The Venice Film Festival is the oldest celluloid gala in the world. Not as vaunted and haunted by the publicity machines but intellectually more serious than Cannes. The Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia, a most prestigious element of the Venice Biennale, bestowed its Golden Lion award, its top honor, on an Israeli film called Lebanon. It is a relentlessly honest film about war itself but also specifically about Israel's first real war in Lebanon.
Ha'aretz: Shi'ite 'Bernard Madoff' jailed in Lebanon
I believe in "the two-state solution" even though I don't really believe that the Palestinians constitute much of a nation. I also think that this is the reason why the Arabs of Palestine, historically and now, have never been able to muster the inner resources to grasp the spiritual strength (as well as the materially transformational qualities) of Zionism that made it all but impossible to beat. Whatever Obama is trying to coax out of the Israelis will not alter the Palestinian realities. Still, the Jordanians aren't much of a nation either.
If Mary Robinson is entitled to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Swedes are certainly entitled to refabricate one of the great libels in European history. The very leftist Aftonbladet, the most popular evening tabloid in Sweden, has published a story, "They Plunder the Organs of Our Sons," accusing the Israel Defense Forces of seizing Palestinian young men and then returning them to their families without crucial and transferrable parts. (The two stories in Ha'aretz unveiling this vile piece of journalism are here and here.) Mrs.
Ha'aretz: A U.S. delegation of Republican congressmen visiting Israel on Thursday said that the Obama administration's policy on Israel is misguided, puts too much emphasis on the issue of settlements and ignores the bigger threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. Led by minority whip Eric Cantor from Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, the delegation of 25 Republicans said their weeklong mission is designed to show solidarity with Israel and promote Mideast peace. Aren't politics supposed to stop at the water's edge? --Michael Crowley