A Palestinian grocer portrayed as a terrorist in the comedy “Bruno” has settled his slander suit against Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen and talk show host David Letterman, according to a report by the British Daily Mail.
In an article published Friday, the Daily Mail said that Ayman Abu Aita was interviewed in the 2009 comedy, where he was labeled in a caption as a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a violent offshoot of the Palestinian Fatah movement, and that Baron Cohen later discussed his encounter with a “terrorist” on Letterman’s CBS show.
Abu Aita’s court papers described him as a Christian and “a peace-loving person” who was living in the West Bank, adding that he “has never associated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade or any terrorist activity,” said the Daily Mail.
“He went to the interview that appeared in ‘Bruno’ thinking he was talking to a journalist about peace activism, his court complaint said. Instead, the movie spurred death threats against him, damaged his business and made him fear for his family’s safety,” the Daily Mail report said.
For more, go to Haaretz.com
There’s no place like home when it comes to the Holy Land. These are the sentiments of millions of Jews, but also of the many Christian Palestinians now choosing to return there after having lived abroad.
American-Israeli freelance journalist Michele Chabin reports in the National Catholic Register that recent statistics show that for the first time in a long time, more Christians are moving to Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories than are leaving them. Palestinian Prime Minister Salem Fayyad “credited improvements in Palestinian civic society, governance and infrastructure for much of the reversal,” Chabin wrote.
Economic hardship and the difficult times of the Second Intifada drove many Christians, especially young ones, to seek a new life in countries in Europe and North America. The common belief has been that as soon as a young person gets his or her academic degree, he or she looks to leave for the West.
As Israel and the Palestinians come together in Washington, talk is cheap. Everyone has something to say for or against the meeting.
One of the more unusual groups putting forward a more carefully considered opinion than most is the Parents Circle-Families Forum, an organization that consists of families who have lost a loved one in the conflict – on both sides. This can mean the family of an Israeli soldier who was killed by Palestinians sitting down with the family of a Palestinian killed by the Israeli army in one of the intifadas.
The organization today wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging them: “Do not let the extremists from both sides to detour you from the main road, the road of dialog and negotiation. Do not let the extremists to dictate you the agenda, its rhythm and the very existence of the talks. “
In a rare piece of lighthearted, apolitical news from the Gaza Strip, AP reported that more than 7,000 Palestinian children there spent five minutes on Thursday simultaneously dribbling basketballs in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
The children, among 250,000 in the Gaza Strip who attend United Nations summer camps, were aiming to beat a previous record set in Indiana in 2007. (The political angle here — and there always is one — is that about 100,000 other children in Gaza attend competing summer camps run by Hamas, where they reportedly learn Israel-hating, along with swimming.)
His wife, the Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall, is to perform in Ra’anana in August, and the international pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs has offered Elvis Costello a “five star VIP tour of Israel” if he accompanies her on the trip.
The Forward recently reported that Costello canceled his June 30 and July 1 performances in Tel Aviv, describing his decision as “a matter of instinct and conscience.” In a statement Costello also blames the decision on “despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.”
Criminals apparently got the memo that Tel Aviv’s now hot with gay tourists, as the Forward recently reported. According to JPost.com, a British traveler was lured into a robbery with promises of sex, then left stranded — and naked — at a Tel Aviv intersection by a male perp.
Though reports of the crime just surfaced yesterday, police say the alleged attack took place on April 4. The Briton got friendly with the suspected robber on one of Tel Aviv’s gay-friendly beaches. The victim drove with his new friend to a secluded spot under a bridge, where they started “engaging in sexual acts,” according to JPost. Then the alleged criminal, a Palestinian who lives in the West Bank, threatened the Brit, kicked him out of the car and sped off with his clothes and possessions.
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