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Oscar-nominated ‘Omar’ puts Israelis in harsh light

Oscar-nominated ‘Omar’ puts Israelis in harsh light

LOS ANGELES — For cinematic observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this is a banner year, with both sides choosing Oscar submissions that center on the Israeli occupation.

Israel’s “Bethlehem,” which pits Shin Bet agents against diverse Palestinian factions eager to blow up the Jewish state, was eliminated early by the Academy Awards selection committee.

The Palestinian “Omar” is among the five finalists among foreign language films. Although it is considered a long shot to win the golden statuette, the judges in this category are notoriously unpredictable.

At the film’s opening, Omar (Adam Bakri), a handsome young baker, and the beautiful Nadja (Leem Lubany) pine for each other on opposite sides of the security fence.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 February 2014 12:56 )

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Claude Lanzmann of ‘Shoah’ (1985) offers another painful documentary

Claude Lanzmann of ‘Shoah’ (1985) offers another painful documentaryLOS ANGELES — When French director Claude Lanzmann finished filming and editing his eight-hour epic “Shoah” in 1985, he still had stashed away nearly 11 hours of interviews with one man. The man was Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Jewish council, or Judenrat, in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto in Czechoslovakia and the only Nazi-installed “elder of the Jews” not killed during the Holocaust. Compressed into the 3 1/2-hour documentary “The Last of the Unjust,” t...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 February 2014 14:56 )

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‘Monuments Men’ recalls Allied effort to save Europe’s heritage

‘Monuments Men’ recalls Allied effort to save Europe’s heritageBOSTON — There’s nothing like a star-studded Hollywood movie to shine a light on a little-known piece of history. That’s the hope of Robert Edsel, who wrote the book that inspired “The Monuments Men,” the George Clooney-Matt Damon film that opens today, Feb. 7, in theaters across the country. The all-star cast also includes Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett. Clooney, who directed the film, teamed to write and produce it with Gr...

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 February 2014 08:14 )

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Israelis at Olympics

Israelis at OlympicsHACKENSACK, NJ — Evgeni Krasnapolsky and Andrea Davidovich glide around the ice, shadowing one another to the accompaniment of Nino Rota’s “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet.” At a rink in this New York City suburb, the figure-skating pair are refining their long program a few weeks before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, opening today, Feb. 7. Krasnapolsky, 25, and Davidovich, 16, are practicing their choreographed hand holding, lifts and throws at the indoor Ice House complex, wh...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 February 2014 13:12 )

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Film sparks renewed interest in 2006 anti-Semitic murder

Film sparks renewed interest in 2006 anti-Semitic murderSAINTE-GENEVIEVE-DES-BOIS, France — The phone calls from Africa, the calm demeanor of the suspects and their extreme caution left no doubt in the minds of detectives working the Ilan Halimi case: They were up against an international ring of professional kidnappers. It would be more than three weeks after Halimi’s abduction, when the young Jewish phone salesman was found dying on a suburban Paris field in February, 2006, that police finally realized their mistake: A gang of local amateurs h...
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JTA News

Syria claims it brought down Israeli drone

Marcy Oster It is not known whether the drone was shot down or if it crashed near the town of Quneitra, located in an area between the two countries patrolled by United Nations peacekeepers. ... [Link]

Palestinian tries to stab Israeli soldier at central Israel checkpoint

Marcy Oster The Palestinian from Tul Karem was overpowered as he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a crossing near Netanya in central Israel ... [Link]

French motorist rams car into crowd for ‘the children of Palestine’

Marcy Oster The Muslim driver reportedly shouted “This is in the name of the children of Palestine” as he slammed his car into crowds in the city of Dijon in eastern France. ... [Link]

Elie Wiesel to receive honorary doctorate from university in Krakow

Marcy Oster The university Senate of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow voted unanimously to honor the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust memorist. ... [Link]

ADL: Killing of N.Y. police officers ‘heinous, senseless, shocking’

Marcy Oster The gunman, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, threatened to shoot two “pigs” shortly before the killings. ... [Link]

Zelikows endow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC

Marcy Oster Marcie and Howard Zelikow provided a $5 million endowment along with a $1 million commitment for current operations to the Los Angeles school, a division of Hebrew Union College. ... [Link]

Harvard caterer: Politics affected decision to stop buying SodaStream

Marcy Oster Harvard University Dining Services “mistakenly factored political concerns” into its decision to stop buying SodaStream equipment, its spokesperson told the Harvard student newspaper. ... [Link]

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick seeking higher spot on Likud slate

Marcy Oster Glick, who was seriously injured in an assassination attempt in October, is running for the 33rd place on the Likud candidate list, which is reserved for a resident of the West Bank. ... [Link]

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