Sometimes, it feels like your life has come full circle. For Israeli choreographer Roy Assaf, it was like that when he danced in his piece "The Hill," which had its US premiere this summer at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts. "The Hill" takes its name and inspiration from Ammunition Hill, the site of a brutal battle during the Six-Day War in 1967 between Israel and several of its neighboring Arab countries.
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-District 8) traveled to Israel a few weeks ago with high expectations. The trip, which included visits with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Palestinian Authority counterpart, Rami Hamdallah, as well as meetings with military personnel, from generals of the Israel Defense Forces to rank-and-file soldiers, exceeded those expectations.
Award-winning political thriller Oslo opens in London next week, charting the machinations of Norwegian diplomats striving for Middle East peace. [...] Oslo – for which Rogers is now writing a screenplay, as it is to become a feature film – tells the almost-forgotten story of the early 1990s back channel discussions between Israelis and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which took place inside a castle tucked away in a forest, located outside the Norwegian capital.
Within 24 hours of of hearing from the country’s national security adviser that Sierra Leone needed food for survivors, Israel had sent supplies expected to provide nourishment for three days. [...] The ambassador emphasized the importance of getting the aid into the country quickly, in order to illustrate to desperate citizens that help was on its way and there was reason for hope.
When Shadi Shiha arrived at the Israeli-Jordanian border and saw the armed Israeli soldiers and the Israeli flag, he almost turned around and went home. [...] That was almost a year ago. Shiha, who is also a serious break-dancer, spent two semesters at the Arava Institute at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel and he says it changed his world view.
The Google search “Benjamin Netanyahu” yields 16,100,000 results – but “Gal Gadot” yields 20,700,000. [...] It’s no secret that Israel has an image problem. Gadot’s newfound celebrity is possibly the best international publicity for the Jewish state in years, and is a perfect example of soft power.
The Israeli Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, decided to take the budget allocated for a party celebrating Israel’s 69th Independence Day in May and use it to purchase 100 innovative lightweight wheelchairs from Israeli company Wheelchairs of Hope to donate to needy local children.
To move beyond transactional ties, India and Israel must make an effort to encourage cultural connections. This is best done through education, tourism and the arts.