Grapevine: Media mogul

It is known that Noni Mozes has faced stiff competition from the freebie tabloid 'Israel Hayom.'

Las Vegas gaming tycoon and Israel Hayom proprietor Sheldon Adelson (photo credit: REUTERS)
Las Vegas gaming tycoon and Israel Hayom proprietor Sheldon Adelson
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Reports that an international media tycoon, Moroccan- born Patrick Drahi, who holds French, Israeli and Portuguese citizenship, is in negotiations to buy the shares in Yediot Aharonot belonging to bankrupt businessman Eliezer Fishman have yet to be confirmed, but there has been no denial either. If the reports are true, Drahi, founder and controller of the Altice media group, which has business interests in several European countries as well as Israel and the US, will initially buy the 34% of the Yediot Group stock belonging to Fishman, and at a later stage will buy out Yediot publisher Noni Mozes, who owns 24% of the stock.
(The remaining shares are divided between the two Mozes sisters and members of the Yudkowski family, which is related to the Mozes family, which has controlled Yediot for more than 80 years.) It is known that Noni Mozes has faced stiff competition from the freebie tabloid Israel Hayom, which is owned by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, and that the sharp decline in Yediot’s advertising revenues have caused Mozes to give serious thought to selling the Yediot Group, which includes the Ynet Internet sites in Hebrew and English plus numerous local supplements and glossy magazines.
In Israel, Drahi already owns HOT Telecom and i24 News. He may have a problem with the antitrust regulator if he buys the controlling interest in Yediot, but with all the chopping and changing of Israeli legislation, the legal barriers he might encounter could well be out of the way by the time he buys out all the shares.
Despite the media frenzy over the split between Judy Shalom Nir Mozes and her husband, former minister and presidential candidate Silvan Shalom, it’s business as usual for JSNM in her various social and community activities.
Together with well known broadcaster Nissim Mishal, JSNM runs Hom (Warmth), an organization dedicated to providing food for children from low socio-economic backgrounds. Ethnix, the popular rock band, will host singer Eyal Golan at a Hom benefit on September 17 at the Rishpon home of lawyer Yossi Cohen and his wife, Ranana. Naturally, JSNM and Mishal will be on hand to tell guests how important it to provide these children with proper nourishment.
■ It may not be common knowledge, but Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis is an avid collector of hit songs from the 1980s and has a collection of close to 1,000 recordings. Now he’s going to have a chance to share some of them with listeners of Radius Radio Tel Aviv when he hosts a two-hour special on nostalgia on August 26.
Not only will there be hits of yesteryear, but also popular jingles of times that were so different in style and content from today.
■ The Bukharan community is well known for its generosity and hospitality. Among the prime examples of a national characteristic that applies to both Jews and non-Jews are Jerusalemites Amnon and Grenata Aharonov, who this week celebrated the bat mitzva of their daughter Talya at the elegant Artemisia events hall in the capital’s Talpiot industrial zone, which has become a booming area for impressive banquet halls. The fact that there are no residential properties in the immediate vicinity means that music and dancing can continue after 11 p.m., which is the shut-off time in the rest of the city.
Because Artemisia is so large, it can cater to several functions simultaneously, and on the night of the bat mitzva there was also a wedding.
Strangers who did not know Talya, who is tall and quite mature for her age, might have mistaken her for the bride because she, too was wearing a long, white, full-skirted, high-necked and long-sleeved gown featuring layers of tulle. Several of her young nieces were similarly attired and could have been mistaken for flower girls. But no, as far as the women were concerned, it was definitely a dress-up affair for them and their children, though some of the men opted for a more casual mode of dress. The majority, however, wore suits and ties.
Talya is the youngest of the Aharonovs’ 12 children. Her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and grandparents, along with her parents, made the four-generation festivities a decidedly family affair.
There were some half-dozen guests who were not related but were told by the hosts that they were now part of the extended family. The affection between the real family members was obvious as sisters and sisters-in-law embraced each other and cooed over each others’ exquisitely dressed children and tiny babies, and brothers and brothersin- law made sure that the children were fed from any of the pre-dinner buffets stocked with meats, fish, salad dishes and sushi. As if this was not enough, the multi-course dinner at beautifully laid-out tables featured a huge range of options, including Bukharan delicacies such as warm chopped liver, which does not taste like refrigerated chopped liver. Afterwards, guests were served an attractively presented, delicately spiced fish duet of gray mullet and salmon, followed by beef, chicken and lamb dishes accompanied by hot and cold vegetables. People kept complaining that they had no more room for food but they kept eating because it was all so delicious.
The grand finale came by way of long trays of mini cakes and desserts. The service was excellent, with waiters or waitresses coming to the table every few minutes to check if there was anything the guests wanted. Aharonov did the same.
It’s a Bukharan custom to honor family matriarchs, so all the young children gathered around their grandmothers and great-grandmother to give each special gifts.
The tall, turban style headgear of all the young women was both striking and flattering; hardly any of the married women were bare-headed.
Of good friends not of their blood line, the Aharonovs had hoped that Aliza and Ehud Olmert might attend, but they didn’t. They also hoped to see Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and his wife, Ella. He was otherwise engaged, and she, for the sake of friendship, dropped in for 10 minutes because she had promised to put in an appearance even though she had other commitments. In addition to providing for their own ever-expanding family, the Aharonovs are also generous philanthropists.
■ Some of the soldiers who survived the terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv, where four were killed in January of this year, attended last week’s opening at the Socca Art Gallery in Tel Aviv of an exhibition by American painter Ronit Joy Holz. The exhibition was dedicated to the suffering of bereaved families. One of the pieces was dedicated to the memory of the four murdered soldiers. In addition to the survivors of the attack, members of the victims’ families and social activists were also present.
All proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the OneFamily organization, a nonprofit that has been operating for the past 16 years as a continuously available support framework for terror victims and their families regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliation.
Holtz was born in America and traveled the US east coast, numerous countries in Europe and almost all of Canada before moving to Israel when she was nine. She is the fourth of five children of a Russian-Israeli mother and Jewish- American father. She is currently attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she is working toward a bachelors degree in fine arts. Her career goal is to become a traveling art therapist for adolescents, visiting orphanages, refugee camps, hospitals, schools and shelters around the world.
Much of her work has been featured in galleries, bars, restaurants and private collections in Virginia, New York, Arizona, Texas, California, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Herzliya.
■ Last Thursday, the Jerusalem Municipality hosted a tribute to the prolific songwriter Yankele Rotblit, whose famous “Shir Lashalom” has for half a century been the anthem of peace activists. First sung by Miri Aloni, it has always been associated with her – and more so since she sang it at the November 4, 1995, peace rally where Yitzhak Rabin joined in the chorus only minutes prior to his assassination.
Once a star performer, Aloni these days sings for an aging audience at the entrance to Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market.
Another great song writer, Nahum Heiman, who died a year ago, will be honored at the Arad Festival, which he helped found in the 1980s. His daughter, singer Si Heiman, together with Shai Avivi, Natan Solar, Dan Toren and Elad Shudler, will sing some of his best-known songs on August 22. His most famous song, “Kmo Tzemach Bar,” has been sung by his daughter at every one of her performances over the past year and is frequently aired on the radio. She will doubtless sing it in Arad.
■ Former Attorney-General Michael Ben-Yair, who is now an advocate for Palestinian rights, earlier this month visited the Umm Haroun neighborhood in east Jerusalem’s Shiekh Jarrah, where his family lived until 1948. He went to sympathize and empathize with Palestinian families being evicted from their homes there.
“My family and the family of my cousin, who were forced to leave the neighborhood in January 1948, got properties of Palestinian refugees on Jaffa Road and in the Katamon neighborhood in West Jerusalem that were valued much higher than the properties we left in Sheikh Jarrah,” he said. “If Israel will conduct land registration in Sheikh Jarrah, I will demand the ownership of the building that belonged to my family and will give it to the Palestinians who live in it today. The current Israeli law that enables double compensation, only for Jews, for properties in east Jerusalem from the period before 1948 does injustice to non-Jews.”