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Artist Delays Opening of Israeli Pavilion at Venice Biennale Until Gaza Ceasefire, Hostages Released

A sign displayed outside the Israeli pavilion of the 60th Venice Biennale. Photo: Screenshot

The artist and curators representing Israel at the 60th Venice Biennale announced on Tuesday their decision not to open the nation’s pavilion until the Jewish state and Hamas sign an agreement for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages taken by the terrorist organization during its attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

A sign sharing the news was displayed in the window of the Israeli national pavilion on the first day of media previews for the international fair in Italy devoted to contemporary art. The sign, written in English, read: “The artist and curators of the Israeli pavilion will open the exhibition when a ceasefire and hostage release agreement is reached.”

The 60th Venice Biennale opens on Saturday and runs until Nov. 24. Israel is among 88 national participants this year and the country’s pavilion is titled (M)otherland, which is a video installation by artist Ruth Patir. The exhibit “reimagines fertility goddesses from ancient Judean times as real-life mothers” in the technological and digital world, according to a previous description of the exhibit. It explores topics such as fertility, gender representation, and reproductive rights. The exhibit is partially funded by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with additional support from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Patir shared a statement on her Instagram Story explaining the move to delay the opening of the Israeli pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She said she and her curators, Mira Lapidot and Tamar Margalit, “stand by” their decision.

“I feel that the time for art is lost and I need to believe that it will return. And so if I am given such a remarkable stage, I want to make it count,” Patir said. “I am an artist and educator, I firmly object to cultural boycott, but since I feel there are no right answers, and I can only do what I can with the space I have, I prefer to raise my voice with those I stand with in their scream.”

She concluded by saying, “Ceasefire now, bring the people back from captivity. We can’t take it anymore.”

The Tel Aviv-based studio called 3SISTERS, which helped create the (M)otherland video installation, released a statement on its Instagram account saying it stands by Patir’s decision. “[We] support the action of bringing attention to the fact that the Israeli hostages are still in Hamas captivity for more than half a year,” the studio said. “This war must end with the defeat of Hamas terror organization.”

The national pavilions at the Venice Biennale run independently from the main show and each nation decides its own show.

In February, thousands of artists, curators, and critics signed an open letter calling on the Venice Biennale to expel the Israeli national pavilion from this year’s event in protest of Israel’s military campaign against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. However, Italy supported Israel’s participation.

The post Artist Delays Opening of Israeli Pavilion at Venice Biennale Until Gaza Ceasefire, Hostages Released first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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