To honor the memories of the close to 3,000 people who lost their lives in the
9/11 terrorist attacks in the US in 2001, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish
National Fund in conjunction with the US Embassy will hold a memorial ceremony
at 4 p.m. today, Wednesday, September 11, at the 9/11 Living Memorial in
Jerusalem’s Arazim Valley.
US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and KKL-JNF world
chairman Efi Stenzler will be in attendance, together with other
The 9/11 Living Memorial was erected in 2009 by KKL-JNF, in
partnership with JNF-USA, with the help of generous contributions by the Bronka
Stavsky Rabin Weintraub Foundation and the Edward Blank family of New York. It
is known to be the largest memorial site outside the US commemorating the 9/11
■ PROMINENT PEACE activist, journalist, former MK and before
that, a military commander, Uri Avnery celebrated his 90th birthday
As a teenager, Avnery was a member of the Irgun, but became
disillusioned with its tactics and gradually moved to the opposite side of the
political spectrum. As the editor-in-chief and part owner of the nowdefunct
scandal magazine Haolam Hazeh, which deftly combined searing political
commentary with shockingly candid gossip, he trained a new breed of
investigative journalists and photojournalists. In fact, a good many of Israel’s
leading journalists and press photographers either got their start with him or
began working for him early in their careers – a factor that helped springboard
them into key positions in other media outlets.
Avnery is believed to be
the first Israeli to have sat down with Yasser Arafat, meeting in Beirut in July
1982 during Operation Peace for Galilee. Avneri and his late wife, Rachel,
established the Gush Shalom movement in 1993. He continues to attend peace
demonstrations and write regularly in the Israeli and international
With his mane of white hair and white beard, the slim-figured,
straight-backed Avnery has the stereotypical appearance of a latter-day prophet.
At 90, he still has the zest and energy of a young man.
CELEBRATING a birthday this week was Chaim Topol, who is arguably Israel’s
bestknown actor worldwide.
Although several Israelis have succeeded on
stage and screen abroad, it is doubtful that any of their names have become as
familiar as Topol’s to audiences around the globe. For Topol it was not yet a
milestone birthday; he turned 78 on September 9.
■ WHILE JEWS believe
that Rosh Hashana is one of the most important festivals on their calendar,
Rabbi David Stav, who for a while was the leading Ashkenazi candidate for chief
rabbi, says it is a universal holiday because it celebrates the creation of
mankind. Since all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve, it is a holiday that
belongs to the whole world.
■ WHAT IS the best Rosh Hashana present one
can give their parents? As far as wellknown restaurateurs Marcel and Suzanne
Hess are concerned, their son, Doron, literally took the
Three-and-a half years ago, Doron Hess and his sister, Daliah
Wolf-Hess, took over the running of the family business, a Jerusalem-based
Their parents had taken early retirement but were always
ready to come in and help, especially when they were throwing a party in the
eatery. Doron and Daliah are seventh-generation expert sausage makers. Their
father has won many prizes in international culinary contests, and has been
billed in Israel and his native Switzerland as the “Sausage King.”
in addition to the various sausages and other delicacies on the menu, there is a
strong likelihood that the restaurant will develop a large pastry
The reason: Doron, who was born in Basel, Switzerland, has just
become engaged to a young lady from Basel by the name of Esther Gilgen. The
Gilgen family is famous in Basel for its patisserie empire. It looks as if the
main course is marrying the dessert, which will undoubtedly result in additions
to the Hess restaurant menu.
The family’s sausage-making enterprise was
founded in 1795 by Nathanel Hess, who set up shop in Zwesteen, near Frankfurt in
Germany. One of his descendants moved the business to Basel in 1929, and yet
another descendant transferred it to Israel in 1999. Strangely, Doron chose a
dairy restaurant in which to pop the question. He took Esther to the Gan Eden
restaurant on Mount Canaan in the Upper Galilee.
The Gilgen family is one
of the oldest Jewish families in Basel, and in addition to its pastries, is also
famous for its chocolates and delicatessen. Additionally, the Gilgen Family
Foundation provides for the sick and the needy, ensuring they receive assistance
in a way that does not compromise their dignity.
■ EVERY NOW and again,
receptions hosted by President Shimon Peres have a value-added aspect, via an
agricultural, hitech, or defense industry exhibition.
This gets minimal
if any publicity, because the president usually makes some newsworthy statement
that overshadows anything else related to the reception.
happened last week on Rosh Hashana eve, when Peres held his annual reception for
members of the diplomatic corps. In addition to the usual refreshments served in
the garden of the presidential compound, there was also a honey display outside
the entrance to the reception hall.
Organized by the Israel Honey
Council, the exhibition featured many different kinds of honey plus large
platters of sliced apples, so that the diplomats could sample the apple and
honey that is one of the symbolic entrees into the New Year.
were beekeepers in their protective gear, and cute little girls dressed in
yellow honeybee costumes. Several of the ambassadors commented on the variety of
available honey in Israel, and some paid more attention to the charmingly shy
The beekeepers present represented three generations of
honey developers. According to the Honey Council, 3,000 tons of quality honey
were produced this year from nectar collected from some 100,000 beehives
throughout Israel, by approximately 500 professional beekeepers.
from giving them the first taste of a sweet year to come, Peres made a point of
thanking the assembled diplomats for the sympathy, understanding, goodwill and
support which they and their countries have provided to Israel, in their wish to
bring peace to the Middle East in general and to Israel and the Palestinians in
Entertainment was provided by Ahinoam Nini accompanied by
guitarist Gili Dor, who also harmonized with her singing of “Salaam,” which they
performed with great gusto. When Nini asked the diplomats to join in with a
rhythmic hand clap, the one who demonstrated the greatest enthusiasm was US
Ambassador Shapiro. After all, Salaam, or shalom, is what the Americans are
Outside the President’s Residence, the traffic situation was
sheer bedlam. As a rule, when the president has large receptions, guests park
their cars on Radak Street, which leads directly to the entrance of the
residence. But last Tuesday morning, extensive construction work was being done
on two buildings on Radak, and parking was impossible – with the result that
cars with white CD number plates were parked two and three deep on Hanassi
Street, causing major obstruction to the regular traffic flow.
AND coordination are everything. The Jerusalem Press Club, which held its Rosh
Hashana toast on the same day that Peres hosted his holiday reception, had
invited a large representation from the diplomatic community. Yet not a single
ambassador showed up, though there may have been some diplomats of lesser
The problem was that the president’s reception was in the morning
and the JPC reception in the early evening. Unless one had business in the
capital, no ambassador was going to hang around Jerusalem for a
Had the JPC moved its event to lunchtime, it might have fared much
better in terms of diplomatic representation. In the end, the only vehicle with
white CD license plates that was seen in the parking area belonged to the EU –
and the driver was not necessarily a guest of JPC, and could have parked in the
Mishkenot Sha’ananim complex for any number of other reasons.
however, quite a lot of journalists and retired journalists, Foreign Ministry
personnel and MK Isaac Herzog, along with representatives of the Jerusalem
Foundation, which owns the complex in which the JPC is located.
Meridor, a former government minister and former international chairman of the
Jerusalem Foundation, who is currently chairman of the JPC’s advisory board,
addressed the guests. He said that in his travels around the world, he had seen
press clubs – but none could rival the location of JPC, which is just opposite
the walls of the Old City. The Jerusalem-born Meridor recalled that as a child,
he used to look across at what was then Jordan. He noted that the area in which
they were standing is now so calm and beautiful, in contrast to the turmoil
around Israel’s borders.
Meridor commended JPC director Uri Dromi for
doing a great job in founding and organizing the JPC, where journalists can come
and listen to a variety of opinions and not just to a spokesperson. Dromi was
delighted to report that even though the JPC has officially been in existence
for only a few months, it was unanimously elected by the International
Association of Press Clubs to host the association’s convention next
This week, the JPC hosted part of the 50th anniversary convention
of the Israel Press Council, which is headed by retired Supreme Court justice
Dalia Dorner. The convention, attended by representatives of press councils from
28 countries, opened at the Tel Aviv Hilton on Monday night with Peres as the
guest of honor. The president voiced his pride in Israel’s free press, saying it
was able to report freely and fearlessly because Israel is an island of
democracy in the Middle East.
■ TOMORROW, THURSDAY, Peres will have a
working meeting with Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grímsson, who is
currently serving his fifth term since his initial election in
Grímsson has an Israeli wife, Dorrit Moussaieff, who comes from a
long dynasty of Bukharan jewelers who settled in Jerusalem.
Moussaieff was 13, her immediate family moved to London.
designer Neil Zarach, she married the widowed Grímsson in May 2003. A jewelry
designer, businesswoman and contributing editor to British society magazine
Tatler, Moussaieff was almost the cause of as diplomatic incident during a
previous visit in May 2006, when she tried to enter Israel on a British
passport. As an Israeli citizen, according to law, she must enter and depart
from Israel with an Israeli passport. Moussaieff, it turns out, didn’t have
■ IT ISN’T true that lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same
When their 23-year-old daughter, Esther, was killed by Al-Aksa
Martyrs Brigade terrorists in March 2002, Nachman and Ruchama Klieman and other
members of their family were devastated. Originally from Chicago, the Kliemans
moved to Israel 36 years ago. For many years, the affable Nachman was a
spokesman for El Al. Esther was a teacher of children with Down syndrome, and
was on her way to work when the terror attack took place. Even before her death,
Nachman had decided to quit his job at El Al, and afterwards, he thought the
most positive next step he could take was to become a spokesman for Israel,
warning the world of the dangers of terrorism. Despite the daily sorrow over the
loss of Esther, the Klieman family continued to live as normal a life as
But then tragedy struck again: In July 2009, their youngest
son, Gavriel, died suddenly of a heart attack. He was only 26 years
At the time of his death, Gavriel had been working to turn a
passionate dream into a reality. A firm believer in Israel’s creative talents,
he wanted to give Israeli arts and crafts people an international showcase for
He knew that not all artists have the temperament for
marketing and sales, and decided to do it for them through a website showcase
that would feature “Designed and Made in Israel” to the world. Unfortunately,
although he started working on the website, he never got to realize his
Thinking of the best way to perpetuate his memory, his family,
primarily Nachman and his older son, Dov, decided to live Gavriel’s dream. In
partnership with the Israel Forever Foundation, they recently created
UBoutiques, which are featured on English and Hebrew websites and promote the
works of more than 200 designers, artists and artisans living and working in
The Kliemans want to ensure that whatever is featured is a
topquality Israeli product, and together with their staff have made it their
business to get to know the artists and artisans personally.
virtual marketplace includes Judaica for the home, jewelry, art and gift
The Kliemans are pleased to have embarked on a venture that not
only memorializes Gavriel, but also creates awareness that Israel’s forte is
more than just hitech – with the country excelling in aesthetic
■ BOTH ELECTRONIC and print media carried reviews of the year
gone by, but on Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet, there was also a gloomy outlook for
the future – specifically with regard to the Israel Broadcasting
Preempting the projected demise of the IBA, if Communications
Minister Gilad Erdan succeeds in closing it down in order to revamp it, current
affairs anchor Arieh Golan delivered a heartfelt eulogy in which he mourned not
only the impending death of the IBA, but also the death of solidarity in the
media. By and large, he said, the colleagues of the 2,000 IBA employees who will
lose their jobs have not voiced any protest – nor for that matter has the
Histadrut labor federation.
“No one gives a damn,” lamented Golan, who
also denied allegations that the IBA is the voice of the
“If that was true, why would the administration want to
closed us down?” he queried.
The IBA was around for a long time before
commercial broadcasting outlets such as Channel 2, which will this year
celebrate its 20th anniversary, and later Channel 10, arrived on the scene.
Rivka Michaeli, Yaron London, Moti Kirschenbaum, Dan Shilon, the late Ehud
Manor, and even Yair Lapid and Shelly Yacimovich, along with many others,
achieved celebrity status when public broadcasting was the only show in
Commercial television with its reality shows is in business only
for the money, declared Golan, whereas public broadcasting performs a service.
Although he did not list them, there are several programs on Reshet Bet with
social welfare agendas, which reach out to the public and help correct social
injustices. Such programs do not exist on commercial television, although they
do exist to a lesser extent on radio, on the IBA’s Channel 1.
among the traditional foods on the Rosh Hashana menu. In signing off, Golan
expressed thanks for the fish, observing that “not all of them reeked from their
It’s possible that Golan’s eulogy for the IBA may have been
Although Erdan has appointed a committee to look into what the
ails the IBA, and to suggest on the basis of its findings how the IBA can be
restructured at less cost to the government and with a considerably reduced
staff load, there is no guarantee that he can do much beyond studying the
There will be a lot of legal procedures to complete
before the IBA can be closed down. Moreover, there is the possibility that the
government may not run its full course.
In the very week that Erdan
announced the appointment of the committee, there were news reports that the
police had begun probing what has been dubbed “Bibi Tours,” in response to
allegations that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in his previous ministerial
and legislative positions, had his international travels and luxury
accommodations paid for by wealthy businesspeople who may later have sought
favors from him. If police findings should lead to the filing of criminal
charges, the prime minister, like his predecessor Ehud Olmert, wil l be
pressured to step down, after which there will be new elections.
all probability, someone other than Erdan will receive the Communications
Erdan’s predecessor in office, Moshe Kahlon, who introduced
several reforms during his own period as communications minister, has come out
on the side of the IBA. While acknowledging that reforms are necessary, Kahlon
would not take as drastic a step as temporarily closing down public
Kahlon has made no secret of the fact that he’s returning
to politics and aims to be Israel’s next prime minister.
While talk about
the possible closure of the IBA is worrying to a lot of people, I24 News, the
new English, French and Arabic news channel, has selected SatLink
Communications, a leading teleport, content management and HD playout center,
for the global distribution of its broadcasts. I24 News, which broadcasts 24/7,
will utilize SatLink’s comprehensive satellite and fiber distribution network to
relay its trilingual channels across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia,
plus occasional use coordination with the UN building in New York, and to Gaza
and Ramallah. SatLink will also provide various services to I24 News, which was
launched in July and broadcasts on three separate