Hamas releases video of tunnel infiltration


On Monday, July 28, five IDF soldiers were killed at Kibbutz Nahal Oz by Hamas terrorists, who infiltrated a tunnel network and filmed the attack. This is the video. 

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Donald Trump endorses Netanyahu in video


American billionaire Donald Trump endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video released on YouTube.

“My name is Donald Trump and I’m a big fan of Israel,” Trump says at the start of the 36-second video.

“You truly have a great prime minister in Benjamin Netanyahu — there’s nobody like him. He’s a winner. He’s highly respected. He’s highly thought of by all. And people really do have great, great respect for what’s happened in Israel.”

Trump concludes, “So vote for Benjamin. Terrific guy, terrific leader. Great for Israel.”

Trump endorsed Mitt Romney in the recent U.S. presidential election. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, is a convert to Judaism and married a Jewish businessman, Jared Kushner.

Afghan militants say deadly blast was revenge for film


Afghan militants claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a suicide bomb attack on a minivan carrying foreign workers that killed 12 people saying it was retaliation for a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

A short film made with private funds in the United States and posted on the Internet has ignited days of demonstrations in the Arab world, Africa, Asia and in some Western countries.

In a torrent of violence blamed on the film last week, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi and U.S. and other foreign embassies were stormed in cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by furious Muslims. At least nine other people were killed.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew up a minivan near the airport in the Afghan capital and a spokesman for the Hezb-e-Islami insurgent group claimed responsibility.

“A woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up in response to the anti-Islam video,” said militant spokesman Zubair Sediqqi. Police said the woman may have been driving a Toyota Corolla car rigged with explosives, which she triggered.

But the claim will raise fears that anger over the film will feed into deteriorating security as the United States and other Western countries try to protect their forces from a rash of so-called insider attacks by Afghan colleagues.

Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Kabul the previous day, burning cars and hurling rocks at security forces in the worst outbreak of violence since February rioting over the inadvertent burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers.

The protesters in Kabul and several other Asian cities have vented their fury over the film at the United States, blaming it for what they see as an attack on Islam.

The outcry saddles U.S. President Barack Obama with an unexpected foreign policy headache as he campaigns for re-election in November, even though his administration has condemned the film as reprehensible and disgusting.

In response to the violence in Benghazi and elsewhere last week, the United States has sent ships, extra troops and special forces to protect U.S. interests and citizens in the Middle East, while a number of its embassies have evacuated staff and are on high alert for trouble.

Despite Obama's efforts early in his tenure to improve relations with the Arab and Muslim world, the violence adds to a host of problems including the continued U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear program, the Syrian civil war and the fall-out from the Arab Spring revolts.

PROTESTS, BANS

The renewed protests on Monday dashed any hopes that the furor over the film might fade despite an appeal over the weekend from the senior cleric in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest shrines, for calm.

Afghan police said among the 12 dead in the Kabul bomb attack were eight Russians and South Africans, mostly working for a foreign air charter company named ACS Ltd.

It followed a bloody weekend during which six members of Afghanistan's NATO-led alliance, including four Americans, were killed in suspected insider attacks carried out by Afghans turning on their allies.

Protesters also took to the streets in Pakistan and Indonesia on Monday and thousands also marched in Beirut, where a Hezbollah leader accused U.S. spy agencies of being behind events that have unleashed a wave of anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim and Arab world.

Authorities in Bangladesh have blocked the YouTube website indefinitely to stop people seeing the video. Pakistan and Afghanistan have also blocked the site.

Iran has condemned the film as offensive and vowed to pursue those responsible for making it. Iranian officials have demanded the United States apologize to Muslims, saying the film is only the latest in a series of Western insults aimed at Islam's holy figures.

The identity of those directly responsible for the film remains unclear. Clips posted online since July have been attributed to a man named Sam Bacile, which two people connected with the film have said was probably an alias.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian widely linked to the film in media reports, was questioned in California on Saturday by U.S. authorities investigating possible violations of his probation for a bank fraud conviction.

Reporting by various bureaus; Writing by Robert Birsel

Sarah Silverman’s ‘Indecent Proposal’ to Sheldon Adelson and what that means for modern politics


By the time you read this, you probably will have watched Sarah Silverman in her underwear, demonstrating a lesbian sex act with her dog.

Because that’s the way politics works these days.

Silverman wrote and stars in a short video, called “Scissor Sheldon,” posted at scissorsheldon.com, in which she offers to, hmm, make casino magnate Sheldon Adelson very happy if he donates $100 million to the campaign of Barack Obama, instead of to Mitt Romney.

Adelson, the owner of The Venetian hotel and casino and one of the world’s richest men, has declared he is willing to spend that much money to help get the Republican candidate elected president.

“Sheldon, I have a proposal for you, and, I’m serious, look at me,” Silverman says to the camera. What follows — her proposal — is not really quotable in this newspaper, though, trust me, this video will introduce more young people to politics than student council.

The short video went online on the afternoon of July 16. By the time I saw it, early the next morning, it already had 11,000 “likes.” Major news outlets were covering it. It was wallpapered across my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Viral? Viruses could only wish.

The enormously popular, self-described “Jewess” comedian has used satirical political video before to great effect. In 2008, she launched The Great Schlep, urging young Jews to go to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama.

Story continues after the jump. (Warning: Explicit video)

Video courtesy of SchlepLabs

This time, she has once again teamed up with activists Ari Wallach and Mik Moore, co-founders of The Great Schlep. They run a pro-Obama super PAC with the anodyne name the Jewish Council for Education & Research (JCER). Its main backer is Alexander Soros, the 27-year-old New York University grad who also happens to be the son of George Soros.

“The most important political office is that of private citizen,” Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once said — and his quote is the opening line on the Web page explaining JCER.

Wallach and Moore say their goal is to juice the campaigns of people they believe in by inspiring young Jewish voters to get involved.

“JCER is motivated by a deep love for the Jewish community and by a desire to ensure that Jews have access to accurate information as they engage in the electoral process,” the mission statement says.

For prior generations, that might have meant walking precincts, door to door, delivering speeches to Hadassah groups or passing out bumper stickers. Now, you submit your ideas on how to support Obama by using social media, humor and celebrity, and the super PAC picks the ones it likes best — like Silverman’s — and then produces and disseminates it. The Great Schlep generated 300 million impressions — at a cost of next to nothing. That’s a lot of precinct walking.

Merging politics with sex and celebrity used to be something only politicians did, after they were elected. Moore and Wallach have discovered it works even better before. Their successful campaigns leap far beyond the Jewish community and create national conversations. In the case of “Scissor Sheldon,” Moore said he hopes it will lead to a conversation on the role of unbridled political contributions in American elections and the outsized impact a billionaire like Adelson can have.

But here’s what makes me squirm — and it’s not at all Silverman’s offer — which, in her signature style, comes across as more adorable than raunchy.

It’s their relentless focus on one man — Adelson. The truth behind Adelson’s giving is that the entire system of unlimited, unaccountable campaign financing from so-called 527 organizations to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 is the single greatest threat to our democracy. Everybody who takes part — from Adelson to the secretive billionaire Tea Party funders, the Koch Brothers, Obama, Romney and also Alexander Soros — is part of the problem.

How is Adelson worse than Alexander Soros? At least Adelson steps out of the shadows and shoots off his mouth — as when he told jewishjournal.com that his former crush, Newt Gingrich, had “reached the end of the line.” Adelson makes his agenda clear. Politically, he and I may be far apart — but he is no hidden puppet master.

But the “Scissor Sheldon” Web site paints him to be exactly that. The spare site offers up a single, rather uncomplimentary photo of Adelson. On the page under the heading “Who Is the $100 Million Man?” you can find a 10-point list of all of Adelson’s supposed transgressions. It paints Adelson in an entirely one-dimensional way — a caricature — and lets others who dump swill in the political trough off the hook.

I get why Silverman chose to address Adelson. It’s personal, the way Silverman looks her landsman in the eye. This is like The Great Schlep, and he’s Super Zayde.  Fortunately, we American Jews live in a time and in a country where we can feel perfectly safe and secure attacking one another using Der Stürmer — like iconography. Yes, “Scissor Sheldon” will provide a Jewish National Fund-sized forest of kindling to ignite every Jew-hater out there — but those freaks will hate us anyway.

My greater concern is that unlike, say, Stephen Colbert’s masterful Colbert super PAC shtick, in which he used the same broken laws to create his own unaccountable super PAC, the “Scissor Sheldon” bit won’t go beyond Adelson.

In fact, by the time you read this, this week’s big viral campaign may already be last week’s news.

Unless, of course, Sheldon Adelson says “yes.”

VIDEO: YouTube video purports to show Israeli border police tossing gas grenade at Palestinians


Israeli troops were captured on film throwing a tear gas grenade at Palestinians in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

In the clip, shot last Friday by freelance photographer Mati Milstein in Nabi Saleh, a tear gas grenade is tossed out the window of a passing Border Police jeep, causing a group of Palestinians who were standing by the side of the road to flee.

Regular demonstrations are held in the village every week against Israel’s confiscation of villagers’ land, in which Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers regularly clash.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Obama: Gadhafi death is warning to iron-fist rulers


[UPDATE] See video below.

President Barack Obama hailed Muammar Gadhafi’s death as a warning to authoritarian leaders across the Middle East that iron-fisted rule “inevitably comes to an end” and as vindication for his cautious U.S. strategy on Libya.

Obama joined U.S. politicians and ordinary Americans in welcoming the demise of Gadhafi, who was for decades regarded as a nemesis of American presidents, and he also sought to claim some of the credit for the Libyan strongman’s downfall.

“This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya who now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya,” Obama told reporters in the White House Rose Garden.

Obama made clear that he considered Gadhafi’s death a vindication of his “leading from behind” strategy that had drawn criticism at home for casting the United States in a support role in the NATO air assault in Libya.

Story continues after the jump.

“Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we have achieved our objectives,” Obama said in a televised statement to Americans already weary of long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. reaction reflected a tortured history with Gadhafi, viewed in the United States as a villain for his government’s links to the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Scotland and a 1986 disco bombing in Berlin that targeted U.S. troops.

Obama also touted Gadhafi’s death as a warning to other authoritarian rulers in Middle East where revolts have already upended longtime leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Washington is pressing for further sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his harsh crackdown on democracy protests.

“For the region, today’s events prove once more that the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end,” Obama said.

Obama said the United States would be a partner to Libya’s interim government and urged a swift transition to democratic elections, but he made no specific promises of aid.

Relatives of American victims of the flight blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland by Libyan agents 23 years ago said justice was served with Gadhafi’s death as he fled his home town and final bastion. [ID:nL5E7LJ3ZE]

“I hope he’s in hell with Hitler,” said Kathy Tedeschi, whose first husband Bill Daniels was among the 270 people killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Additional reporting by Caren Bohan, Tabassum Zakaria, John Whitesides, Michelle Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu

Israel to participate in pilot YouTube project


Israel will take part in a pilot program to encourage Israeli advertising agencies to allocate more resources to advertising on YouTube.

During the yearlong program, the Israeli agencies will receive reduced fees for advertising on YouTube and instruction in YouTube’s measurement and planning tools, the Israeli business daily Globes reported Wednesday. They also will benefit from joint research analyzing Internet user behavior as well as advice and support on marketing.

Google Israel is working to convince local advertising agencies to join the international program. YouTube is part of the Google company.

VIDEO: Alistair Cohen — Shofar Blowing 101


From the 23-year-old Brit’s YouTube page:
My name is Alistair Cohen and I am an aspiring television presenter. This video was created for showreel material and to spread some Jewish knowledge around a bit.

Please don’t hesitate to leave any feedback or comments, and if you are watching this and may know of any presenting work available, please contact me at alistaircohen@hotmail.com. Thanks for watching.

The Fall Season: VideoJew’s VideoGuide to Los Angeles


In the past year, under my online video persona, VideoJew, I’ve explored much of the Los Angeles Jewish community and shared it with the YouTube-viewing nation.

You’ve seen me eating at a kosher Subway, playing mah-jongg and conducting a blind matzah taste test. But after a successful year of VideoJudaism, I decided to devote my next season to my experience as a Los Angeles newcomer.

When I first moved here after graduating from the University of Wisconsin two years ago, I felt completely overwhelmed. Busy people, heavy traffic, distant neighborhoods all contributed to my troubled adjustment to post-academic life.

Burdened by difficulty finding a job, buying a car and meeting other young Jews, I soon realized that life in the real world was very real. And with my mother a full 2,500 miles away, for the first time in my life I had no one to tell me what to do or where to go.

Thankfully, after two years in Los Angeles, I’ve finally adjusted to the lifestyle and culture that West Coast living affords. I found a job, bought a car and even met several Jews who are happy to tolerate me (most of these without the help of my mother). Looking back, I now recognize that my transition to West Coast living would have been much smoother if I’d had a mentor — or even a manual.

So I’ve decided to offer help to others who feel as lost as I once did … with my VideoGuide to Los Angeles, launching online today.

In this five-episode handbook, revealed over the next several weeks, I’ll walk you — the newcomer (or your memory of yourself as one) — through everything you need to know to make the most of your Los Angeles experience. Each episode is guaranteed to mentally and physically (though, not legally) naturalize the new West Coast immigrant.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re new to the city, just visiting or have lived here all your life, anyone can benefit from this guide.

Follow along each week for an all-new installment.

Introduction — Online Sept. 26
Like any manual, VideoJew’s VideoGuide to Los Angeles begins with a short but concise introduction, sure to prepare you for the upcoming schedule and give you a sneak peek at some of the exciting scenes to come.]]

Volume I: Looking the Part — Online Oct. 3
In this how-to style segment, I reveal the most important aspects of visiting Los Angeles: fitting in. Because nobody wants to look like an outsider or worse — a tourist — I’ll teach you the secrets of blending into the L.A. scene. And in no time, you’ll be wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops as you sip on a tall caffeinated beverage.

Volume II: Driving in L.A. — Online Oct. 10
The other key to enjoying this city is, of course, your car. When I moved out West, I was a timid, passive driver. Now I’m aggressive, confident and, most importantly, mostly safe. Follow my tips and you’ll feel confident behind the wheel … and you won’t even have to lift a finger, let alone “the finger.”

Volume III: Jewish L.A. — Online Oct. 17
With one of the largest Jewish populations in the country, Angelenos don’t hesitate to flaunt the city’s Jewish culture. Discover the exciting opportunities of the Jewish neighborhoods — from the butcher shop to a great place to buy a yarmulke. But more importantly, beyond kosher food, Judaica and synagogues, Jewish Los Angeles exists in its own realm. All you really need is a little Jew in you, and you can turn any place into a Jewish place.

Volume IV: Hollywood — Online Oct. 24
This segment could arguably fit into Volume III, but given its significance to the L.A. community, it seemed worthy of special attention. Not just limited to the physical Hollywood, Los Angeles’ entertainment industry is extremely widespread. And trust me, as someone who’s been a background extra for several no-name television shows and a few low-grossing feature films, I know Hollywood. I’ll take you to some of the typical tourist sites and a drive the celebrity star maps. And who knows, maybe I’ll catch a celebrity on tape.

Volume V: Outdoors L.A. — Online Oct. 31
One of the main reasons I moved to Los Angeles was for the weather. After college in Wisconsin, where the average winter day sees a windchill of minus 30 degrees, moving out West was not only an option but a necessity. Unfortunately, it took me a few months before I really started taking advantage of the climate and outdoor activities, like hiking, fishing, swimming, sailing, sunbathing, people watching, breathing, etc. The possibilities are endless!

My hope is that I can help you get ready to unearth the extreme sensation of Los Angeles. And while each episode is bursting with useful hints, like any encyclopedia or handbook, there’s plenty of room for improvement in future editions.

Stay tuned throughout the year for more updates, and you too will be able to experience the greatness that Angelenos experience every day.

videojew@jewishjournal.com.

VideoJew discovers kosher water


” title=”tests the Mizmor Kosher Wate”>tries Mizmor kosher water—fresh from the riparian office buildings of Pico-Robertson.

Israel poverty videos test




This movie was produced by Shatil for the board meeting of the New Israel Fund.



8 min 50 sec – Feb 25, 2007www.shabbatfund.org

The Jerusalem Shabbat Fund – JSF – providers food coupons l’kavod Shabbat Kodesh for needy Jews throughout Israel.

Daniel Pearl “I Am Jewish” Tribute Videos


Paula Kirman’s original video:



Tribute video from blogger Jewlicious:



Message from Judea and Ruth Pearl:



Rabbi Yonah Bookstein:



Want to join in?

If you don’t have a YouTube account and want to support the campaign and share your own tribute, email us your video and we’ll upload it to YouTube for you. If you upload your own video tribute, let us knowWhat do Daniel’s last words mean to you?
Talk about him in The Jewish Journal Reader Forums!

Ikea Doll Bat Mitzvah video


Ikea Doll Bat Mitzvah by Rachel Illowsky