Achinoam Nini, the recording artist better known as Noa, is under fire for singing at a joint Israeli-Palestinian event last week to mark Yom Hazikaron, the memorial day for Israeli soldiers and terror victims. The event was organized by Combatants for Peace, a group of Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom.” Now, a campaign by the Israeli right-wing to boycott her is gathering pace.
Israeli lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari has just come up with the ultimate harebrained idea. The Jewish nation, he believes, is in need of values, and who better to provide them than the Israeli soldier who just shocked the world with his brutality?
There was shame in Israel earlier this month, after a video of Col. Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade, went viral. He was slamming his M-16 in the face of Danish activist Andreas Ias. There was condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and the army has suspended him pending an investigation.
Max Greenfield’s bar mitzvah was clearly a major milestone — as The Shmooze hopes it would be for any young Jewish man. The 31-year-old “New Girl” actor has been telling just about anyone who will listen to him about his “Saturday Night Live”-themed coming-of-age celebration.
On Wednesday night, Greenfield referenced his bar mitzvah again during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (video below). It was downright adorable as he relived memories of being a 13-year-old on his big night in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
When Kimmel asked what year the “SNL” bar mitzvah took place, Greenfield answered by recounting which comedians were in the cast at the time. “It was toward the end of Dennis Miller’s run, Dana Carvey was cut, but it was big on Farley and Sandler, and Spade,” he, gesturing a lot with his hands (bar mitzvah aside, there’s no doubt the guy’s Jewish).
Jason Segel has been very into sharing lately. He’s a sensitive and communicative guy, but it might also have to do with generating publicity for his new movie, “The Five-Year Engagement.” The film, which Segel, 32, co-wrote with director Nicholas Stoller, tells the story of an interfaith couple (he’s Jewish, she’s Christian) whose wedding plans keep getting delayed. Segel plays the male lead, and Emily Blunt, 29, plays his fiancée.
First, Segel told David Letterman on Monday that he was forced to lose 35 pounds for the movie. Known for having one of the — if not the — least toned bodies in Hollywood, Segel said that he had to lose the weight to make it convincing that a woman as beautiful as Emily Blunt would find him attractive. “I was told that it had to be conceivable that Emily Blunt would ever choose me to be her husband, which is fair,” he suggested.
Rumors that actress Drew Barrymore is planning to convert to Judaism and that she is pregnant (there have been alleged baby-bump sitings by the paparazzi) are yet to be confirmed. E! News, however, did ascertain that she will be wedding Will Kopelman on June 2, and that the Kopelman family’s rabbi will officiate at the ceremony. The couple has been engaged since January, and has not spoken about their private life to the media.
According to a source to E!, the wedding will take place at Barrymore’s estate in Montecito, California. It will reportedly be an intimate affair with friends and family. “She wants to get married before her bump gets too big, but it’s important to her to marry before she gives birth,” the source asserted. “Drew and Will have spent a lot of time talking to his family about ways to make the ceremony special.” Sounds like there could possibly be a huppah and some glass breaking involved.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been zealously fighting for gun control in his city, but it turns out that it’s not just criminals or your average pistol-packing Joe that Hizzoner has to worry about. In fact, quite a few prominent and super-wealthy residents of the Big Apple are packing heat. Many of them are the very the same people who have poured big bucks into helping Bloomberg get reelected for an unprecedented third term, as well as into projects to improve life in the city during his tenure.
The New York Post reports that “dozens of New York City’s billionaires, real-estate moguls and Wall Street CEOs are really loaded,” according to information on gun permits it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Among them are cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder, real estate mogul Andrew Farkas, and major land developers Joe Sitt, Larry Gluck and Adam Rose.
What’s some flubbed sign language when you’re one half of one of the hottest couples around? The answer is it’s no big deal.
Although the press has pointed out that Natalie Portman, along with actor Johnny Depp, made some serious blunders as they signed the lyrics in Paul McCartney’s video for his new song, “My Valentine,” the public is inclined to commend her for reaching out to the deaf community. The British Deaf Association noted that at one point Depp signed “enemy” when he meant to sign “valentine.” And both he and Portman accidentally, and somewhat embarrassingly, signed “tampon” when they meant to sign “appear.”
Have you been starved for news about Jewish starlet Mila Kunis since her hammy evil-ballerina turn in 2010’s Black Swan?
People.com has come to the rescue with a report today that the Ukraine-born Kunis “enjoyed some serious alone time together” last week with Ashton Kutcher, the dashing “Two and a Half Men” star and former Mr. Demi Moore.
We know — you want details. People is happy to oblige. “The longtime friends and ‘That ’70s Show’ costars went on a three-day getaway to the coastal town of Carpinteria, Calif., just south of Santa Barbara. While away, Kutcher, 34, and Kunis, 28, dined on sushi, shopped for fruit and flowers and spent plenty of time in private,” People alleges.
She’s no “Sweet Caroline,” but 42-year-old Katie McNeil has become the third Mrs. Neil Diamond after a weekend wedding in Los Angeles, Reuters reports. She’s also Diamond’s manager.
Diamond, 71, confirmed the marriage in a tweet yesterday: “Katie and I got married last night, we wish you all could’ve been there. It was magical!” He signed the message, “Love, Neil.” No word on whether the couple opted for Jewish nuptial rituals.
L’affaire Gervais continues to snowball. And despite an open letter from comedian Ricky Gervais in London’s Jewish Chronicle this weekend, the controversy over his Holocaust jokes keeps intensifying.
Some backstory: As the Forward reported last week, Gervais went off about the Holocaust and Anne Frank on an early-April episode of the Jon Stewart Show. Among the comic gems Gervais shared: a line saying the Franks “were hiding in the attic to avoid paying rent to their landlord.” He also went on and on — while grinning — about how he couldn’t understand why the Nazis had not found Anne earlier. “Nazis must be stupid,” he exclaimed.
Has Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu been reading that classic self-help book by Dale Carnegie? It would appear, at least according to Time magazine’s latest list, that he has indeed been winning friends and influencing people. For the second year and a row, Bibi has been named by Time as one of “The100 Most Influential People in the World.”
The magazine calls Netanyahu a “transformational leader.” Ranking Bibi among the world’s great leaders, Eric Cantor, who wrote a short article about the Prime Minister for the list, described him as “one of these iconic Israelis, a strong, determined leader who has excelled during a lifetime of service to the state of Israel.” Cantor further noted that Netanyahu “deserves credit for drawing attention to the threat Iran poses to Israel, to America, to the region, to its own people and to the free world.”
If you’ve lost sleep over the “feud” between Howard Stern and Judd Apatow, rest easy. The Jewish comedy behemoths have buried the hatchet after a vicious Twitter smackdown supposedly sparked by Apatow’s criticism of Stern’s “America’s Got Talent” gig.
Last Tuesday, Apatow tweeted, “I hate to say it but I don’t have much interest in discussions about america’s got talent [sic]. I tried. It is just too much synergy. @sternshow,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Whatever Israelis think of his politics, most agree that President Shimon Peres is a national wonder. At 88 he is the world’s oldest de-jure head of state, and seems to have endless energy. Just last night, he stood proud at the state’s Yom Hashoah event and told his own family’s story, movingly, with the energy of a much younger man.
And it turns out that a few years down the line, you may have the secret of long life implanted in you in the form of a Shimon Peres gene.
Former child star Mara Wilson is letting people know that acting and celebrity are not all that they are cracked up to be. Us Weekly took note of a blog post that the now 24-year-old Wilson wrote in March on the subject and shared its main points with readers yesterday.
Although many of us have fond memories of cute little Wilson, with her bangs and impish grin, from family-friendly fare like “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Matilda,” the actress herself doesn’t. “Film acting is not very fun,” she writes. “Doing the same thing over and over again until, in the director’s eyes, you ‘get it right,’ does not allow for very much creative freedom. The best times I had on film sets were the times the director let me express myself, but those were rare.”
U2 front man Bono surprised Israeli passers-by earlier this month with his sudden visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, BuzzFeed published the note Bono left behind at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, which consists of a poem about how “hope is like a faithful dog,” and his sketch of “a dog called Hope.”
“In Jerusalem, hope springs eternal,” the poem read.
“Hope is like a faithful dog, sometimes she runs ahead of me to check the future, to sniff it out and then I call to her: Hope, Hope, come here, and she comes to me. I pet her, she eats out of my hand and sometimes she stays behind, near some other hope maybe to sniff out whatever was. Then I call her my Despair. I call out to her. Here, my little Despair, come here and she comes and snuggles up, and again I call her Hope.”
He signed, “With great thanks for great room in great hotel in great city, Bono.”
For more, go to Haaretz.com
The last time The Shmooze noticed what the outspoken Roseanne Barr was up to, she had just announced that she was running for the Green Party’s presidential nomination. Now, we’ve taken note that she has inserted herself into the recent debate ignited by Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney’s “never having worked a day in her life.”
“I almost got sick to my stomach when I heard Hilary Rosen’s unfortunate words regarding Mrs. Mitt Romney,” Barr wrote in an April 16 piece for the Daily Beast. “It’s a shame that Rosen lobbed the Romney campaign a fat political softball they could smack over the gender fence. It’s especially unfortunate because Romney was on the ropes with American women, at least the ones with an IQ higher than Ramblin’ Rick Santorum’s. After the Republicans had alienated at least half the voting public by all but condemning birth control, suddenly Rosen’s remark enabled them to self-righteously assume the role of defenders of American motherhood,” she continued without mincing words.
Jon Stewart seemed uncomfortable with some of the things guest Ricky Gervais was saying about famous Holocaust victim Anne Frank and the Nazis on the Daily Show on April 11. But while Stewart took it no further than trying to humorously push back at Gervais during their broadcast conversation, a guy in Boston named Dan Bloom is taking Gervais’s remarks more seriously. He has started a petition and is calling for “a worldwide boycott of any TV shows showcasing the sick anti-Semitic humor of Ricky Gervais and [Gervais’s professional colleague] Karl Pilkington, both ugly and sick anti-Semitic Brits.”
What upset Bloom so much was Gervais’s telling Stewart that Pilkington thought that Anne Frank and her family were hiding in the attic to avoid paying rent to their landlord. He also went on and on — while grinning— about how he couldn’t understand why the Nazis had not found Anne earlier. “Nazis must be stupid,” he exclaimed.
Political unrest at home will keep her from attending in person. But Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic political activist who endured years of persecution before winning a seat in Burma’s parliament this year, will be honored with The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Elie Wiesel Award at a glittering ceremony at National Harbor in Maryland on April 18.
According to a press release, Suu Kyi is being recognized “for her exceptional courage and leadership in resisting tyranny and advancing the dignity and freedom of the Burmese people through nonviolence.” While she is expected to address the black-tie crowd by video, live accolades will come from actress Natalie Portman, Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissman Klein and White House Chief of Staff Jacob J. Lew.
Actress Lisa Edelstein bared all — literally — in a campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known by its acronym PETA. She posed lying nude on what appears to be a bed of super-sized leafy greens for a poster encouraging people to try vegetarianism.
The phrase “Eat Green to Go Green” is superimposed over a shot of the naked Edelstein stretched out seductively on her side. A behind-the-scenes video posted on the PETA website shows celebrity photographer Jack Guy shooting Edelstein and includes an interview with her. The actress, 44, talks about the toxic effects of the meat industry and urges people to try vegetarianism, even if it is only for one day a week. She also mentions that she adopted her dogs from rescue shelters, and that she feels strongly that acquiring a pet this way (instead of buying one from a pet store) is the ethical way to go.
You know Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa’s famous red beret? Might be time for him to trade it in for a yarmulke.
The New York Post broke the news that Sliwa is the biological father of former New York Councilmember Melinda Katz’s two sons, and that the couple is now living together and planning to marry. Until now, the Jewish Katz had not revealed who the father of her children was, and the three-times-divorced Sliwa had kept his relationship with Katz and the boys secret.