November 17, 2019

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06/25 Links Pt2: Anti-Zionism is antisemitism; AOC Is Dividing Americans And Inciting Anti-Semitism; U.N. commemorates 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/06/0625-links-pt2-anti-zionism-is.html

From Ian:


Anti-Zionism is antisemitism
Al Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan has boasted in a recent Twitter post about having “won” a debate in London hosted by Intelligence Squared.

The debate was about whether or not “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”

Journalist Melanie Phillips and politician Einat Wilf spoke for the proposition, while Hasan and historian Ilan Pappé spoke against it.

Since the birth of Israel in 1948, critics have claimed they don’t have a problem with Jews or Judaism, but with Zionism.

By isolating Zionism, they think they’re not being antisemitic and expect that this should automatically legitimize their opposition to the State of Israel.

Worse yet, a substantial minority of actual Jews and Israelis encourage this approach.

Hasan’s debate partner is a case in point. Ilan Pappé is a renowned anti-Zionist Jewish Israeli historian.

There are others. Avi Shlaim, Norman Finkelstein and Shlomo Sand would all share the same views.

Likewise, the unrepresentative minority Jewish movement the Neturei Karta is on a mission to convince the world that Zionism and Judaism are polar opposites, and that Israel doesn’t represent authentic Jewry.

The symbolism of Jews against Zionism leaves some confused, and others convinced that Zionism must be a perversion of Judaism.

This is a false distinction.

Hasan of all people would know that those who bear prejudice toward Muslims often point out their problem isn’t really with Muslims, but, rather, with Islam. By separating the people from the religion, they think they can say whatever they want. The likes of Hasan would declare those to be “Islamophobes” within a heartbeat.

Yet when it comes to Jews, all sorts of imaginary distinctions are put forward to justify antisemitic prejudices. This hypocrisy must end.

NY Governor Cuomo to visit Israel and send a message against antisemitism

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will visit Israel on a solidarity trip on June 26-28, Cuomo announced on Monday.

During an interview on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, the governor highlighted the importance of Israel as a trade partner and anticipated that the agenda of the trip would be packed with economic-oriented meetings in different sectors including drone technology and navigation systems.

Besides, Cuomo stressed how the upcoming trip also represented a response to the rise of antisemitism in the US.

“I’m very close and New Yorkers are very close to Israel. There has been a rash of antisemitism all across this country – the synagogue shootings, etc. We’ve had it in this state, all across this state, and it’s repugnant to what New Yorkers believe and feel,” Cuomo said.

“I hope there is a message of solidarity and partnership in my trip to Israel and I hope the Jewish community here is confident in this state’s position vis-a-vis Israel,” he added.

Cuomo will be accompanied in his trip by Consul General of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan.

“I am very much looking forward to joining Governor Cuomo on this visit to Israel and applaud him for taking this important step in solidarity with the Jewish community,” Dayan said in a statement.

“Governor Cuomo sets an example to leaders all over the world who are battling increasing antisemitism in their communities. We cannot ignore the spread of this dangerous disease: We must face it head-on, making it clear once and for all that it will not be tolerated,” he added.

Commenting on the upcoming trip, Cuomo said that criticism towards the State of Israel never justifies antisemitism.

U.N. commemorates 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing

The United Nations held a special session in New York on Monday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires.

On July 18, 1994, 85 people were killed and more than 300 injured when a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosive materials into the AMIA building. It is widely believed that Iran was behind the attack, while the suicide bomber was a member of its proxy, Hezbollah.

AMIA President Ariel Eichbaum said that the 1994 terrorist attack – which is still the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust – left a “toll of destruction and death” and a “wound that has not been able to heal.”

Eichbaum also mentioned the “judicial inquiry” that found the “masterminds of the attack came from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” who to date have “refused to hand over the suspects who have Interpol notices on them to appear before a judge in Argentina.”

Eichbaum made clear that “respect for diversity is threatened by bearers of supremacist and totalitarian ideas,” and that those funding terrorism and such ideals must be held accountable. “Unfortunately, the images of that day have happened again and again, more frequently in different cities and countries around the world,” he said. “The victims of fundamentalist terrorists amount to hundreds, regardless of race, religion or nationality.”

AMIA, Eichbaum concluded, “is an emblem of solidarity,” which translates the “universal values of Judaism into action,” and that while “terrorism tried to destroy it,” we are “still standing strong.”

Yossi and the Mossad

Yossi sat across from me and opened his bag. He was a nice looking and well-built elderly man. He took out four passports: two from the United States, and one each from Costa Rica and Britain. Each passport had his picture, but under a different name. His American passports had the same picture, but different names. I asked him how he got them. “Quite simple,” he said. And he described to me how he did so. I was amazed how easy it seemed. In his youth in the 1960s, Yossi had been an agent in the Mossad, Israel’s national security agency. After he left the agency, he became a Mossad associate. Yossi explained that a Mossad associate is someone who is officially not an agent, but a person who the Mossad contacts from time to time for special assignments when they needed them. Then he launched into a description of some of his exploits and “assignments” over the years.

Yossi was born in Jerusalem in 1943. Over the years he lived in Italy, Holland, the Ukraine, Thailand, Mongolia, and the United States. He speaks fluent German and Italian. While in the Mossad and as an associate, he posed as different Jewish people.

In the early 1960s Yossi was living in Italy. He was then a Mossad agent. At the time, Mohammed Hussein Heikal was the editor of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. This newspaper was the de facto voice of the Egyptian government led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. In 1957, Nasser installed his longtime friend and confident Mohammed Heikal to be editor of the newspaper. The Mossad came up with a plan on how to get information about Nasser’s personal feelings and thoughts about Israel from his closest confidant, Heikal. The plan involved secretly kidnapping Heikal’s brother, who lived in Italy, and smuggle him to Israel. Once in Israel, they could use him to pressure Heikal to provide them with information about Nasser.

The Mossad assigned Yossi, who was fluent in Italian, to help kidnap Heikal’s brother. Yossi and four other Mossad operatives were to go to the brother’s apartment and abduct him. They gave Yossi the Italian name of a close friend of the brother. His job was to knock on the brother’s door, mimic the friend’s voice and identify himself as the friend. When the brother opened the door, the four other agents were to grab him, hustle him into a car, drive to Genoa, and place him on a cargo ship bound for Israel.

Once on This Island

Leading up to each presidential election, Americans on all sides grumble empty threats: If he wins, I’m moving to Canada. If she wins, I’m off to the Caribbean.

In 2016, Neal Rechtman lost his wife; later in the year, he watched Donald Trump win the presidency.

“On election night, I turned off the TV and did a Google search for Caribbean islands with a synagogue and a bridge club,” said Rechtman, a New York Jew and competitive bridge player. “Rabbi Google advised me to check out Barbados.”

Two months later, a fortnight before the inauguration, Rechtman arrived in Barbados and began his new life. Finding three bridge players was easy. Finding a 10-man minyan so he could say Kaddish for his late wife, less so.

The Barbadian (or Bajan) Jewish community is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and consists of about 50 full-time residents. But with hardly any members younger than 30 years old, the future doesn’t look so sunny. Rechtman described it as a “tragic, slow motion situation. We can see the end of the community.”

The community’s greatest worry is that too few Jews live on the island to replace the aging congregation. Intermarriage on Barbados has become the norm, and since the Conservative movement deems children of patrilineal descent to be non-Jewish, many of the resulting offspring who could have replaced the aging generation were never fully embraced as Jews.

A small and aging community isn’t unique to Barbados. “It’s like a small Jewish community anywhere,” said Rechtman. Before he grew too distressed, he recalled one thing that sets this Jewish community apart from all others, and something optimistic sparkled in his voice: “Except we have this 365-year-old synagogue.”

AOC: ignorant or anti-Semitic?

When my grandmother Masha was liberated by the British Army from the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen, she was 19 years old and weighed 83 pounds. It was the last of more than half a dozen camps she would survive before finally being freed. The first camp that she, her mother, and her then-11-year-old sister arrived at was in Estonia. She saw an unfamiliar sight: Jewish women like herself with their heads shaven, wearing strange prison pajamas infested with lice. She once explained to an interviewer from the Jerusalem Post that at the Stutthof concentration camp she had to convince her mother, my namesake, to ‘hide in the outhouse during a roll call: exposing the swollen leg to the camp’s savage SS women would have been her mother’s death knell’. None of this would compare to her first impression of Bergen-Belsen, where she recalled seeing ‘mounds and mounds of bodies — some still twitching with life — which were openly displayed’.

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez describes the US detention centers at the border as ‘concentration camps’, she demeans the memory of the millions who perished at the hands of the Nazis and belittles the experience of those who survived. She compares genocide to something that is decidedly not genocide.

An obsession with ridding the world of every last Jew, an obsession with not just expelling them but slaughtering them, is not in any way similar to a hard-line and even dysfunctional immigration policy that seeks to dissuade migrants from crossing a border illegally. None of this in any way minimizes the atrocities at the border. I am horrified by our government’s behavior, and I wish it would change. But intelligent people, and elected representatives if they are to avoid demagoguery, should manage to criticize government actions without lazily equating everything to Nazism.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken: AOC Is Dividing Americans And Inciting Anti-Semitism

After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) used “concentration camps” and “Never Again” together — a unique reference to the Nazi death camps — and then retweeted leftist Jews hoping to justify the linkage while she simultaneously denied that she ever connected them in the first instance, I honestly thought it couldn’t get worse.

I was wrong.

Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) rapidly invented a way to attack those condemning her comparison of detention centers at the border to Nazi death camps. She employed a false dichotomy: She said we must “fight the camps — not the nomenclature,” as if it were a binary choice.

The claim that concern for the horrors of Jewish history is incompatible with concern for the plight of others is more than simple slander. This sentiment divides Americans, divides Jews, and incites anti-Semitism — by promoting the classic trope that Jews care only about their own people and issues, and disregard what happens to others. To say that to take real interest in immigrants, we must forgive her trivialization of the Holocaust, is to employ this ancient and hateful lie for her personal and political benefit.

Conveniently for her — and also increasing the danger — many of her fans, especially leftist Jews, have adopted this model. In a pair of tweets, a left-wing Jewish writer distorted criticism of AOC’s remarks by the American Jewish Congress, a largely nonpartisan organization, into “ignor[ing] the plight at the border” and “fighting against people like AOC instead of fighting for migrants.”

FLASHBACK: Sestak Took Fire for Israel Record in Failed 2010 Senate Bid

Former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak, the 25th Democratic presidential candidate this year, took sharp criticism in 2010 for his Israel record en route to losing a U.S. Senate election that year.

In the summer of 2010, the newly founded pro-Israel outfit Emergency Committee for Israel released its first ad, blasting Sestak for speaking in front of the Council for Islamic Relations (CAIR) in 2007, as well as signing a left-wing J Street letter to President Barack Obama criticizing the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Sestak was also hit for not signing a defense of Israel circulated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Sestak erupted at the charges, saying he had a pro-Israel record and the ads were a smear. He said the CAIR event was not a fundraiser and rejected the notion the group was a front for the terrorist group Hamas. He pointed to letters in his career calling Israel a “vital ally” and J Street jumped to his defense in an ad touting his support for Israel and a two-state solution. His campaign asked Comcast to stop running the ad from the Emergency Committee for Israel.

However, Sestak admitted in September of 2010 he was wrong to sign the J Street letter, which Politico called a “win for the hawks and a blow to J Street’s attempt to create political space on a pro-Israel left of the Middle East conflict.”

Sen. Tim Scott on campus anti-Semitism, free speech, and more

Earlier this year, Sen. Tim Scott (R- SC) sponsored the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bill that seeks to fight the spread of anti-semitism on college campuses.

Campus Reform’s Emma Meshell joined Scott in his Washington, D.C. office for an exclusive interview to discuss the bill and get his perspective on the state of higher education today.

Citing a sharp increase in anti-Semitism on college campuses in the past three years, Scott explained that his legislation seeks to establish a consistent and detailed definition of anti-Semitism at the federal level.

“If you look at the last three years, there’s been a 100 percent increase in anti-Semitism on college campuses. We’re trying to combat that, and hopefully this sends the message on who we are as Americans, which starts on our college campuses,” he said, referencing the legislation’s purpose.

Scott also spoke to the importance of students understanding our nation’s history. He said, “understanding the founding principles that have guided us for 243 years is incredibly important,” continuing on to say that “if you build the foundation on the rock, it withstands the storms that come…Knowing your foundation and your history is an important part of the equation.”

“The concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness start with the fact that we have to respect people who are not like you. That’s a fascinating concept that is unique to the American psyche and identity,” he said, in reference to a need for civility in America. (h/t MtTB)

Pittsburgh Jews rally around church after jihadi bomb plot

Pittsburgh’s Jewish community has rallied around a church in the city after the FBI arrested a man it said was a Syrian supporter of Islamic State who was allegedly planning to bomb it.

The Rev. Michael Anthony Day of the Legacy International Worship Center said at a service Sunday that the first call he received after learning of the would-be attack was from Rabbi Ron Symons, senior director of Jewish Life at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

“He said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I’m on my way to my fourth interview,’” Day recalled. “He said, ‘Well, I need to find you. I just need to give you a hug.’”

Members of the Jewish community attended the Sunday service in solidarity with the church, according to local reports. They were joined by members of the Muslim community and leaders of other local churches.

Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, of suburban Pittsburgh, on charges of plotting to bomb the church in support of the Islamic State.

The religious communities in Pittsburgh rallied around the local Jewish community following the October 27, 2018, attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building by a white supremacist that left 11 worshipers dead.

A New York Times Book Review Promotes More Anti-Semitic Fiction

Last December, the New York Times came under intense criticism for featuring a recommendation by known anti-Semite Alice Walker of a deranged, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory book.

In the latest Book Review Section (June 21, 2019), the Times promotes a novel that analogizes Palestinian refugees during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war to Jewish victims of the Nazis in what amounts to “Holocaust Inversion” – an antisemitic, anti-Zionist gimmick that depicts Israelis as the new Nazis and Palestinians as the new Jews.

The novel by Elias Khoury, a Lebanese author and part of what he considers the Palestinian “resistance” to Israel, is entitled “Children of the Ghetto: My Name is Adam.” Using the ghetto analogy, the novel compares the flight of the Palestinian protagonist from a supposed massacre of Palestinians in Lydda by the Haganah in 1948 to what happened to the Jews during the Holocaust – an inversion of the truth. Moreover, as historians have noted, the allegation of a massacre in Lydda is a myth.

In 2014, scholar and historian Martin Kramer investigated and debunked this myth, propagated at the time by Ha’aretz columnist Ari Shavit and New Historian Benny Morris. According to the evidence gathered by Kramer, what happened in Lydda was “the story not of a vengeful ‘massacre’ committed by ‘Zionism,’ but of collateral damage in a city turned into a battlefield.”

The book reviewer, Isabella Hammad, however, accepts the allegation as an incontrovertibly true historical event. She endorses the author’s Holocaust Inversion, referring to a “death march in one of the bloodiest massacres of 1948.”

How Qatar is buying conservative column inches

On June 4, the Washington Times published a “special section” of articles lavishing praise on Qatar, its institutions, and its global influence. Each of these articles was labeled as “sponsored,” although the Times neglects to say by whom. At first glance, this is a surprising insertion in a conservative paper whose editorial board has previously been critical of the Middle Eastern state.

While Qatari money is everywhere, in previous years its influence had been perceived mostly on the American left. Qatar’s media empire Al Jazeera, for example, operates a social media platform named AJ+, which has partnered with hard left-leaning American outlets such as the Young Turks.

Meanwhile, prominent think tanks such as the Brookings Institution have received tens of millions from Doha. Brookings got $15 million in 2013, and at least $2 million in just the past year — perhaps much more. Such generosity has afforded Brookings a plush center in Doha. Meanwhile, the Qatari regime enjoys a steady flow of academic papers downplaying the kingdom’s patronage of violent Islamism and painting its ties to designated terror groups as nothing more than earnest attempts at dialogue, carried out in an attempt to acquire influence for the sake of benevolence.

But institutions such as Brookings — along with many American universities (including public colleges) that enjoy similar arrangements — are not Doha’s only playthings. Over the past few years, there have been noticeable Qatari attempts to win friends and influence people outside the usual ambit of the Left.

BBC radio ‘impartial’ on payments to terrorists

The report ended abruptly there with Knell making no effort to inform BBC audiences that the claim that Palestinians do not have “any freedom of movement” is false and until the Palestinians launched the terror war known as the Second Intifada, there were no restrictions on their freedom of movement.

The version of the report aired on ‘Newshour’ omitted that last part and instead listeners heard Knell say:

Knell: “The issue of the Palestinian prisoners has long divided Israel and the Palestinians. At a time of deep impasse in the peace process it’s back in focus and for now, though the Palestinian Authority is in a dire financial state, there’s no end in sight to this stand-off.”

As long-time readers will be aware, it took the BBC years to even mention the issue of the Palestinian Authority’s payment of salaries to terrorists and their families and although slightly more coverage of that subject has been seen in the past year, it is still under-reported.

Now, as the corporation builds its framing ahead of the Bahrain economic conference, the topic of the Palestinian Authority’s finances is obviously relevant and – as one of the factors contributing to the financial crisis – so is the issue of the PA cash rewards to terrorists who have murdered or tried to murder Israelis. Unsurprisingly, Yolande Knell found it appropriate to portray that topic ‘impartially’.

US library group expunges Dewey name from medal over anti-Semitism, misogyny

The creator of the Dewey decimal system, the book-classification method favored by librarians that still bears his name, was a noted misogynist and racist during his lifetime.

On Sunday, the council of the American Library Association, the world’s oldest and largest library association, voted to remove the name of Melvil Dewey, its founder, from its creative leadership medal because of his history of anti-Semitism and racism.

The famed librarian and educator, who lived from 1851 to 1931, “did not permit Jewish people, African Americans, or other minorities admittance to the resort owned by Dewey and his wife,” and also made “inappropriate physical advances toward women he worked with and wielded professional power over,” the council’s resolution said, according to a report by Inside Higher Ed.

The Melvil Dewey Award, according to the American Library Association, is an “annual award consisting of a bronzed medal and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement for recent creative leadership of high order, particularly in those fields in which Melvil Dewey was actively interested: library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship.”

A letter to the editor published in 1905 in The New York Times noted that Dewey was rebuked by the New York State Board of Regents and resigned as state librarian over complaints from Jewish leaders about his anti-Semitism, in part exhibited by his authoring of the Lake Placid Club’s policy banning Jews, blacks and others from membership.

Nazi memorabilia auction in Western Australian city condemned as ‘morally repugnant’ by Jewish group

Dozens of artefacts from the Third Reich condemned as being “morally repugnant” and “tools of the devil” went under the hammer at a public auction in Kalgoorlie-Boulder over the weekend as collectors look to snap up increasingly rare World War II relics as an investment.

Two large Nazi flags bearing the swastika, which are illegal in Germany, sold for $1,500 and $1,000 respectively at the West Australian auction.

A Knights Cross, one of the highest awards for German troops during World War II, was sold for $1,250.

A book titled Adolf Hitler with photographs of the German leader’s time in power sold for $375, while a nickel-plated bayonet and a metal flask engraved with a swastika fetched $750 and $120 respectively.

A Hitler figurine with a moving arm which performs the Nazi salute sold for $100.

Most of the memorabilia was from the estates of dead Australian soldiers who souvenired the items during World War II.

Aberdeen City Council unanimously adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

Aberdeen City Council has unanimously passed a motion to adopt the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism.

Jewish leaders welcomed the local authority’s decision to back the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of Jew-hate on Monday.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett, said in his motion to the full council meeting, that he is “proud of its efforts to tackle discrimination in all its forms.”

He said “we resolve to join with the UK and Scottish Governments and the major political parties in the UK in signing up” to IHRA. He added that the local authority “underlines its condemnation of all forms of racism in all its manifestations and adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism as the working model for challenging and confronting incidents of this form of racism.”

Speaking to Jewish News, The Lord Provost said he’s “very pleased we’ve underscored our support for the local Jewish community.”

Adding that Aberdeen has had a Jewish presence for 125-years and boasts one of the most northerly shuls in the world, he “hopes that any Jewish person is supported and protected, and encouraged to come and visit.”

With one elected official overseas, the motion was backed by all 44 representatives at the full council meeting. (h/t IsaacStorm)

‘L’Chaim!’ — German Police, Local Activists Wreck Nazi Music Festival by Seizing Beer Supply

Neo-Nazi rock festivals typically conjure up images of shaven-headed, bare-chested, pot-bellied white men guzzling beer and raising their right arms in Hitler salutes over an unrelenting soundtrack provided by “white power” bands.

But that wasn’t the case in Ostritz, Germany, over the weekend.

The approximately 600 neo-Nazis who descended on the town, which lies close to the Polish border, for a hate music festival on the occasion of Hitler’s 130th birthday discovered to their horror that there was no beer on tap.

German police seized 4,200 liters of beer in Ostritz on Friday, then 200 liters more on Saturday.

Locals also bought more than 200 crates of beer in the town’s supermarkets, to pre-empt the neo-Nazis attending the “Shield and Sword” (SS) festival from making purchases, after a court in Dresden banned the sale of alcohol at the event.

An Ostritz anti-Nazi activist, Georg Salditt, told Germany’s Bild daily: “The plan was devised a week in advance. We wanted to dry the Nazis out. We thought, if an alcohol ban is coming, we’ll empty the shelves at the Penny [supermarket].”

Steve Dunleavy, tabloid journalist who loved Israel, passes away

Legendary New York Post reporter and columnist Steve Dunleavy, who passed away Monday at his home on Long Island at 81, will be remembered for his relentless pursuit of the story, his hard-drinking lifestyle – and his love of Israel.

An Australian who became Rupert Murdoch’s star reporter after the media mogul purchased the Post in 1976, Dunleavy was a staunch supporter of Israel. He visited the country several times, including to report on the First Gulf War in 1991 and the 1996 election.

In his final Post column before he retired in 2008, he named covering stories in Israel as one of the highlights of his career: “This company has sent me from Bogota to Baghdad, Lima to London, Kentucky to Kabul, Tampa to Tel Aviv.”

His genuine feeling for Israel shined throughout his work.

In a heartfelt column about how his son Peter was going overseas for the military just after the 9/11 terror attacks, he wrote: “I’m sick and tired of all this crap about suspending hostilities over Ramadan. Nobody suspended hostilities when Israel was attacked during Yom Kippur.”

When the First Gulf War broke out in 1991, Dunleavy hopped on a plane to Israel.

Nintendo’s second retail store in the world opens in Tel Aviv

Video game giant Nintendo has only two retail stores in the world — one in New York, and now one in Tel Aviv.

The official Nintendo retail store opened on Monday at Dizengoff Center, 14 years after the first store opened in New York in Rockefeller Center.

A third official store is scheduled to open in Tokyo in the fall.

Nintendo products were only recently introduced to the Israeli market, according to the Hebrew-language GeekTime website.

Prior to March, Israelis had to purchase consoles and games abroad. (h/t Predictor92)

Jennifer Lopez says she is ‘super-excited’ about Tel Aviv concert

Jennifer Lopez came out with a special message on Monday ahead of her concert this summer in Israel.

The tour “It’s My Party” is also part of her birthday celebrations.

The concert will take place on August 1, in Tel Aviv, with tickets currently priced at about $100.

“I am superexcited to see Tel Aviv for the very first time,” she says in the video.

‘Our Boys,’ HBO series on Israel’s violent summer of 2014, set for premiere

Joseph Cedar and Hagai Levi’s series “Our Boys,” a 10-part series focusing on the violence that wracked Israel five years ago, premieres August 12 on HBO.

The show is set in the summer of 2014, when Jewish teenagers Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel were kidnapped on June 12 by Hamas terrorists in the West Bank and killed shortly thereafter.

Two days after their bodies were found, following a search of nearly three weeks, Palestinian teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir from East Jerusalem was burned alive in a brutal retaliatory killing by Jewish extremists. As a result of the rising tensions, the 2014 Gaza war broke out.

The series was filmed on location in Israel, and was a co-production of cable channel HBO and Israeli production company Keshet International. It was directed by Cedar (known for the Oscar-nominated “Beaufort” and “Footnote”) and created by show runner Hagai Levi (also known for “In Treatment” and “The Affair”) and Tawfik Abu-Yael,

The show follows the investigation by a Shin Bet agent from the internal terror division as he probes the Abu Khdeir murder. The series tells the story of all those involved, Jews and Arabs alike, and of their lives forever changed by these events.



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