Taking Woody Allen Seriously as a Jew

Having recently completed a biography of Woody Allen, David Evanier comments on the filmmaker’s Jewish affinities:

[Woody Allen] is the most identifiable, brazen, and forthright Jewish artist in the world, insistently reminding his viewers about the Holocaust in many of his films. Jewish Hollywood, with many of its moguls refugees from Hitler, had been reluctant to place Jewish actors in leading roles. Maurice Schwartz of the Yiddish Art Theater was cast as the Native American Geronimo; John Garfield and Paul Muni played Italians. But times were changing, with the ascendancy of comics [like] Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman, and Nichols and May. By 1967 films with Jewish content and Jewish stars had emerged. . . . .

[When] I finally visited Allen, . . . [we] talked about Israel, about anti-Semitism (including its masked permutation, anti-Zionism), and about the Holocaust. “It can happen in a minute,” he said. He talked of Lucy Dawidowicz’s The War against the Jews, of Victor Klemperer’s diaries of life in Nazi Germany, of Michael Thomas, a resister to Nazism he’d known, [and] of Rossellini’s Il generale della Rovere.

Read more at Jewish Book Council

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arts & Culture, Comedy, Film, Hollywood, Holocaust, Woody Allen

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security