Dame Helen Mirren (Woman in Gold, Trumbo, The Queen, The Madness of King George) last Thursday met with Arab and Jewish theatre students at The Billy Crystal Program for Peace through the Performing Arts, at the Department of Theatre Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
At the university’s Garage Theatre, Dame Helen heard from Arab and Jewish students in the Department of Theater Studies what it’s like to act in both Arabic and Hebrew. They then gave a live performance in both languages. She also visited the Theatre Archive and Museum, where artist-teacher Emanuella Amichai, an award-winning choreographer and performance director, introduced her work Place-Identity, with Israeli-Arab student Elham Mahamid, which was performed last year as part of the closing event of the Jerusalem Art Festival.
Dame Helen Mirren holds one of the 10,000 reels of film at the Hebrew University’s Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive. Also pictured: Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson (L) and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Dror Wahrman. / Courtesy the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, photo by Dor Kedmi
At the Hebrew University’s Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, Dame Helen took a selfie with a picture of her good friend Billy Crystal. At the recent memorial service for Muhammad Ali, Crystal described the origins of The Program for Peace through the Performing Arts:
“[Ali] was an honorary chairman for a dinner in a very important event where I was being honored by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem… The most famous Muslim man in the world, honoring his Jewish friend. And, because he was there, we raised a great deal of money, and I was able to use it to endow the University in Jerusalem with something that I told him about. And it was something that he loved the theory of, and it thrives to this day. It’s called ‘Peace through the Performing Arts.’ It’s a theater group where [Jewish and Arab] actors, writers and directors all work together in peace, creating original works of art. And that doesn’t happen without him.”
The Billy Crystal Program for Peace through the Performing Arts is dedicated to promoting a humanistic society based on dialogic relations and peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Theater artists and students, both Jews and Arabs, participate in a wide range of laboratory classes, workshops, master classes and special projects and performances. This unique program functions as a social and cultural bridge encouraging understanding and identifying with the “other” through collaborative theatre work.
Dame Helen was welcomed at the Hebrew University by its President, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson; the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Dror Wahrman; Chair of the Department of Theatre Studies and Director of the Billy Crystal Program, Dr. Jeanette Malkin; Department Advisor, Dr. Olga Levitan; and Artistic Director of the Bilingual Workshop, Dr. Josef Sprinzak.
The Shabak announced today that in a combined effort between the Shabak and the IDF’s Duvdevan unit, the terror cell which exploded the bombs has been captured. The cell had been planning additional attacks near Maale Adumim.
What is surprising is the makeup of the terror cell.
Three of the five Arab terrorists are dentists, one is a (male) nurse who works in a hospital (which wasn’t named). Two of the suspects had been arrested earlier which apparently led to the capture of the entire cell.
The terror suspects arrested in this raid were:
• Dr. Samer Mahmoud Daoud al-Halabi, born in 1980, a resident of Abu Dis, a dentist – he placed and activated the bombs by cellphone.
• Dr. Dagana Faiz Gamil Nabhan, born in 1980, a resident of the Kalandia, a dentist – he assisted al-Halabi.
• Daoud Mahmoud Shehada al-Halabi, born in 1952, a resident of Abu Dis, a (male) nurse in a hospital – the father of the perpetrator.
• Dr. Daoud Mahmud al-Halabi Shehadeh, born in 1974, a resident of Abu Dis, a dentist – the terrorist’s brother and his assistant in the bombing.
• Shadi Mohamed Ahmed Muhsen, born in ’84, a resident of Abu Dis – the perpetrator’s cousin and an assistant in the bombing.
The surname al-Halabi indicates the family immigrated to Israel from Aleppo [Haleb], Syria.
The medical terrorists
The bombs were originally made and stored in one of the dental clinics in the village of Akav.
Security forces found 56 small pipe bombs, as well as one larger bomb, and two Molotov cocktails.
The professional assessment was that all the bombs were very lethal.
So much for the theory that well-educated, upper-middle class Muslims will not get involved in terror.
1. Bethlehem’s Christian Arab leaders lobbied Israel against transferring the city to the Palestinian Authority. In 1993, on the eve of signing the Oslo Accord, the Christian mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Freij, admonished Israel’s Prime Minister Rabin: “Transferring Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority would relegate it to a town of many churches, but devoid of Christians.”
Before Oslo, the Christian mayor of Beit Jala – Bethlehem’s twin town – Farah al-Araj, told the NY Times syndicated columnist, William Safire: “The PLO will force a wave of Christian emigration, making Belize in Central America a home for more Beit Jala Christians then left in Beit Jala.”
In 1967, shortly following the Six Day War, the Christian Mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Bandak, warned Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan: “An Israeli failure to annex Bethlehem into Greater Jerusalem would doom the city’s Christian character.”
2. Since the 1993 establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the Christian majorities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Beit Jala have been transformed into insignificant minorities, due to physical, social, economic, legal and political intimidation. More Christian emigrants from these towns reside in Latin America than Christians remaining there.
3. The persecution of Christians in Arab lands is based on the teachings of Muhammad, which have dominated the social, political, cultural, judicial, military and educational aspects of the Muslim Middle East. Thus, the political Muslim establishments are not secular in the Western sense. According to the Quran, Jews and Christians – “the people of the book” who rejected Islam – transgressed egregiously, were the enemies of God, were rejected by God, and therefore Judaism and Christianity were replaced by – and subordinated to – Islam, the only legitimate and inherently supreme religion. Islam commands Muslims to strive for the domination of the “House of Islam” over the “House of the infidel,” which includes Christians. Hence, the centrality of Jihad, the holy war.
4. A typical reference, by the Quran, to Christians and other “infidels,” appears in Surah (chapter) 5, verses 60 & 86: “God cursed and blustered those whom he transformed to apes [Jews] and pigs [Christians]…. The infidels shall inherit hell….”
5. The submission of Christians and other “infidels” to Islam was further institutionalized by the 7th century “Pact of Omar,” which severely restrained and humiliated Christians – and was later extended to other “infidels” – consistent with the Quran.
6. In fact, the legalized-persecution and scapegoating of Christians are in accordance with the Muslim concept of “Dhimmis,” who are the non-Muslim citizens in Muslim lands. As stipulated by the Islamic code of law, the Sharia’, they are subordinated to, and protected by, Islam, as long as they accept Islamic supremacy. The attitude towards Dhimmis is specified in the Quran, Surah 9, verse 29: “Fight the people who received the book [Jews and Christians] – who do not adhere to the truthful religion [Islam] – until they pay the Jizya [“infidel” tax], while they are humiliated.” Non-Muslim citizens are faced with three choices: conversion to Islam, accepting Dhimmitude or death.
7. Since the 1683 defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the gates of Vienna, Islam has declined dramatically, witnessing global domination by the “infidel, inferior and arrogant” Christian world, and alarmed by the penetration of “infidel” ideologies and values into the Abode of Islam. This perceived-humiliation has led to the tectonic eruptions of Islamic rage and terrorism, aimed at regaining the, supposedly, natural supreme, megalomaniacal status of Islam.
8. The Islamic religious and political establishments consider the “infidel” Christian/Western modernity and civil liberties clear, present and lethal threats, fueling the inherent domestic instability. The recent erosion of Western posture of deterrence, retreats and appeasement have provided tailwind to the Islamic rage, fueling the anti-Christian/Western Islamic terrorism, irrespective of the pro-Arab policy of the vast majority of the Christian countries (including the 1948 US arms embargo, while the British supplied arms to the Arabs).
9. While most of the Christian/Western world pressures Israel to accept Palestinian demands, the battle cry in Palestinian Authority-inspired rallies is: “After we do away with the Saturday People, we shall take care of the Sunday People.” As befits Dhimmis, churches, convents, monasteries, Christian cemeteries, schools, homes, land and Christian women in the Palestinian Authority are subject to desecration, destruction, burning, confiscation, intimidation, rape and harassment. For example, in April-May, 2002, Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity – with its priests and nuns – was hijacked, looted and booby-trapped, for 39 days, by 200 Palestinian terrorists.
10. The 1970-1982 PLO terror surge in Lebanon accelerated the flight of Lebanese Christians, reducing them from the ruling sector to a dwindling minority. Since 1993, Palestinian Authority intimidation has intensified the flight of Christians. However,the Vatican and mostChristian/Western governments have – knowingly – sacrificed the religious and civil liberties of Christian minorities on the altar of wishful-thinking, political-correctness and appeasement.
A well orchestrated ambush by Arabs on Rt. 443, the alternative highway connecting the Tel Aviv metro area with Jerusalem via Modi’in, which resulted in three Israelis injured from stones and broken glass and damage to a dozen vehicles, also ended with an IDF rescue force shooting an apparently innocent Arab youth who was in a car that drove by the incident.
An IDF spokesperson said that after a group of Arab youths had hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at moving Israeli vehicles on route 443, “Israeli forces acted to protect additional vehicles from immediate danger and fired toward the suspects and bystanders were mistakenly hit.”
According to motorists who spoke to News 0404, late Monday night masked Arab terrorists poured oil on the highway about two miles east of the Maccabim check post, then stood by the side of the road and as each Israeli car arrived and started swerving on the oil, they smashed it with very large stones. At least 12 vehicles were seriously damaged, as windows and windshields were cracked and broken, as well as the sides and roofs.
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The following is the transcript and video from the State Department Press briefing on June 20th, 2016, regarding the supplemental aid package that Israel approved yesterday to aid Israelis whose businesses have suffered due to the Palestinian Authority Arab terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, and to help improve security for the communities in Judea and Samaria.
Time: 29:55 on the video.
QUESTION (Matt Lee): Did you guys have any reaction to this additional – the supplementary funding that was approved for the West Bank settlements for – over the weekend, yesterday?
MR KIRBY: Yeah. I actually put a statement out.
QUESTION: You did?
MR KIRBY: I did —
QUESTION: I missed it.
MR KIRBY: — yesterday. I can’t believe you’re not sitting around —
QUESTION: Yeah, Sunday —
MR KIRBY: — waiting for my statements.
QUESTION: Sunday afternoon, Kirby, I’m just sitting there looking – staring at my phone —
MR KIRBY: Well, if you had been —
QUESTION: — waiting for your emails.
MR KIRBY: — then you wouldn’t have had to ask that question.
QUESTION: If you’ve already put something out, then —
MR KIRBY: Okay. I’ll let the statement stand. Seems like everybody else got a chance to read it.
QUESTION: We like to hear it directly from you, though.
MR KIRBY: But you did hear it directly from me. I signed it.
QUESTION: You know what I mean, with your own voice. It sort of gives it an added —
MR KIRBY: We’re aware of the funding package. We’re looking into further details. Our position on settlement activity remains clear and consistent: We strongly oppose all settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. We continue to look to both sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to a two-state solution, and actions such as these we believe does exactly the opposite.
QUESTION: Well, wait, wait, but this isn’t for settlement activity, per se. This was not to expand or build new homes.
MR KIRBY: It’s approving more than like $18 million for settlements. It’s approving funding for —
QUESTION: But not for building them. This is for, like, helping businesses and security.
MR KIRBY: But it still runs counter to our view about settlement activity, period.
QUESTION: So securing – adding security to settlements is the same as settlement activity?
MR KIRBY: As I said, we’re still – we are still – we’re aware of this funding package and we’re still looking into it for details. But settlement activity, as we’ve said – there’s nothing – nothing has changed about our concerns about that.
QUESTION: So any money that goes into anything in a West Bank settlement is bad according to you guys?
MR KIRBY: I didn’t say that. I said we are aware of this funding package and we’re looking into the details.
QUESTION: Okay. All right. Okay.
QUESTION (New Reporter): Well, the worry here by the Palestinians is that these kind of steps make annexation of the West Bank all but a foregone conclusion, and they say that some of this money is basically geared to encourage, let’s say, tourism and to expand tourist projects and so on in the occupied West Bank, in the settlements and so on. What do you say to that?
MR KIRBY: As I said in my statement and just a few minutes ago, we’re looking into what this funding package really means. And I think I’m going to leave it at there to – for right now.
When one contemplates the radical anti-Israel Left in Israeli academia, Bar-Ilan University (BIU) is not ordinarily the school that jumps to mind. Bar-Ilan is nominally an Orthodox religious school, although lots of secularists and non-Jews study and teach there. Bar-Ilan has fewer tenured anti-Israel leftists than do other institutions, but nevertheless it does have a few. Probably the worst is Menachem Klein from the BIU political science department.
Klein is one of the leading Bash-Israel academics who has a special passion for the idea of dividing Jerusalem and removing Israel from its sacred shrines. The 64 year old was the academic fig leaf for the anti-Israel “Geneva Initiative” of Yossi Beilin and the Far Left. When he was denied an academic promotion a while back, he publicly denounced Bar Ilan University as a thuggish institution.
A member of the board of B’tselem, Klein seems to have never met an anti-Semite he does not like. He favors Israeli leftists negotiating peace with Palestinians, by surrendering to their demands.
In recent years Klein has devoted his energies to resuscitating the old Stalinist myth about Arab-Jewish euphoria before the rise of Zionism and especially the silly pseudo-history around the notion of the “Arab Jew.” Invented by a small group of Israeli Stalinists led by Tel Aviv University sociologist Yehouda Shenhav, these people claim that Oriental Jews are actually Arabs of the Mosaic persuasion. Never mind the proportion who would slap you silly if they hear you calling them Arabs of any sort. Shenhav has promoted his view that Asian Jews are Arabs in numerous articles and his book, The Arab Jews: Nationality, Religion and Ethnicity, won rave reviews from Arab extremists and from PLO front groups.
Shenhav considers Zionism to be a form of colonialism. Indeed, Shenhav has long argued that Asian Jews and Arabs need to unite to fight Zionism, that old “common cause” of the communist party in Iraq and “Palestine” from the 1920s onward. Asian Jews and Arabs are, in his view, two wings of the same struggle in absolutely everything – except that Shehav has staunchly opposed the idea of compensation for Asian Jews from Arab countries for their property stolen.
Now years later, Klein tries to steal the anti-Zionist thunder from the Stalinists, but by beating the same old tune. The only difference is that Klein rewrites Jewish-Arab relations based upon the supposed euphoria in “Palestine” before Israel’s creation – not in Iraq – when the local Jews were supposedly Jewish Arabs. This tooth fairy historic revisionism is the focus of his book, ‘Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron.’ It is in effect science fiction focused upon the past.
Countless murders of Jews and pogroms against them notwithstanding, Klein’s proof is that in Hebron in 1929, almost half the Jews there were not massacred by the local Arabs. Klein then argues that not only were pre-Independence relations among Jews and Arabs in “Palestine” idyllic, but that the Jews considered themselves Arabs
in all things. Something even Shenhav never claims. The problems only began when “nationalism” made its appearance on the scene, and you will not be disappointed to learn that he does NOT mean Arab nationalism, something presumably Jewish Arabs could embrace and join.
From the toady Haaretz review of his book:
Arab-Jewish identity, writes Klein, did not only develop in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron. “It was a fact of life throughout the Arab world. By the end of the 19th century it was a self-conscious identity in the major cities of the east, such as Cairo, Beirut and Baghdad. In these urban centers Jews took part in the Arab cultural renaissance and local national movements.” …
Yet even then, in the midst of the looming nationalist conflict, the lines remained fluid. Jewish women worked in Jaffa’s cafes and restaurants as waitresses, singers and dancers. Jaffa’s young men flocked to Tel Aviv’s cafes and beaches, wide-eyed at the sight of scantily dressed women, unimaginable in Jaffa itself, and the Hebrew city’s atmosphere of sexual licentiousness. Older Arab men courted middle-aged Jewish women at the Casino Café, on the beach, which offered live music, weekly formal dance nights and a crèche.
Like a Graham Greene novel.
The fatal death blow to the bucolic paradise came in 1948, when those accursed Zionists declared Israeli independence. Clearly Klein, who wants Jerusalem to belong to the “Palestinians,” thinks the solution is for the Jews to go back to being obedient and easily-massacred Jewish Arabs.