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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Upper Galilee’

Israel Explodes the ‘Big Lie’ – Gaza Al Dura Boy Wasn’t Killed

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

An official Israeli government report declared Sunday that Mohammed al-Dura, the 12-year-old boy whose picture convinced the entire world that the IDF had killed him, not only did not die but also may never have been shot.

Now, 13 years after the supposed killing that incited the senseless murders of Israelis as well as Jews throughout the world, the Israel government report categorically concluded that the France 2 report was much more of a hoax than thought several years ago.

For a close look at the footage, click here.

“Contrary to the claim that the boy was dead, the committee’s review of the raw footage indicates that at the end of the video – the part that was not broadcast – the boy appears to be alive,” according to the report by the Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy.

“The probe has found that there is no evidence to support the claims that the father, Jamal, or the boy Mohammed, were shot. Furthermore, the video does not show Jamal being seriously wounded. On the other hand, many signs indicate that the two were never hit by the bullets.”

The panel was comprised of officials from the Defense and Foreign ministries, experts from outside the government and the police, and it was headed by Yossi Kuperwasser, former director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

The revelation puts another nail in the coffin of the “Al Dura news report” that was challenged by a French Jew, Philippe Karsenty, who charged that France 2 journalist Charles Enderlin created a media lie by broadcasting edited footage that alleged that the IDF killed the boy.

An emotionally wrenching photo that was seen around the world shows Mohammed supposedly crying out as he and his father took cover during a gun battle between the IDF and Palestinian Authority terrorists at the beginning of what has been termed the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, in 2000.

The alleged shooting of Mohammed Al Dura was filmed by Talal Abu Rahma, a Palestinian Authority photographer who free-lanced for France 2. The film lasts for 55 seconds and shows the boy screaming before the sound of gunfire, followed by a scene of the boy apparently dead over his father’s legs.

Enderlin told viewers the boy was killed and had been the “target of fire from the Israeli positions.” The gunfight occurred on the second day of the Oslo War and spread venom throughout the Arab world, inciting terrorist against Israel.

To make matters worse, the IDF apologized within 24 hours even though the military had not verified the alleged shooting.

The timing of Sunday’s government report is astounding because a French court is to rule later this week on a libel suit filed by Enderlin against Karsenty, who previously was backed by a lower French court, which stated that Karsenty presented a “coherent mass of evidence” and that the Palestinian Authority cameraman for France 2 was not “perfectly credible.”

Karsenty’s investigation revealed that France 2 had edited the film and it was not clear whether the boy died from Israeli or Palestinian Authority fire. At the same time, media watchdogs began documenting “Pallywood” productions that the Palestinian Authority staged for journalists, who gobbled up faked scenes of supposedly wounded Arab victims of IDF gunfire who magically were later seen walking around freely after having been shoved into ambulances.

From a further perspective, the Israeli report punctures another Big Lie that has haunted Israel ever since the Six-Day War in 1967 way.

A small sample of other lies includes:

–   Israel  occupied Judea and Samaria, most of which were in fact taken over by Jordan without any international authorization;

–   Children of Arabs who were chased out of Israel or who fled Israel are ”refugees,” a second generation status that the United Nations does not grant to anyone in the world except Arabs who claim Israel as their home;

–  Israel aggressively attacked Lebanese “guerillas” who pulverized northern residents before the “Peace for the Galilee campaign, now known as the First Lebanese War, in which Israel established a security zone in southern Lebanon to defend the north;

–  Israel committee war crimes for years, especially during the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in the winter of 2008-2009. The United Nations Goldstone report claimed Israel for dozens of war crimes but the report’s author, Judge Richard Goldstone, later admitted that had he known then what he knows now, he would have reached different conclusions;

–Israel built an “Apartheid’ Wall that creates a separation between Jews and Arabs. In fact, most of the “wall” that runs for more than 200 miles is a fence, which has helped reduce the number of suicide terrorist attacks against to near zero. The fence also does not “keep out” Arabs because Israel operates checkpoints at numerous gates to make sure that Arabs who are not terrorists can travel freely into the rest of Israel; and

–  Israel “degrades” Palestinian Authority Arabs at checkpoints, even though it uses the same search methods that the United States and other Western countries use at airports and borders.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the new report was released that the France 2 film in 2000 “was an example of the deceitful delegitimization that we are constantly subject to. There is only one way to battle lies – by telling the truth.”

The supposed killing of the boy has been cited as the catalyst for the grizzly and barbaric lynching IDF reservists the following month in Ramallah, where they had arrived by mistake. The “Al Dura incident” also was said to have incited the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl as well as Osama bin Laden.

The question remains whether Mohammed al Dura was ever wounded, or if he even was a real person.

There is a less of a question concerning the credibility of international coverage of Israel.

Day by day, reports covering the “peace process” and the “Palestinian struggle” show fatigue in continuing to report Arab claims that have become so ludicrous that they simply are ignored.

Without media support, and without media incitement, the Palestinian Authority is increasingly being left with an audience of one hand clapping.

One other question arises: Can France 2 can be accused of inciting war crimes against Israel?

In Praise Of Merlot Wine

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

   Like Cinderella, wines based on the Merlot grape have too often been forced by their older and better- established sisters to sit in a corner, just a bit ashamed to make a public appearance. In Bordeaux, where the grape originated, and is, in fact, the most often planted grape in the region, Merlot grapes have a reputation for producing soft wines of limited character. The grapes have never been ignored however. Because wines made from Merlot are said to reduce the sharpness of other wines, they are often blended in relatively small quantities into some of the great Cabernet Sauvignon wines. For many years very few European winemakers gave much thought to bottling a pure Merlot. Even in California, Italy and Chile, where a good deal of Merlot wine is produced, many wineries have a problem selling it because potential buyers have been fairly well convinced that a Merlot simply cannot be as good as a Cabernet Sauvignon. The image of Merlot was tarnished even further in the 2004 film “Sideways,” in which one of the protagonists devoted a great deal of time to derogating it.

 

   All of which is not entirely fair, for the Merlot grape is the basis of the wine of Chateau Petrus, unquestionably one of the greatest Bordeaux red wines. Known as the “king of Pomerol,” Chateau Petrus has produced more consistently great wines year after year than any other chateau in Bordeaux. Rich, supple and elegant at all times and reaching extraordinary heights of finesse in good vintage years, these wines are highly prized and accordingly priced. Simply stated, the fact that Chateau Petrus is based on 95 percent of Merlot grapes demonstrates that in addition to the grape, climate and soil play dominant roles in the creation of great wines. At this writing, the Merlot grape is alive and doing quite well in Israel, the wines giving good competition to many other red grapes.

 

   The first local winery to come out with a wine based primarily on Merlot grapes was The Golan Heights Winery in 1986. Based on 85 percent Merlot and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, the 1986 wine was little short of superb and the winery has continued to release fine wines made from Merlot, some of those from single vineyards. Many other wineries have now followed this trend.

 

   Unlike the wines of Chateau Petrus that should never be drunk before they are 10 years old, the best Israeli Merlots are drinkable as early as three years after the harvest. Fermented for about two weeks with their skins, the wines are then aged for 10-16 months in 225 liter oak barrels – some from France, others from the United States. After that, the wines are aged in the bottle for 10-12 months before they are released to the market.

 

   Following are reviews of some of the very best current releases of Israeli kosher Merlot:

 

   Bustan, Bustan, Merlot, 2006: A luxuriant and rich wine, dark garnet toward royal purple in color, reflecting its 22 months in oak with notes of vanilla and cinnamon and soft, supple tannins that caress rather than “grab.” On the nose and palate a generous array of plums, black cherries, currants, mocha and toasty oak, all lingering comfortably on a remarkably long finish on which tannins and spices rise nicely. A supple and generous wine, perhaps best matched with large or small cuts of lamb or mutton. Drink now-2016. Score: 93.

 

   Yarden, Merlot, Kela (Sha’al) Vineyard, 2008: Full-bodied, concentrated and well-focused, showing layer after layer of blackberries, plums, espresso coffee and fresh sage, and roasted herbs. Give this one time and it will show hints of leather. An intense wine, but with the potential for elegance. Drink now-2018, perhaps longer. Score: 93.

In Praise Of Merlot Wine

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

   Like Cinderella, wines based on the Merlot grape have too often been forced by their older and better- established sisters to sit in a corner, just a bit ashamed to make a public appearance. In Bordeaux, where the grape originated, and is, in fact, the most often planted grape in the region, Merlot grapes have a reputation for producing soft wines of limited character. The grapes have never been ignored however. Because wines made from Merlot are said to reduce the sharpness of other wines, they are often blended in relatively small quantities into some of the great Cabernet Sauvignon wines. For many years very few European winemakers gave much thought to bottling a pure Merlot. Even in California, Italy and Chile, where a good deal of Merlot wine is produced, many wineries have a problem selling it because potential buyers have been fairly well convinced that a Merlot simply cannot be as good as a Cabernet Sauvignon. The image of Merlot was tarnished even further in the 2004 film “Sideways,” in which one of the protagonists devoted a great deal of time to derogating it.

 

   All of which is not entirely fair, for the Merlot grape is the basis of the wine of Chateau Petrus, unquestionably one of the greatest Bordeaux red wines. Known as the “king of Pomerol,” Chateau Petrus has produced more consistently great wines year after year than any other chateau in Bordeaux. Rich, supple and elegant at all times and reaching extraordinary heights of finesse in good vintage years, these wines are highly prized and accordingly priced. Simply stated, the fact that Chateau Petrus is based on 95 percent of Merlot grapes demonstrates that in addition to the grape, climate and soil play dominant roles in the creation of great wines. At this writing, the Merlot grape is alive and doing quite well in Israel, the wines giving good competition to many other red grapes.

 

   The first local winery to come out with a wine based primarily on Merlot grapes was The Golan Heights Winery in 1986. Based on 85 percent Merlot and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, the 1986 wine was little short of superb and the winery has continued to release fine wines made from Merlot, some of those from single vineyards. Many other wineries have now followed this trend.

 

   Unlike the wines of Chateau Petrus that should never be drunk before they are 10 years old, the best Israeli Merlots are drinkable as early as three years after the harvest. Fermented for about two weeks with their skins, the wines are then aged for 10-16 months in 225 liter oak barrels – some from France, others from the United States. After that, the wines are aged in the bottle for 10-12 months before they are released to the market.

 

   Following are reviews of some of the very best current releases of Israeli kosher Merlot:

 

   Bustan, Bustan, Merlot, 2006: A luxuriant and rich wine, dark garnet toward royal purple in color, reflecting its 22 months in oak with notes of vanilla and cinnamon and soft, supple tannins that caress rather than “grab.” On the nose and palate a generous array of plums, black cherries, currants, mocha and toasty oak, all lingering comfortably on a remarkably long finish on which tannins and spices rise nicely. A supple and generous wine, perhaps best matched with large or small cuts of lamb or mutton. Drink now-2016. Score: 93.

 

   Yarden, Merlot, Kela (Sha’al) Vineyard, 2008: Full-bodied, concentrated and well-focused, showing layer after layer of blackberries, plums, espresso coffee and fresh sage, and roasted herbs. Give this one time and it will show hints of leather. An intense wine, but with the potential for elegance. Drink now-2018, perhaps longer. Score: 93.

 

   Yarden, Merlot, Kela Vineyard, 2008: Deep, almost impenetrable garnet in color, full-bodied, concentrated and well-focused, reflecting its 14 months in French barriques with chewy tannins and notes of spicy cedar, those parting to make way for aromas and flavors of blackberries, plums, espresso and sage. On the long finish notes of roasted herbs. Give this one some time and it will show appealing earthy minerals and hints of citrus peel. Drink now-2018, perhaps longer. Score: 93.

 

   Flam, Reserve, Merlot, 2008: Oak-aged in French barriques for 15 months, a blend of 90 percent Merlot and five percent each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark garnet toward royal purple, with ample soft tannins and a gentle hand with the oak, showing aromas and flavors of currants and black cherries, those supported nicely by notes of peppermint, spring flowers and spices, a tempting light, earthy note rising on the long finish. Drink now-2018. Score: 92.

 

   Karmei Yosef, Merlot, Bravdo, 2009: Deep garnet toward royal purple, medium- to full-bodied (leaning to the full) with gently caressing tannins and not at all exaggerated notes of spicy wood, those complementing a generous array of blackcurrant, wild berry and raspberry fruits. Deep and round, with notes of cigar tobacco, and a tantalizing hint of sweetness on the long finish. Finely tuned balance and structure bode well for an elegant wine as this one continues to develop. Drink now-2016, perhaps longer. Score: 92.

 

   Carmel, Single Vineyard, Merlot, Sha’al, 2009: Aged for 10 months in small oak barrels, showing dark garnet toward royal purple in color. Medium- to full-bodied (leaning to the full), opens with a generous hint of mint on a black-fruit nose, going on to reveal purple plums and then to raspberries and red currants. Drink now-2016, perhaps longer. Score: 91.

 

   Barkan Superieur, Merlot, Superieur, 2008: Still a tentative blend but already showing fine promise. Almost impenetrably dark garnet in color, full-bodied, with black fruits and a light note of sawdust on the nose, showing gently gripping tannins and a tempting array of cassis, wild berries and dark chocolate on the nose and palate. Long and generous. Destined for elegance. Drink now-2016. Score: 91.

 

   Reserve, Merlot, Reserve, 2008: Made from low-yield, non-irrigated grapes from the Manara vineyard in the Upper Galilee, full-bodied, with soft, gently gripping tannins integrating nicely. Dark garnet and showing a tempting array of wild berries, black cherries and currants, those matched gently by notes of spicy cedarwood. Deep, generous and long, with near-sweet tannins rising on the long finish. Drink now-2016. Score: 91.

 

   Dalton, Reserve, Merlot, 2007: Developed for 18 months in French barriques, half of which were new, showing soft, gently caressing tannins, spicy cedarwood and generous wild berry and cassis, those supported by herbal, tobacco notes and on the long finish a flavor of red plums rising. Drink now-2013. Score: 90.

 

   Ella Valley Vineyards, Merlot, 2008: Deep garnet in color, full-bodied with still-gripping tannins but already showing fine balance and structure that bode well for the future. Rich and round, a fruity red with an abundance of blackberry, raspberry and currant notes, those showing an appealing floral note. From mid-palate on to the long finish, hints of citrus peel and milk chocolate. Drink now-2014. Score: 90.

 

   Galil Mountain, Merlot, 2009: Garnet toward royal purple, an unoaked red, medium- to full-bodied, with soft, gently caressing tannins, showing currant, wild berry and purple plums on a lightly spicy background. Not complex but making for very pleasant drinking and, at its best, with small cuts of beef or veal. Drink now-2013. Score: 86.

 

   Gush Etzion, Emek Bracha, Merlot, 2008: Oak-aged for 22 months, a garnet toward royal purple blend of 81 percent Merlot and 19 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a fine array of currant, wild berry and red plums, those complemented nicely by hints of black pepper and dark chocolate. Long and generous. Drink now-2013. Score: 90.

 

   Odem Mountain, Reserve, Merlot, 2008: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied with soft, gently caressing tannins and a moderate hand with the oak. On the nose and palate currants, wild berries, black cherries and a gentle hint of licorice on the long finish. Drink now-2015. Score: 90.

 

   Tabor, Adama II, Merlot, 2008: Dark cherry red toward garnet, made entirely from Merlot grapes harvested on Kerem Ben Zimra in the Upper Galilee on volcanic soil, reflecting its 12 months in oak with full-body, soft tannins and light notes of smoky oak. On the nose and palate currants, red berries and notes of citrus peel all on a light note of white pepper. Round, long and generous. Drink now-2014. Score: 90.

 

   Tzuba,Tel Tzuba, Merlot, 2008: Garnet toward royal purple with orange reflections, full-bodied with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins and showing fine concentration and balance. On first attack red currants and raspberries, those yielding to blackberries and an appealing hint of bitter herbs. Drink now-2014. Score: 90.

Finding Your Instrument

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Nestled in the picturesque village of Metullah in the hills of the Upper Galilee, hidden in the serpentine alleyways of the quaint cobble-stoned streets, is Zami’s Music Box, Israel’s only museum of musical instruments.

Zami Ravid, a pianist and conductor, left the international concert stage and university lecture halls to pursue an interesting dream – the search for the perfect instrument. Originally from Tel Aviv, Ravid and his wife Rina built the house where he lives and curates his museum 30 years ago, when he was invited to direct the musical activity at the community center in Metullah. He fell in love with the panoramic view, which extends 80 km.

The museum itself started, as most wonderful things do, by accident. Ravid, in the course of his work, was asked to play on the piano, pieces originally written for the clavichord, harmonium and organ. It bothered him. He felt it was wrong. Thus he started searching for the instruments, so he could play the pieces as the composer had intended them to be played.Having begun to acquire them, he brought some students from The Open University’s northern branch where he was teaching music appreciation, to see and play them. They in turn brought some friends. To interest the students, he bought more instruments. And so it went. But this initial motivation has turned into the quest for the perfect instrument.

 

Zami Ravid in his museum

 

“No instrument,” he contends, “is perfect. Each instrument has its limitations.” That, he explains, is how instruments were developed in the first place. In the evolutionary process of creating musical instruments, each new instrument was designed to surpass the limitations of the former. That’s how keyboards developed from the harpsichord and clavichord to the piano. They were perfected from simple instruments to the more complex organ and harmonium, with each new development trying to correct the imperfections of its predecessor. However, each instrument is completely different and answers a different need.

“It’s not the difference between a Citroen or a Volvo or a Volkswagen, but the difference between a horse or a car or a train,” claims Ravid. He is interested in the chronology of instruments – what came before and what came after. Each instrument was made to solve a problem, which then created another one.

Most of the instruments, now numbering 200 and originating from every country in the world and a range of periods, are housed in a hexagonal room. They include percussion, string, wind and of course the aforementioned keyboards. The collection has taken 20 years to amass.

 

 

Zami Ravid, Pianist and conductor at his piano

 

Ravid is very erudite. He once gave a weeklong lecture (a total of 54 hours) about music, which is obviously his love. But true love recognizes the weaknesses of the object of your affection. “Knowing the limitation of an instrument enables me to use it correctly and successfully. I recognize the frustrations of other people, who are trying to get from the piano what it cannot give. They want an instrument that does it all. Such an instrument doesn’t exist.”

Among the unusual pieces, one can see a Charango, an Argentinean string instrument made from the shell of an armadillo; a monochord, a 130-year-old French instrument which resembles a mutation of a piano and a violin; a Serpent, that looks more like a plumber’s tool than a musician’s; and a Cheng from China, which is reminiscent of a Thailandian headdress.This is by no means a hands-on exhibit, and Ravid is quick to caution, “Listen but don’t touch.” And listen you might, as the maestro plays the various instruments, illustrating both what they can and can’t do.

“When you know the imperfections of an instrument, you can deal with them,” says Ravid. “Chopin, Brahms and Tchaikovsky knew this. There is no perfect instrument, only an instrument perfect for a piece of music composed for it. The organ is the perfect instrument for Bach’s Toccata in D minor. The harpsichord is perfect for Scarlatti, and the piano for Chopin.” Ravid thinks it’s a tragedy that the piano has become the musical pass?-partout.

 

 

Ravid demonstrating a 130-year-old French instrument

The slow rural pace of Metullah fits the pace of this storyteller, whose own tempo is concurrently lento, largo and vivace – something even his instruments can’t do. He speaks with a certain worldly cynicism, with a well-accented humor, and although he has an answer for everything, it is rarely a direct one.

The private museum also serves as a concert and lecture hall. Ravid offers six fascinating programs, including one on music boxes and another on instruments of the Tanach. He claims that we can’t know what instruments are referred to in the Tanach, since the modern names don’t apply to the ancient instruments.

It is obvious that it takes numerous visits to the museum to even begin to tap Ravid’s vast knowledge. However, just one will definitely inject a positive note to your trip up north.Zami’s Music Box, located at 5 Mitzpe Hahula Street in Metullah, accommodates up to 30 people (40 in a crunch). The entrance fee is 65 NIS (approximately $17) per person. They can be reached by phone at 04-6997073 or via e-mail at Zami_ravid@surfree.net.il. Visit their website at http://zamiravid.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles//2009/03/04/

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