Israel at 60

IDF chief at camp tribute

May 2, 2008

The March of the Living, an annual gathering of young Jews at Auschwitz, will be led by IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi this week in honour of Israel’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Some 10,000 participants will vow to fight all forms of genocide and discrimination at the ceremony, due to take place at the site of the former camp on Thursday.

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Jackie Mason should not be at an Israel 60 event

By Jonathan Wittenberg, May 2, 2008

He may be funny, but his prejudices are far from the values we should be aspiring to

Comedian Jackie Mason is being presented as the champion of Anglo-Jewry’s “Israel 60” celebration, which will take place at Wembley Arena next week. I think he is a terrible choice.

His love of Israel is unquestionable. He abandoned his show to stand with the Jewish state while the Scuds descended in 1991. He will be funny and robust. He will draw the crowds and, with so much venom about Israel, solidarity matters. But solidarity with what?

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'They want to kill me for making documentaries'

By Nick Johnstone, May 2, 2008

Filmmaker Raneen Geries receives death threats for showing the Palestinian view of the events of 1948.

When Raneen Geries, a Palestinian woman, arrived at Tel Aviv University to study for a degree in social work, most of the students on her course were Jewish. As conversations frequently touched on family history, she realised how little she knew of her own.

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Israeli ambassador speaks of hardships

April 25, 2008

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor told an audience of 200 people of the dangers that Israel faces. Speaking at the annual UJIA fundraising dinner at Etz Chaim Synagogue Mr Prosor said: “Day in, day out, Israel is under fire.” UJIA regional director Howard Foreman said that the event was planned as a celebration of Israel’s 60th and to show how communities benefit from UJIA donors.

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Heard the one about...?

By Simon Round, April 18, 2008

Did you hear the one about the Israeli comedian?

The answer is probably not. We have all got our favourite Israeli writers, our favourite Israeli politicians, and even our favourite Israeli spoonbenders.

But Israeli stand-ups? Possibly the nearest many of us have come to Israeli humour is comedian Mark Maier’s comic alter ego, Roni Shmoni. When two English girls ask the fictional Israeli soldier for directions to the beach, he replies: “So you want to sleep with me?” (or words to that effect). We find it easy to laugh at Israelis; but can they laugh at themselves?

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Russian Aliyah: Culture, not just shelter

By Natan Sharansky, April 18, 2008

Russian aliyah:  The massive influx from the former Soviet Union brought ideological challenges — but art offered a way to reach out

 

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Palestinian Identity: the complicated idea of Palestine

By Sari Nusseibeh, April 18, 2008

Palestinian identity 

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A symphonic array of musical variety

By Paul Lester, April 18, 2008

Israel is a new country, albeit one with roots tracing back thousands of years. So its music combines modern and ancient, with the influx of people from all over the world creating an astonishing array of musical influences, including Russian folk, klezmer, Arabic, Yemenite, Iraqi, Yiddish and Ladino.

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Ehud Olmert says happy birthday to Israel at 60

April 18, 2008

Israel’s Prime Minister celebrates his country’s achievements so far — and explains why peace is its greatest ambition The famous passage in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) prescribes that people reach the station of “old age” on their 60th birthday. Some commentaries claim that it is actually “wisdom” which is conferred upon reaching this milestone. From either perspective, 60 years since the miraculous creation of the State of Israel, this is a time to reflect.

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My quest to snatch Eichmann and finally bring him to justice

By Rafi Eitan, April 18, 2008

1960: Eichmann's capture

In 1958, David Ben-Gurion made a decision that Israel would bring the major Nazi war-criminals to justice, so that the world would see and learn about the Holocaust, and so that the survivors in Israel, who before then had been ashamed of talking about their experiences, would have a chance to give testimony.

As head of operations in the Mossad, I was part of a small team that decided on the targets. We narrowed the list down to four. One was Adolf Eichmann, who had headed the SS Jewish department and been in charge of all deportations.

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