Israellycool » Israel Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:55:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Israel Independence Day Rain Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:22:47 +0000 Israelis usually flock to Gan Sacher Park, many come early to find a tree for shade for the picnics and BBQs, called mangals, but today on Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, most people stayed away from the park as rain was in the forecast.

lone soldiers at sacher park

However, it would take more than a threat of bad weather to keep lone soldiers away,

BBQ sacher park

from piles of grilled meats at the huge annual event of the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

people watching flyover

The rest of the park was not crowded, but some people were out for the flyovers that Brian of London posted here.

four planes flying over Jerusalem

The planes managed to fly between the clouds and periods of rain,

planes in cloudy sky

and as always were impressive,


as they flew in formation and did their spins.

grilling meat mangal Yom Haatzmaut

Meat, meat and more grilling all day long, then more wind and rain in Jerusalem, Israel, to end this Independence Day.

No complaints from the soldiers, it was only a little wind and water.

8:58 pm – Yom Haatzmaut is over. The fireworks and rain are in the south.

Reports of rockets fired from Gaza and explosions.

Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day in Israel, and as usual end with “the hope of two thousand years, to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem”

and the sound of more planes flying over.

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Watch: Stephen Harper’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Message Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:19:48 +0000 Perhaps our best friend in the world with some warm words.

Meanwhile, correct me if I’m wrong, but US President Barack Obama does not seem to have said anything on this occasion.

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Frank Sinatra In Israel, Yom Ha’atzmaut 1962 Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:12:29 +0000

On Israel’s 14th Independence Day in 1962, Sinatra appeared on stage in Jerusalem and delivered a memorable speech urging people all over the world to support Israel. The enthusiastic audience heard his recorded speech with the stirring background sounds of the parade being held there.


frank sinatra yom haatzmaut

Hat tip for photo: Arsen

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Interesting Rumor Of The Day: James Packer Becomes Israeli Citizen Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:44:28 +0000 Aussie billionaire James Packer has been the subject of an interesting claim: that he is now an Israeli citizen who lives next door to the Israeli Prime Minister!

james packerJames Packer owns a house next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, clutched the prime minister’s wife after a speech to the US Congress last month, and was described by one of his business partners this week as “the first non-Jewish Zionist in history”.

But when that business partner, film producer Brett Ratner, told a dinner that his friend Mr Packer, who was in the room, had taken out Israeli citizenship, he seemed to have dropped a secret that would stun Australians and Israelis alike.

James, you are now the first non-Jewish Zionist in history.

“James Packer is not Jewish,” Mr Ratner said at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where he was being honoured by the Anti-Defamation League Entertainment Industry Awards.
“Though he actually recently became an Israeli citizen and happens to live next door to [Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu [in Tel Aviv]. James, you are now the first non-Jewish Zionist in history.”

Alas, it does not seem to be true.

Thirty minutes after The Australian Financial Review reported the comments online on Thursday, which were initially published in The Hollywood Reporter, one of Mr Packer’s advisers texted AFR Weekend to deny that one of Australia’s richest men had become a citizen of Israel.

The citizenship claim, which was first published on Wednesday, wasn’t corrected by Mr Packer’s office until reported by the Financial Review website on Thursday. When the article took off on social media, Mr Packer’s adviser denied the citizenship claim.

A spokesman for Mr Packer said: “James is not an Israeli citizen.”

A spokesman for Mr Ratner said: “Brett’s comments were incorrect; Mr Packer is definitely not a citizen of Israel.”

Mr Packer’s decision to buy a house in Israel, and any further ties, have attracted attention because it’s unclear what his business interests are in the Middle East.

Even if it was true, he would hardly be the “the first non-Jewish Zionist in history.”

I should point out these rumors are not coming out of nowhere.

And just last week it was reported Packer had been looking at business opportunities in ­Israel in the technology sector and purchased a home in Caesarea. The same article goes on to say:

“He has not converted to Judaism, and it’s not clear whether his interest in the country is purely business or whether there is an element of spirituality driving it. What is clear that Packer has developed a deep affection for Israel, both for the people and the place.”

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Watch: Israelis From 0-100 Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:24:09 +0000 An interesting idea executed well.

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Powerful And Moving: Arab-Israeli Journalist Lucy Aharish Lighting Torch At Independence Day Ceremony (With English Subtitles) Thu, 23 Apr 2015 07:41:30 +0000

Another reason to be proud of this magnificent country.

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The Who’s Pete Townshend: Philosemite And Israel Supporter Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:40:40 +0000 The Forward has more in an article entitled The Secret Jewish History of The Who:

pete townshendWho, the English rock group, recently launched their 50th anniversary world tour, saying that it will be their last — a claim they have been making since at least 1982. On this tour, the Who are mostly performing their best-known hits and fan favorites, including songs like “Pinball Wizard” from their rock opera, “Tommy.”

If the group’s visionary songwriter and guitarist Pete Townshend had had his way, “Tommy” — an allegory about a traumatized messiah — would not have been the band’s first rock opera. Following a visit to Caesarea, Israel in 1966 with his first wife, Karen Astley, and the subsequent outbreak of the Six-Day War, Townshend began work on “Rael,” a song cycle loosely based on Israel’s struggle to survive despite being massively outnumbered by its enemies. “Rael” — short for “Israel” — got sidetracked, partly due to the demands of the Who’s record company for faster delivery of more hit singles, and “Rael” was consigned to the shelf. The only song that has surfaced from that project is called “Rael” and appears on the late 1967 album, “The Who Sell Out.”

A deeper examination of who Pete Townshend is, which he provides in his aptly titled autobiography, “Who I Am,” reveals a man who, while not Jewish himself, has great empathy for the Jewish people and who sees the world very much through the eyes of a Jewish-influenced character.

The son of musicians with a tempestuous marriage, Townshend in his early years was shuffled around among relatives, friends and neighbors while his parents came and went, carrying on relationships outside of their marriage. In his autobiography, Townshend waxes nostalgic not for the comfort of his family, but for the Jewish world that protected him: “We shared our house with the Cass family, who lived upstairs and, like many of my parents’ closest friends, were Jewish. I remember noisy, joyous Passovers with a lot of Gefilte fish, chopped liver and the aroma of slow-roasting brisket.”

After a stint being raised by his grandmother, a period during which he was abused by her and the parade of boyfriends tramping in and out of her flat, he returned home to his parents. Again, his surroundings gave him the most security and happiness: “I was seven, and happy to be home again, back in the noisy flat with a toilet in the back yard and the delicious aroma of Jewish cooking from upstairs. It was all very reassuring.”


Unlike other fellow British rockers, most notably Roger Waters and Elvis Costello, who are vocal supporters of a cultural boycott of Israel, Townshend holds a pro-Israel stance, as he told the same Rolling Stone interviewer regarding the Who’s album, “Endless Wire,” a 10-song “mini-opera” about kids forming a rock band in the post-9/11 world.

And where are we today? We’re in the same anti-Semitic apologetic denial — it’s a dishrag of a policy. Trying to blame Israel for defending a country we created. And I’m not even Jewish! Jesus f—king Christ. And let’s start with him! Sweet Jesus. This album absolutely had to have several songs about Jesus the man, Muhammad the man, but not modern Christianity or Islam. They are both potentially anti-Semitic today. And I think the fact is that, when I was working on this album I just thought, ‘It’s f—king about time that I completed my story.’ At this time in my life, with nuclear threats coming from Iran and Korea, I am becoming so impatient with the ex-hippies all around me. I am suddenly thinking like an extreme reactionary, right-wing, warmongering… F—king hell, come inside my brain! The incredible numbers of dead in the last war make it clear that we can’t afford to wait to be hit again. That’s my opinion. That’s my story. Peace is something that has to be made. It doesn’t come from passivity.

Then there’s this from 2012:

Pete Townshend admits, during an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, that “I’m a bit of a neocon.”

The Who’s top guy also says he believed Mitt Romney was going to win the last presidential election. “I thought he was throwing the money in such buckets,” Townshend says. “And I thought Obama looked tired–because the hurricane must have come like a sock in the chops. I mean, the actual detail of having to deal with all of that stuff in the middle of a campaign.”

“I try to stay away from American politics, I’m a bit of a neocon,” Townshend admits, going on to praise America for being the world’s police force.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Roger Waters!

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Joe’s World: Yom Ha’atzmaut With A Chance of Showers Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:48:13 +0000 yom haatzmaut

Note: This cartoon may be reprinted provided you link back to this source.

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Misleading Headline Of The Day Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:17:28 +0000 Yesterday, Mirabelle posted about how Israel added Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem kidnapped and murdered by Jews last summer, to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl, as well as to the list of terror victims in the government-run website.

It turns out Mohammed’s family requested his name be removed from the memorial.

Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed’s father, told Ynet that “this is a great initiative meant to honor my son, but I’m more interested with something else entirely: For the court to do justice with those who burned my son alive, and sentence them to the appropriate punishment.”

Enter The Guardian, who decided to report the story with the following headline.

guardian headline

Anyone seeing this headline would assume it was Israelis who erased his name as some sort of hate crime.

Granted, the next paragraph clarifies the reason, but I find it hard to believe this misleading headline is an accident. Especially considering the Guardian’s track record when it comes to Israel.

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Richard Silverstein’s Israeli Memorial Day Tweet Wed, 22 Apr 2015 07:01:24 +0000 True, nothing should surprise us about the extent of his Israel hatred, but I’ll just put this out there for the next time he claims he doesn’t support palestinian terrorism.

Let me guess. He’s explain this by saying he is merely comparing IDF soldiers to their fighters. But note he uses the term “resistance fighter” instead of “terrorist.”

Shame on this sad man and all those who agree with him.

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