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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

A Former Italian Model’s Mission at the Mount of Olives

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Vandalism and garbage throwing is not a new phenomenon at the most ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Amid the thousands of tombstones, some of which have been defaced or smashed into pieces, there are areas full of trash and litter left by local Palestinian youth from neighborhoods nearby.

One woman in particular is extremely agitated by the current situation.

Mirella Petteni Haggiag, a former Italian model from Rome, makes her way through the tombstones with a garbage bag in her hand several times of year when she visits Israel. She comes ready to clean around the tombstone of her late husband, Robert Haggiag, the legendary Italian-American film producer.

“This is a holy place. It’s shocking to see what happens here” Mirella Haggiag told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview recently. “The Arabs hold parties and leave behind a mess. For the past five years, I come here and clean up.” “I want this place to be perfect for my husband, may he rest in peace. But look at all this,” says Mirella Haggiag, picking up the garbage and red coke cans strewn around. “These must be the result of parties. It’s not nice.”

Because Mirella lives in Rome, she also sends someone to clean Robert Haggiag’s gravestone or one of their children when she cannot be in Jerusalem. “This isn’t actually as bad as other parts of the cemetery,” she comments. “Over there, you can see the graves have been burnt and some completely smashed up,” she says, pointing to the section where the Afghanistan Jewish community is located. “They haven’t been able to destroy my husband’s tomb,” she told Tazpit.

“My husband would have been 102 years old today. I can’t imagine what he would say about this. People need to know what is happening to this cemetery,” she says.

Her husband’s life is a one fascinating story among the many notable personalities and famous figures in Jewish history buried on the Mount of Olives.

A famous film producer, Robert Haggiag co-produced and distributed more than 50 films, achieving international success with such films as Moulin Rouge, the Barefoot Contessa (1954) starring Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner, and Anthony Mann’s El Cid (1961), with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston, among many others. He earned the Italy’s prestigious David di Donatello award and the Palme d’Or at France’s Cannes Film Festival in 1965.

Robert was born Nessim Haggiag in 1913 in Tripoli, Libya and came from a Sephardic Jewish family of nine children. He studied at the University of Turin and eventually came to own many properties and movie theaters in Tripoli. However, during WWII, he was forced to abandon everything, and escaped as a war refugee to America with nothing. According to his obituary in the Telegraph, all that Haggiag owned was confiscated by the new Islamic social state.

In the late 1960’s, Robert Haggiag co-founded the largest film distributor company in Italy, with exclusive rights granted to Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century-Fox and other American studios. Later in life, he helped co-produce with his son the Lady Chatterley TV series for the BBC.

Haggiag passed away in 2009 at the age of 95 and is survived by Mirella, their two sons and a stepson.

To this day, the Haggiag family continues to maintain a strong connection with Jerusalem. This year, as in the past, the Haggiag Family Award for Israeli Cinema in memory of Robert Nessim Haggiag will be given during the upcoming Jerusalem Film Festival in July.

“My husband always wanted to be buried here in the Mount of Olives,” Mirella Haggiag told Tazpit. “And there is a family plot for myself and our children. But it’s quite depressing – I want to look for another burial place for myself. Who will clean up after I’m gone?” she asks.

Vatican Officially Recognizes PA as New Arab Country

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday as a new Arab country. This, despite its lack of any borders, and the fact that it is, in essence, comprised of two complete entities ruled by two completely different governments.

In a new treaty finalized Wednesday but not yet signed, the Vatican welcomed the 2012 decision by the United Nations General Assembly to grant the entity non-member observer state status.

As the first legal document to be negotiated between the Palestinian Authority and the Vatican, the treaty as such constitutes an official recognition of “the state of Palestine.”

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas – who has remained in his position more than four years past the expiration of his legal term in office – is slated to meet with Pope Francis on Saturday.

Since the PA has not seen fit to meet its obligations under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords, this treaty further exacerbates tensions over the entity’s violations of the agreement.

The PA has sought UN membership as a means of evading its responsibilities under the Accords, which include stopping terror and reaching a final status agreement with Israel through direct negotiations between the parties.

ISIS Threatens ‘Countdown to Terror’ in Rome

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization said Wednesday it has begun its “countdown” to terror in Rome.

The radical Islamist group organization posted photographs to ISIS-linked accounts on the Twitter social networking site, saying “waiting for the zero hour.”

The photos are taken in the streets of Rome with a paper bearing the message with the hashtag “ #Islamic State in Rome “ held up to the camera. Some are handwritten in Arabic, some are in Italian, saying, “We are in your streets,” the RT news site reported Wednesday. A number of messages on Twitter were posted in English as well.

One of the photos appears to have been taken at the Colosseum in Rome; others seem to have been taken in Milan. Some Italian Twitter users are claiming the tweets are fake and the photos are as well.

The Italian government, meanwhile, is taking no chances and has increased security around Rome, particularly at strategic sites and landmarks that could be targeted by the group. Security officials established a counter-terrorism task force months ago with Albania, following the “Charlie Hebdo” and Hyper Cacher massacres in Paris this past January.

Italian Jewish Leader Arrested For Trying To Escape From Auschwitz

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

First published at Jewish Business News by Vered Weiss

On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Riccardo Pacifici, a leader of Rome’s Jewish community, was trapped inside Auschwitz and arrested for trying to escape through a window, as reported by Haaretz. Pacifici was recording a television show about the ceremony to commemorate the liberation of the death camp and, in the course of the interview, he didn’t realized that the gates had been closed and locked by guards.

Pacifici, whose grandparents perished in Auschwitz, was faced with freezing conditions along with Italian journalist David Parenzo, Fabio Perugia, Jewish community spokesman and other members of the television crew. Their cries for assistance were not heard, so they escaped through an open window, setting off an alarm.

Polish police officers arrested them immediately, and they were interrogated until 2:30 am. “They arrested us and treated us roughly as though we were criminals,” Mr. Perugia told Haaretz. More police officers were called up until there were a dozen confining the small group. After hours of more questioning, which was relieved only by an interpreter summoned by the Italian foreign ministry, the group was released.

While interrogated, Mr. Pacifici Tweeted in Italian, “We are being held by the Polish police inside Auschwitz … a disgrace.”

Upon his release, he called the incident “madness” and a “folly” and said, “They interrogated us until 6 in the morning, to Jews who had been locked inside the Auschwitz camp where I lost some of my family,” he told La Stampa, an Italian newspaper. “My grandparents died here. It’s a shock. Our only crime was that we tried to get out through the window.”

Netanyahu Says Israel Will not Accept Palestinian Authority ‘Diktat’

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday before leaving for Monday’s meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, “In recent years we have rebuffed recurrent attempts to dictate conditions to us that would have harmed Israel’s security and which are incompatible with genuine peace.

“This time as we will we will not accept attempts to dictate to us unilateral moves on a limited timetable. In the reality in which Islamic terrorism is reaching out to all corners of the globe, we will rebuff any attempt that would put this terrorism inside our home, inside the State of Israel. I will make this unequivocally clear.

“We will stand firm in the face of any diktat.”

Kerry Summons Netanyahu to Rome for Urgent Meeting before PA Bid to UN

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has summoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to an urgent meeting next Monday ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote in two weeks on a Palestinian Authority timetable to demand Israel’s withdrawal to the old Temporary Armistice Lines by 2016.

Haaretz, which often is privy to reports from ”anonymous” senior officials when it comes to cooperation with the Obama, reported that the Kerry-Netanyahu talks will last for several hours.

The Office of the Prime Minister told The Jewish Press it could not confirm or deny the report.

President Barack Obama does not want to be put in a position to have to decide whether or not to veto an anti-Israel decision by the Security Council.PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has served notice that he no longer is interested in the American-backed “peace process” and that he will achieve his demands via the United Nations, where the General Assembly is overloaded with pro-Arab countries.

As an alternative proposal to the 2016 deadline, France has suggested a two-year deadline for permanent agreement based on the “Green Line” borders that were erased by the Sic-Day War in 1967.

The French proposal is based on Israel accepting the old borders with the exception of land swaps, and that Jerusalem be divided between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Haaretz reported that it is not clear if Kerry will propose his own proposal.

Obama and Kerry’s insistence on forcing an agreement down the throats of both sides, instead of living up to their former word that it cannot bargain for both parties, has left them high and dry.

Israel has refused to buckle under pressure for another building freeze on homes for Jews.

Abbas has snubbed Washington by declaring the “peace process” dead and by essentially telling the United States he can get what he wants in the United Nations, with or without Obama.

The timing of the U.N. vote is incredible because of the sudden election campaign in Israel.

Assuming the Security Council approves the Palestinian Authority proposal, an American veto would spoil the case by anti-Netanyahu parties that the Prime Minister has destroyed good relations with the United States.

The lack of a veto would instantly be seen as an attempt to undermine Netanyahu and interfere in the elections.

If the Obama administration would have taken the opportunity to chuck the whole mess it has fostered, it would be off the hook.

Instead, Obama might find himself hanging on it.

Emergency Stop for US Airways from Israel to Philadelphia

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

A US Airways flight from Tel Avi to Philadelphia was forced to make an emergency stop in Rome on Saturday due to a mysterious odor in the plane.

Two passengers and all 14 crew members – including four pilots — reportedly began vomiting and suffered from red eyes.

It is not yet clear what caused the crew members and passengers aboard US Airways Flight US 797 to become ill.

Three flight attendants were taken by ambulance to an on-site clinic at Fliumicino Airport, said airline spokesperson Martha Thomas.

Other affected crew and passengers were treated at the clinic for nausea and irritated eyes as well.

fficials said a malfunction in the ventilation system of the Airbus A330 which carried 129 passengers may have been the cause of the problem.

An investigation has been launched, the spokesperson said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/emergency-stop-for-us-airways-from-israel-to-philadelphia/2014/12/07/

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