I Am A Jerusalemite

Stanley Goldfoot, the founder and editor of The Times of Israel, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At age 18, he packed a bag and moved to Palestine. The British police sent him back to South Africa, where he was drafted into the army.

Mr. Goldfoot returned to Tel Aviv. He worked as a journalist and participated in activities in opposition to the British Mandatory Power. He officially made aliyah to Israel in 1956. On November 24, 2006, he passed away at the age of 92.

In 1969, Mr. Goldfoot published his controversial Letter to the World from Jerusalem in the first issue of The Times of Israel. However, the Letter remains as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. (The entire text is printed at Israpundit.)

Aish.com has produced this poignant film from Mr. Goldfoot’s words:

See Also:
A JEWISH HERO IN OUR TIME

Advertisements

Cannes Snubs Ken Loach

The headline of a May 25, 2009, BBC News report about the Cannes Film Festival is: Violence dominates at Cannes. The article makes note that the award-winning films this year graphically portray rape, torture and gore. In fact Charlotte Gainsbourg won the prize for best actress for her role in Danish director Lars von Trier’s Antichrist. In that film, there is an explicit portrayal of genital mutilation. It is reported that the shocking scene will be excised prior to the movie’s commercial release.

One movie snubbed by the jurors is Looking for Eric by British director Ken Loach. Mr. Loach is a pro-Palestinian activist who recently called for the boycott of the Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland because of a grant from the Israeli Embassy. The festival organizers returned the money to the Israelis. The grant money was to be used to defray the travel expenses of Israeli film director Tali Shalom-Ezer.

Mr. Loach has defended anti-Semitism as “not surprising” and “understandable.” Ms. Shalom-Ezer accused Mr. Loach of “racism.”

Generalizing all citizens of Israel as warmongers and racists is racism and outrageous, and as members of the peace camp we are personally hurt by it,” said Ms. Shalom-Ezer.

Ron Prosor, the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, said, “Rather than encourage an open dialogue through cultural exchange, the festival is promoting bigotry by denying the British public the opportunity to hear all points of view.”

See Also:
Edinburgh Film Festival Snubs Israeli Grant [Art2u Art.Right.; May 22, 2009]
UK festival rejects Israeli funding after pro-Palestinian pressure [Jerusalem Post; May 21, 2009]

Memorial Day Reflections

Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
President Harry Truman

A highlight of my recent visit to Washington DC was seeing the War Memorials on the National Mall. I took photographs one morning in early May 2009:

Vietnam War

Vietnam War Reflections

Vietnam War Reflections

The power of the Wall is in the reflections of the living superimposed upon the names of the dead heroes.

Reflections on the Vietnam War Memorial

Reflections on the Wall

Thank you.

Thank you.

Korean War

Korean War Reflections

Korean War Reflections

Korean War Soldier

Korean War Soldier

Gratitude and Remembrance

Gratitude and Remembrance

World War II

Three tour buses had pulled up at the World War II Memorial just before I arrived at the site. Elderly war veterans disembarked one by one. Many were in wheel chairs. A tall man, in his eighties, wearing a cap embroidered with the words “Top Gun,” sat down on a ledge and quietly wept.

World War II Veterans

World War II Veterans

World War II Reflecting Pool

World War II Reflecting Pool

Undying Gratitude

Undying Gratitude

Edinburgh Film Festival Snubs Israeli Grant

A £300 grant from the Israeli embassy was returned by the Endinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in response to pressure from prominent anti-Israel British film director Ken Loach, who urged “all who might consider visiting the festival to show their support for the Palestinian nation and stay away.” The grant was to be used to pay the travel expenses from Israel to Scotland for Tali Shalom-Ezer, a graduate of Tel Aviv University, whose film is scheduled to be screened at the event.

“By banning the Israeli Embassy from supporting a filmmaker, the festival is helping to exclude Israelis from British cultural life, something that is clearly unfair,” said Lord Janner of Braunstone, a Labour party member of the House of Lords. Lord Janner is the former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of British Jewry. He is also the Founder and President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council and the Inter-Parliamentary Council Against Antisemitism.

Sir Jeremy Isaacs, former CEO of Channel Four, said, “I have admired the Edinburgh International Film Festival for many years and would like to think that this appalling decision will be rescinded.”

When the United Arab Emirates refused a visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer, preventing her participation in Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, the Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon took a stand and refused to broadcast the event. “This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong,” he said. “Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion. They are simply about talent. This is a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the state of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision.”

While movies often have political themes, Ms. Shalom-Ezer’s film, Surrogate, does not. It is a romance set in a sex clinic. Like Mr. Solomon, the board members of the EIFF should have taken a position against a bullying manifestation of bigotry.

At least they are making a proper gesture. A spokesman for the EIFF said that the festival will pay Ms. Shalom-Ezer’s travel expenses.

See Also:
The Edinburgh Bigotry Festival [Spectator.co.uk; Melanie Phillips; May 21, 2009]
Edinburgh film festival bows to pressure from Ken Loach over Israeli boycott [Times Online; May 20, 2009]

Buffy Babies

Actress Michelle Trachtenberg played little sister Dawn on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role. Ms. Gellar and husband Freddie Prinze, Jr. have been married for six years. The couple is expecting their first child in the fall, and Ms. Trachtenberg had something to say about it:

I’m so very happy for her and Freddie. She’s going to be an extraordinary mom. Good people make great parents.”

Buffy co-stars Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof met on the set of the show and have been married for six years. Their first child, a girl named Satyana, was born in Los Angeles on March 24, 2009.

See Also:
Michelle Trachtenberg Says Sarah Michelle Gellar Will Be Extraordinary Mom [People; May 17, 2009]

AlfonZo Rachel, Toilet Economics & the Success of Failure

AlfonZo Rachel is the founder of Macho Sauce Productions. He was born on Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana in 1972, but has lived in Southern California most of his life. A musician and martial artist, Mr. Rachel is a self-described Christian conservative republican. In his Zonation video, he uses a toilet as a metaphor for the current state of the American economy. He also injects real humor and common sense into the controversial personal attacks launched against conservatives by Perez Hilton, Wanda Sykes.

3rd Annual GI Film Festival

The third annual GI Film Festival runs from May 13-17, 2009, in Washington DC. Emmy Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer was a special guest for the festival’s congressional reception on Wednesday at the Russell Senate Caucus Room. Honorees include Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ). On Saturday night, Senator and renowned actor Fred Dalton Thompson will participate in the screening of Perfect Valor, written and directed by David C. Taylor and produced by David Bossie.

For more information about the films, directors and celebrity participants, visit the GI Film Festival web site.