Grapevine: Sneak peeks

Netanyahus go to the movies, TAU is in the news and Israeli roads are clogged.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Uriel Sinai/Pool
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Uriel Sinai/Pool )

■ PRIME MINISTER Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are known to be

movie buffs, and in the days when security was not quite as tight as it is now, they
used to slip into darkened movie theaters while the commercials were playing so
that no one would recognize them, and leave just before the end. They can’t do that
anymore unless they go to Cinema City, as President Shimon Peres did this week.
Neither Peres nor Netanyahu has too much time for movies these days, but
Peres had heard so much about Joseph Cedar’s prize-winning film Footnote that
he felt he ought to see it.

He could have seen it on video in the President’s

Residence, but he preferred to go to Cinema City in Ramat Hasharon in the
company of his son Chemi and a small group of friends. The Cinema City chain
includes a series of small VIP cinemas, as well as larger auditoriums.
He was received by Cinema City owner Moshe Edery, whose next link in the
chain will be in Jerusalem – a factor that will enable both Netanyahu and Peres
to see the latest movies at minimal notice because special screenings can always
be arranged for them.

■ DESPITE THE controversies that prevented him from becoming IDF chief of

staff, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, the former head of Southern Command,
remains a magnetic attraction. Thus when he was the guest speaker last week of
Tel Aviv University’s Business-Academic Club, there was a full house that resulted
in contributions totaling NIS 300,000 for scholarships for needy students.
Galant spoke about Israel’s security in a changing geostrategic reality.

Obviously still smarting from accusations that he had appropriated public lands

for his own use, Galant started out with an anecdote about a conversation he’d
had with former prime minister Ariel Sharon about Sharon’s good friend the
late general Avraham Yoffe who, after leaving the army, had accepted the chairmanship
of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. When Sharon had
asked Yoffe why, after such a distinguished military career, he had opted to head
an organization dealing with nature, Yoffe’s reply was “Because here, a snake is
a snake and a dog is a dog.”

■ IN OTHER Tel Aviv University news, when Amos Shapira, the president of

the Friends of TAU, inaugurated the new on-campus WIZO day-care center last
week, he brought along his baby granddaughter Maya, whom he held in his
arms during the inauguration ceremony – a dangerous thing to do, as it’s a wellknown
fact that babies upstage everyone, including their grandfathers. Maya
was no exception. Everyone wanted to play kitchy-koo with her.
There was also a high-profile WIZO representation in attendance, World
WIZO President Helena Glaser.

■ ISRAEL’S CITIES are among the most car-clogged in the world. Buses, trucks

and motorcycles also contribute to the congestion – so much so that when
Friends of Beit Lessin organized a daytime premiere of Blood Brothers last Friday,
the curtain was late in going up because so many people were still parking their
cars or picking up their tickets.

Of course, it’s almost always a Murphy’s Law affair. Anyone who leaves home

or the workplace early in order to be on time will encounter one of those rare
occasions in which the streets are almost devoid of traffic and will sit around for
the best part of an hour twiddling his or her thumbs; while those who calculate
the time factor and leave themselves a leeway of 10 to 15 minutes almost invariably
get caught in traffic and arrive late. Among the early birds was Nava Barak,
who seems to be a member of or on the guest list of every major organization
in Tel Aviv.

■ ZAKA THIS week hosted a pilot course for Arab women on home safety, accident

prevention and care. Born out of experience of volunteers arriving at
homes in Israel’s minority community, the course addressed not only accident
prevention but also taught participants how to provide post-accident care.
This is the first time that ZAKA and the haredi community took an initiative
geared specifically toward women in the Arab sector. Approximately 40 women
attended the four-hour course in Kafr Kasim, led by a ZAKA medical professional
and an Arabic-speaking paramedic. It is hoped that the program will be
extended to 12 other Arab towns across the country.

ZAKA has an active Minorities Unit based mostly in the Negev, Galilee and the

triangle area of Israeli Arab towns, offering a quick response to emergencies in
these areas. There are more than 100 ZAKA volunteers from the Arab, Beduin
and Druse sectors in Israel, with an additional course opening soon.
ZAKA founder and chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, who created the organization
in 1995, says that ZAKA believes that all human beings, regardless of religion, race or
nationality, are created equal. Thus ZAKA is always ready to offer aid to anyone who
may benefit from the organization’s know-how. ZAKA volunteers are on call 24/7 and are equipped to reach the site of any emergency in the shortest possible time.