'The Band's Visit' Wins 10 Tony Awards, Including For Best Musical

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises.” Ps. 119: 147-148

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‘THE BAND’S VISIT’ WINS 10 TONY AWARDS, INCLUDING FOR BEST MUSICAL: “The Band’s Visit,” a jewel-box musical based on an Israeli film about an Egyptian band stranded in a hardscrabble Negev town, won the 2018 Tony Award for best musical.“The Band’s Visit” dominated its categories during the 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night, 10 June 2018. Ari’el Stachel, the California-born son of an Israeli-Yemeni father and an Ashkenazi mother from New York, won the award for best featured actor in a musical for his performance as a romantic Egyptian trumpeter in the musical. Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”) won for Best Actor in a Musical and Katrina Lenk for best actress in a musical for their roles as, respectively, the leader of the band and the Israeli cafe owner who takes him in. “The Band’s Visit” also won awards for best book (by Itamar Moses), best direction of a musical, best original score (by David Yazbek), best lighting design, best orchestration and best sound design. Stachel, 26, is making his Broadway debut in “The Band’s Visit.” The play is based on the 2007 award-winning Israeli movie directed by Eran Kolirin. In her acceptance speech, Lenk paid tribute to the late Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz, who originated her role in the film. In his acceptance speech, Stachel acknowledged his parents, who were in the audience, saying the musical led him to again embrace an identity he had long avoided. (JTA) Congratulations to all who have created a fine book, later a film and now an award winning musical worthy of 10 Tony awards.

NETANYAHU: ISRAEL MOVING UP IN THE WORLD: PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday afternoon 11 June 2018 that Israel is moving up the global economic ladder. "We received data from the International Monetary Fund yesterday," Netanyahu said. "According to these figures, our per-capita GDP has surpassed Japan's and is higher than the average country in the European Union. We are very close to Britain and France. Unemployment is at an all time low using the system of measurement we have used for the last 40 years. And the average income is at an all-time high. A very big change has taken place here. Our members in the opposition say: Yes, but the rich get richer and the poor get poorer," Netanyahu said. "That's also not true because we also have the data of inequality in the Israeli economy, which show that inequality is steadily declining in a systematic and dramatic manner. This is the result of the long-standing economic policy I have been leading in recent years with our colleague Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. I think that we will continue to do so for many years for the benefit of the State of Israel, for the benefit of the citizens of Israel, for the benefit of the Israeli economy," he added. (INN) “Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.” Ps. 122:7

NETANYAHU: THERE’S A PRICE FOR BURNING FIELDS: Israeli PM Netanyahu on 11 June praised the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for approving for Knesset vote his suggestion to deduct the cost of damage from Gaza-sparked fires from the payments transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Last week, Netanyahu instructed Meir Shabbat, chief of Israel’s National Security Council, to deduct money from the taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Each month, Israel collects income tax from PA residents working in pre-1967 Israel. The funds are then transferred to the PA. At least five million shekels in damage have been caused by Gazan rioter-terrorists sending kites attached to firebombs into Israeli territory. Last week, Gazan terrorists burned 75 acres in a single day.

On Sat. 9 June 2018 alone, the terror kites sparked 17 fires. "Justice needs to be done," Netanyahu said. "Anyone who burns fields should know that there is a price." The Committee approved the suggestion as part of the bill to deduct payments made to terrorists and their families from funds transferred by Israel to the Palestinian Authority. According to the bill, the Israeli government will not have an option to cancel or freeze the deductions. MK Elazar Stern said, "This law corrects a historical injustice. This law will reduce terror. It is a law which is in line with the most basic moral values humankind holds. It's not clear why it wasn't legislated until today." Committee Chairman MK Avi Dichter said, "Today we have made history. The State of Israel will not be a pipeline to transfer terror funds to terrorists. Our mission and our job is to ensure the security of Israel's citizens, and to take whatever steps necessary to reduce the terror against us, including by deducting funding. The absurdity is over." (Arutz-7)

GREENBLATT: AFTER FOUR DECADES OF EREKAT, PALESTINIANS DESERVE BETTER: It is time for the Palestinians to be served by leaders other than Saeb Erekat, who for the last 40 years has voiced the same talking points and failed to deliver “anything close” to what the Palestinians want, USA Middle East negotiator Jason Greenblatt wrote on 10 June 2018. The Palestinians deserve so much more than Saeb Erekat. “Dr. Erekat – we have heard your voice for decades and it has not achieved anything close to Palestinian aspirations or anything close to a comprehensive peace agreement,” he wrote. “Other Palestinian perspectives might help us finally achieve a comprehensive peace agreement where Palestinian and Israeli lives can be better. The time for leadership and responsibility is now. The time for meeting after meeting of government officials repeating the same talking points is over. The Palestinian people want real action, and they need honest, realistic and decisive solutions.” Greenblatt wrote that notions that Israel is going away, or that Jerusalem is not the country’s capital, or that the United States is not a critical interlocutor for Mideast peace are all simply mirages. “The reality is that there is an opportunity for peace at hand, and that President Trump and his administration are working to help facilitate a peace that will open up the future of the Palestinian people, if they and their leadership have the courage to seize it,” he said. (J.Post)

ISRAEL: ONLY REMOVAL OF HAMAS CAN SOLVE GAZA’S PROBLEMS: PM Netanyahu on Sunday 10 June 2018 convened his cabinet to discuss proposals for easing the dire humanitarian conditions effecting many residents of the Gaza Strip. The measures discussed centered primarily on providing Gaza with more electricity, fresh water and food. But by the end of the day, the cabinet couldn't come to any agreement on the proposals, and it Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's words of warning that echoed loudest. "Whoever thinks improving the civilian and economic situation in Gaza will halt the terror kites and the violence, is simply wrong," Liberman told Army Radio ahead of the meeting. "Enough with all sorts of illusions and delusions that improving the economy will end terror," he continued. "The opposite is true - they’ll understand that with use of force and violence they can achieve political goals. To improve the reality in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas regime must be toppled. Anyone who wants more than four hours of electricity a day must topple the Hamas regime." Typically the situation is reported in the mainstream international media as Israel imposing unfair sanctions that amount to collective punishment on the people of Gaza. What's often left out of those reports is the fact that Egypt is also blockading Gaza, and for the same reasons as Israel - to prevent the coastal enclave's Hamas overlords from importing weapons and bolstering its military infrastructure. Similarly, the Palestinian Authority itself, has for years cut salaries to government workers in Hamas-ruled Gaza and has refused to pay for most of the electricity that Israel supplies to the territory. (Israel Today) Pray that the Hamas terrorist organization will be dismantled and overthrown - and that new and responsible political leaders will take its place.

‘KOTEL BELONGS TO EVERYONE, EVEN CHRISTIANS’: Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay spoke Monday evening 11 June 2018 at a conference of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and addressed the controversies surrounding the Western Wall. "There are haredi Jews, Orthodox, Reform, Conservatives, and also Christians here. We are all brothers, and the Kotel belongs to all of us equally," Gabbay said. "If I am chosen as Prime Minister, I will implement the Western Wall Deal as previously agreed upon." Gabbay also addressed the security situation on the Gaza border. "We know how the situation looks in the foreign media. It is not a situation that can be easily explained, but I support an aggressive response to every terrorist act, in order to prevent the next round of warfare in Israel." He added that "Palestinian incitement must stop immediately, and I believe that peace will ensure Israel's security over time and that Israel will not only be part of the Middle East, it will lead the Middle East with vision, courage and leadership." (Arutz-7) “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Ps. 84:10

KURTZ VOWS VIENNA TO SUPPORT SECURITY NEEDS IN ‘TOUGH NEIGHBORHOOD’: Israel's neighbors are not like Austria’s – Liechtenstein and Switzerland – and for that reason Vienna will try to raise the awareness of Israel's security concerns inside the European Union, visiting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said 11 June 2018 after meeting with PM Netanyahu. When Netanyahu joked that Austria and Israel should trade neighbors for a couple of weeks, Kurz – whose country will assume the rotating presidency of the EU next month – replied, “I'm not sure about that.” Saying that Austria will support Israel's security needs, and acknowledging that it lives in a “tough neighborhood,” Kurz said, “We will try to increase the awareness in Europe about the special situation, and the special security needs, of Israel.”Kurz, who said that Israeli-Austrian ties today are excellent, and that the tourism and trade levels between the two countries have never been better, remarked that Austria “has a special responsibility to Israel and the Jewish people.” Kurz, who is in a coalition government with the far-right Freedom Party which has a history of anti-Semitism and with whom Israel refuses to engage, said, “I can assure you that Austria will fight with determination against anti-Semitism in Europe,” both the old and new forms of anti-Semitism. (J.Post)

USA TO PROVIDE ISRAEL WITH MODERN WEAPONS TO ‘FACE POSSIBLE WAR WITH IRAN': Security sources in Tel Aviv revealed the approval by President Trump of a broad plan to strengthen the capabilities of the Israeli army to meet the "threat of a possible war with Iran." In addition, Trump reversed a decision by the previous administration and agreed to supply the Israel Air Force with additional Boeing KC 46 refueling aircraft, which would enable the Israeli army to operate longer and more flexibly against targets far from Israel. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff