Grapevine: Dealing with the crisis

When the IBA demonstrators tried to enter the Histadrut compound, the gates were locked, just as those at the IBA may be locked in a little over a month’s time.

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March 21, 2017 20:09
YEHEZKEL SAAD, a Melabev participant in the Jerusalem Marathon

YEHEZKEL SAAD, a Melabev participant in the Jerusalem Marathon. (photo credit: Courtesy)

If IBA workers have little or no confidence in politicians, their disappointment in the Histadrut labor federation is even greater. There were IBA protest demonstrations on Sunday at the entrance to Jerusalem; outside the home of Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn in Hod Hasharon; and outside the Histadrut building in Tel Aviv. The demonstrators could not understand how Nissenkorn could have allowed matters to get this far, and why he had not made the effort to speak to them, even though he introduced job actions in government offices this week in solidarity with IBA workers, whereby tax collectors did not collect taxes and ministerial offices were closed to the public.

When the IBA demonstrators tried to enter the Histadrut compound, the gates were locked, just as those at the IBA may be locked in a little over a month’s time. It was heartbreaking to watch them shaking the gates separating them from the Histadrut building, without anyone coming out to talk to them.

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That callous attitude might cost Nissenkorn a lot of votes in the upcoming Histadrut election, while his rival Shelly Yacimovich has been totally candid about where her heart lies – with her former colleagues in the IBA. Yacimovich was a longtime radio broadcaster, then moved briefly into television, before entering the political arena.

Yoav Krakovsky, the political reporter for Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet, said on Monday that at this stage, it is difficult to guess which way the crisis will go, but he advised colleagues at both the IBA and the IBC not to make any long-range plans.

■ ANYONE WHO watched the first episode of Today it’s us – the story of the slow death of the IBA as it was strangled by two power- hungry politicians – could not help but be moved by the human tragedy, or by the fickleness of politicians who are where they are simply because no politician in Israel, other than those in the haredi parties, is responsible to the people who voted him or her into office.

Very early in Itta Glicksberg’s super-sensitive and highly emotional documentary, viewers are reminded that after seven years of negotiation, an agreement was signed to reform the IBA, and before anyone had time to do anything to implement it, Gilad Erdan showed up and let it be known that he was going to destroy the IBA. He worked hard to achieve that aim, and unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trips him up, come April 30 he will have succeeded.

■ HARD TIMES notwithstanding, the documentary department of Channel 1, prior to the first episode in the series The Chiefs of Staff, which aired on Sunday night, had a festive launch of the documentary at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Friday.

The series features six living chiefs of staff – Ehud Barak, Shaul Mofaz, Moshe Ya’alon, Dan Halutz, Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz – and in one-on-one interviews, enhanced by archive material suitable to the subject, they each talk about events that influenced not only their own lives but the lives of all Israelis, and whether the decisions they made were the right ones or doomed to failure.

Itay Nevo-Landsberg, the highly talented head of Channel 1’s documentary department, said that he frequently asks himself where memory goes when we are dead, “and the answer I usually give myself is the Channel 1 archive. This time, I don’t really know what to say. The material in this series is of immense value to future generations.”

Only hours later, IBA employees came with their children to the home of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to entreat him to repeal the legislation which will mean the end of the IBA. They tried to have a traditional and festive buffet-style Shabbat dinner, but despite the singing, they were despondent.

Other IBA workers congregated outside the home of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and were joined by his sympathetic neighbors.

The demonstrators wanted Barkat to prevent the closure of the IBA, but the mayor couldn’t do much more than write a letter of protest in their behalf to Netanyahu, Kahlon and acting Communications Minister Tzachi Hanegbi.

■ SATIRE CAN become a serious business when it stops being funny. Iconoclastic satirist Lior Schleien, the host and main scriptwriter for the popular Channel 10 program Gav Hauma (Back of the Nation), which slaughters all of the nation’s holy cows, made fun of MK Miki Zohar’s proposal that Israel annex the West Bank and give Palestinians full rights except for voting, unless they agree to do national service, including the army. Schleien is convinced that this would mean the end of a Jewish and democratic state. Zohar, who is adamantly against the establishment of a Palestinian state, insisted that his proposal is the only viable solution. Schleien kept on repeating the harm that the incorporation of 2.5 million Palestinians into the State of Israel would do in terms of security and economy, and for once was deadly serious in his arguments, leaving the satirical remarks to his team, while advancing his anti-annexation argument.

■ THE CHILDREN of stage and screen personalities are often precocious, due to the environment in which they grow up.

Amalia Pfeffer, the daughter of stage and screen actress Maya Dagan, is no exception.

When Dagan, together with model Yael Goldman and singer Tsahi Halevi, were chosen to be the presenters for the Golf fashion company, organizers of the photo shoot also wanted a child model to help show off mother and daughter outfits.

Dagan brought Amalia on board, and the little girl proved to be a true pro. She gave orders to the DJ about the music that should be played and generally decided what should be done on the set, as though she were the director.

The adults on the set thought she was cute, especially Goldman, who happens to be Amalia’s aunt. Dagan and Goldman are married to the Pfeffer brothers.

■ ISRAELI RUNNER Ofer Leichner, whose running partner is Aviva Leibowitz, had more than the Marathon on his mind when they completed their run in the Jerusalem Marathon last Friday. He got down on one knee and asked her if she would be not just his running partner but his partner for life. Of course, she said yes.

Leichner didn’t realize that the microphone by the finishing line was on and that his proposal was broadcast over the loudspeaker. Among those who heard it, before starting his own run, was Barkat, who was visibly excited for the young couple and rushed over to wish them well and many years of love and joint runs.

■ THE JERUSALEM Marathon is an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds, including those with disabilities, to prove to themselves and to others that they can do it. Some, who can’t run, walk – even if only for a short distance. Some are pushed in wheelchairs, but get to be part of the excitement. Some, whose minds are no longer sound, but whose feet can still carry them, run almost by instinct. The bottom line is that the Jerusalem Marathon is an all-inclusive event.

Barefoot runner Rick Roebert uses his barefoot running ministry to help addicts, alcoholics and the homeless. He hasn’t always run barefoot, so the Jerusalem Marathon, which was his 84th consecutive barefoot marathon, was his 102nd marathon altogether. His run benefited Operation Blessing International-Israel, which provides help for the poor of this nation and also provides services to Holocaust survivors.

There were runners from Runners Without Borders, founded by Yisrael Haas and Zak Melinkov, with Arab and Jewish youth running together.

Team Shalva was made up of close to 400 runners from all over the world who came to Israel to support Shalva. The team also included Israel’s Olympic bronze medalist judo champion Ori Sasson. Shalva is the Israel Association for Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Some of the young disabled people who are part of the Shalva community also participated in the marathon. Other disabled youngsters who participated in the marathon were part of the Aleh community.

Jonny Steel, a veteran marathon runner, who recently completed 42 kilometers in the Tiberias Marathon, raised NIS 50,000 for Shekel, a leading Israeli NGO committed to including special needs individuals in the mainstream community.

Several members of Melabev daycare centers enthusiastically joined thousands of walkers in the 800-meter event. They were accompanied by family members and staff. The ages of the participants ranged from 10 months to 92 years young. At the completion of the marathon, the walkers received their medallion and a certificate from Melabev CEO Motti Zelikovitch.

Each participant felt a great sense of accomplishment, as was noted in the huge smiles on their faces. Melabev specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Israel.

■ IT’S NOT only the gas field agreement that is drawing Cyprus and Israel ever closer.

It’s also hi-tech, tourism and a bunch of other reasons. There has been a longstanding relationship between Israel and Cyprus since before the establishment of the state, when British Mandate authorities turned back Holocaust survivors seeking to come to the Holy Land and exiled them to Cyprus, where they made warm and often lasting friendships with the local population. Quite a number of Israelis who are second-generation Holocaust survivors and are today in their early 70s were born in Cyprus.

Now another link in the chain of friendship between Israel and Cyprus is about to be completed. On March 30 Herzliya and Paphos will become twin cities, when the second stage in their twinning agreement will take place in Herzliya, where Mayor Moshe Fadlon and Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos will sign a twin city agreement at a gala ceremony in Herzliya.

Phedonos will arrive with a large delegation on March 28 on the inaugural Ryanair flight from Paphos Airport to Tel Aviv, and will return on March 31. An Israeli delegation visited Paphos in October last year for the first stage of the twinning. Even before that, Israeli tourists had discovered Paphos, and around 148,000 of them visited Paphos in 2016.

In addition to making Paphos a major tourist destination, the Paphos Municipality is keen for the city to become the technology hub of Cyprus.

Paphos, which is located on the southwest coast of Cyprus, has been inhabited since Neolithic times, and has several sites relating to the mythical goddess Aphrodite, whose birthplace according to legend was at Kouklia in Old Paphos. The modern city of New Paphos has a harbor, an archeological park and ancient ruins beyond the park.

■ THIS TIME, it’s for real. The five-year relationship that actor and model Yehuda Levy had with actress Efrat Boimvald ended when he became enamored with Ninette Taib, who at the time was involved in a relationship with Ran Danker. Taib and Levy lived together for about seven years and even went as far as getting engaged, when she fell in love with musician Yossi Mizrachi, with whom she collaborated on an album and a couple of gigs. She split from Levy, married Mizrachi, and the two now have a daughter.

It took Levy a while to get over the breakup with Taib, but then he met beautiful model Shlomit Malka, and in far less time than it took with his previous great loves, he proposed, she accepted, and the wedding, somewhere in the Negev, is set for May 25, with a henna party planned to take place two days before that.

The rabbi who will officiate at the wedding will be Rabbi Benzion (Benzi) Nordman of Hadera, who has married other couples from the entertainment industry.

■ THE NATIONAL Library, on Thursday, March 30, will host a lecture series on Napoleon in the Middle East, to coincide with the opening of the exhibition “Napoleon was here.” Prof. Eran Dolev of Tel Hai College will discuss health issues for Napoleon during his journey to the Land of Israel in 1799; Prof. Mustafa Abassi, who also teaches at Tel Hai College, will speak on the Napoleonic conquests in the region and the reaction of the Palestinians; and Dr. Avner Vishnitzer of Tel Aviv University will explore the Ottoman attitudes to Napoleon’s invasion.

■ A DAYLONG tribute to Bob Dylan will be held on March 23 at Beit Hatfutsot – the Museum of the Jewish People and at the Cymbalista Center on the campus of Tel Aviv University.

The tribute will include the screening of the film Don’t look back, with an introduction by Shmulik Duvdevani; discussions about Dylan, with the participation of Karen Alkalai-Gut, Oded Zahavi, Steven Hazan Arnoff, Dan Laor, Uri Misgav, Yoav Fromer, Nissim Kalderon and Orit Shacham Guber; a Bob Dylan sing-along, with soprano Chen Holtzman and pianist Avihai Jacobean; a tour of the “Forever Young” exhibit dedicated to Dylan, guided by Amitai Ahiman and Assaf Galai; and a performance-discussion with pianist Shlomi Saban and moderator Boaz Cohen.

■ FOR MANY years now, the residence of the Belgian ambassador has been on Keren Hayesod Street in Herzliya Pituah, but not anymore. Current ambassador Olivier Belle has moved, but unlike his colleagues from Slovenia and Canada, who moved from Herzliya to Tel Aviv, he is staying put in Herzliya Pituah and has moved to Kaplan Street, which makes him a close neighbor of the Swedish ambassador.

Belle will combine a housewarming with a reception for the Royal Opera of Wallonia from Liège, which will visit Israel next month.

■ THE AIX Group and the Truman Institute, in cooperation with the chief economist of the MENA region at the World Bank, will on Wednesday, March 22, conduct a presentation and open discussion on “Improving the Gazan Economy and Utilizing the Economic Potential of the Jordan Valley.” The discussion will take place at the Truman Institute on the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University.

■ JERUSALEM CITY Council members who are planning to run in the next mayoral race may have to think twice. Despite all the media reports that the mayor is aiming for a seat in the Knesset on a Likud ticket and hopes to eventually become prime minister, Barkat, in an interview with Israel Radio’s Arye Golan last Friday morning, said that he had not yet made up his mind whether to run for another term as mayor.

Even if he does run, there’s no guarantee that he will win the third time around, but the secular voters in the capital will most definitely vote for him rather than for any haredi candidate, especially if Barkat is the only secular candidate in the race.

■ BARKAT ENTERED local politics because he was concerned about the education of his children. On Wednesday, March 22, he will participate in the Payis Conference on Education and Economy that is being held at the Shalva National Children’s Center in Jerusalem. Education Minister Naftali Bennett will obviously be among the participants.

Among the many other participants will be Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, Israel Prize laureate Adina Bar-Shalom, who established the Haredi College in Jerusalem, Payis chairman Uzi Dayan, Prof.

Rivka Carmi, president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Adi Sofer-Tanai, CEO of Facebook Israel, and Dr. Kira Vadinski, chief scientist at eBay Israel. The moderator will be Channel 2 journalist and anchor Dana Weiss, who is one of the most popular and articulate moderators in Israel.

■ NOT EVERYONE who visits Yad Vashem is aware that it has a visual center with a digital cinema library that contains almost every feature film and documentary about the Holocaust, with an online film database.

It also has a film club which helps to facilitate discussion not only on the quality of the film but on the particular aspect of Holocaust history portrayed in the film.

The film club is open to the public, and on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m., there will be a screening of Kapo in Jerusalem, preceded by a discussion led by the film’s director, Uri Barbash. Future public screenings will be held on Wednesdays, April 19, May 17, June 14 and July 5.

■ ALTHOUGH THE post-Holocaust slogan is “Never Again,” unfortunately, the desire to kill Jews in the cruelest possible fashion still exists to this day. A grim reminder of this will take place in another part of Jerusalem on Wednesday, March 22, at 5 p.m.

in the Teddy Kollek Hall of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 20 Radak Street, where the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research together with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung will host a symposium on the first intifada.

Speakers will include Dr. Amnon Ramon, David Hacham, a former adviser on Arab affairs to ministers of defense, Dr. Moshe Elad, a retired general who is a former governor of Jenin and Bethlehem, and Prof.

Hillel Cohen of the Hebrew University, who will each deal with different aspects of the intifada.

■ YIDDISH AFICIONADOS who happen to be in the vicinity of the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station on Thursday night should make it their business to go up to the fifth floor where Yung Yidish is located and enjoy some of the works of Itsik Manger, Y.L. Peretz, Mordecai Gebirtig and Jacques Brel, performed in Yiddish in song and story by Yung Yidish founder, stage and screen actor, singer, storyteller and author Mendy Cahan, accompanied on the piano by visiting musical genius David Serebrianik, who dreams of making aliya and becoming, of all things, a bus driver. The atmosphere at Yung Yidish is very convivial and reminiscent of late 19th-century Europe.

■ READERS OF The Jerusalem Post who are fans of writer Melanie Phillips can meet her in the flesh on Sunday, March 26, when she has a conversation with fellow journalist Matthew Kalman at Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem. Kalman will ask her about her career, the books she’s written and the columns that she writes.

Phillips, who hails from England, is in high demand as a public speaker and commentator in many parts of the English-speaking world. Despite her popularity, not everyone likes what she has to say, in particular the Irish Ambassador in London, who described her views on Irish nationalism as “beyond bizarre.” Kalman intends to get her take on that, too.

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