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Sen. Chuck Schumer makes his Broadway debut

(New York Jewish Week) — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer made his Broadway debut on Tuesday night in the final scene of “Gutenberg! The Musical!” in the role of “producer.”

In a one-minute long video posted to his Instagram account, Schumer pops up from the crowd to uproarious applause. “I need them two,” he says, while bounding up to the stage. 

“It’s Broadway producer Sen. Chuck Schumer,” says Josh Gad, who stars alongside Andrew Rannells as the show’s main characters, Bud Davenport and Doug Simon. 

“This show is fantastic,” Schumer says after he joins Rannells and Gad on stage. “I don’t need to hear another note.”

“I’m a Broadway producer and I hold in my hands a Broadway contract. You’ve got your show,” he says, waving a folder above his head before handing it to Gad’s character and hugging the two actors. He then dances off stage. 

 

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A post shared by Chuck Schumer (@senschumer)

The musical comedy, which premiered in London in 2006, follows friends and aspiring playwrights Bud and Doug as they write and attempt to sell their own Broadway musical about Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. Bud and Doug act out the show themselves to win over producers — with no funding, minimal props and no other cast members, Bud and Doug have to play every role themselves. They eventually win over a producer to fund their Broadway dreams.

In the 2023 Broadway version of “Gutenberg,” playing at the James Earl Jones Theatre at 138 West 48th St., the role of the producer who finally gives the pair a contract is often a surprise celeb, usually an actor or singer. Earlier this week, Jewish Broadway stars Ethan Slater and Idina Menzel guest-starred. Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Victor Garber also made cameos this month.

“What fun to join Doug, Bud, and everyone at Gutenberg tonight! Congrats to Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells on an incredible show!” Schumer captioned his social media posts. His office provided the same statement via email in a comment to the New York Jewish Week. 

Over the past weeks, Schumer has worked to avoid a government shutdown in Congress and maintained support for aid to Israel during the Israel-Hamas war. In mid-October, Schumer led a bi-partisan congressional delegation to Israel, where his group had to hide in a bomb shelter under the threat of rocket attacks. He also spoke at the March for Israel on the National Mall on Nov. 14, which drew a crowd of 290,000 Israel supporters. 

In a statement released yesterday, he applauded the Israel-Hamas deal to release 50 of the hostages held by Hamas since Oct. 7. “I am pleased and relieved that we are close to seeing the first 50 hostages be released and reunited with their loved ones,” he said. “The release of 50 out of 240 hostages would mark real progress, but we cannot rest until all the hostages are free.”

Schumer also added that the Senate will “continue working to pass additional humanitarian assistance for innocent Palestinians, and make sure that Israel has the aid it needs to defend itself to ensure Hamas can never again pose such a threat to Israel.”


The post Sen. Chuck Schumer makes his Broadway debut appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Top IDF Brass Blindsided by UNRWA Fallout

View of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90.

i24 NewsSenior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) command was caught off guard by the speed with which the allegations implicating UNRWA staffers in the October 7 atrocities became public knowledge, according to a New York Times report published Saturday.

When, on January 18, UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini sat down with senior Israeli diplomat Amir Weissbrod in Tel Aviv for a routine meeting, the UN official was supplied with intelligence about the agency employees’ involvement in the massacre.

While the intelligence was provided by the IDF, the military establishment didn’t expect the explosive information to leak into the public domain. It emerged that Lazzarini relayed the allegations to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and began firing employees, eventually reporting the developments to U.S. officials.

Unnamed IDF officials cited in the NYT report were concerned that the allegations had been disseminated without Israel having devised a proper strategy for the fallout.

European countries, from the UK to Germany, as well as the United States, Canada and Australia all froze funding to UNRWA amid reviews in the aid agency and its employees.

While some have pushed for a complete shutdown of the agency, including U.S. lawmakers and Israeli ministers, others — including unnamed senior IDF officials — have said that it was inadvisable to do so during the war when UNRWA was providing needed humanitarian aid.

The post Top IDF Brass Blindsided by UNRWA Fallout first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Hamas Turns Down Hostage Deal, Demands Israel Release More Terrorists

Families of hostages and supporters protest to call for the release of hostages kidnapped on the deadly October 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

i24 NewsHamas on Sunday said it rejected the proposed hostage deal formulated in Paris, demanding that Israel release more Palestinian terrorists locked up in Israeli jails, according to a Saudi outlet.

There are 136 hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian jihadists, abducted during the October 7 incursion and massacre.

The statement comes hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated Israel had “red lines” which could not be crossed.

Thus, the leader said, Israel will not end the war until all its goals are met, namely “the eradication of Hamas, the rescue of all our hostages, and ensuring that Gaza will never again pose a threat to Israel.”

“We will not agree to every deal, and not at any price,” he said, adding reports in the local media whereby Israel agreed to freeing large numbers of terrorists were not true.

The post Hamas Turns Down Hostage Deal, Demands Israel Release More Terrorists first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Dennis Ross Is Blaming Israel Again

Former Clinton adviser and US Mideast envoy Dennis Ross. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgFormer U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross just can’t stop blaming Israel.

Speaking via Zoom for the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism & Policy on Jan. 31, Ross offered some expected, perfunctory criticism of Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah. But again and again, he managed to bring in one-sided and unfair criticism of Israel.

Referring to Israel’s counter-terrorism actions in Judea and Samaria, Ross said: “West Bank violence [by Arabs] is not disconnected from Israel’s policies in the West Bank.”

That’s just absurd. The terrorists are not responding to Israeli policies. They were murdering Jews long before there were any settlements or so-called occupied territories. They oppose Israel’s existence, not its borders. It’s these terrorists who are the aggressors, and Israelis must respond to them.

Regarding Gaza, Ross said: “The Israelis haven’t done everything they could to spare civilians in Gaza.” Is he kidding? The Israelis have refrained from striking terrorist targets where there are civilians. They have personally warned civilians to evacuate, again and again, through leaflets and phone calls and public announcements. They have risked the lives of their own soldiers by going house to house, instead of just bombing from the air. What else can they possibly do?

Ross also commented on the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice—the ruling that failed to condemn Hamas and demanded that Israel give more aid to Palestinians in Gaza. He said the ruling was “not irresponsible” and that it was provoked by “extreme statements by Israeli politicians.” That’s simply nonsense. The statement that the court cited most prominently was made by Israel’s left-leaning president, Isaac Herzog, who said that many ordinary Gazans supported the Hamas massacre, which was a perfectly reasonable statement of fact.

The practice of saying a few perfunctory crucial words about terrorists and then “balancing” it with criticism of Israel is typical of the grotesque “even-handedness” that Ross and his colleagues pushed during his many years at the U.S. State Department.

That approach was wrong then, and it’s wrong now. There can be no “balance” between good and evil. Israel and the Palestinian Authority are not on the same moral level. Israel is America’s loyal, reliable, democratic ally. The P.A. is a terror-sponsoring, hate-mongering dictatorship.

In recent months, Ross has been saying that Israel should allow the Hamas leadership to leave Gaza in exchange for the release of the remaining hostages. He points to Israel’s decision in 1982, under U.S. pressure, to allow PLO chief Yasser Arafat and thousands of PLO terrorists to leave besieged Beirut.

But Ross never mentions what happened after Arafat left. He didn’t retire. He set up PLO terrorist headquarters in Tunisia, and then 20 additional years of terrorism followed—suicide bombings, intifadas, mass shootings, stabbings. Ross’s new plan would have the same result.

This is the same Dennis Ross who has acknowledged—on the op-ed page of The Washington Post in 2014—that he pressured Israel to allow Hamas to import concrete. Ross wrote that the Israelis opposed his demand because they feared that Hamas would use the cement to build terror tunnels. Ross insisted the concrete would be used to build houses, and because of his pressure, the Israelis gave in. We all know the result.

In his Zoom talk this week, Ross had the chutzpah to mention that Hamas used imported cement to build tunnels instead of homes, though never mentioned that he was the one who helped them to get that cement into Gaza in the first place.

Ross is frequently quoted in The New York Times and invited to appear on television shows and webinars. He’s treated as if his past involvement in Mideast diplomacy makes him an expert on how to make peace today. Yet every one of those diplomatic efforts failed. He has never facilitated real peace because he continues to pretend that both sides are to blame for the absence of peace.

The Jewish world is full of talented speakers, thinkers and writers. Surely, our institutions should be able to find more thoughtful lecturers than those same tired, old critics of Israel with their familiar and disastrous proposals.

The post Dennis Ross Is Blaming Israel Again first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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