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Matisyahu Releases New Song ‘Ascent’ About Antisemitism With Music Video Filmed in Israel

Matisyahu performs at Pompano Beach Amphitheater Pompano Beach, Florida on August 26, 2023. Photo: Rick Munroe/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu debuted on Friday a new song about antisemitism and the track’s music video was filmed in Israel following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in the Jewish state.

The music video for Ascent features survivors of the Nova Music Festival massacre and was filmed at the site of the festival, which was invaded on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists who killed 370 people before taking 44 others as hostages back to the Gaza Strip. Matisyahu also filmed the music video in the neighborhoods in southern Israel where Hamas infiltrated and killed residents before kidnapping others and taking them to Gaza. In total, over 1,200 people were murdered and more than 250 abducted.

The music video additionally features archival footage showcasing various moments in Jewish history.

In the song, Matisyahu raps about the “nation that could never be erased” and fighting “waves of deniers … liars [who] start fires that blaze, but truth is the water that stands in its way.” Ascent is included on Matisyahu’s new EP, titled Hold the Fire.

The musician, who began his music career as a Hassidic Jew and has since left that ultra-Orthodox lifestyle, talked about the inspiration behind Ascent in an interview with Billboard News earlier in March. The One Day singer said the track’s title is a nod to the Hebrew prayer “Song of Ascents,” also known in Hebrew as Shir Hamaalot, and was written in response to a historic surge in antisemitic hate crimes around the world since Oct. 7.

In Ascent, Matisyahu is “calling people out on antisemitic thinking,” he said, adding that he believes the track is going to be “empowering.” He explained that his visit to Israel for the song’s music video gave him hope for the future of the Jewish people.

“For the Jewish people right now, there’s this feeling of isolation, separation, anger, and fear,” the Jerusalem singer told Billboard News. “I was feeling really hopeless about what the future was going to look like for all of us and went to Israel, and it renewed my faith in humanity and God. I left with this feeling of light, and I’ve been trying to take that and put that into the music.”

“I think about the people I met there, the survivors of that festival, the soldiers that I met, the families of the hostages and what they’re going through, and that’s what’s given me the strength to not be quiet about what’s going on right now,” he explained.

The post Matisyahu Releases New Song ‘Ascent’ About Antisemitism With Music Video Filmed in Israel 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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