pluralism and openness. He reformed the judiciary along the lines of France’s multi-tiered secular system. He expanded schooling for both boys and girls. And he marginalized the reactionary clergy, surrounding himself instead with forward-thinking advisors—many trained at Western institutions.

However, Reza Shah’s reform agenda faltered as his rule became increasingly autocratic. His regime tightly controlled the press, maintaining a state monopoly on radio broadcasting to push its propaganda. It rigged elections for the shah’s favored candidates and imprisoned would-be challengers. During World War II, the Allied Powers grew impatient with Reza Shah’s corrupt and ineffectual regime and forced him to abdicate. His son succeeded him, but by then, a reactionary tide was forming. As the historian Shaul Bakhash writes in The Fall of Reza Shah, the first shah had not yet secured the “institutions, political practices, and habits of mind” that could have carried Iran toward a lasting democratic pluralism. Crucially, Reza Shah’s top-down approach in transforming Iranian society had meant that there was a lack of grassroots support for his reforms. The fundamentalists reemerged and rolled back decades of liberalization.

Could the same thing happen in Saudi Arabia? I’ve thought about that a great deal since learning more about the reversals of Iran’s own reforms. I can’t help but think, too, of the documentary images I’ve seen of a dazzling Kabul in the time before war and fundamentalist rule, or Latif Al Ani’s poignant photographs of a cosmopolitan Baghdad in the time before autocracy and anarchy. Cynics would say that the scenes I witnessed in Riyadh are just a brief interlude before another descent into puritanism. Perhaps Iran will be the model for Saudi Arabia rather than the reverse. Perhaps the “oil for security” bargain that has tied together the kingdom and the United States for eight decades will unravel, and without sufficient pressure not to be a “pariah,” Saudi Arabia will return to its theocratic past.

I do not share this view. The reforms are just too deeply woven into the social, political, legal, and economic fabric of the new Saudi Arabia. When it comes to the liberalization of recent years, the kingdom is all in. That said, I see how Saudi Arabia is adapting to new geopolitical realities. The United States is experiencing an unprecedented contraction in global influence, and Saudi Arabia is nimbly pivoting eastwards, with a nod to the emerging multipolar world order. China has avidly courted Saudi Arabia, recognizing it as a central player in the region, and Saudi Arabia, in turn, no longer views itself as dependent on the protection of a sole superpower. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll of 13 Muslim-majority nations found that Saudi Arabia’s leadership has a substantially higher approval rating than Iran’s (39 percent versus 14 percent). Much of the Muslim world apparently prefers governments that prioritize individual freedom and economic stability, both of which are necessary for self-actualization.

For all these reasons, I am hopeful about the staying power of Saudi Arabia’s reforms and the long-term prospects for democracy in Iran. And I am optimistic, too, about the future of Islam. Over these last two decades, I have made it my personal mission to understand violent extremism and learn how to combat it. My efforts have taken me across four continents to meet victims of genocide and talk to rehabilitated jihadists and the professionals who work with them. In New York, I continue to work with survivors of the September 11 terrorist attacks at my NYU Langone office, where we treat the long-term sleep disorders they have suffered ever since the horror of that day. Across my work in medicine and activism, my faith has always inspired me to reject extremism and violence and embrace freedom and compassion.

My belief is that this face of Islam—the true Islam—will eventually gain ground in countries like Iran, as it has in Saudi Arabia. The fanaticism that animates the Iranian theocrats who execute, maim, and silence their opposition needs to be pushed aside, and sooner or later leaders will rise up to do just that. Iran’s street protests may have been stifled for now, but sooner or later new voices will rise up to continue them. Let us hope that when they do, all the pieces will be in place to put an end to Iran’s fundamentalism, bloodlessly and decisively.
The Anti-Western Nuclear Club: North Korea, China, Russia and Iran Dangerously Target the West
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered this January that his country carry out "exponential" expansion of its nuclear arsenal and the manufacturing of a more powerful ICBM.

"Today, China, Russia, North Korea and Iran continue to invest in technologies to expand their capabilities to hit the United States with nuclear weapons. All four countries have also escalated their threatening rhetoric, indicating their willingness to use nuclear weapons in a military conflict. By expanding their nuclear programs, each has made clear that our nuclear arsenal is no longer a deterrent to their potential use of nuclear weapons.." — Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Fox News, May 4, 2023.

Russia is most likely helping Iran to boost its nuclear program in exchange for the weapons that the Islamic Republic is supplying to Russia for use against Ukraine.

The headline of a report by Iran's state-controlled Afkar News read: "American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs". The report boasted: "The same type of ballistic missile technology used to launch the satellite could carry nuclear, chemical or even biological weapons to wipe Israel off the map, hit US bases and allies in the region and US facilities, and target NATO even in the far west of Europe...."

"After 9/11, the George W. Bush administration revived missile defense.... In 2009, the Obama administration scrapped this plan. Then it canceled key parts of its own plan, leaving the U.S. and Europe vulnerable to an array of threats and potential nuclear coercion by adversaries." — Rep. Mike Turner, Fox News, May 4, 2023.

"[T]he Biden administration has shown a lack of foresight. In its 2021 Missile Defense Review, President Biden ignored our defense industrial base supply chain issues..." — Rep. Mike Turner, Fox News, May 4, 2023.

Unfortunately, through its failure to take on the Free World's adversaries in a serious, credible way, the Biden Administration has been empowering tyrants and rogues states, at the forefront: North Korea, Russia, China and Iran.
Seth Frantzman: Iran pushes for naval alliance in Indian ocean, claims Gulf countries may participate
Iran is hoping to bring Saudi Arabia and other countries into a naval alliance in the Indian Ocean, in what appears to be an Iranian attempt to encourage US partners to also work with Iran.

Iran has previously worked with China and Russia but its new initiative may try to capitalize on reports of the UAE leaving the US-led Combined Maritime Forces.

Iranian pro-regime media said that “a number of regional countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, are going to form a new naval coalition in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said.”

The Iranian idea is to work with navies that operate in the “littoral” maritime areas of the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Iran wants collective cooperation and has pitched this before to India and Oman, whose sultan recently visited Iran.

In addition, a report said US officials recently met in Oman to discuss Iran and that the US may be keen on trying to come to a kind of diplomatic compromise with Iran.

“In comments at a televised program on Friday night, the Iranian Navy commander said nearly all littoral countries located in the northern areas of the Indian Ocean have come to the conclusion that they need to stand by Iran and work in collective cooperation to ensure security. He noted that while Iran and Oman have held several joint naval drills in the past, other countries are now eager for collective naval cooperation, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan and India,” the Iranian regime media Tasnim reports.

“Today, the regional countries have realized that establishment of security in the region requires synergy and cooperation,” the Iranian naval commander said.

Jonathan Tobin: Why RFK Jr. flunked the Rogers Waters test
Let’s start by noting the irony of Kennedy’s support for someone who is as dedicated to the destruction of Israel and to defaming the Jewish people as Waters. His father was, after all, murdered by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian Arab who claimed that his crime was revenge for Bobby Kennedy’s support for the State of Israel. Though, ignoring all the evidence, RFK Jr. doesn’t believe Sirhan killed his father and wants him freed, a bizarre stand that may, at least in part, help to explain his willingness to embrace Waters.

The timing of the tweet was also appalling.

It came just as Waters was being assailed by critics for a performance in Germany, of all places, where he added images of Anne Frank and dressed in a black costume with red armbands that while reminiscent of his “The Wall” days looked very much like an SS uniform. The Pink Floyd star has long been known for peddling conspiracies involving fictional Israeli crimes against humanity and his hostility to Jews, even as he denies being an antisemite. Not to mention employing antisemitic imagery in his past shows, such as flying a pig balloon with a Star of David.

But his new tour, launched in Berlin, in which he compares Frank to Palestinians allegedly killed by Israel and fires a fake gun, made headlines around the world and caused a new round of denunciations for his offensive conduct. It also generated an investigation from German authorities since in that country any use of Nazi imagery is against the law.

So for Kennedy to tweet what he did was shocking. He wrote: “Roger You are the global hero Orwell had in mind when he said, ‘In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act’ The high priests of the totalitarian orthodoxies are trying to silence you with censorship, gaslighting and defamation. Please keep speaking truth to power!”

After he came under fire for this astonishing whitewash of a flamboyant Jew-hater, Kennedy backtracked, writing: “In my remarks about Roger Waters, I was referring to his dissent on COVID and the war in Ukraine. I have only recently learned about some of his other views, which I do not share.” He then added, “I support Israel’s right to exist within secure borders and I also support the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.”

His apology lacked credibility.

To assert being a fan of Waters’ music and still claim ignorance about the musician’s political views is a stretch. To say you know about his views on COVID and Ukraine, but not about his years of anti-Israel smears, doesn’t pass the smell test.

The problem this reveals is that while some aspects of Kennedy’s agenda are resonating with American voters, he is still someone with strong ties to the far left, where hatred for Israel is normative.

June 4 is third annual Holocaust Survivor Day
Three years ago, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Krakow, Poland, launched Holocaust Survivor Day, a June 4 celebration that has since spread worldwide.

“Survivors are our treasure and our heroes, living reminders of the strength of the Jewish spirit to rise above evil and maintain its humanity,” said Jonathan Ornstein, executive director of JCC Krakow.

The Jewish Federations of North America, World Zionist Organization and more than 60 other Jewish organizations are now a part of the celebration—amid many that commemorate those whose lives were lost in the Holocaust—of the myriad contributions of those who survived.

Events will take place globally, including in the United States, Israel, Europe and Australia.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams will recognize the day this weekend, hosting 40 survivors at an event at Gracie Mansion. Other observations in the United States have been coordinated by Kavod Shef (“Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund”) and the Seed the Dream Foundation.

“As we mark Holocaust Survivor Day, we must honor and support survivors who are still here among us. They are our heroes. They are our teachers. They are our inspiration,” said Marcy Gringlas, president and co-founder of Seed the Dream.
Inspired by ‘Hamilton,’ diverse docudrama based on survivor testimony is touring US
Almanya Narula, Nyani Totty and Sheer Aviram in the West Coast production of playwright Wendy Kout's 'Survivors,' May 2023 (Photo: Katherine Kohl)

A few days after playwright Wendy Kout was asked to create a play about Holocaust survivors, white supremacists took to the streets of Charlottesville with chants against Jews and immigrants.

“Those tiki torches lit a fire under me,” Kout told The Times of Israel. “That’s when the urgency of this play was fully underscored.”

Wanting audiences to connect with the Holocaust through eyewitness testimony, Kout wrote “Survivors,” a docudrama commissioned by CenterStage of Rochester, New York. Since 2017, the play has toured North America with a new cast for each region.

“The survivors in the play are warning us,” said Kout, a veteran TV writer who co-produced the “Survivors” West Coast tour.

In early May, the company performed at Adat Ari El, a progressive Conservative congregation in Los Angeles. The audience of 250 included community leaders and students who’d recently participated in March of the Living.

The West Coast “Survivors” cast, said Kout, is unlike previous casts.

“This is a diverse cast of various backgrounds and various races,” said Kout, who was inspired by the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton.”

In just one hour of stage time, Kout’s survivors touch on many turning points in the timeline of the Holocaust, including the Nazi racial laws, Kristallnacht, and the Kindertransport rescue. Photographs of those events are projected behind the actors, adding to the play’s authenticity.

“We chart history through these personal accounts,” said Kout. “This helps people experience history in the most human way, and that is through the heart.”

Guns N’ Roses: Hard rock legends reunited and back in Israel
Some 35 years after bursting onto the rock music scene with a shot of snarling adrenaline, the jungle isn’t quite so ominous in the Guns N’ Roses universe.

The core band of singer Axl Rose, 62, guitarist Slash, 58, and bassist Duff McKagan, 60 are no longer the volatile kids causing a sensation on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, but instead have evolved into consummate showmen and entertainers.

When they walk out onto the stage at the expansive Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv on June 5, joined by longtime members, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, and keyboardist Melissa Reese, there won’t be any sense of danger or unpredictability. It will be a well-oiled machine that has been rumbling now for some six years, since Slash and McKagan rejoined the fold after over 20 years of estrangement from Rose.

But that doesn’t mean the show will be any less incendiary than Guns N’ Roses’ three previous appearances in Israel – in 1993 near the end of their first run of fame, in 2012, when Rose brought a group of replacement players to the country and in 2017, soon after the core trio’s reunion, but minus original drummer Steven Adler and guitarist Izzy Stradlin.

The band’s world tour began on Thursday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, and following the Tel Aviv show next week, they continue on to stadiums in Europe before heading back to do the same in the US. What all the fans want to hear wherever they see the band are the string of classic rockers and ballads – from “Sweet Child O’ Mine” to “November Rain,” complete with Rose’s trademark wail and Slash’s guitar histrionics.
Israel into U20 men’s World Cup semis with sensational win over Brazil
Israel registers extra-time victory against the giants of world soccer

Israel’s national Under-20 soccer team continued its improbable World Cup run late on Saturday with a sensational 3:2 extra-time victory over Brazil.

The shock result was celebrated by Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, who to to Twitter to hail the "titanic victory."

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