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Mazel tov from Israel fest

'Homeland,' Hill among the chosen

Hebrew was the favorite language Thursday night as Israeli expats and Holy Land film buffs took their seats in the Paramount Theater for the opening night gala at the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles while “Hava Nagila” played over the PA.

Jonah Hill was one of the chosen people at the 26th annual fest, which ends March 29.

“Forgive me; I didn’t prepare a speech. I was expecting Christopher Plummer to win, but he is not eligible because he is not Jewish,” Hill joked. “I would like to thank Israel for creating a home base for all of our people from all around the world, but most of all I would like to thank Israel for Natalie Portman.”

Showtime skein “Homeland” — adapted from Israeli series “Hatufim” — received the TV prize and exec producer Howard Gordon returned the kudos. “Israel does not have oil, but it has talent, and there is something very special we are seeing,” he said.

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