dov shilansky 311.
(photo credit: Knesset)
THE JABOTINSKY Institute will on Tuesday, January 24, at 6 p.m. mark a
year since the passing of genial lawyer and former Knesset Speaker Dov
A Holocaust survivor who joined the Irgun, came to Israel on
the ill-fated Atalena and fought in the War of Independence, Shilansky was
arrested and imprisoned four years later while attempting to smuggle a suitcase
bomb into the Foreign Ministry. The bomb was his means of protest against
negotiations between Israel and Germany for payment of reparations. As a
Holocaust survivor, Shilansky did not want to allow the Germans anything that
would help to whitewash the national conscience.
He was accused of being
a member of a subversive underground organization.
Prison did not break
his spirit and he continued to be a patriotic Israeli serving as a reservist in
the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
He was also a
senior civil defense officer.
His spell in prison did not prevent
Shilansky from getting a law degree from the Hebrew University and subsequently
becoming a member of the ethics committee of the Israel Bar Association. Nor did
it get in the way of his being elected speaker of the Knesset. Keynote speaker
at the tribute in Shilansky’s honor will be Gilad Erdan, minister for
environmental protection, whose topic will be the Knesset and the
■ WHEN AUSTRALIANS David and Bridget Belfer came to Israel
to celebrate the bar mitzva of their son, Jesse, at the Western Wall in
Jerusalem, it was an exercise in family togetherness. David Belfer’s parents,
Rabbi Edward and Frances Belfer, his sister Aviva and his brother Simon all live
in Israel and this was a good opportunity for the children of the two brothers
to get closer to each other, especially because, although they are
geographically divided, not much divides them age-wise. The whole family of 12
spent a week in Eilat together prior to the bar mitzva. At the wall, Jesse’s
voice was almost drowned out by the bar mitzva boy at the adjacent table. The
neighboring boy’s family had brought a microphone so that female relatives and
friends on the other side could hear him.
Although the bar mitzva was in
Jerusalem, the Belfers’ relatives and friends didn’t miss out. They participated
via webcam, and David Belfer specially wore a bright yellow shirt so that he
could be distinguished in the crowd.
They shared the area beneath the
arches with families of North African, South American and Kazakhstani
backgrounds, and the cacophony of traditional songs was close to deafening. The
family brought along loads of food and a trestle table, and took a tour of the
tunnels underneath the walls after the celebration.
■ OVER THE past 40
years or so, just about every television reporter on Channel 1 has worked with
Meir Haimi, the legendary supervisor of Channel 1’s mobile studios. Haimi, who
started working for the Israel Broadcasting Authority 42 years ago, has finally
reached retirement age and Channel 1 television personalities past and present
showed up in Jerusalem last week to give him the warmest possible send-off to
the next phase of his life and to trade anecdotes about assignments carried out
in all weather conditions and frequently against all odds, especially in
wartime. They talked about mobile television units that were poorly equipped and
could barely move, but that were somehow the vehicles for conveying the stories
of the day as evidenced in untold reams of archive footage. Among the faces in
the crowd were those of former CEO of Israel Television Yair Stern, former chief
producer of the news segments on Channel 1 and current chief producer at Channel
10 Amnon Barkai, former Channel 1 news reporters Guy Peleg, Gilad Adin, Nitzan
Chen, Yigal Goren, Shlomi Eldar, Yoav Limor and Naphtali Ben-Simon and reporters
and anchors still work there, including them Oded Shahar, Avi First, Uri Levy,
Uri Cohen Aharonov and many other familiar faces. One after another, they rose
to tell stories related to news coverage and Meir Haimi, leaving no doubt that
he had made a lasting impression in their lives.
■ WHEN YOUR mother is
near the top of the totem pole of an international media organization and your
father is a well-known diplomat, a lot of media and diplomatic savvy is bound to
rub off. It certainly did for 16-year-old Jerusalemite David Issacharoff who,
according to his parents, is a political savant of the first order and an
absolute expert on US politics.
David is the son of American mother Laura
Kam, the executive director of global affairs in the Jerusalem office of The
Israel Project and British father Jeremy Issacharoff, the former deputy chief of
mission at the Israel Embassy in Washington and current deputy director for
strategic affairs at Israel’s Foreign Ministry. David was invited to blog on the
new Huffington Post High School website, and his first piece was published on
January 10 as the lead story.
After introducing himself, David wrote that
“People might say that politics is for adults, and while it’s true that most
teens are not aware of politics and government, I believe that it’s extremely
important for teens to know politics, and I hope to help and inform anyone who
“Apart for my studies, I take part in the Israeli Model UN
and I enjoy debating, writing, acting, and going out and laughing. I absolutely
love Jerusalem, as it’s one of the world’s most disputed and fought-over cities,
but it’s also fun, eccentric and exciting.”[email protected]