L.A. Jewish Film Festival premieres the nouveau and salutes the classic

L.A.J.F.F. premiered Israeli espionage series, "K'fulim" ("False Flag")
featuring stars Angel Bonanni, Ania Bukstein, and co-creator Amit Cohen
The L.A. Jewish Film Festival runs for the week between Wednesday May 18th and May 25th on this schedule. Exec. Director Hilary Helstein discusses some of this year's offerings, from their red-carpet event in Beverly Hills.
On the 50th anniversary of  Israeli musical Kuni Lemel," original host of "Let's Make a Deal,"Monty Hall presents Kuni Lemel actor, Mike Burstyn, a lifetime achievement award on behalf of the Festival. Mr. Burstyn answers audience questions about the film and his career.
Actor, Eric Edelstein, discusses the Jewish-American comedy he stars in, "The Pickle Recipe," and lays-out L.A. Jewish delis he frequents- for visitors to note.

At Holocaust memorial cermony, Zionist & Czech diplomats and survivors address pacifism against tyrannical movements

Exclusive news video from Holocaust memorial / Yom Ha Shoah ceremony at Museum of Tolerance.

Fox News published this op/ed by Rabbi Abraham Cooper to coincide with yesterday's ceremony: "Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016: What Americans can (and should) do" 5 May 2016 

Museum of Tolerance Exec. Dir. Leibe Geft welcomes Czech
Republic's Amb. Pavol Sepelak's Yom HaShoah remarks
The article begins: "For over seven decades, on Yom Hashoah- Holocaust Remembrance Day, people pause to reflect on the mass murder of 6,000,000 Jews, a genocide conceived, organized and executed by Hitler’s Third Reich. Two words sum up the silent pleas from the ashes of the victims and those who survived the Shoah: “Never Again.” But let’s be honest. In 2016, the operative term is “ever” not never again.

What lessons from the Nazi Holocaust has the U.S. or other nations applied to stop the ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Christians, the genocide of Yazidis, the gassing of civilians and targeting of hospitals in Syria, the Boko Haram outrages in Nigeria?" To read full article

At yesterday's Museum of Tolerance' Yom Hashoah / Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration, executive director Liebe Geft introduced remarks by Rabbi Cooper and other experts on Jew-hatred and its appeasers.

Watch JewTube's original video of remarks by Rabbi Meir May, Rabbi Abe Cooper, Israeli Consul General David Siegel, and Rabbi Marvin Hier.

Remarks by Czech Republic's diplomat to Los Angeles, Amb. Pavol Sepelak.

Czech survivor, Bill Harvey, 92, of Hollywood, relates his perspectives following the ceremony at the Museum of Tolerance.

Sen. Ted Cruz woos Jews seeking a champion

Sen. Ted Cruz addressed the R.J.C. Spring Leadership
Meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday (John Locher/ A.P.)
U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) courted Jewish-Americans in New York and at a national gathering in Las Vegas. With a strong history in opposing the anti-Semitic Islamist movement, Sen. Cruz was invited to bake matzoh in Brooklyn before Passover. He is also the only Republican candidate who accepted the Republican Jewish Coalition's invitation to address its Las Vegas gathering over the weekend of April 7th, 2016.

The Jewish Insider has curated a collection of coverage from the Republican Jewish Coalition Spring gathering in Las Vegas:
"Sheldon Adelson and top GOP donors retreat to the sidelines" by Alex Isenstadt and Katie Glueck: “Burnout’s real. People spent a lot of time and energy traveling on their own nickel, asking friends for money from different candidates. There’s only so many times you can go back to the well,” said Jay Zeidman, a Texas executive who has thrown his support to Cruz after initially backing Jeb Bush... Ronald Krongold, who has yet to endorse another contender following Bush’s departure, added: “I’m a little disappointed as to how the race has evolved.”

"On Friday night, Cruz courted over a dozen RJC members at AquaKnox, a dimly lit seafood restaurant just off the casino floor. He schmoozed with attendees including Texas businessman Fred Zeidman and California venture capitalist Yitz Applbaum, both former Bush supporters, and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. Among the topics discussed, according to one person briefed on the informal get-together: how the ongoing delegate fight will play out." [PoliticoCNN]

(Video: CBSN via Ted Cruz campaign)

Where was Sheldon? "On Thursday evening, Adelson hosted some of the organization’s top officials at his palatial mansion. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed how fractured parties can unite, Adelson listened but said little, according to three people who were present. And on Friday, rather than preside over the deliberations, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, departed for a wedding... in Baltimore." [PoliticoGuardian] • Which Wedding? Ariel Garber & Scott Goldstein [TheKnot]
Ted Cruz made matzah at a Brooklyn bakery with this group of 
 children on Thursday, April 7, 2016. (Credit: WCBS-TV News)

Ari Fleischer tweets: "Ted Cruz helped himself a lot at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting.  He's going to leave here with a lot of support." [Twitter]

David Frum tweets: "At @RJC weekend in Las Vegas, Ted Cruz moved a number of important party leaders from “I guess … ” to “yes!!" [Twitter]

Cruz woos pro-Israel coalition as backers seek to build on momentum” by Peter Stone:“Roughly a dozen wealthy board members of the RJC hosted a roundtable discussion with the Texan, giving him a chance to woo donors in a more intimate setting. “The Cruz train is looking appealing,” said Michael Epstein, an RJC board member and commercial estate developer from Maryland who only recently joined the campaign’s finance team, after initially backing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and then Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Epstein told the Guardian he and a dozen other board members – including the California venture capitalist Elliott Broidy, the New York real estate investor Ben Heller and the Houston businessman Fred Zeidman – organized the roundtable, which drew about 75 people, giving Cruz a chance to “welcome everybody” to become supporters. “Obviously money is important, and we’re talking to everybody else” about the campaign’s needs, he said.” [TheGuardian]

HOW IT PLAYED: "At Meeting of Jewish Donors, Cruz Talks Up Electability"
  [TexasTribune] •
"In Las Vegas, Cruz touts his support for Israel and ability to defeat Clinton"

  [LasVegasSun] •
"Cruz Rails Against Trump as Republican Jews Ponder Options" [AP] • 

"Cruz to Jewish Republicans: I'm perfectly electable" [CNN]
"Cruz tells Jewish Republicans Trump is 'a disaster'" [ArutzSheva] • 

Danny Ayalon keeps-at public-diplomacy via social-media, video, in-person instruction

Former Israeli Amb. to the U.S. Danny Ayalon (@DannyAyalon) has been active for the past four years in a social media initiative to help convey Israel's arguments against mainstream and left-wing biased media. He has starred in a series of informational videos called, "The Truth About Israel" on historic and contemporary issues. 

Video: "The Truth About the Balance of Power in the Middle East"

Amb. Ayalon's Twitter activism earned him the Fourth 
Most Influential Jewish Twitterer slot on a new list published by Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The 25 most influential people on ‘Jewish Twitter’   

JewTube.Info asked him about the state of Israeli hasbara (public relations) at his recent appearance in Los Angeles.

David Suissa (left) (Jewish Journal of L.A.) interviews 
Former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister and Ambassador 
to the US Danny Ayalon at Beth Jacob Cong. in Beverly Hills 
Amb. Ayalon participated in a public conversation 26 March '16 at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills- entitled "Challenges and Opportunities for Jewish People in a Rapidly Changing World." The moderator was David Suissa, President, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. 

JewTube.Info presents its exclusive video of the presentation and question and answer segment with the audience. (Video playlist menu in upper left corner, advance through controls on lower left). 

Watch candidates vie for support, staking-out positions at the America/Israel AIPAC Policy Conference

Donald Trump overcomes doubts about his commitment to Israel in address to Zionists at AIPAC
Jewish and Christian conference attendees attempting to access the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington were confronted by violent Muslim and Leftist demonstrators chanting, "Shut it down!"

Donald Trump laid out his Middle East policy plans which would affect Israel.

Ted Cruz will be hard towards the latitudes Obama has granted Islamist movements, like Iran. 

Gov. John Kasich professed a personal affinity with Jewish friends and Israel.

Vice President Joe Biden downplayed his administration's pushing Israel to sacrifice territory for an Islamist Palestinian state, sabotaging Israel's defense against Iran's nuclear development and reneging on promises to boost Israel's military advantage after losing the JCPOA to the White House.

Hillary Clinton made no reference to the revelations of her State Dept. staff and advisors to stir Palestinian terrorism against Jews in order to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to cede territory.

At the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas 2014 we asked Commentary Magazine editor, John Podhoretz whether he feels AIPAC officials are selling Democrats for Jewish support.

Post-convention analysis of candidates' speeches at the Verizon Center in Washington from Tim Constantine, Washington Times columnist.

War among the Jews during primary elections

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and Hasidic blogger Jacob Kornbluth
"A War Among the Jews"
by Caren Bessner

Fratricide isn't a pretty word.  It evokes the image of siblings in conflict with one another.  The Old Testament is replete with stories of such disharmony, that serves both as a lesson in morality and a warning for future generations.  The story of Cain and Abel, the enslavement of Joseph in Egypt by his brothers, the enmity between Jacob and Esau, and the hostility between Solomon's son and heir Rehoboam and his brother Jeroboam which eventually led to a split in the ancient kingdom of Israel are classic examples.  This last example proves conclusively, that even when we were an indigenous people in our own homeland surrounded by a plethora of enemies; the Jews still could not get along.  

The Northern kingdom compromising ten of the original tribes, kept the name of Israel and had its capital at Shechem; while the Southern kingdom re-named Judah, retained the city of Jerusalem.  Both Jewish kingdoms remained inherently hostile toward one another.  When the Northern kingdom of Israel was attacked by the Assyrians, the Southern kingdom refused to render assistance.  Israel fell in 722 BCE.  Thus began the odyssey of the ten lost tribes.  Competent leadership in the Southern kingdom managed to keep potential enemies at bay for over a century, but this could not last and Judah eventually succumbed to the Babylonians in 597 BCE.

What does all this ancient history have to do with events today?  Most Jews would probably say that as a people, we have evolved past fratricidal disputes.  Since the destruction of the second temple, we have lived for almost 2000 years as a nation within the nations of the world.  This has produced a "diasporic mentality," where we sought some form of accommodation with the ruling elites of the countries in which we resided.

Rep. Brad Sherman (r) menaces fellow Jewish Democrat, So-Cal US
US Rep. Howard Berman 10/12 (l) (Photo: Lichtman ,Jewish Journal
This strategy has not always been successful.  Witness the many pogroms, expulsions, and exterminations that have been endured in many lands, over many centuries, finally culminating in the Holocaust.  In response, Jews naturally gravitated toward any movement or ideology that promised relief.  Philosophies such as Communism, Nihilism, Anarchy, and Socialism were widely embraced.  Millions of Jews carried these ideas with them when they migrated to the new world, passing them on to their children and grandchildren.  As a result, the vast majority of American Jews tend to identify with the far left of the political spectrum. 
A Florida Jewish retirees' group at a Jewish Community Center debated their election considerations on Primary Day.

Of the 30 attendees, 28 argued against the Republicans- primarily Donald Trump.

Will Oscar for "Son of Saul" spur confronting anti-Israelism in leftist culture?

Laszlo Nemes takes Foreign Film Oscar

Scott Jacobs interviews Laszlo Nemes (Photo:Orly Halevy)
Mr. Laszlo Nemes' debut feature film,the Holocaust-set, Son of Saul, finally won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, after taking similar prizes at Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes, and the Spirit Independent-Film awards Saturday night, also in L.A.

Geza Rohrig filmed by Matyas Erdely 
Photo: Ildi Hermann/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
In February 28th's Sunday N.Y. Times, Katalin Balog, an associate professor of philosophy at Rutgers University-Newark, characterizes the picture in her "‘Son of Saul,’ Kierkegaard and the Holocaust" as: "The film follows a day in the life of Saul, a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of mostly Jewish prisoners the Nazis forced to assist with herding people to the gas chambers, burning the bodies and collecting gold and valuables from the corpses. The film creates a direct, experiential and visceral engagement with these events by maintaining a relentless focus on the minute-to-minute unfolding of Saul’s world."
Saul shows physicians driven by social-pressure to rationalize
conducting medical atrocities on Jewish patients

Mr. Nemes, 39, who directed and screenwrote Son of Saul, discusses what it took to produce this provocative look at the dynamics between Nazis and Jewish gas-chamber workers inside a genocide camp. His picture should renew attention to the depths of gentile inhumanity towards Jews in the modern era.

Appearing at Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills on Friday, February 12, 2016 in a knitted kippa to accept Hungarian Mensch Foundation's Mensch Award, filmmaker Nemes reveals that he is a Hungarian Jew whose grandparents were killed by Nazis. In this video interview with JooTube, he responds to the myriad of issues involved in his producing the picture.

Holocaust epic drama, "Son of Saul" director Laszlo Nemes accepted the "Mensch Award" from Mensch Foundation's Hungarian founder, Steven Geiger. Mr. Geiger is concerned that Jews (even the Israeli Left) are too comfortable. 'Anything can happen at any time," the refugee from Communist Hungary declares in this video interview:

In Jeffrey Fleishman's "Oscar winner 'Son of Saul' is a collage of the unimaginable" in yesterday's Sunday L.A. Times,  he writes: “Son of Saul” is “an unwavering vision of a particular kind of hell. No matter how many Holocaust films you've seen, you've not seen one like this,” Times critic Kenneth Turan wrote in his review. “It's essential for us as a culture to continually see and understand that this was not an aberration, that people did this to other people and could do it again. Having films like 'Son of Saul' made and seen is our best hope of that not happening.” How, exactly?

Laszlo Nemes on JooTube
When I offered Mr. Nemes to review our interview, he asked me to omit his remarks supporting Israel - and to embargo the interview until after the Oscar voting was complete (out of concern for offending liberal anti-Zionist, Academy Awards voters- especially Jewish ones who might self-discriminate to prove their universality). JooTube complied, but it does raise an irony:

How can we claim to have come far in educating the world to "Never Again" let anti-Semitism grow, until it becomes a social threat to Jews (which could devolve to physical threat) when the champion depictor of the atrocities recognizes that Jews in Hollywood would discriminate against his opinion to protect Jews from a "stabbing intifada" by Muslims against the Jewish state?

Mrs. Susanne Reyto is an author ("Pursuit of Freedom: a true story of the enduring power of hopes and dreams") and speaker about the turbulent years in Hungary after WW II. Her often harrowing childhood and her ultimate escape from Communist Hungary in the late 1950's left an indelible mark on her spirit.

In this interview at the Son of Saul honors, she reminds us how the Nazi's Middle East allies imported and absorbed their propaganda makers and techniques - which they exploit by scapegoating the Jewish state - Israel to galvanize their power throughout the Muslim world.

 And with a world molified by Islamphobia-mongering, just who's going to stop them?

As Prime Minister Netanyahu said during a speech at a ceremony marking the 100th birthday of former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir:
A straight line leads from the provocations of Jerusalem’s Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini who incited against Jews in the 1920s to the “wild incitement” today that motivates the current round of terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. ("Thirst for destruction driving force of Arab terror for 100 years" Jerusalem Post, 29 February 2016).
Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, meets German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
in Berlin, November 20, 1941.. (photo credit:JEWISH AGENCY)
Despite the allegation that Hollywood discriminates against minorities (which Oscar-show producers embraced), the irony of last night's Academy Awards was that although the Academy did elect Nazi-set, "Son of Saul," the pro-Palestine-nationalism created by Hitler's Muslim-adopted strategists, necessitates Israel to distribute first-class vacations to Academy (leftist) nominees- in hopes of reversing the effects of the Nazi-Islamist-Leftist campaign to perpetuate Jew-hatred socio-politically for power and influence.

Which is why- for Son of Saul to be purposeful- we must carry its message beyond 'anti-Semitism as a dynamic of history' to confront its essence in Islamic anti-Israelism- and crack the taboo against fighting Islamism (which dominates Muslims and non-Muslims) and threatens the survival of Judaism and the Jewish people.

Read more about "Egyptian Islamo-Nazism and "Omar Amin" von Leers" by Dr. Andrew Bostom in Family Security Matters.

The Oscars revive interest in the definitive documentary about the Holocaust

Adam Benzine with Claude Lanzmann (Photo: JTA)
Will ‘Lanzmann’ finally win an Academy Award? 

"An interview with Adam Benzine, the young first-time director whose award-winning take on the famed, veteran filmmaker is up for an Oscar on Sunday, 28 February" by  Lisa Klug,  Times of IsraelFebruary 27, 2016
The first major documentary about the filmmaker, entitled “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,” is among the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards, which is broadcast live from Los Angeles on Sunday evening, February 28.  
The superbly-crafted film from first-time director Adam Benzine explores the arduous 12-year journey that led to the creation of Lanzmann’s landmark documentary, “Shoah,” and reveals for the first time the countless challenges the French iconoclast faced in making the film.  
“It didn’t relieve me from anguish,” Lanzmann says. “I think it is the other way around. I have made the film but the film made me. I lived all these months after the end of Shoah like a bereavement as a matter of fact. It took me a very long time to be able to recover.”  
The 40-minute project explores how making “Shoah” nearly — and repeatedly — cost Lanzmann his life. Benzine says the film evokes strong audience response.  
“To sit in a darkened room and watch people cry as the watch your work, it’s a very moving experience,” says writer, producer and director Benzine, 33, who is not Jewish. “Cinema has a tremendous power to unify, and I think that’s very important with the way the world is at the moment.” 
Museum of Tolerance's Liebe Geft interviews Adam Benzine
In the 40-minute film “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Holocaust," director  Adam Benzine explores the seven years of filming and five years of editing required to produce “Shoah,” Lanzmann's 9½-hour documentary which attracted widespread acclaim.

Adam Benzine takes JooTube inside his producing of the film- which is nominated for an Academy Award in the category for Documentary (Short-Subject).  In addition to theatrical showings, it has been broadcast by BBC and will be shown in the US on HBO in May.  Adam Benzine, spoke with JewTube on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016 about his effort.

Adam Benzine in conversation with Liebe Geft (director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles) on the making of "Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah." Mr. Benzine also answers questions presented by the audience.

Dennis Prager at orthodox shul: 'Why it's a mitzvah to conduct yourself happily'

Dennis Prager: Happy conduct is better
than only feeling or intending to be happy
Jews and Gentiles traversed through a Southern California, El Nino downpour to watch Dennis Prager teach "Why it's a mitzvah to be happy." At orthodox, Beth Jacob Congregation's "Modern Minds on Jewish Matters" series on Wednesday, February 17th, Mr. Prager drew from his 1998 book, "Happiness is a Serious Problem," to teach that the Jewish essence of this concept benefits the individual and those around us. Mr. Prager teaches that that to conduct oneself pleasantly is not only a mitzvah (i.e., Jewish commandment) for behaving kindly to others we encounter, but that during times when we aren't, the imperative helps us to make ourselves happier. 

Mr. Prager's nationally syndicated radio program is aired in L.A. weekday mornings on 870KRLA-AM. Each week, he dedicates "The Happiness Hour" to addressing this issue.

JooTube.TV presents Mr. Prager's remarks in this video playlist. Part 1 is his main talk; Part 2 is the first half of Dennis responding to audience submitted questions regarding his remarks; Part 3 is the concluding Question and Answer segment.

(Video Menu is in the upper-left corner; lower-left corner advance forward and back between segments).

Why Be Happy? Dennis Prager on PragerU, 20 January 2014
Most people think of happiness as essentially a selfish issue: “I want to be happy -- and I want to be happy for me.”  
I’d like to suggest that in fact happiness is far, far more than a selfish desire. In fact, it is a moral obligation.

How Buzz Aldrin reacted to documentary on Ilan Ramon and his earth-orbiting torah which miraculously survived both Holocaust and Columbia disaster, 13-years ago

Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon's shoah Torah survived destruction
In the spirit of Holocaust Remembrance Day last week and the 13th anniversary of the event, PBS re-webcast, "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" (formerly titled "An Article of Hope").  It is the untold story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, a fighter pilot and son of Holocaust survivors who became the first and only astronaut from Israel, embarking on a mission with the most diverse shuttle crew ever to explore space. 
Space Shuttle Columbia crew
(Ilan Ramon rightmost in red)

Ramon realized the significance of “being the first” and his journey of self-discovery turned into a mission to tell the world a powerful story about the resilience of the human spirit. Although the seven astronauts of the Columbia perished on February 1, 2003, a remarkable story of hope, friendship across cultures, and an enduring faith emerged. 

The film premiered in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the disaster and NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance. 

“Moving tributes like this film remind us all that spaceflight always carries great risk,” NASA Administrator and four-time space shuttle astronaut Charles Bolden said. “But fallen heroes like Ilan were willing to risk the ultimate sacrifice to make important science discoveries and push the envelope of human achievement.”

Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope goes behind the scenes to explore the “mission within the mission” for Ramon, who carried into space a miniature Torah scroll that had survived the horrors of the Holocaust, given to a boy in a secret bar mitzvah observed in the pre-dawn hours in the notorious Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen. The bar mitzvah boy grew up to become Israel’s lead scientist for the mission, Joachim “Yoya” Joseph. 
Photo credit:FrumLife

The film follows the scroll’s path into Ramon’s hands, and the dramatic moment when he tells its story live to the world from the flight deck of Columbia. From the depths of hell to the heights of space, his simple gesture would serve to honor the hope of a nation and to fulfill a promise made to generations past and future.

Moon-walking astronaut Buzz Aldrin pays homage to Israel Air Force astronaut Ilan Ramon chronicle of Holocaust survivors' ascent into the heavens

L.A. Museum of the Holocaust memorializes Fascist Italy's 8,000 Jewish victims of the Shoah

"Life is Beautiful" (1997) depicted the Italian Jewish Holocaust experience
Fascist Italy was one of the last countries to serve-up her Jewish citizens to the Nazi camps. The 1997 film "Life is Beautiful," starring Roberto Benigni dramatized the Italian internment. Benigni's own father had survived 3-years of internment at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Italy's Consul General to L.A., the Honorable Antonio Verde, explains the reading of names of the Italian Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust at the L.A. Museum of the Holocaust.

Hearing the names of some of the 8,000 Jewish family members
 served-up from Italy sobered the LAMOTH audience.
Samara Hutman, Executive Director of L.A. Museum of the Holocaust explains the genesis and growth of the Italian Holocaust awareness project. 
Mrs. Anne Signett reads the names of Italian victims of Nazism. She expresses concern that the lessons of the Holocaust manifest as vigilance by current generations. 

Mrs. Amelie Dembitzer Levin, who survived the Holocaust by being hidden by Catholics in Italy.