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Israel Increases Travel Threat for Swedish City Malmo Ahead of Eurovision Song Contest

Eden Golan, Israel’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, reacts during a press conference following the official unveiling of Israel’s song submission, in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 10, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday increased the threat level for traveling to Malmo, Sweden, and also encouraged Israelis to “reconsider” their upcoming trips to the Swedish city ahead of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest taking place there next week.

The travel threat for Malmo went from level 2 (potential threat) to level 3 (moderate threat), and the NSC recommended “that Israelis planning to visit the city re-assess the necessity of traveling at this time.” The travel alert level was not raised for the rest of Sweden, only Malmo, and “is limited to the period of the Eurovision events and subject to a situation assessment.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place in Malmo from May 7-11. For several months now, anti-Israel activists and supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement have protested Israel’s participation in the international singing competition because of the Jewish state’s ongoing war against Hamas terrorists controlling the Gaza Strip — a military operation that began following the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7. They attempted, unsuccessfully, to pressure Eurovision organizers to exclude Israel from the competition and urged artists to pull out of the contest in protest of Israel’s involvement. Eden Golan, Israel’s representative in the Eurovision contest this year, also reportedly received death threats.

The NSC said in a statement on Thursday that Malmo is “known to be an anti-Israel protest hub,” given its large population of immigrants from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran.

“These protests take place weekly and are often violent, and include calls to harm Jews and Israelis, flag burning, etc. On Oct. 7 [the day of the Hamas attack on Israel], anti-Israeli groups in Malmo publicly celebrated the massacre of Israelis,” the NSC added.

“As a backdrop, besides the protests in Malmo, the past few months have seen an increase in calls by Global Jihad and other radical Muslim factions to carry out attacks against Western objects, including targeted threats against Israelis and Jews around the world, with a preference for high media profile events,” the statement further read. “In this context, it should be mentioned that recently (on March 19) an arrest was reported of two ISIS operatives, who planned to carry out an attack on the Swedish parliament.”

The NSC said due to these developments, there are “credible concerns” about potential terrorist attacks targeting Israelis visiting Sweden for the Eurovision. The NSC added that while Swedish authorities have increased security in Malmo, “it is important to note that unlike the Israeli delegation to the contest, individual Israelis are not protected.”

The NSC also listed “recommended behavior” for Israeli tourists in Malmo, which included staying away from anti-Israel protests and avoiding any open displays of Israeli identity. Israeli tourists visiting Malmo are also urged to download the Home Front Command application, which will allow them to receive quick updates from the NSC in real time in the event of an incident.

Israeli singer Noa Kirel came in third place in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Golan will compete this year on behalf of Israel with a song renamed Hurricane. The song’s original lyrics and title, October Rain, were disqualified from the competition because it referenced the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel and was deemed too political by Eurovision organizers.

The post Israel Increases Travel Threat for Swedish City Malmo Ahead of Eurovision Song Contest 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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