Grapevine: Dershowitz makes a different case for Israel

A round-up of news from around Israel.

Alan Dershowitz (photo credit: REUTERS)
Alan Dershowitz
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Generally speaking, when making the case for Israel, retired Harvard Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz does not talk about water. There are other issues that are somewhat more familiar to his audiences. But on Sunday, March 26, he’s going to make a pitch for water at the opening of AIPAC’s Policy Conference in Washington.
Dershowitz will introduce Water- Gen. Ltd., an innovative Israeli company with cutting-edge solutions for clean, accessible drinking water. The company has developed modular units for generating clean drinking water from the air, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of clean and accessible water in the world. Water-Gen taps this unlimited resource to provide an abundant, renewable source of fresh and clean drinking water by extracting it directly from the air. With the patented GENiusTM, energy-efficient Atmospheric Water Generator module, Water-Gen’s various water generator models can serve water needs from a small house to whole villages to an entire country.
In early March, the World Health Organization announced that tainted water is one of the environmental factors causing death to 1.7 million children during their first five years.
The report, titled “Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment,” concluded that the most common causes of death among these children are diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia, all preventable in part by access to safe water.
Dershowitz notes that “unavailability of clean water affects mortality and creates a deadly environment.”
He is confident Water-Gen can change this and succeed in its mission to save lives today and in the future.
Water-Gen executive chairman Maxim Pasik is looking forward to representing the company at AIPAC and is very excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate his company’s product to conference participants.
Dershowitz, who is among the most popular of speakers at the conferences and gala dinners of American Jewish organizations, will also be among the speakers at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on May 7, where the major topic will be “Israel-US Relations in the Trump Era.”
The AIPAC conference will also include an emotional tribute to Israel’s ninth president, Shimon Peres, whose son Chemi, who is now the chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa, will for the first time meet Yousof Qaraja, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, who was born with a life-threatening heart defect and whose life was saved through a Saving Children project that was initiated by Shimon Peres.
The program has so far saved the lives of 12,000 Palestinian children.
■ DESERVING SOCIAL welfare causes abound in Israel, and despite the ongoing increase in poverty, there are apparently enough well-to-do people around to support them. This is most obvious when organizations dedicated to the diverse social welfare organizations that care for the sick and the poor through any number of projects have a fund-raising event – especially a concert. Such events usually attract a full house.
At least two events in this category are being held this week in Jerusalem.
The first is a concert at Zappa to mark the 44th anniversary of the Summit Institute, which has been organized by the Friends of Summit, with singers Keren Peles and Hanan Yovel as well as a performance by the Summit Theater Group. Summit’s main purpose is to provide psychosocial rehabilitation for Israel’s most disadvantaged children and young adults, including soldiers suffering from various traumas resulting from their military service. Summit has created live-in therapeutic communities for adolescents and young adults aged 18-35 who are struggling with a wide range of emotional and mental illnesses. The organization is currently helping 1,200 young people, in the hope of enabling them to recover and heal and to become regular, productive citizens.
■ THE OTHER organization is the Malki Foundation, whose annual Rainbow of Music concert will take place at the Jerusalem Theater on March 29. This year the concert will feature the Ramatayim Men’s Choir and will include special guests Shlomo Katz, Zvi Weiss and Daniel Zamir. In addition to the concert, the organization will hold its annual raffle. Proceeds will go to support the Malki Foundation’s impactful programs which help children with disabilities to attain the quality of life they deserve.
The Malki Foundation is named for teenager Malki Roth, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the Sbarro pizza parlor on the capital’s King George Road in August 2001.
The pizza parlor no longer exists and the premises have been converted to a Naaman bakeshop.
Malki had a severely disabled sister, to whom she was greatly attached, and to whom she gave a great deal of attention. When Malki’s parents were thinking of the most appropriate way in which to honor her memory, they decided to create a foundation that would, through its different activities on behalf of disabled children and their families, perpetuate the love and care that Malki gave to her sister.
■ JOURNALIST AND author Melanie Phillips captivated her mainly British audience of some 200 expats at a lecture and reception organized by the Israel, Britain & the Commonwealth Association at the Daniel Hotel, Herzliya, last week. Phillips was confident that Brexit would be good for the UK – that it would give the country back its sense of nationalism – even though Jews were traditionally frightened of the word nationalism because of its historic connotations. She felt that the European Union was losing its sense of democracy by overriding the ability of its members to make decisions for themselves. Self-government, she said, offers great opportunities and inspires love and pride of country among the British people, and would eventually allow Britain to become itself once again.
She also said that Israel is unique and is essential to peace in the Middle East and vitally important to the UK and the US.
Her lecture coincided with the terrorist attack in Westminster, London.
Phillips will be speaking in Jerusalem on Sunday evening, March 26, at Beit Shmuel.
■ A MONTHLY English-language series of conversations with authors about themselves and their writing, titled “Personal Pages,” begins this Tuesday, March 28, at the Tower of David Museum. The authors will all be writers who have written about Jerusalem or have in some way included Jerusalem in their writing.
Jerusalem has been written about from almost every possible angle.
It has been explored, dissected and analyzed in many languages by umpteen authors who deal with the city of peace that has so frequently been the city of war from biblical times onward. The city has been a powerful and intriguing backdrop for novels of every genre, and because it is the city of three faiths, it has also been dealt with from many religious perspectives, taking into account that all three have expanded into different denominations. The first two conversations on Tuesday, March 28, at 7.30 p.m. will be with Adam LeBor and Mishka Ben-David, who are each spy novelists and award-wining authors.
LeBor writes for The Economist from Budapest. He is the author of several acclaimed nonfiction books, including Hitler’s Secret Bankers, Tower of Basel and City of Oranges about Jaffa.
He now writes thrillers featuring the former Mossad agent Yael Azoulay.
The latest is The Reykjavik Assignment.
Ben-David is a former Mossad agent who lives in Ramat Raziel. His spy thrillers include Duet in Beirut, Forbidden Love in St. Petersburg and Final Stop: Algiers. He has received five Golden Book awards from the Israeli Publishers Guild for books selling more than 20,000 copies; two Platinum Book awards for sales of over 40,000 copies, as well as the Prime Minister’s Creativity Award for Literature, 2002-3.
On Tuesday, April 26, the authors will be Matti Friedman and Haim Watzman. Friedman, a Jerusalem writer, is the author of two nonfiction books: The Aleppo Codex, about the rescue and theft of a priceless Jewish manuscript, and Pumpkin Flowers, about his service in the IDF in Lebanon.
Watzman lives in Jerusalem and has written the nonfiction Company C about serving in the IDF and A Crack in the Earth, documenting a hike from Eilat to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. His latest book, Necessary Stories, is a collection of his much-loved short stories from The Jerusalem Report, which is a sister publication of The Jerusalem Post.
Tickets for these events are NIS 50 each.
Ticket-holders will be entitled to Sound & Light tickets for NIS 40 that can be used on a different evening.
■ ALTHOUGH THERE is still talk of women breaking through the glass ceiling, there isn’t really much left of that ceiling to break through.
Women can be found in almost every profession, and very often at the top of the totem pole. Women have always been in the film industry since its very beginnings, but as actresses, researchers, costume designers and dressers more than as producers and directors.
As part of the ongoing International Women’s Day month, which is extending into April, the Austrian Cultural Forum is hosting a panel discussion on “Women in the Film Industry – achievements challenges and perspectives,” to be held on Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The discussion will seek to highlight the achievements of women in the film industry, to identify key challenges that hamper their work and to discuss good and effective practices.
Moreover, the debate will provide an opportunity to highlight the importance of role models in promoting women’s rights. The panelists include film directors, and actresses as well as other persons involved in the film industry.
In 2015, the Austrian Cultural Forum initiated a series of events emphasizing the essential role and contribution of women to society.
After having focused on successful role models and the situation of women in arts, culture and science, this year’s panel discussion will address the situation in the film industry.
The panelists are filmmaker and producer Daniele Angel; writer and film director Iris Lanchiano; director of the Holon Cinematheque Roni Mahadav-Levin; filmmaker and Tel Aviv Student Film Festival director Ma’ayan Ripp; and filmmaker and actress Aviva Zimmerman.
Whereas in the days of gender discrimination, there was frequently a token woman, on this occasion the tables will be turned, and there will be a token man, in the person of moderator Oded Grober, who is a journalist.