Grapevine: A birthday for all seasons

Friends and colleagues of flamboyant composer, conductor and pianist Gil Shohat got together at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv.

Gil Shohat 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gil Shohat 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
RELATIVES, FRIENDS and colleagues of flamboyant composer, conductor and pianist Gil Shohat got together at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv on Sunday to give him a surprise party in honor of his 40th birthday. Among those present were representatives of many branches of the entertainment industry. Had he known more about the event in advance, quipped Shohat, he would have worn a suit instead of jeans. Showered with good wishes from all sides, one of the most meaningful that Shohat received was from veteran composer, conductor and arranger Noam Sheriff, who is currently director of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and almost double Shohat’s age. Sheriff told him that he should shed the occasional tear between his many successes and accept his few failures with a smile.
DUTCH AMBASSADOR Caspar Veldkamp recently visited the museum at the Ghetto Fighters House in the Western Galilee. He was accompanied by the head of consular affairs William Veldhuijzen van Zanten. They were warmly welcomed by museum director Ophir Pines-Paz, a former government minister who gave them a guided tour through the archive that includes a large section on Holland. The two Dutch diplomats were impressed by the extensive collection of items and documents from their home country. The Dutch section of the museum focuses on the history of the Jewish community of the Netherlands along with a more detailed account of Jewish resistance to the Nazis in Holland.
Veldkamp was particularly impressed by the number of personal items that had been salvaged and brought to Israel. Some of these items have heroic or poignant stories attached to them and form a bridge between Israel and Holland. The fact that they are in an Israeli museum, said Veldkamp, means that the stories will not be forgotten.
 DOES FRIENDSHIP override the law? From a report in Yediot Aharonot it would seem that it does. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are very friendly with film producer, film distributor and cinema chain proprietor Yoram Globus and his wife, Leah, with whom they frequently socialize during weekends in Caesarea where both couples have homes. Thus, when Leah Globus threw a 70th birthday party for her husband on Saturday night, it was only natural that the Netanyahus were among the Who’s Who on the guest list which included a not insignificant number of rich and famous personalities, including several ministers such as Silvan Shalom, Ya’acov Peri and Yitzhak Aharonovitch.
Curiously, Wikipedia lists Globus as having been born on October 21, 1941 – but Wikipedia has been known to make mistakes, and this could well be one of them.
However, according to the Yediot report, there is no mistake about the illegal operation of the venue where the party was held. Benny Hadayag, which opened for business in Givat Olga three months ago, is operating without a business license or essential safety approval, according to the report. This was apparently made known by local police to the PM’s security detail when they came to inspect the premises prior to the party. The restaurant has not received approval from either the municipality or the fire department, and is not only operating illegally but is situated on public land. Complaints to this effect have been lodged with the Interior Ministry.
Aside from all that, prior to the PM’s arrival on Saturday night, people sitting or strolling on the beachfront near the restaurant were ordered to leave, and were naturally angry that their leisure activity had been disrupted because the PM was coming to a party. The people on the beach were not the only casualties of the event. Singer Einat Sarouf, who had chosen to wear white pants with her red and black top, was jostled in the crowd and found her pants “decorated” with big red wine stains. She was enough of a pro not to allow that to interfere with her performance.
Although various authorities confirmed to the paper’s reporters that the restaurant is operating without a license, the owner insists that he has one.
It is not known whether Leah and Yoram Globus were aware that Benny Hadayag is officially unlicensed. If they were, it would not have been the first brush with the law that Yoram Globus has had this year. In February he was arrested for tax evasion and released on NIS 1 million bail plus a NIS 1m. guarantee from a third party.