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‘Fauda’ Star Idan Amedi Declines Invite to Israel’s Independence Day Ceremony

Idan Amedi gives a statement following his release from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, January 25, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Israeli singer and actor Idan Amedi declined an invitation to light a ceremonial torch in Israel’s upcoming state ceremony to mark its 76th Independence Day, which will take place in May.

The Fauda star wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday that he will instead stay at home to remember those killed in the Israel-Hamas war that began following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in the Jewish state.

“There is no greater honor than that, but unfortunately I will not be able to receive it this year,” Amedi said about being offered to light one of the torches at the Independence Day celebration, which this year will be themed “Israeli heroism.”

“We have encountered so many heroes since that black Saturday [Oct. 7], and I have fought alongside some of them, both in the past and during the current war,” Amedi added. “This year, I will stay at home and join in their memory like many people in Israel. I hope in the future to maybe have the right to light a torch thanks to the words I write, and not because of the war.”

Amedi was seriously injured in an explosion on Jan. 8 while fighting in the Gaza Strip as a reservist in the combat engineering unit of the Israel Defense Forces. Six soldiers were killed in the incident. After being discharged from the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on Jan. 25, Amedi said,  “I will come back to singing and acting and, with G-d’s help, I will also return to  fight for my country.”

In his Instagram post on Wednesday, Amedi wrote it was clear to him that he was doing the right thing by joining IDF soldiers fighting in the Gaza Strip.

“Everywhere I went (in Gaza), I was met by surprised soldiers. Some of them asked me, ‘what are you doing here?’ Something in the picture didn’t add up for them,” he recalled. “But laying on the ground, dusty, with equipment and weapons, I felt more than ever that I belonged to my people. I was fortunate to meet the best of the nation’s sons and daughters, real heroes. But before that, people with dreams and passions, who were hungry and homesick.”

“I am proud of the choices I have made,” he noted. “It was clear to me that this time I was fighting for the future of my children, Yaeli and Jonathan, and that gave me strength and helped me give others the strength, even in the darkest of places.”

Many in Israel, including a number of mayors and local authority leaders, have said they believe Independence Day celebrations should be toned down this year considering those killed on Oct. 7, the 134 hostages who remain held against their will by Hamas in Gaza, and the IDF soldiers still fighting in the Hamas-ruled enclave.

Israel’s Independence Day, known as Yom Haatzmaut in Hebrew, will begin this year on May 13 in the evening and end on the evening of May 14.

The post ‘Fauda’ Star Idan Amedi Declines Invite to Israel’s Independence Day Ceremony 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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