Shorts: The Arts

Oscars ‘Palestine’ label contested

los angeles (jta) | Pro-Israel groups are reportedly lobbying for an Oscar-nominated film about Palestinian suicide bombers not to be presented as coming from “Palestine.”

The Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles and local Jewish groups have received assurances from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that “Paradise Now,” a candidate in the best foreign film category, will be given a different national provenance in time for next month’s awards ceremony.

“The consulate had asked the academy members to conduct themselves with sensitivity on the matter, given that the Palestinian Authority has yet to be declared a state,” according to a statement from the consulate.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem declined comment, and there was no immediate confirmation from the academy, whose Web site still lists the film as coming from “Palestine.” Its director and leading actors are Israeli Arabs, and its funding came mainly from Europe.

Portman, Braff voted top singles

Members of JDate, the online Jewish dating community, selected actors Natalie Portman and Zach Braff respectively as their favorite single celebrity mensches.

JDate polled its clients in celebration of “Love a Mensch Week.” (Incidentally, reports out of Hollywood say Braff has asked his girlfriend, singer-actress Mandy Moore, to marry him.)

Polling behind Braff were, in order, Chris Noth, Howard Stern, Adrien Brody, Adam Brody and Al Brooks. And trailing Portman were, also in order, Sarah Silverman, Lisa Loeb, Winona Ryder and Jamie Lynn Sigler.

In a separate poll, JDaters said the worst Valentine’s Day date would be Gilbert Gottfried, followed by Courtney Love.