Grapevine: Trumpeting Trump

Anyone who wants to catch a last-minute briefing on the Trump bandwagon is invited to attend the Jerusalem Press Club lecture on Sunday at 11 a.m.

May 20, 2017 21:26
Donald Trump Melania Trump

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One for his first international trip as president, including stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels and at the G7 summit in Sicily, from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, US May 19, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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There’s been a tremendous amount of speculation and misinformation as to what President Donald Trump will say and do when he visits Israel on Monday.

Anyone who wants to catch a last-minute briefing on the Trump bandwagon is invited to attend the Jerusalem Press Club lecture on Sunday at 11 a.m. when Prof. Eugene Kontorovich will speak on “Trump’s Policy Possibilities on Jerusalem and the Peace Process.” These possibilities have stretched to all realms of the imagination in the print media, and as yet no one really knows what the unpredictable POTUS may do.

Kontorovich, who is head of the international law department at the Kohelet Policy Forum and a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, is intimately involved in US-Israel relations, having testified on the subject in Congress, and being the architect of the wave of anti-BDS laws that have been adopted by 20 US states. He was also involved in the US Supreme Court litigation in the “Jerusalem Passport Case.” His commentary on these issues has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and The Washington Post. He is regularly interviewed by major media outlets around the world on these subjects and more recently on the possibility of the US Embassy moving to Jerusalem.

BOTH SCIENCE and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit were invited to attend the opening in Amman of SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Application in the Middle East). Akunis decided to boycott the event, but Margalit thought it was a good opportunity to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah and other participants from the region, especially those who put a higher priority on science than on politics. Margalit returned home in the belief that there is a strong desire for regional cooperation with Israel on matters of mutual interest.

His visit to Jordan was followed by a not necessarily reciprocal meeting this week between a delegation of Jordanian sheikhs and President Reuven Rivlin. After leaving the President’s Residence, they carefully removed their black and gold embroidered outer robes, folded them neatly and, attired entirely in pristine white, they entered the white minibus that was transporting them.

DUE TO the closure of several of Jerusalem’s major traffic arteries, the annual benefactor’s event of the Tamar chapter of Hadassah at the home of Nina and Ron Spiro has been postponed to Sunday, June 4. Readers are reminded that for most of this week, travel in private vehicles in the heart of Jerusalem will be frustrating if not impossible.

UNFORTUNATELY, DESPITE the giant medical strides that have been made in the treatment of cancer, increasing numbers of people suffer from it, though thankfully, in many cases, when detected early, it can be arrested and its growth and penetration to other parts of the body can be prevented. One in Nine, which takes its name from the ratio of women who have breast cancer, held its annual fund-raiser at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv last week, with hundreds of people in attendance, including a lot of well-known personalities who happen to be recovering cancer patients.

Participants in the event got to see the premiere of the musicale I simply love you. Seen in the audience were Dalia Rabin, Alona Freedman, former MK and current president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce Uriel Lynn and his wife, Yehudit, Ilan Ravid, and television personality Tali Moreno, who was pro bono moderator for the evening. Irit Paneth, who chairs One in Nine, managed to be photographed with a lot more than nine of those attending.

THE MAJORITY of Israelis would in all probability object to anything that Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, might have to say. But most people are also aware that there is no way of reaching a mutual accommodation without dialogue and without listening to the narrative of the other side and trying to understand it.

For those Palestinians who for generations have been rooted in the territory that they unwillingly share with Israel, Israel’s independence is their calamity or, as they call it in Arabic, their nakba. Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem is their division of life and family.

Some Israelis, such as Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On, do understand this, and will appear with Ashrawi on Wednesday, May 24, at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem at a conference sponsored by the Palestine-Israel Journal and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The conference, which begins at 4:30 p.m. takes its title from the journal’s new issue, “Time for Justice and Peace – 100 years of conflict – 50 years of occupation – End the occupation.” The conference will be moderated by the journal’s co-editors Ziad Abu- Zayyad and Hillel Schenker.

Contributors to the new edition include Mahmoud Darwish, Daniel Bar-Tal, Daniel Kurtzer (a former US ambassador to Israel), Mohammed Samhouri, Tamar Herman, Amos Oz, Lynne Reid Banks, Hind Khoury, Galia Golan, Omar Shaban, Itzhak Schnell, Adnan Abdelrazek, Jessica Montell, Walid Salem and Frances Raday.

After the speakers have concluded their addresses, the floor will be open for comments and questions from the audience. Organizers have requested that the event be conducted in a civilized and respectful manner. Disagreement is acceptable. Verbal and physical abuse are not.

FOR THE first time in its history, Israel will this summer be among the hosts of the EuroBasket championship, as announced by FIBA Europe. The official gala launch of the event took place this month at the Tel Aviv Hilton with Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and leading Israeli basketball athletes. Israeli captain and Minnesota Timberwolves NBA player Omri Casspi happily posed for photos, including some with the hotel’s director of operations, Yossi Biton; Lior Kahana, food and beverage manager; and Motti Verses, Hilton Israel head of public relations. The three are obviously keen for Israel to win and told Casspi that they want to see him raise the cup at the end of the tournament.

CANADIAN SOPRANO Sharon Azrieli, who is on the artistic rather than the business side of the famous Canadian-Israeli family, is currently in Israel and will be singing at the Meir Nitzan auditorium in Rishon Lezion with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion on Monday, May 22, at 8:30 p.m. She will be joined by several other wellknown vocalists, including Gustavo Forte (tenor), Janusz Pasco (baritone) and Hila Bago (soprano). Orchestra conductor will be Yishai Steckler in a diverse offering that includes arias from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and much more between the two.

IF JERUSALEM Day is on Tuesday night and Wednesday, Hebron Day cannot be far behind. Indeed, it is being celebrated on Thursday with numerous activities at the Cave of the Patriarchs and elsewhere in the city. There will be panel discussions with Hebron veterans, day tours, concerts, fireworks and prayer services beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continuing till well into the night. Visitors taking tours of the city will be guided by Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, Noam Arnon or Arnon and Sarah Edri.

WHILE SHE may not have intended to be politically provocative with her NIS 3,000 50th anniversary of united Jerusalem dress that she wore to the Cannes Film Festival, Regev could hardly have been anything else, since the most obvious features in the Old City landscape print on the deep hemline of the dress featured Muslim shrines and places of worship. She might have done better, had she gone to Gottex and asked to borrow something from the stunning Jerusalem of Gold collection designed by the late Lea Gottlieb in 1992 for the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. There was a lot more Jewish symbolism in those garments.

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