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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘London’

DM Liberman to Meet With US, UK Counterparts in London

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is set to meet Tuesday in London with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, although the agenda has not been made public.

Defense Ministry officials said the two men will discuss “a series of matters” but revealed nothing else.

Liberman met with Carter at the Pentagon on June 20, when the two “reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Israeli defense relationship and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Carter and Liberman also discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East and “areas of mutual defense cooperation,” according to the statement.

Liberman also attended the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister also toured an Elbit Systems plant and met in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.

While in London, Liberman is also set to meet with UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon following his talks with Carter.

Hana Levi Julian

10 United Flight Passengers Hurt Due to ‘Severe, Unexpected Turbulence’

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Severe and unexpected turbulence on United Airlines Flight #880 from Houston to London’s Heathrow Airport left 10 passengers and two crew members so badly injured they required hospitalization in Ireland.

The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing early Wednesday morning at Shannon Airport in Ireland, where the injured were taken to University Hospital in Limerick for treatment, officials said.

The Boeing 767, carrying 207 passengers, landed safely at 5:55 a.m. local time, with ambulances on hand to meet the flight on the tarmac. “All have since been discharged, except for one of our flight attendants,” the airline said in a statement.

A Colorado business passenger told NBC News, “Things flew all over the cabin and kitchen area. One attendant [cracked] the side of her head and was bleeding.” He added that his own shoulders were “really really hurting from grabbing on to the arm rest during those altitude declines.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israir Moving Service Hub to Sderot

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Domestic airline Israir is moving its phone center to the town of Sderot, near the Gaza Strip border, Army Radio reported. Israir CEO David Kaminitz said the new phone center is expected to employ 40 locals, with plans to double their number depending on future needs.

Sderot, a.k.a. Bomb Shelter Capital of the World, is located less than a mile from the Gaza border (the nearest point is only about 840 yards) has been a constant target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since 2001. These attacks have killed 13 Israelis, wounded dozens, caused millions of dollars in damage and profoundly disrupted daily life. Studies have found that air raid sirens and explosions have caused severe psychological trauma in some residents. At least 75 percent of the children in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, including sleeping disorders and severe anxiety. From mid-June 2007 to mid-February 2008, 771 rockets and 857 mortar shells were fired at Sderot and the western Negev, an average of three or four each a day.

Meanwhile Israir has announced new international destinations this Jewish holiday season, flying for the first time to London, Belgrade, Saloniki, Madrid, Ljubljana and Munich.

Vice President of Marketing and Sales Gil Stav said Israir is taking advantage of the fact that the Jewish holidays fall in October this year, spelling a higher demand for tourism packages.

David Israel

American Woman Killed, 5 Injured, Including Israeli, in Posh Central London Slashing by Somali-Norwegian

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Officials are calling it a “spontaneous attack” but a Somali national with Norwegian citizenship stabbed to death a 60-year-old American woman Wednesday night and wounded five others, including one Israeli in a high-end section of central London.

The unidentified killer launched his rampage at about 10:30 pm in London’s elegant Russell Square, a park located close to the site of a July 2005 bombing by radical Islamist terrorists. One of the bombs in the coordinated bombing attack that killed 52 people detonated on a bus close to Russell Square.

The injured included an Israeli woman as well as a second U.S. citizen, an Australian national, and a local British citizen.

The killer, a Somali with Norwegian citizenship emigrated from the Scandinavian country in 2002. But it’s not clear whether he headed straight to the UK or made any other stops along the way, according to Norway’s National Criminal Service, CNN reported.

London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters, “So far we have found no evidence of radicalization,” Reuters reported. Rowley added the investigation is focusing on mental health issues at present.

Police arrived within six minutes of being called to the scene and used a taser to bring the 19-year-old killer under control. He was taken into custody and subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder.

The site is also located in the heart of the university area, and is close to the British Museum and other famous landmarks.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged residents in the capital to report anything suspicious to the police.

“The safety of all Londoners is my number one priority, and my heart goes out to the victims of the incident in Russell Square and their loved ones,” Khan said.

Officials meanwhile increased the security presence around the city by some 600 armed police.

London counter-terror police officials warned the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization has been attempting to radicalize those with mental health issues, with the goal of using them as operatives in terror attacks.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: 11% increase in UK Anti-Semitism in 2016

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

The first six months of 2016 saw an 11% increase in anti-Semitic hate incidents recorded in the UK compared with the same period in 2015, according to the Community Security Trust (CST) Anti-Semitic Incident Report January-June 2016, published Thursday.

CST recorded 557 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide during the first half of 2016, compared with 500 anti-Semitic incidents during the first six months of 2015. This total of 557 incidents is the second-highest CST has ever recorded in the January-June period of any year. The highest total for the first half of any year was in 2009, when 629 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in reaction to the Gaza war of January 2009.

The long-term trend shows that the number of anti-Semitic incidents has remained at a relatively high level since the summer of 2014, when the UK saw a large spike in anti-Semitic incidents following that year’s Gaza war. Since then, average monthly anti-Semitic incident totals have ranged between 80 and 100 anti-Semitic incidents per month, whereas in the two years before they had ranged between 40 and 60 incidents per month.

CST has been recording anti-Semitic incidents in the UK since 1984.

Antisemitic graffiti, London, January 2016 / Photo credit: CST

Antisemitic graffiti, London, January 2016 / Photo credit: CST

CST discarded 364 reports it received between January and June 2016, which were not deemed to be anti-Semitic and are not included in this total.

The report shows no clear single cause for the increase in recorded anti-Semitic incidents—most of which took place in April, May and June: 99, 125 and 112 incidents respectively. The 125 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in May were the fourth-highest monthly total ever recorded by CST, and the 112 incidents recorded in June were the sixth-highest monthly total ever recorded.

CST recorded 133 anti-Semitic incidents that took place on social media, comprising 24% of the total of 557 incidents for the first half of 2016. Social media are now being used as tools for coordinated campaigns of anti-Semitic harassment, threats and abuse directed at Jewish public figures and other individuals.

79% of the 557 anti-Semitic incidents recorded by CST in the first six months of 2016 took place in the main Jewish centers of Greater London and Greater Manchester. However, the two cities saw very different trends: CST recorded 379 anti-Semitic incidents in Greater London, a rise of 62% from the same period in 2015, but in Greater Manchester, CST recorded 62 anti-Semitic incidents, a 54% drop.

CST recorded 41 violent anti-Semitic assaults in the first six months of 2016, a 13 per cent fall from the 47 violent assaults recorded in the first half of 2015. None of the 41 violent assaults recorded in the first six months of 2016 were serious enough to be classified as Extreme Violence, which would involve an incident that constituted grievous bodily harm or posed a threat to life. The 41 violent incidents comprised 7% of the overall total, compared with 9% in the first half of 2015 and 7% in the first six months of 2014.

There were 32 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property recorded by CST in the first six months of 2016, a decrease of 11% from the 36 incidents of this type recorded in the first half of 2015.

CST recorded 43 direct anti-Semitic threats during the first half of 2016, a 10% increase from the 39 incidents in the first six months of 2015. There were 431 incidents of anti-Semitic Abusive Behavior, a 16% increase. These incidents included anti-Semitic graffiti on non-Jewish property, hate mail, anti-Semitic verbal abuse and social media incidents that do not involve direct threats.


Jewish Photographer Dorothy Bohm Brings Back ‘Sixties London’ [video]

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

If you’re in London on vacation this month, here’s an opportunity to explore the streets of 1960s London through the lens of eminent photographer Dorothy Bohm. Born in 1924 to o a Jewish-Lithuanian family in Konigsberg, East Prussia, Bohm escaped Nazism in 1939 when she was sent to England to finish her schooling, armed with a Leica camera handed to her by her father as she was departing. She Graduated from Manchester College of Technology in 1942 and worked in leading portrait studio in central Manchester. In 1945 she married Louis Bohm, in ’46 she opened “Studio Alexander” in Manchester, and in 1947 visited Palestine for the first time. Between 1947 and 1955, she traveled to Switzerland, lived in Paris, lived in New York and San Francisco, traveled around the US and Mexico, until in 1956 she settled in Hampstead, North London, where she still lives.

Church Street market, Marylebone / Dorothy Bohm, Courtesy

Church Street market, Marylebone / Dorothy Bohm, Courtesy

She continued to travel and shoot around the planet, but her retrospective show that ends August 29 at the Jewish Museum London steps back in time to discover the diversity of life in London in the 1960s, with photographs focusing on its inhabitants from all walks of life, from schoolchildren to fashion-conscious young adults to market traders.

Dorothy Bohm: Sixties London, at the Ben Uri Gallery & Museum through August 29 2016.

Open Daily 10 AM – 5 PM (Fridays 10 AM – 2 PM). Last entrance is 30 minutes before closing.

Jewish Museum London, Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, London NW1 7NB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7284 7384


What If They Commissioned an Anti-Settlements Exhibition and the Pictures Came Out Pastoral and Innocent?

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Ragnar Kjartansson is a widely exhibited Icelandic performance artist. In a 2002 work called Death and the Children, he dressed up in a dark suit and carried a scythe, leading young children through a cemetery, answering their questions. In a 2006 live performance titled Sorrow Conquers Happiness, he wore a tuxedo and played the role of a 1940s nightclub crooner with an orchestra, singing, “Sorrow conquers happiness” over and over as the music swelled. In 2011, Kjartansson won the inaugural Malcolm Award at Performa 11, the visual art performance biennial, for his 12-hour work Bliss, which was performed without a break at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with repeated performances of the finale of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” the moment when the count gets down on one knee and asks his wife for forgiveness, which she grants in an aria. Icelandic tenor Kristjan Johannson played the count.

For his exhibition titled Architecture and Morality, at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv this season, Kjartansson, according to a press release, was going to “create a new, ambitious body of paintings within the specific context of Israel. He will spend two weeks painting the urban landscapes in the West Bank ‘En plein air’ (a fancy French term the press release misspelled and which means ‘outdoors’) akin to his performative painting practice over the past few years.”

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

So Ragnar Kjartansson took his canvas and stand and paints and brushes and went en plein air to various Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and what he brought back was, well, not so bad. He painted what he saw (a paraphrase on the New Yorker’s surrealist Gahan Wilson’s book of horror cartoons), and apparently he saw none of the blood curdling evil normally associated with the term “settlements” on the corner of south Tel Aviv’s Tsadok Hacohen and Kalisher Streets, which is where the CCA is located.

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

Or, as Galia Yahav put it in Ha’aretz this weekend, “The houses are rendered separately, one per painting. All of them are drawn from the front and fill the canvas in the same way and from the same distance. The style is blatantly amateurish and naïve, as though from a hobby group, deliberately bland, with obedient brushstrokes and a filling of blank spaces, turgid coloration and pedantically mimetic attention to detail.”

But, most upsetting, from Yahav’s point of view, “the result is a small, suburban neighborhood of villas, completely artificial, in which little Israeli flags attached to parked cars wave in the breeze and larger ones flop from the windows of houses. Without addresses or names of specific settlements, this artistic tactic poses with feigned innocence in the likeness of a 19th-century pilgrimage, in which the Holy Land is portrayed through misty eyes.”

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

In other words, this cutting-edge performance artist, who was going to do to the settlements what Edvard Munch did the screaming, came away from those colonialist, apartheid-dispensing satanic neighborhoods with a fairly bland set of impressions, which is what one could expect from suburban bedroom communities anywhere.

“Perhaps the idea was to depict a generic quality of life rife with sated insensitivity – architecture as amorality,” Yahav tried to dig up some evil from under those middle class shaggy rugs. “Or perhaps it’s the realization of violent fantasy through painting: the occupied territories without Palestinians, a heaven on earth.”

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

Ragnar Kjartansson settlements exhibition / Source: CCA Facebook

Curator Chen Tamir wrote that Kjartansson’s settlements paintings “tell a story about the banality of everyday life amid complex political turmoil.” Maybe. But it ain’t in those paintings. Indeed, Tamir conceded that the entire Kjartansson exhibition “is a bold statement on art’s futility in the face of social and political strife.”

Or maybe, just maybe, the Icelandic artist discovered and then made a point leftwing art critics can’t afford to admit: that things in those Jewish settlements and in all of Judea and Samaria, just aren’t nearly as bad as they are in many other, more troubled places, such as London, Paris, Brussels, Nice and Istanbul.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/what-if-they-commissioned-an-anti-settlements-exhibition-and-the-pictures-came-out-pastoral-and-innocent/2016/07/17/

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