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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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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Iran talks extended another day

Ben Harris Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program were extended for a second time beyond the March 31 deadline for a framework accord. ... [Link]

South Dakota legislator Dan Lederman resigns midterm

Marcy Oster Lederman, a Republican who has served in the state Legislature for seven years, said in a blog post that he was stepping down to spend more time with his family. ... [Link]

Sen. Robert Menendez indicted on corruption charges

Marcy Oster A champion of intensified sanctions on Iran, Menendez was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly doing political favors for a friend and political contributor. ... [Link]

Riskin’s Haman remark reflects broad Israeli distrust of Obama

Ben Sales Mistrust of the president has grown more apparent as the United States and Iran approach a deal over the latter’s disputed nuclear program. ... [Link]

Mikvah-peeping rabbi’s estranged wife speaks publicly for first time

Julie Wiener Sharon Freundel’s 90-minute lecture at a suburban Washington day school did not discuss herself or her estranged husband, but it did address issues related to his crime. ... [Link]

Jewish candidate quits UK race after saying Israel should kidnap Obama

Anthony Weiss The United Kingdom Independence Party candidate, running for Parliament in a major Jewish district of London, had suggested that Israel should “do an Eichmann” on the U.S. president. ... [Link]

U.S.-Israel missile system David’s Sling passes key test

Anthony Weiss The system detected a target missile launching and destroyed it in a trial that potentially clears the way for full-scale deployment. ... [Link]

Kirk Douglas’ underground tunnel to the Playboy Mansion is no April Fool’s joke

Gabe Friedman On Monday, Playboy revealed that secret tunnels were built in the 1970s to connect the Playboy mansion to the houses of a select group of A-list actors. ... [Link]

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