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June 28, 2016 / 22 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Jerusalem to Invest a Record NIS 50M to Promote Arts & Culture

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

The Jerusalem municipality will invest a record-breaking NIS 50 million per year starting this year to promote arts and culture in the capital.

Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports agreed on Sunday to allocate NIS 7 million to cultural institutions and ongoing initiatives to hike the city’s annual investment to a new record high.

Praising Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement released Sunday: “Jerusalem has experienced in recent years an unprecedented cultural renaissance, and returned as the cultural capital of Israel.

“The municipality will continue to operate and support the city’s cultural institutions in order to strengthen and promote the city’s culture – not only with new events and festivals, but by strengthening and leveraging the ongoing work of existing institutions, as well as by encouraging more entrepreneurial culture and artistic enterprises in the capital,” he vowed.

Jerusalem Wine Festival

This is the week of one of the biggest and most important events held each year in the capital: the Jerusalem Wine Festival, held annually by the Israel Museum.

The festival, which begins on Monday and runs through Thursday, is the leading event for the wine industry in Israel. It is a salute to Israeli wineries, which last year brought together a record 60 Israeli wineries that displayed hundreds of wine to taste.

This year’s festival is expected to welcome more than 20,000 visitors to the event.

In addition to booths for the tasting of wine, thousands of wine lovers who come from all over the country are also able to enjoy food from top restaurants, booths selling products to complement wine purchases, high quality gourmet products, live performances in a variety of styles, and more.

The event is held at the Art Garden of the Israel Museum, which is considered one of the world’s finest sculpture gardens.

Hana Levi Julian

13 Year-Old Jewish Boy Beaten in Paris

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

A 13 year-old Jewish boy wearing a kippah was attacked and beaten in the 19th district (arrondissement) of Paris this week. The boy was beaten as he left his Jewish school.

The assailants were described as being of African origin. The 19th arrondissement is home to many North African immigrants. One of the attackers allegedly shouted “beat that dirty Jew.”

After the attackers beat the boy, they allegedly stole his phone and ran away.

The victim was taken to a local hospital with head wounds.

France’s National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVA) condemned the attack and recommended that a formal complaint be filed with French police.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

A 95-Year-Old WWII Vet, and Klimt’s ‘Lady in Gold’ Makes a Comeback

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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Yishai is joined by 95-year-old Jerusalem resident Dan Nadel, a five-time decorated WWII hero, who led troops in the Battle of the Bulge and in the liberation of France from the Nazis. In honor of VE Day, commemorating the Allied victory over Nazi Germany (marked on May 8), Nadel, tells the tale of fighting across Europe, and eventually fulfilling his Zionist dream.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by foreign correspondent Anne-Marie O’Connor to talk about her award-winning book, “The Lady in Gold,” that chronicles the fight for restitution of Gustav Klimt’s iconic “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer,” confiscated by the Nazis in Vienna just prior to World War II.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

The Roots of Racism, and the Difference Between the US and Israel

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

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Yishai is joined in-studio by Jerusalem Post op-ed editor Seth Frantzman and editorial page editor Matthew Wagner to discuss the violent protests held by Ethiopian Israelis over the past few days. They talk about the roots of the rage, and the extent of discrimination against Jews in the Jewish state.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Joel Pollak, editor-at-large and in-house counsel for Breitbart.com, to discuss the similarities and differences between the US and Israel. Pollak says that whereas America is based on a philosophy, Israeli society is more ethnic and connected to the land. In the US, people are very mobile, moving around for school and work, and reinvent themselves easily. Pollak also talks about Israel’s growth and the American administration’s Iran gambit.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Israeli Sovereignty in Jerusalem, and the Second-Chance Holiday

Friday, May 1st, 2015

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Yishai is joined by Alan Elsner, vice president for communications at the ultra-liberal Jewish organization J Street, to discuss the future of the two-state solution and the challenges connected with Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. Why are Arabs rioting there?

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Rabbi Mike Feuer to discuss Second Passover, a bona fide biblical holiday that many people have never heard of. What are the secrets of this holiday? What is the big deal about blasphemy?

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

The Only Commonality Is Mass Killing

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Aaron Alexis murdered 12 people and injured at least eight more at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard before he was shot and killed by law enforcement professionals. It is tempting to compare Alexis to a suicide bomber, especially now that we have heard rumors he opened a website under the name “Mohammed Salem.” However, clear thinking demands that temptation be resisted. Let me explain why.

As an Israeli criminologist who has studied suicide bombers for almost two decades—making extensive observations of and conducting numerous interviews with those who failed, as well as with those who dispatch the bombers, with family members of suicide bombers and decision makers and elites in their society— I can say with confidence that the differences between mass killers in the West such as Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris at Columbine, and yes, Aaron Alexis at the D.C. Navy Yard, and suicide bombers are categorical and insurmountable.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, Eric Lankford, an American criminal justice professor, sought to show that America’s lone shooters have more in common with suicide bombers than is commonly believed. But his op-ed piece, “What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers” (New York Times, 12/19/12), is fundamentally flawed. America has certainly suffered enough with the recent Sandy Hook, Aurora and other tragedies, but clear thinking demands we realize that even if someone is characterized as a “shaheed” (a martyr for the sake of Allah, including suicide bombers), the differences between mass killers in the West and suicide bombers are categorical and insurmountable.

The overriding distinction between the two is their native cultures: the suicide bomber’s education and attack preparations are diametrically opposed to that of mass killers, as is their socialization. Suicide bombers are radical Islam’s celebrated heroes, its darlings, whose acts are viewed by the larger culture as exemplary and heroic; in contrast, the West’s mass killers are aberrant individuals isolated from their resolutely life-affirming culture.

Specifically and most importantly, Western culture in general, and American culture in particular, cherishes life. American children are raised in the belief in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; they are raised to embrace life and respect the lives of others. Clearly there are a disturbed few who kill others, but those are not the heroes of the American people: their murders and subsequent own deaths do not bring honor to their families or elevate them in their society’s collective memory.

But that is exactly what does happen in radical Islamist culture. In Gaza, for example, children collect cards of shaheeds, the same way American children collect baseball cards. It is absurd to think that anyone would propose National Park Stadium be renamed Aaron Alexis Stadium, and the absurdity illustrates and emphasizes the difference between American mass killers and Muslim suicide bombers whose names emblazon schools, sports teams, stadiums and public squares.

The Western mass killer’s acts are motivated by individual pathology rather than by collective ethos. The individual’s aberrant thoughts trigger the plan for a mass killing. The suicide bomber is not driven by psychological pain, although he is selected because others see him as weak or vulnerable. A culture that celebrates death and declares to the West that “we love death as you love life” is the petri dish in which suicide bombers develop.

Another distinction is that suicide bombers are not lone gunmen, instead, they are merely tools in a comprehensive, well-advertised terrorist production, manipulated to achieve political goals. To understand the significance of the difference, try to imagine Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris as inanimate objects whose owner chooses not only the location of the killings, but also the date, the weapons and even the victims. The suicide bombers’ locations are chosen by others to ensure that the greatest possible damage will be inflicted; the bombers usually have little or no advance notice. A suicide bomber, in contrast to Adam Lanza, will never embark on his mission by first killing his own mother—the most significant and beloved person in his life.

The mass killers choose their victims, the locations and the timing of their deeds, usually planning their acts meticulously over a long period of time. For the suicide bomber, his body is the murder weapon. His death is the only way to achieve his true goal: to enter paradise physically, where 72 virgins and the rivers of wine await him, and spiritually, by bringing honor to himself and his family. All this is possible only if his corporeal being merges with the bomb fragments to bring death to others, an ideal far removed from Western moral conceptions of life and afterlife.

A Western mass killer’s death is not a precondition for the mass murder; the deaths of those they have selected is what matters. The suicide bomber, however, is on a mission aimed at propelling himself toward a better future in the afterlife, where he will be able to enjoy everything he was unable to enjoy or achieve while living. America’s mass killers have no future: they will be vilified and not celebrated, and in contrast to radical Islamic culture, their families will suffer ignominy and isolation. We have already heard the anguish suffered by Aaron Alexis’s mother, who, in a public statement, expressed deep sorrow over the pain caused by her son. She also said she was glad her son was in a place now where he can no longer do any harm to anyone.

The West’s mass killers have no recruiters, handlers or dispatchers, all of whom are essential in a world where suicide bombers are the logical means to achieve the collective end. In the United States, anywhere and at any time, the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” does not elicit the answer, “A mass killer (or suicide bomber).” However, the Gazan child for example, will not answer “fireman,” “policeman,” or even “I’m going to work in an office like Daddy.” The virtually guaranteed answer is “shaheed,” and his mother will likely cheer.

Radical Islam’s suicide bomber is the manipulated tool of an aberrant death-glorifying culture, while the West’s mass killer is an aberrant member of a robust, life-affirming culture. There are similarities between the two, but it is a mistake to put them on the same level. To blur the distinction is to insult America.

Anat Berko

Prerequisites for Muslim-Jewish Reconciliation

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I appreciate the fact that this Jewish publication was willing to publish my article. I’m not sure how easy it would be for a Jewish pundit to get his or her work published in a Turkish, Egyptian or Iranian magazine. I believe it’s high time someone gave it a try.

History buffs among us know all too well that the best time for Jews over the past two millennia—ever since they were overcome by the force of the Roman empire following two bloody rebellions—was under the rule of the Arab caliphates, both in Spain and in North Africa. So much so, that Jewish sources refer to that time as “The golden age.”

The various Muslim caliphates, which began ruling a very large chunk of the known world in the 7th and 8th centuries, were driven by a single, fundamental, religious mission: to spread Islam. But their agenda for the pagans populating Asia, Africa and Europe was different from their agenda for the “peoples of the book,” followers of Christianity and Judaism. While, most often, the heathens were given no choice about conversion: you became Muslim or you died – Christians and Jews who refused to convert to Islam only had to endure a kind of second class citizenship, with different features in different locales.

It would be helpful to recall that while Jews in Muslim territories at the time were forced to wear articles of clothing that set them apart, and were forbidden to ride horses or use the main public sidewalks—a few miles up north, in Christian Europe, they were being raped, pillaged and burned alive on a steady basis. And while in Christian Europe Jews were blocked from most of the professions, under the caliphates their economic options were much more exciting, hence the term “golden age.”

While Jewish culture in Christian Europe centered almost strictly around the houses of study, with little evidence of a robust culture, in Spain and North Africa the Jews wrote songs and books of philosophy, and excelled as military generals and court politicians—in addition to their flourishing business as traders and bankers.

It is true that Islam had its low point even during that golden age, and every once in a while the mainstream in various provinces—for a variety of geopolitical and social reasons—would take on an ominous spirit of fanaticism and start harassing the “peoples of the books” with fanatical impatience and zeal, threatening their lives unless they converted. But even those waves of fanaticism are dwarfed by the pogroms and expulsions that marked the lives of Jews under Christian rule.

Indeed, the demise of the thriving Jewish culture in Spain came not under Muslim rule, but only after the Christian invasion of the late 1300s, which ended with the expelling of all the Jews of Spain and Portugal in 1492.

What followed was particularly grim for Islam. Just as the original Muslim invasion of the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe was enabled by the decline of the Roman Empire, so did was decline of the Caliphate an invitation to a new force, the great Ottoman Empire, to quickly overtake those same areas, and to push far north into Central Europe, only to be blocked, finally, at the gates of Vienna.

But something went wrong in Muslim history at that point. Historians will continue to argue over the precise reasons – the reality is that sometime around the Renaissance period, while Christian Europe began to emerge from its barbarism, to usher in an age of discoveries, inventions and the rise of the human spirit—at a high cost to many indigenous peoples on several continents—Islam began its sad and disheartening decline that set aside Muslims in general and Arabs in particular as the second class citizens of a developing world. Instead of setting the tone in science and scholarship, as it used to do in the middle ages, Islam was relegated to the position of a spectator in a game it could not hope to win.

We have a big problem with cognitive dissonance in most Arab countries, which are trying to be simultaneously Muslim and modern. By “modern” I mean doing all the things a normal Western society takes for granted: publishing books, making movies, starting businesses, dining in restaurants, driving cars, writing laws to serve the community, delivering state services. Every single one of these aspects of your life which you take for granted represent a potential clash with Islam.

Sevda Gözler

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/prerequisites-for-muslim-jewish-reconciliation/2013/09/10/

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