David Collier: Pro-Palestinian activism. Violent, intolerant, dangerous and racist
Pro-Palestinian is anti-Israel, anti-Jewish
I titled this blog with the use of the term ‘Pro-Palestinian’. I did so deliberately to highlight the stupidity of people using it. There is nothing ‘pro-Palestinian’ about any of this. These are racist, violent thugs, who target Jews because of their identity, and are willing to hound them out of business and violently attack them. Anti-Israel, or anti-Jewish (or both) are the best names for this activism. We have to stand up to them, and to anybody who gives them cover. Our opposition needs to be relentless.
These racist thugs, turn to the tiny minority of Jews (the 5%) to artificially give them cover. Just this week, a Scottish Blog called Bella Caledonia, incredibly published a piece that tried to excuse people posting material from white supremacy websites. The piece was written by one of the 5%. It actually blamed the victims of racism for the racism. A horrific, disgraceful piece, that highlights how twisted these people are willing to become to protect their fetish. Bella Caledonia actually gave cover to Nazis. Imagine what you could do to any minority, if it was legitimate to find their 5% to use as a cover to attack them.
What is clear, is that these groups are dangerous. For decades they have collected money across the UK. They do so by pushing tragic pictures of the ugly face of conflict. But they are thugs, they are intolerant, they are racist and they are dangerous. Their motivation, just as with the attacks on Nisan, is all about the Jews.
One other thing to remember too. For all the money they have collected, for all the claims that they are doing it for the betterment of Palestinians. The number of Jewish businesses they have successfully forced to close in the UK, is larger than the number of Palestinian refugees they have helped out of refugee status. More Jewish businesses closed, than schools or hospitals built. It isn’t about making things better for the Palestinians at all, it is about making things worse for the Jews. Think about that.
Evelyn Gordon: Germany Redefines Most Anti-Semitism Out of Existence
A debate rages among American Jews as to whether right-wing or left-wing anti-Semitism poses the greater danger. Germany has come up with a novel solution to this dilemma that will undoubtedly delight denialists of the left-wing version: Simply redefine Jew-hatred as a “politically motivated right-wing extremist crime,” and by definition, you’ve eliminated all other kinds of anti-Semitism.
Last week, the German Interior Ministry released a report on anti-Semitism which stated that during the first eight months of this year, a whopping 92 percent of anti-Semitic incidents were committed by right-wing extremists. That sounded suspicious for two reasons, which I’ll get to later, but since I don’t speak German, I couldn’t scrutinize the report for myself. Fortunately, the German daily Die Welt found the results equally suspicious, and this week, Benjamin Weinthal of the Jerusalem Post reported on some of the problems it flagged.
Weinthal explained that in a federal report on anti-Semitism issued by the German government earlier this year, “the crime of ‘Jew-hatred’ is classified in the category of ‘politically motivated right-wing extremist crime.’” But once Jew-hatred has been declared a right-wing crime by definition, most of its perpetrators will inevitably be classified as far-right extremists, even if they shouldn’t be.
Die Welt cited one particularly blatant example from summer 2014 when Israel was at war with Hamas in Gaza. The war sparked numerous anti-Israel protests, and during one, 20 Hezbollah supporters shouted the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil” at pro-Israel demonstrators in Berlin. Hezbollah supporters are Islamic extremists, not neo-Nazis, even if they chose to taunt German Jews by hurling Nazi slogans at them. Nevertheless, the incident was classified as a far-right extremist crime, thereby neatly removing a case of Islamic anti-Semitism from the statistics.
There are two good reasons for thinking the linguistic acrobatics, in this case, represents the rule rather than the exception. First, a 2014 study of 14,000 pieces of hate mail sent over a 10-year period to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin found that only three percent came from far-right extremists. Over 60 percent came from the educated mainstream–professors, PhDs, lawyers, priests, university and high-school students. And these letters were definitely anti-Semitic rather than merely anti-Israel; they included comments such as “It is possible that the murder of innocent children suits your long tradition?” and “For the last 2,000 years, you’ve been stealing land and committing genocide.”
United Nations Watch, the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group, today presented Dr. Andres Roemer, the former Ambassador of Mexico to UNESCO, with its 2017 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, at a ceremony held in Geneva, Switzerland, next to the United Nations human rights office.
Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, addressed the ceremony to pay tribute to Roemer, as did Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aviva Raz-Shechter.
Dr. Roemer is a renowned public intellectual, humanitarian, and author of 16 books. Click here for bio.
In October 2016, while serving as his country’s representative to UNESCO, Roemer refused to obey instructions from Mexico City to vote for an Arab-drafted resolution that denied the Jewish and Christian heritage of Jerusalem, and which referred to the Temple Mount only with Islamic and Arabic names.
Instead, in an unprecedented move, Roemer stood up for his beliefs and walked out of the room. His principled defiance cost him his job, but ultimately Mexico changed its position, announcing its withdrawal of support for the biased resolution.
“It was personally moving to see you leave the room during the vote in order to actively avoid the vote against your conscience,” wrote Amb. Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s UNESCO ambassador, in October, who posted a photo of the two after the vote.
“I am at peace with what I did,” said Roemer, after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month in Paris. “These votes do not have a place in an educational and cultural organization, and hurt us all.”
“It is now a great honor to receive this recognition and award from UN Watch, a leading voice for human rights,” added Roemer.
Gerald Steinberg: How an Anti-Israel Propaganda Platform was Turned Around
A prominent medical journal published pseudo-scientific attacks on Israel for years—until it took the demonization one step too far. What accounts for its unprecedented turnaround?
The British publication The Lancet is one of the most influential medical journals in the world, and for many years, was used as a major platform for anti-Israeli demonization campaigns under the façade of science and medicine. Between 2001 and 2014, 264 articles on Palestinian and Israeli issues were published, a majority consisting of political opinion or commentary with little medical content. Many included distorted or unsupported claims that Israel was responsible for premature births, deaths of Palestinians at checkpoints, cancer deaths, psychological disorders, and more. In addition, The Lancet’s editor Richard Horton repeatedly condemned Israel, repeating the false allegations, for example, that “Tens of documented deaths, including of children, have been attributed to checkpoint delays.”
These statements and publications were, and continue to be, used as sources in anti-Israel campaigns, particularly in the health field. For example, a resolution introduced at the 2013 meeting of the American Public Health Association, referring to “apartheid-type policies in the occupied lands of Palestine,” included 16 references to The Lancet.
However, in September 2014, these attacks abruptly ended. Horton accepted an invitation from doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital to visit Israel, and in public appearances and media interviews, expressed regret. He announced a new project that would portray Israel in a positive light, and in 2017, The Lancet published a special volume on Israeli contributions to medicine. This remarkable reversal is unparalleled among major platforms used in anti-Israel demonization campaigns.
As described in detail below, the immediate trigger for the unprecedented turnaround in 2014 was a exposé published in the “Health News” supplement of The Telegraph under the headline “Lancet ‘hijacked in anti-Israel campaign’: Senior British medical figures say the well-respected journal is being used as a platform by alleged conspiracy theorists.” The article, based on NGO Monitor’s research, highlighted the activities of two frequent contributors and co-authors of a virulent anti-Israel “open letter for the people of Gaza” published in The Lancet. These authors promoted “the views of David Duke, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard,” including pushing a video entitled “CNN Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix.” The video features an anti-Semitic rant by Duke on how “the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking” and Jewish “racism and tribalism to advance their supremacist agenda.”
A hundred years ago, British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a short letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Balfour Declaration was a seminal moment in the long history of Zionist activity and Jewish dreams of a return to their indigenous and ancestral homeland.
Great Britain has played a long and varied, yet vitally important role in Jewish history and the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Today, Britain is no longer an imperial power, nor an international super-power, yet it retains influence on the global stage proportionally far beyond its size or population.
Regarding Israel, the UK, as it straddles Europe, the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere is a vital bellwether in how much of the international community views its relations with the Jewish state.
Additionally, according to London and Partners, 40% of the world’s top companies with a regional or global HQ in Europe are in London, making it one the world’s most important financial hubs.
Much of what begins in the UK creates ripples across land and sea.
On the negative side, while the Arab League originated the boycott on Jews in Mandatory Palestine in 1945, the UK is considered the birthplace of the modern Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The first academic boycott occurred in April 2005 when the Association of University Teachers (AUT ) Council in the UK voted to boycott the University of Haifa and Bar-Ilan University, and the first university to publicly back BDS was the SOAS University of London. Additionally, many of the BDS movement’s most prominent supporters are British.
However, the British government has acted appropriately against this malicious and antisemitic movement by stating that local governments and publicly funded institutions in the United Kingdom will be banned from participating in Israel boycotts. Publicly funded bodies affected by this ban include universities, councils, and National Health Service trusts.
BBC Watch: Event for UK based readers
A conference relating to the centenary of the Balfour Declaration will take place in London next month. Additional information is at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Robert Spencer: Linda Sarsour and the Left Intensify Their War on Reality
That the Left is at war not just with conservatives, but with reality itself, has been clear for quite some time. Instead of trying to achieve some reconciliation with the nature of things as they are, the Left is growing ever more divorced from truth, reason, and ineluctable facts. For example, witness the hijab-wearing feminist (an oxymoron) Linda Sarsour’s magical race transformation.
It was absurd enough that a hijab-wearing defender of that most misogynistic of legal codes, Sharia, would be heralded as a champion of women’s rights and emerge as a feminist leader. But that was rational compared to the weapons-grade absurdity that Sarsour is now serving up. And it comes as no surprise that there has not been a whisper from her Leftist champions about this. They have anointed her a feminist icon, and she could probably stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot Gloria Steinem and still not lose that status.
This latest installment in the ongoing Sarsour clown show began when the blogger Elder of Ziyon made a most amazing discovery: Linda Sarsour claimed she “magically changed from white to a ‘woman of color’ in an instant,” just by putting on a hijab.
It’s true: in a Vox video published in January 2017, Sarsour said:
When I wasn’t wearing hijab I was just some ordinary white girl from New York City.
But in an April 2017 interview of this hero of feminism, there is this:
After watching Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Dangerous Minds, Sarsour decided to become a high school teacher, “inspiring young people of color like me, to show them their potential.” She graduated a year early, gave birth to her eldest son, and enrolled in community college.
In the ensuing controversy, Linda Sarsour doubled down, saying:
I’m Palestinian. If I want to say “I’m black,” I’m black!
She thereby illustrated the Left’s firm commitment to fantasy over reality. Linda will tell you that Islam is a religion of peace, too. But the most interesting aspect of her statement is that she prefaces her declaration of blackness (in defiance of her extremely pale complexion) with the reminder that she is “Palestinian.”
Linda Sarsour is a New York-based, Palestinian-American anti-Israel activist who has latched on to so-called progressive political causes in the United States. According to Politico magazine, she’s also one of “50 ideas blowing up American politics (and the people behind them).”
Sarsour, Politico tells readers, is number forty-six.
Reporter Taylor Gee called Sarsour a “lightning rod of the resistance” and “the picture of defiance.” The article noted that Sarsour is an advocate for “intersectional progressivism” and that “her insistence on Palestinian rights as part of the progressive package has met vociferous opposition from pro-Israel Democrats, who label her exclusionary and anti-Semitic.”
This, however, is a vague—and misleading—description. As CAMERA’s Ricki Hollander noted in a May 23, 2017 report, Sarsour has a history of silencing “those who shed light on misogynic practices and to avert criticism from the societies that tolerate or encourage them (“Who is Linda Sarsour?”).” The self-styled progressive activist even threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born feminist and former Muslim, calling to take her ‘vagina away,’ in a crude 2011 tweet that Sarsour later deleted. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Indeed, ugly and exclusionary statements are Sarsour’s specialty. She has called Zionism—the belief in Jewish self-determination—as “creepy” and a form of “racism.” This echoes Soviet-era propaganda which sought to paint the Jewish state of Israel as being unnatural and unworthy of existence.
Yup, I can’t believe this seems to have been discovered only now.
Many media heavyweights – the BBC, Agence France-Presse, the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, CTV – pretend Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. Even the Obama White House had a hard time figuring out where that capital city might be.
But the Cartographic Section of the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations goes a step better than them all. If amateurs pretend Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, the pros at UNDPO assert that Israel has no capital at all.
That, at least, is the implication of the map it posted (dated January 2004 but only noticed by me today) which has a distinct symbol (a five-sided star in a circle) for what it terms “national capitals.” For the full map, click here.
A close-up shows that Damascus and Amman both bear this five-sided star symbol, whereas no city in Israel does, notably neither Jerusalem nor Tel Aviv.
Anti-Israel site the Palestinian Information Center have posted about some more supposed Israeli crimes.
The post does not mention why they were supposedly “kidnapped” and “beaten” – perhaps because Israel discovered they were time travelers who also have an uncanny ability to pose for an identical photo years apart as different people?
Note the information in this older report (also from an anti-Israel source) – they have a different surname, there is no mention of the brothers being beaten, they were released after several hours, and the reason for their detainment was they were suspected of throwing stones at the light rail (which would not be surprising, despite their age).
Although even this report contradicts itself. Were they released after several hours…or several days?
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has decided to use his authority under a 2011 anti-boycott law to punish Amnesty International, making it the first organization to face legal consequences under the provisions of the law.
The anti-boycott law, officially known as the Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott Law, allows the finance minister to impose civil sanctions on entities that promote or take part in an economic, cultural or academic boycott against an institution or person under Israeli control because of their “affiliation with Israel.” The minister may deny certain tax benefits from such an organization regardless of whether it takes an active role or simply pledges to take part in such activity.
Under the law, organizations may be also sued and could be forced to pay damages if their boycott-related action is proven to have caused harm. Kahlon plans to summon representatives from Amnesty International for a hearing, after which a final decision will be made on whether it should face sanctions. Amnesty stands to lose its special tax status in Israel, and as a result donations to the organizations would no longer be tax deductible, potentially hurting its fundraising operations.
In late July, Israel Hayom reported that Kahlon was considering enacting the law against the organization because of a new campaign it had launched called “Israel’s Occupation: 50 Years of Dispossession.” As part of the campaign, the organization called on the world to boycott products from Judea and Samaria and to impose an arms embargo on Israel because the Jewish state was supposedly committing war crimes in the settlements.
Legislation seeking to ban US federal funding for a UK-based Hamas charity was withdrawn last week, after Islamist groups advocated voting against the measure.
In August, Congressman Ron DeSantis, R-Fla, introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act to block taxpayer dollars from going to Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) or Islamic Relief UK. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Islamist charity allegedly funneled money to Hamas.
IRW received $370,000 in US federal funding for the fiscal years 2015 and 2016, government records show.
But national Islamist groups and their allies rallied to the charity’s defense.
“Islamic Relief Worldwide is a valued partner of numerous governments and the United Nations bodies globally, and exists as a humanitarian organization dedicated to the alleviation of poverty and suffering internationally,” the Council of American-Islamic Relations Chicago chapter (CAIR-Chicago) said in a press release, which urged American Muslims to pressure Congress to reject the legislation.
The announcement also claimed that “IRW has been awarded $704,662 worth of funding from US federal sources for its work in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Central African Republic.”
CAIR describes itself as the “nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization” but has roots in a Hamas-support network in the United States.
The New Israel Fund (NIF) sued the Israel Hayom newspaper for libel, after it wrote that the left-wing organization publicized a good-bye party for convicted Joint List MK Bassal Ghattas. The NIF demanded NIS 75,000 in damages.
Ghattas recently started a two year prison term for smuggling cell phones to jailed terrorists.
The article, which was written by Israel Hayom reporter Yair Altman, claimed that the fund helped advertise a good-bye party thrown for Ghattas. The article said that “the advertising was part of a campaign called ‘End It At 50’, which is operated and financed directly by the New Israel Fund, as part of their advertising various events related to ending the occupation. In one of these events, Bassel Ghattas parted from his supporters and friends.”
The NIF contends that the article is misleading, and makes it appear that the NIF actually supported the event. The lawsuit called the article “inflammatory”, and said that “they were committed even though the defendants already knew that they were not true.”
Last month CAMERA wrote about PBS’ online lesson plan for high school students about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, titled “Dying to Be a Martyr.” The lesson plan included video clips of interviews with three young Palestinian men who either committed terror bombings against Israelis or who planned to commit them. Yet, it did not include any denunciation of terror. In addition, both the videos and the written materials that were included were extremely one-sided, prompting students to sympathize with the Palestinian side. Even though its own (now-former) Ombudsman Michael Getler had previously criticized the lesson plan, PBS had neither removed it nor altered the content.
Many CAMERA members wrote to PBS, and the network took notice. Thanks to CAMERA letter-writers, PBS has now added a fourth video to the lesson plan – a three-minute clip from a PBS NewsHour report about the 2014 Har Nof synagogue attack. The clip shows the shocking, bloody aftermath of the attack, as well as Hamas celebrating the attack. It also includes then-President Obama condemning the attack unequivocally, and then-Secretary Kerry calling on Palestinians to restrain incitement.
PBS has also added the following statement near the beginning of the lesson plan: “We encourage teachers who use this lesson to strongly condemn terror and any assertion that it is ever appropriate.”
The lesson plan is vastly improved and CAMERA applauds PBS for these steps. There are, however, still problems remaining. Moreover, the NewsHour clip, while overall a good addition, has problems as well.
The Irish Times appears to have forgotten that its role is to report the news. Instead it opts to twist the facts to fit its own agenda, promote a conference on boycotting Israel, and play advocate for its keynote speaker. The paper reports:
An academic who had an offer of a post withdrawn after a series of tweets protesting at the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2014 is to speak at a conference in Trinity College Dublin next week.
By describing the 2014 Gaza war as an “Israeli invasion,” the Irish Times is already taking sides, as well as demonstrating sympathy for the academic, a Palestinian-American, who it clearly sees as unfairly punished for protesting against Israel’s inhumane “invasion.”
The Irish Times has gone even further with its sympathy for Salaita, with an article on comments he made at the conference on academic freedom and boycotting Israel. He stated that criticizing Israel amounts to a “lifetime punishment” in the US, and that he did not regret his tweets that cost him a job.
NGO Monitor: Save the Children’s Renewed anti-Israel Campaign
Between July 2015 and August 2017, Save the Children did not issue any statements relating to Israel, and it had not initiated a campaign focusing on Israel since May 2016. Even Save the Children’s “Occupied Palestinian Territory” website was mostly inactive since November 2016.
Since mid-August, however, Save the Children has resumed its campaign against Israel:
- To mark World Humanitarian Day (August 19), Save the Children (“Worsening Child Protection Crisis Plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” August 18, 2017) referred to an “alarming rise in abuses” and claimed that “After 50 years of occupation, generations of Palestinian children remain trapped in an ongoing cycle of violence and diminishing human rights” and “are being denied a future.” Jennifer Moorehead, director of Save the Children – Palestine, was quoted in Palestinian media (Ma’an News Agency, “NGO: Palestinian territory facing ‘worsening child protection crisis‘,” August 17) as the author of the statement.
- On August 24, Save the Children (“Aid Agencies Alarmed by Attacks Against Palestinian Educational Facilities Ahead of the New School Year”) accused Israel of “target[ing]” Palestinian “educational facilities,” and alleged that children “face countless threats in simply trying to reach school and enjoy their basic right to education. These threats include: violence and harassment from settlers/Israeli soldiers on the journey to school, military activity in or around their schools, military or police arresting and detaining children from their classrooms, lost time due to the closure of a military area or firing zone, delays crossing checkpoints…” Save the Children’s statement did not reveal that the structures faced demolition orders for being illegally built without permits, but rather took a side in an ongoing public relations skirmish.
- Under the headline “Gaza: One Million Palestinian Children in ‘Unlivable’ Conditions” (September 5), Save the Children blamed Israel for a “decade of isolation” of Gaza that “had reduced power available to households…” It also called on Israel to blindly “lift the Gaza blockade,” without acknowledging the rationale behind it – to prevent weapon smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza. Notably, the publication does not mention the word “Hamas” or note that Hamas is a totalitarian, terrorist regime.
If Save the Children seeks to fulfill its humanitarian agenda, it should return to a policy of providing aid without adopting the Palestinian political narrative, which is destructive and further fuels the conflict.
The white supremacist group whose racist and antisemitic slogans were chanted by protesters at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville last month has embarked on a recruitment campaign to attract college students as they begin their fall term.
Identity Evropa (IE) — which seeks to defend and promote “white American culture” — has distributed propaganda materials including flyers, posters, and stickers on at least a dozen campuses since the start of the 2017-2018 school year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said on Monday.
The flyers have featured photos of IE leaders and phrases such as, “Our generation, our future, our last chance.” Some were accompanied by promotional posters for books published by Arktos Media, which is led by a former Swedish neo-Nazi.
Affected campuses have included Long Beach City College in California, Bristol Community College in Massachusetts, the University of Alabama, the University of Illinois at Urbana — Champaign, California State University — San Marcos, California State University — Long Beach, the University of California — Irvine, Eastern Michigan University and San Diego State University, according to tweets posted by an account affiliated with IE.
During the 2016-2017 school year, “the ADL counted 65 incidents where IE propaganda was posted on campuses in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington,” the civil rights group said in a new report.
The Los Angeles Times gives new meaning to the term “speaking out,” extending it to students who violated university policy by loudly disrupting a pro-Israel event at the University of California Irvine last May with chants including: “These colonizers and occupiers! You should not be on our f****** campus”; . . . “F*** you!” . . . “Israel, Israel you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” . . . “Long live the intifada!” . . . “Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?”
As Snapshots noted last week, The Times’ online article about SJP’s appeal protesting the administration’s sanctions gave voice only to those who drowned out others’ voices, dedicating three out of seven paragraphs to SJP statements, while failing to publish even one sentence reflecting the views or statements of the pro-Israel groups which ran the disrupted event or pro-Israel students who attended.
Meanwhile, The Times has compounded the problem on Friday by running the same skewed article in print and adding the egregiously misleading headline: “UCI group fights discipline; University punished students who spoke out at event featuring Israeli veterans.”
When some residents of the Gaza Strip took to the streets last winter to protest their inadequate electricity supply, the BBC News website produced two written reports on that story and the BBC World Service programme ‘Newshour’ aired a special report by Tim Franks from Gaza that included a ‘softball’ interview with a Hamas representative.
None of those reports, however, provided BBC audiences with a clear and factual explanation of the reasons behind the Gaza Strip’s electricity crisis. Since then the BBC has produced more reports which (with few exceptions) have been similarly unhelpful (see for example here, here, here, here and here) even to the point of steering audiences towards the inaccurate impression that the crisis is connected to Israeli counter-terrorism measures along its border with Gaza.
As was noted here in June, Hamas could have paid for the Gaza Strip’s electricity supply after the Palestinian Authority exacerbated the crisis earlier this year had it wished to do so and were its priorities not focused on expanding its military capabilities.
The Jewish family subjected to a vicious assault and robbery by an antisemitic gang near Paris last week recounted their ordeal in interviews with French media outlets on Monday.
Roger Pinto, his wife Mireille, and their son David were taken hostage in their own home early in the morning of Friday, September 8, by three intruders identified as black men in their late 20s. The gang told the family members, “You are Jews, you have money,” as they tied them up and beat them.
On Monday, the Pinto family gave a full account of the terrifying episode. Early on Friday morning, David Pinto, 41, woke up to discover that the electricity was not working in the family home in the Livry-Gargan neighborhood of Paris. Going down into the basement to check the electricity meter, David opened a door which allowed the three assailants, who had set a trap by cutting off the electricity supply, to enter the house.
Having gagged David, the three men dragged him to the first floor of the house. There, they encountered his 73-year-old mother, Mireille, who managed to alert her husband, Roger, who is 83, before she too was grabbed by the gang. Mireille said that she was “caught and gagged” by the three men.
“As I struggled, the first man threw me down,” Mrs. Pinto said, in an interview quoted by the French Jewish newspaper Tribune Juive. “He hit me. I really thought he wanted to rape me. The second one kicked me.”
The gang also attacked Roger Pinto, beating him unconscious. Pinto said that as he regained awareness, he heard one of the gang members tell him, “You are Jewish, we know that the Jews have a lot of money and you will give us what you have. If you do not give us what we ask you, we’ll kill you.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin welcomed a delegation of leading Hollywood producers and executives at his Jerusalem residence on Sunday.
The delegation included prominent Hollywood figures such as Adam Berkowitz, head of the television department at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Daniel Grover, talent agent at CAA; John Landgraf, general manager of FX Network; Christophe Riandee, vice CEO of Gaumont International Television, and Doug Herzog, former president of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, among others.
During his meeting, Rivlin discussed the history of television and film in the Jewish state and lauded Israelis who have made breakthroughs in the entertainment industry.
“For many years we have been watching your shows, and now you are also watching Israeli shows. We even have Israeli superheroes,” Rivlin said, referring to Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” film, which earned about $404 million in North America to date and grossed over $800 million worldwide. Gadot was also recently ranked number one on The Hollywood Reporter’s Top Actors list.
Rivlin was asked by the delegation about the recent prize awarded to Israeli film “Foxtrot” at the Venice Film Festival, which drew strong criticism from Israel’s Minister of Culture Miri Regev for its purported negative portrayal of the IDF.
“I did not watch the film but I’m going to watch it, I do not know if I will like it, but I will watch it as I try to watch every Israeli film,” Rivlin said.
How did an Israeli startup evolve from using radio frequency (RF) technology intended to detect breast cancer to creating palm-sized devices that can monitor passengers in self-driving cars? That’s the remarkable story of Vayyar Imaging, which is building a multi-purpose sensor with real-life uses that sound straight out of science fiction.
Vayyar’s three cofounders—Raviv Melamed, Miri Ratner and Naftali Chayat—discovered in 2011 that each had a family member suffering from cancer. They set out to make a difference. The product they built was a thumb-sized sensor with 24 built-in RF antennas.
RF signals can penetrate anything from human tissue to concrete walls. Because objects made of differing materials absorb the RF signals at varying rates, some signals go straight through an object while others bounce back at distinctive strengths, creating what Vayyar head of marketing Malcolm Berman describes as “a reflection.” Vayyar then uses its many antennas to stitch those reflections into a 3D image.
For breast cancer, Vayyar could be used to differentiate between normal tissue and a tumor, and between benign and malignant tumors.
Vayyar’s founders soon realized that the same technology could be used in almost unlimited applications—from smart homes to self-driving cars to milking cows. In the latter, Vayyar’s sensors can analyze the make-up of the milk and flag it if it’s not up to standards.
After lengthy negotiations, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins reportedly signed a deal with Warner Bros. to make the sequel, with a fee that will see her become the highest-paid female director of all time.
Gal Gadot is already on board to star in the sequel to “Wonder Woman,” the outstanding success of the summer, The Hollywood Reporter said Monday. The Israeli actress “already is attached to the follow-up,” the report said.
With “Wonder Woman” grossing over $800 million worldwide, both Gadot and Jenkins, who each only had a one-movie deal, had the upper hand in negotiations for the next installment of the story of the Amazonian princess.
Sources told the Hollywood Reporter that after “challenging” negotiations, Jenkins will earn directing and writing fees in the region of $7 to $9 million, making her the highest-paid female director in history. She was reportedly paid only $1 million for the first movie.
Gadot has reportedly also signed for an undisclosed sum to play the Diana Prince in the sequel, which is tentatively set to be released on December 13, 2019.
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