Hollywood and the Holy Land: It seemed likely the oft- frequented El Al round trips from L.A. to T.A. would come to a standstill with the advent of the Gaza crisis. Not so. Producer Avi Lerner was actually in Tel Aviv the week of Nov. 19 with no plans to return in the near future. Haim Saban took part in the Nov. 18 pro-Israel rally at the federal building in Westwood while his wife, Cheryl, was in New York for her new role as a representative to the United Nations. WME's Ari Emanuel and Rick Ross got back just before the fighting began. Stacy Keibler was snapped Nov. 16 with Dead Sea mud on her bikinied body. And producer Howard Rosenman (Sparkle, Milk) also is defying fear. "I'm going!" he tells THR. "Over Christmas and New Year's. People in Tel Aviv are just going on with their lives. I'm not at all afraid." In Treatment producer and Israeli actress/activist Noa Tishby lives in L.A. but commutes to Tel Aviv. "Unfortunately, we're used to this," she says. "I'm making a deal with a manager there who said he couldn't write back for a few days -- because he just got drafted to Gaza." Tel Aviv Gindi Fashion Week producer Motty Reif is waiting to see whether the Missoni family will still present its spring/summer 2013 show from Dec. 16 to 20. And there's talk that Alanis Morissette, set to perform Dec. 3, might cave to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups encouraging her to boycott Israel.
Kitties to Park City
Fur will make a politically correct appearance at the home of the Sundance Film Festival next year. The Park City indie event has many spinoffs: Slamdance, Chefdance and now Sundance London. And 2013 will initiate yet another "dance": Catdance. It will feature "the best of scripted cat shorts" and is commissioning original feline films through its website until Dec. 7. One already accepted short stars Heather McDonald, a writer for Chelsea Handler, and her cat DJ -- who doubles as a trip-hop DJ at night. "I told you Deadmau5 was not a dead mouse!" is one memorable line.
Down on The Donald
Donald Trump is proving hard to dump. The outspoken billionaire has hung on to his job as a Macy's spokesman to the chagrin of Democratic activist Angelo Carusone, who has gathered more than 650,000 signatures with MoveOn.org calling for Trump's ouster because of his Election Night tweets in which he deemed President Obama's re-election "a total sham and a travesty" and said: "Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us." According to the online petition, "Macy's says it has a strong obligation to be 'socially responsible,' and 'actions speak louder than words.' " Meanwhile, NBC execs, wondering whether Carusone will target them next, have been watching the drama unfold as they prepare to shoot another season of Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice, set to return in March. Will the network tell him, "You're fired"? Don't count on it. One high-level NBC insider tells THR the dust-up might boost the show's ratings, which dipped last season. To boot Trump, the insider says, "he'd have to do something pretty terrible, like join the KKK. Just being a silly Republican isn't a firing offense."
Have you seen Brian Grazer in the restroom lately? Those who know the superproducer are aware of his slyly sportive penchant for leaving framed pictures of himself at the homes of colleagues and friends, quietly situated among other family photographs. More recently he has begun dropping off his "Kilroy was here" signature at venues around town, including near the sink in the lobby lavatory at Chateau Marmont. So what's the deal? Is it an in-joke? Conceptual art? Guerrilla self-advertising? Marking his territory? Someone close to Grazer advises not to read too much into it -- it's just "a fun thing."
Steve Bing and Paul Allen broke bread at Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica. … On another day, foodie Bing hit Century City's Toscana. … Ashton Kutcher took a seat at Tres at the SLS Beverly Hills. … Lisa Kudrow visited the recently redesigned Spago while Tom Ford was in. … Carrie Underwood checked out the sushi at Koi with her hockey player husband, Mike Fisher, on the day of the American Music Awards. Gloria Estefan was on the back patio, while Barry Bonds was seated at a booth. … Antonio Banderas shared a table with Puerto Rican filmmaker Marcos Zurinaga at Santa Monica's Fig. … Larry King had the orange beef and walnut shrimp at Chi Dynasty in Glendale. … CAA's Tony Etz popped in to Comme Ca. … Liza Minnelli ordered healthy at Craig's. … Sharon Stone was joined by a younger man at Ray's and Stark Bar at LACMA. … L.A. Reid dropped by Planet Dailies. … Shirley MacLaine dined alfresco at Geoffrey's near her Malibu home. … K.D. Lang drank salty margaritas and ate mole enchiladas at Tortilla Republic. … Up north, Cuba Gooding Jr. visited Copita Tequileria y Comida in Sausalito with George Lucas. … In New York, CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King shared the room at Michael's with Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane von Furstenberg and Rose McGowan.