Chosen Links – March 17, 2024

Articles, Threads, Videos and More about Israel and Antisemitism
March 17, 2024

And the Oscar goes to…a Holocaust movie that doesn’t actually show the Jews, with an award speech given by a Jew who never actually discusses the Holocaust victims. Full disclosure: I haven’t managed to watch “The Zone of Interest” yet, and no doubt I will be haunted by it if and when I do, but how do you make a movie about your own religion losing a THIRD of its population, and when accepting the award not even mention them? Instead, it became political word vomit, which was akwardly stated and stumbled through, and caused great amounts of confusion and misinformation online. As I mentioned last week, there’s plenty to dislike about the speech, but fanning the flames with inaccurate information is simply counterproductive, and diminishes one’s credibility. He did not “refute his Judaism”, and very few watching thought as much, but due to people reading the transcript, and the domino effect of reading articles online, countless others repeated it badly.

Why does this matter? Because the truth is always important. Because if you find misinformation from a trusted source, it becomes less trusted the next time. Because what’s more powerful, catching a criminal in the act red-handed, or planting evidence on someone you know is guilty? Facts matter, and there was plenty to dislike about a Holocaust movie’s award speech being hijacked by an Israel-bashing speech that utilized the triggering buzzword occupation, garnening the resulting applause by countless members of the audience.

And speaking of being caught red-handed, those red-handed “ceasefire” buttons were at face value about peace, but once you understood the story behind the imagery, you realized it was a call for anything but peace. Again, the facts actually do matter. And it goes both ways.

“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Well yes, other than those two gross aspects, it actually WAS a pretty great show. So I’d rather remember Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt sparring, or Ryan Gosling performing “I’m Just Ken”, or John Mulaney’s riff on “Field of Dreams”, or John Cena as a streaker, and more. Before delving into heavier topics, feel free to sit back, and enjoy this behind-the-scenes article about the FUN of it all, by Variety’s Michael Schneider:

This week I’m doing something different, and starting with a section about the Oscars, before moving onto all the usual topics thereafter.

The photo is from our annual party where we gather with friends to watch the show, and it was a wonderful group of us dressed in both pajamas and tuxedos!


1. I wish I had contact with Eve Barlow, so I could discuss both of our experiences with entertainment, and loves for Israel…and how those two facts so often crash and clash together depressingly. Eve is sickened by the pats they give themselves on the back, while wearing their ceasefire pins, and drinking their champagne:

2. Matthew D’ancona writes a really good article for The Standard, about how awful it is when Hollywood types are demanding a ceasefire without saying a word about Hamas nor the hostages. “Have these creative talents, one wonders, been paying even the slightest attention to the shuttle diplomacy of Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, and the increasingly public calls by the president himself for a sustainable cessation of hostilities? The reason Biden and Blinken have not yet prevailed is because the task is so complex. It requires much more than ethical position-taking. In reality, when most people call for a “ceasefire” what they mean is that Israel must end its military campaign — unilaterally. Blame is laid squarely on one side.” Yes. That. Exactly. But instead, they just wear the red pins that are literally an emblem of Palestinian hands with Israeli blood on them, and claim they stand for peace:

3. Matthew Schultz writes a great thread about Glazer’s speech. Calling back to the Holocaust, where we Jews were victims, and turning it on its head to claim we Jews weaponize it, is not only factually incorrect right now, but the opposite is true. He shows evidence of the anti Israel parties doing exactly that, referring to Israelis as Nazis many, many times. So not only is it insulting, but it’s gaslighting. He also explains how over the centuries people have done this; using Jewish stories and tropes, and turning them on their head against the Jews:

4. Phenomenal post explaining the history behind the things we were offended by, or wondering if we should be offended by, post-Oscars. Debbie Lechtman uses sources, as she does so well, to explain the history of the red hand symbol, which predates the murder of two Israeli soldiers, and goes back to the Holocaust itself. She explains the concept of a dog whistle. And she methodically breaks down why the Glazer speech was abhorrent. “The image with the heart is all the more disconcerting because during the lynching, the mob mutilated the bodies of Vadim Norzhich and Yosef Avrahami and ripped their organs — including their hearts — from their bodies.” Horrendous.

And thankfully, as a side note, she does not add to the mistake that so many have been repeating, about him “refuting” his Judaism.
As I keep saying, there was plenty to dislike about that speech, it only does the world a disservice to throw incorrect info in the mix:

5a. Etan Vlessing writes a high profile article for the Hollywood Reporter. He brings up Executive Producer Danny Cohen, who respectfully, but strongly disagrees both with what Glazer said, as well as his timing of saying it.

“I just fundamentally disagree with Jonathan on this. My support for Israel is unwavering. The war and the continuation of the war is the responsibility of Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization, which continues to hold and abuse the hostages, and which doesn’t use its tunnels to protect the innocent civilians of Gaza, but uses it to hide themselves and allow Palestinians to die. I think the war is tragic and awful and the loss of civilian life is awful, but I blame Hamas for that. And any discussion of the war without saying that lacks the proper context that any discussion should have.” Thank you for speaking up, when I’m sure the easier thing would have been to stay silent:

5b. The podcast quoted in the Hollywood Reporter article is called “Unholy: Two Jews on the News”. It’s hosted by Jonathan Freedland and Yonit Levi, and in this episode, they talk to Danny Cohen:


6. Brian Fishbach does a rundown of everything Jewish related to Oscars night. The winners, the in memoriam deaths, and those who wore the yellow ribbons remembering the hostages. Plus more info:

7. Ryan Torok shows his frustration at Glazer’s speech, but adds a point I haven’t touched on yet, why nobody else balanced out the speech, or should i say, “refuted” it. “And no one offered the narrative from the other side. That includes Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director and Hollywood royal who had the opportunity to push back on Glazer’s comments while presenting the award later in the evening for Best Director.”

This next part made me chuckle, because of how honest and crass Steven Geiger is being. “Steve Geiger, founder of the Mensch Foundation, was one of many leaders in the community who was angered by Glazer’s remarks as well as by the applause the director’s remarks generated. He called Glazer’s message “totally inarticulate” and questioned why, all night long, “nobody mentioned the hostages, that they’re still being held there in Gaza…Everybody has a right to their stupid opinion, but what do you mean ‘ceasefire’?” Geiger added. “Hamas is still shooting rockets. People in Israel are still at risk from these schmucks.”

8. Thank you to Jonathan Greenblatt and the ADL, for giving a clear and concise rebuttal to the Oscars speech that threw Israel under the bus:

9. Wow, Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik shared this letter from a Holocaust survivor David Schaecter, addressed to Jonathan Glazer after his speech. “You should be ashamed of yourself for using Auschwitz to criticize Israel…I watched in anguish Sunday when I heard you use the platform of the Oscars ceremony to equate Hamas’ maniacal brutality against innocent Israelis with Israel’s difficult but necessary self-defense in the face of ongoing barbarity.” Schaecter is the President of the Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation:

10. David Horovitz is the founding editor at the Times of Israel, and finds the speech given by Glazer taking an unbelievably complex subject, and simplifying it in the most inaccurate way. “But I think his Oscar-accepting speech was not only simplistic and superficial — how could it be anything but, in the few seconds he had? — but also dangerously misconstructed. Hamas’s October 7 slaughter, mass sexual assault, and hostage-taking onslaught in southern Israel, and the consequent ongoing war, was the result of the terror group’s avowed antisemitic ideology and its implacable desire to kill Jews anywhere and everywhere and destroy the State of Israel. Not the consequence of an ostensible Israeli hijacking of Glazer’s and others’ Jewishness and the Holocaust in the cause of “occupation,” then, but the barbaric manifestation of a neighboring terrorist government’s absolute negation of Israel’s right to exist.”

This acts as a good final piece in this Oscars section, as he discusses the war, and acts as a nice transition to the main section of articles:


1. Josh Feldman has an important conversation with the director of Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Dr. Efrat Bron-Harlev. When children were released as hostages, it’s so crucial that it be handled with the utmost care and creative thinking. It really does sound like she and her hospital were up for the impossible task, of helping piece these children back together, mentally and physically. It’s impossible to really understand the psyche that such trauma creates on a young, forming mind. “It was amazing to see that they were not crying; they were not laughing. They were hardly talking. They said, “Okay,” and “Where are we going?” [They] asked very minor questions, but you could not see any emotion in them. It was like shadows of children, shadows of people, and not people. It was very tough. You don’t expect that kind of first impression. I expected them to cry or be very anxious, but it was like nothing … a blank person.”
https://jewishjournal.com/community/369154/when-israeli-children-were-released-from-gaza-an-interview-with-dr-efrat-bron-harle v/

2a. Yair Rosenberg wrote an article for The Atlantic, which due to paywall I share his post full of screenshots. As he explains, “I wrote about the one thing most likely to force new elections in Israel and threaten Netanyahu’s reign. It’s not anything Biden or Schumer might say or do, but something far more fundamental to Israeli politics at this moment: conscription of the ultra-Orthodox into Israel’s armed forces.”

2b. If you are not affected by the paywall, here is the article itself:

3. Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib gives such great insight about the internal workings of Fatah and Hamas. I don’t care if you agree with everything he says, you SHOULD care that he’s a man who cares about his Palestinian brothers and sisters, and doesn’t stop calling for a true peace between them and Israel. That’s the goal that needs to actually be spread. His insight this week about Mustafa as head of government, “Fatah is right to push back against Hamas and criticize the Islamist group’s statement about the formation of a new technocrat government led by Muhammed Mustafa, long-time economic advisor of Palestinian President Abbas.”

4. Karen Lehrman Bloch is relieved to see Jonathan Greenblatt and the ADL not sitting on the fence about what’s happening in left wing circles. She includes many quotes given at their “Never is Now” conference. “An Oct. 8 world in which college campuses are policed relentlessly for the smallest of microaggressions, but there seems to be no cop on the beat when the insults and threats are screamed at Jewish students in the quad, outside their fraternities, or even in the classroom…If your idea of expressing dissent against Israeli government policies is to attack Jews in America (or anywhere, for that matter), that doesn’t make you a de-colonizer, .a freedom fighter…or a progressive. It makes you a bigot.”

5. Brian Fishbach writes about the SXSW music festival, where over 60 bands and artists have apparently cancelled on the show, due to the sponsorship from the US Army. Specifically, for the army helping support the horrible things Israel is doing. Isn’t that heartwarming? The governor of Texas certainly has words to say. “Greg Abbott posted to X, “Bands pull out of SXSW over U.S. Army sponsorship. Bye. Don’t come back. Austin remains the HQ for the Army Futures Command. San Antonio is Military City USA. We are proud of the U.S. military in Texas. If you don’t like it, don’t come here.” He missed the chance to say BYE, FELICIA:

6a. Sarah Tuttle-Singer is a rockstar and a friend. She is the embodiment of left wing Israeli Jews, who love the country, not the government. Love Jewish people, and love their Muslim neighbors. A giant difference between progressive people in Israel versus outside of it, is that they remain fervent Zionists. And I love that. And it makes it all the more heartbreaking to see them feel let down by the world, which never lets them feel seen.

“We voted for left-wing Jewish parties and Palestinian parties in our national elections.
It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.
We wept when Itamar Ben Gvirand Bezalel Smotrich were voted into the Knesset.
It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.
We protested the government and some of us were even arrested or hit in the face with water cannons during the demonstrations.
It wasn’t enough for the rest of the world.” When nothing is enough, you need to drown out the noise, and just do what you know is best, and right:

6b. Or here on Instagram:

7. Abby Zinman gives a helpful guide towards what many are dealing with especially in the college-aged generation. If they express their love for Israel, arguments are likely, doxxing is possible, and friendships can easily end. Abby had two friendships in particular that became threatened, with entirely different outcomes. “The first friend was apologetic and understanding, leading to a two-hour heart-to-heart conversation that ultimately strengthened our relationship. However, despite a virtually identical approach on my part, the second friend lacked understanding and subsequently ignored me for months. Groupthink and cliquiness within our circle led to my isolation from several members of this group due to this single incident.” She goes on to give suggestions as to how and also when to actually deal with these scenarios:

8a. Brianna Wu continues to be one of the best voices on the left, having no problem criticizing what she dislikes in Israel, sure, (Netanyahu, the settlements, the deaths in Gaza), but also incessantly pointing out the antisemitism on the left. In this thread she takes a page out of the book if Hillel Neuer and UN Watch, and describes just how disproportionately the UN targets Israel. We need more voices like hers:

8b. Here she wants people to move on and stop accusing Israel of being in their land illegally. “Jews bought land LEGALLY from Arab sellers, and that was before the UN legally recognized Israel. They also won the land in the war that ensued, which is a part of international law. Palestinians could have had their own state repeatedly, but they declined. Israel is not occupying anything, and it doesn’t bring us closer to peace to say that they are.” One caveat, she dislikes the West Bank, and does feel that region is “occupied”, as she corrects in her comments:

9. Brooke Verschleiser is a student at Brown, and implores both the student body and the professors to step up, given the awful increase in antisemitism. “To professors: your role extends beyond your political positions. Whether you advocate for extreme positions on either side of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, one of your primary responsibilities is to educate and inspire future leaders. This responsibility includes teaching them to condemn violence and to foster an environment that encourages healthy debate and critical thinking. Your leadership, or lack thereof, shapes the future. If you promote an environment that enables hate and drives our community into further division, you have failed in your role as an educator.” So many have already failed as educators, are we past the point of no return? I certainly hope not:

10a. Daniel Edelson writes about a shul here in Los Angeles that was morally betrayed. They rented out their space to a Muslim group in good faith for Ramadan, and found out that they had the nerve to cover up all of the posters of hostages. If you’re going to rent a space, respect it. If it does not fit your ideology, then choose another space. This is an offensive act by one religion in another’s space:

10b. Ryan Torok delves much further into this incident at the synagogue HaMakom, and what’s happening now as a result:

11. Rafael Medoff gives historical context to the idea of downplaying the persecution of Jews. “There was a reason behind the Roosevelt administration’s policy of downplaying or denying the Jewish identity of Hitler’s victims. The president and his advisers were concerned that if they publicly recognized that the Jews were being singled out, then “the various [Allied] Governments would expose themselves to increased pressure from all sides to do something more specific in order to aid these people,” as one State Department official explained in an internal discussion.” Unfortunately, this is happening today in Vermont’s Middlebury College, where the Dean wants to “All Lives Matter” the Jewish awareness gatherings, but has no problem attending the Palestinian ones:

12. Jonathan Tobin argues that not only is Biden changing his tune to appease to his more left wing contingency, but that it may actually do more harm than good. He argues that those anti-Israel people, will not be appeased without actual pro-Hamas sentiment, whereas his moving away from Israeli support could certainly lose him some of his moderate support.

He also argues that this will only make Netanyahu have a tighter grip on his power. “That means that like the prime minister’s skirmishes with Obama, this fight is likely to help rather than hurt him. His political fate may ultimately be decided by a postwar commission that could demand his resignation, as well as those of the generals and heads of the intelligence services that failed so badly to anticipate and prepare for the Hamas assault on southern Israel. The Biden attacks on the prime minister, however, might lead to Netanyahu remaining in office indefinitely—something that most observers believed to be unthinkable after Oct. 7.”

13. The Persian Jewess writes so well, and personalizes stories about Jews in Iran. Here she tells the tragic story of her grandfather being murdered in Nazi Ger, ahem, I mean Nazi Iran, during WWII. She then explains just how pervasive the Nazi messaging was, and its lasting effects. “Hitler was rebranded as a Messiah who had returned to destroy the Jews and communists. Hitler’s war against the Allied Forces was compared to chapters in the Quran about Mohammed’s clashes with Jewish tribes in Arabia…In fact, this Nazi influence became the FOUNDATION of the Radical Islamist movement that swept through the region after the end of WW2.” Facsinating, and devastating:

14a. This is juicy news. Terrible, and gross, but certainly scandalous. Kristian Silva reports on Laura Allam, a prominent Palestinian human rights organizer in Australia, and how she is being charged along with another, with orchestrating the kidnapping and brutal attack on a man. This could be straight out of a violent movie. “According to court documents, police allege Ms Allam sent a WhatsApp message to the alleged victim asking to meet for dinner, and picked him up about 9:50pm on February 16. Police allege Ms Allam then drove for 200 metres, before stopping the car and getting out. In court documents police said the passenger was then ambushed by three men wearing masks, who forced him into a ute parked nearby. The alleged victim recognised two of his three attackers when they removed their masks and was “severely assaulted with a hammer”, police claimed. Ms Allam is then alleged to have called the kidnappers and told them, “hit him hard”.

14b. Michael Starr continues reporting on this crazy story. “Allam, a high profile activist who had appeared at pro-Palestinian rallies alongside Australian politicians, described herself as the CEO of the Al Jannah foundation. The foundation, which has been inactive in recent weeks, sought to fundraise to aid in bringing Gazan refugees to Australia.”

15a. Aaron Bandler writes about Shai Davidai, and how Columbia University has begun an “investigation” into him which he very understandably calls retaliation. “He told the Journal the university is “not an impartial judge here. The university has a vested interest in me being silenced or me going away. I am the most vocal critic of the university’s refusal to act on this antisemitic wave and this support for terrorism … not only have they not stood by my side, they’ve actually done everything possible — and now this investigation — to actually try make things worse for me.”

15b. Here are his statements he released on his own page:

15c. Bandler writes about a new lawsuit against MIT, on behalf of the Jewish students on campus. In particular, StandWithUs is helping represent two students who are standing up against the school. ““Plaintiffs allege that MIT’s administration has evaded accountability and continues to support antisemitism on its campus, with little to no repercussions for students violating campus policies,” SCLJ Director Yael Lerman said in a statement. “Today we are joining with two courageous Jewish students who will not stay silent while MIT discriminates against them in violation of federal law. And we are grateful to the team of lawyers that is helping us pursue justice for Jewish students at MIT.”

15d. Campus Watch! Quick hits of what’s happening around the country on college campuses. Always worth reading:

16. This is why Ritchie Torres is one of my absolute favorite politicians today, from both sides of the aisle. He’s gotten so much crap for his loud voice as a friend to Israel, but it doesn’t slow him down even a bit. Here he calls out the sickening problem with those calling for a “permanent ceasefire”.

On a side note, I’m very excited to have an interview lined up with him next month, and look forward to our conversation:

17. Shmuel Rosner gives such a great analysis, as usual, between American and Israeli interests. “Many Israelis are angry at Biden. That would be a natural response to his comments. But there is no benefit in being angry with the President of the United States. He does not work for Israel, and does not depend on its sympathy. Israel must deal with Biden with patience and wisdom, not anger. It has to try to understand what he wants. Biden says — and so does his vice president — that the U.S. still supports the main goals of the war. The U.S. continues to believe that Hamas rule in Gaza is unthinkable, and continues to demand that the hostages be returned. So one must ask: How does the U.S. propose to achieve these goals? Biden says that the price cannot be another “30,000 dead.” So, we know what he doesn’t want. But what does he want?”

He then explains that America wants Netanyahu to go, and so does most of Israel, but what goal does that actually achieve regarding the war? Whoever replaces him will most certainly still represent the people, who overwhelmingly still feel the war needs to continue until the goal of Hamas destruction is achieved. So calling for him to be replaced, as if it changes the death toll in Gaza, is almost virtue signaling:

18. Dan Schnur continues his fabulous recent analysis of Biden and Bibi. Which is more and more becoming Biden versus Bibi. He’s relieved that Israel was not even brought up until many of the viewers likely turned off their televisions, but certainly isn’t thrilled by what he did say, and will need to continue to say at least until election season ends. “Unlike at the beginning of the war, when Biden agreed that it was necessary for Israel to remove Hamas from power, he made no such reference in the State of the Union address, saying only that Israel has “a right to go after” the terrorist group. He also said: “Hamas could end this conflict today by releasing the hostages, laying down arms, and surrendering those responsible for Oct. 7.” That is a much lower bar for ending the conflict than the removal of Hamas and has created even more distance between Biden and Netanyahu.”

19. Tabby Refael is as upset as she should be, about the tragic murder in the dental office of Benjamin Harouni. Was it a hate crime or a disgruntled customer? It was certainly awful, and the family is left trying to carefully walk the line between what it might or might not be. They told Tabby, ““We don’t want to directly connect this to antisemitism because it has not yet been proven either direction, and we don’t want it to backfire if it’s proven otherwise and hurt the cause that we are moving forward with. At the same time, we are not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime and don’t want this to be dismissed as a matter of convenience.” As if it’s not bad enough mourning his loss, this is what they have to worry about.

Tabby also makes a great point about the significance of this happening in his office. “There is something particularly nerve-shattering about knowing that Benjamin was targeted at work; sadly, Jews worldwide have accepted the reality that we face risks on the streets, at universities, synagogues, Jewish community centers, schools and even restaurants and supermarkets. And it is precisely this reality that has convinced many Jews that our homes and places of employment are perhaps the last two vestiges of safety we have left. Benjamin’s murder shattered that false sense of security.”

20. Michelle Goldberg writes for the NY Times, which I rarely share due to paywalls, but a friend showed me some great excerpts from it that makes it easier for me to include here.

“A key point: “That said, I can’t fault Jews who see, in the mounting demonization of Zionism, the replay of an old and terrifying story. After all, anti-Zionism isn’t always antisemitism, but sometimes it is. And right now, some opponents of Israel seem to be trying to prove that the mainstream Jewish community is right to conflate them…

“Plenty of leftists will swear up and down that they’re not being antisemitic when they use “Zionist” as the most contemptuous of epithets. A Salt Lake City bar owner who has banned “Zionists” from his establishment insisted, on Instagram, that Zionism “has nothing to do with the beautiful Jewish faith.”

But the vast majority of Jews disagree, and the longing for a return to Israel is deeply intertwined with Jewish religious practice; rituals for the two most important Jewish holidays, Passover and Yom Kippur, culminate with the words “next year in Jerusalem.” There is a long history of Jews being asked to excise what they see as crucial parts of their identity as a condition of acceptance. There is an equally long history of such acceptance, if it’s granted at all, being fleeting.”

I can’t swear by anything else written within, as I’ve seen articles about Israel by her that have made me cringe in the past, but I love these points she makes:

21. Thane Rosenbaum watched the Off-Broadway play “The Ally”, and gives a disappointing review, from a Zionist perspective. Great acting, sure, but it’s hard to watch something about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and make your entire feeling about it based on the quality of acting. “Watching the play as a Zionist, and in possession of some moral clarity when it comes to the actors and actions in Gaza, is an alienating experience. For all its head-spinning, “The Ally” refuses to find a single moment when Israel is defended outright and forthrightly. Instead, the play is a paean to the kind of complexity, nuance and moral narcissism that is catnip for liberal Jews.” It’s starring Josh Radnor, and although I haven’t seen it, I would be very surprised if it didn’t leave anti-Israel people with a sense of MOSTLY still feeling justified in their beliefs. Keep in mind this was written before October 7th, when the world turned its back even further away from the Jewish state:


1. This is clever. Know the despicable phone call, made by someone calling his mother, to brag about what he just did on October 7th? It’s acted out by a random American, to show how ridiculously and obviously awful it is, but yet so many are fine with it as it happened. I am confused as to who to credit for this, but I THINK Eitan Cohen might be it:

2. What a fascinating video, and at face value you could see this being from left wing, anti-Israel media, but no, it’s Bari Weiss, who is an incredibly strong Zionist voice, going to the West Bank to interview many Palestinians about their thoughts on October 7th. She isn’t there to argue or debate, but just to ask questions, and hear honest answers. What you hear from them is extremely depressing, as it backs up the claims of the polls and many others, who insist that the civilian population overwhelmingly support the horrific actions of October 7th. Truly an awful situation that’s hard to see a happy way out from, for everyone involved:

3. I love this organization. I will likely share more about Indigenous Embassy Jerusalem – Indigenous Coalition For Israel, when they soon gain American nonprofit status, as per my conversations with co-director Sheree Trotter. Until then, watch this wonderful video they share, of an indigenous woman (I don’t know her name) explaining that it isn’t just that Israel isn’t a colonizer, but rather it’s the an extremely successful example of a decolonized people, becoming free themselves. Awesome perspective:

4. Einav Avizemer speaks to the camera eloquently, effectively, and doesn’t hold back. The so-called feminists who ignore all evidence of sexual assaut in Israel. The need to put Israel in a box of oppressor, and therefore find literally ANYTHING done to them as justifiable. It’s sad, and infurating, and well worth watching her lay out more clearly than most:


They Still Haven’t Found What (they’re) Looking For, but we certainly have, and his name is Bono. Okay, I admit that was super cheesy, but I can’t imagine there will be a more world famous person that I’ll be able to spotlight, and I’m really excited to bring up the lead singer of U2.

Soon after October 7th, many of us saw a wonderfully empathetic video of U2 in concert, dedicating and even changing the words to the song “Pride (In the Name of Love)” to the victims and survivors of that awful day.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was not a one time occurrence. Since then, they have been consistently playing that song with the altered version, in honor of the murdered victims in Israel; and he has even had to put up with the despicable Roger Waters, publicly taking shots at him as a result. My friend Zach went to a U2 concert in Las Vegas, and expected calls for a ceasefire, or equivocating for both sides, but apparently it was a strong show of support, and for that I very much thank the man who no doubt will never see this.

Bonus points for them being an Irish band, given how awful the response from Ireland has been since October 7th. Watch the clip here thanks to @DocumentIsrael:

Support the band by following here:


This is mostly for those local to Los Angeles, but should be a very worthy and interesting event. UN Watch will be having a night with Hillel Neuer giving a talk in Beverly Hills, as a fundraiser for their incredible efforts trying to keep the UN honest; a task that’s likely comparable to pushing a massive boulder up a hill by yourself.

I feel comfortable recommending this as a good cause to donate to or attend, as we see countries starting to funnel money to UNRWA again, in spite of the overflowing evidence against them:


1. L.E. Staiman hits a home run on this video. You know those cheesy old infomercials for Now That’s What I Call Music type albums? How about Ceasefire Now That’s What I Call Music, Volume 10.7?

And unlike many SNL sketches, this one actually improves on the great premise, doesn’t just peak at it! Way to go, buddy!

2a. The Daily Brine refutes you for not laughing:

2b. Unfortunately I’m sure most still don’t regret their decision…

2b. I know I share many of these quick ones by the site, but I think this one is next level great humor. The quality of The Onion, but without their whole, you know, disgusting anti-Israel bias:

(Be aware I have more humor to share this week, but it’s at the end of the post, because it’s unrelated to Israel or antisemitism!)


1a. Daniel Negreanu continues to earn his name as an ally to the fight against antisemitism. Here he shares a short video of Moritz Körner speaking in Europe about the disgusting Martyrs Fund. As Daniel explains, “Kill a Jew, they give you money, Kill more Jews, you get more money for you and your family.” There’s a reason I took the time to interview him!

1b. My interview with him if you missed it:


1. I love this so damn much. I’m a movie fanatic, I used to go to United Artist theaters, and both of these guys are beloved Jewish comedians. Farewell to Richard Lewis, who is still haunting us and making us laugh with new episodes of Curb. And Don Rickles will never go out of style as one of the greatest insult comics of all time, offending everyone beautifully. Thank you to Todd Spence for the great share:

2a. Something else that brings me all the smiles this week is Patrick Warburton, returning to his job as Chief Flight Attendant at Soarin’ Over California. Oh to be one of those lucky guests that day, must have been epic:

2b. FYI, I not only had the pleasure of teaching Patrick Jewish dances at his son Talon’s wedding, but he was kind enough to participate in the epic baby announcement video, in what would eventually become baby Liam.

Gratuitous shout out to Stuart Pankin, who spent the day filming with me, and the talented friends who also taped themselves for this. That includes Joshua Malina, who I’ve chosen as a Spotlight in this column, Mark Schiff who’s frequently opening for Seinfeld, Stephen Lyndon Kramer Glickman who’s recently opening for Gnarls Barkley (CRAZY!), and Disney (Animation) Legend Floyd Norman, whose drawing is now hanging over Liam’s crib. And to avoid being a jerk, credit goes behind the scenes to Patrick Vukovich who wrote it with me, and Mike Burgher, who edited it together beautifully, including the hilarious musical cues:

From our annual Oscar party where we gather with friends to watch the show


Boaz Hepner works as a Registered Nurse in Saint John’s Health Center. He moonlights as a columnist, where his focuses are on health, and Israel, including his Chosen Links section of the Journal. He is a Pico/Robertson native, and lives here with his wife Adi, and children Natalia and Liam. He can be found with his family enjoying his passions: his multitude of friends, movies, poker and traveling.

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More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.