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Tag: Channel 10 (page 1 of 3)

Bibi Takes Ma’ariv and Channel 10 News to Court

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu filed a lawsuit with the Jerusalem Magistrates Court against Hebrew daily “Ma’ariv” and Channel 10 News on Tuesday, over an investigative report by Raviv Drucker about Netanyahu’s donors in the 2005 Likud primaries. He is insisting on NIS 1 million from each, in damages.

The Channel 10 report claimed the Prime Minister spent more than $50,000 while on a six-day public relations tour during the 2006 Lebanon invasion. The tab included staying with his wife at the Connaught Hotel – among London’s finest – bar bills, first class airfare, meals, dry cleaning and $3,170 for theater tickets.

Netanyahu’s statement said:

“The mention of the prime minister in the mendacious article is contemptuous and very hurtful. It creates a negative image and presents him as a criminal in a way that humiliates in the eyes of society and to make him a target of ridicule and mockery for alleged acts which have no factual basis.”

The statement said Channel 10 and Drucker published the article :

“Maliciously and in bad faith, as part of a witch-hunt against Netanyahu. The blood of the prime minister will not be spilled with impunity. There is no place to allow a witch-hunt of the prime minister when there is not an iota of truth in the facts.”

The libel suit against “Ma’ariv” is based on the report, Netanyahu claims “gives the reader the erroneous impression that the value of dinner eaten by Netanyahu and his wife is NIS 60,000, and that similar dinners were part of their ostensible ‘spendthrift travels’.”

The Prime Minister’s attorney said Bibi and his wife “never ate a dinner whose cost approaches the value stated in the article’s headline and the impression obtained from reading the article and the subhead is erroneous and misleading.”

Forget to Check the Tapes? Undercover Agents Put in Danger

HaSmuim Channel 10On the one hand, Channel 10 Israel is going bankrupt. But on the other hand, it radically endangered the lives of undercover policemen this week, so if it goes out, at least it’ll go out with a bang.

Don’t be too quick to blame it on Channel 10 though, since they followed procedure. One of their shows, הסמויים (HaSmuyim) is about real undercover cops in sensitive situations. Before they air an episode, they send a copy months before to police headquarters, where a team is supposed to review the material, making sure that nothing security-compromising has been revealed and that its teams’ identities are safe and secret. So Channel 10 did indeed send in the tapes for review. The problem is, this time, they just stayed in the drawers and nobody bothered to check them. Somehow, they got clearance to air the episode anyway, and by the time somebody at police headquarters realized that the episode revealed dangerously sensitive information on undercover agents, they were already watching it on Channel 10.

Israel Police

Things like this happen in Israel. I mean things like vital information staying in drawers for months and never getting dealt with. That’s why it takes 6 months to get something trivial like government approval for a foreign academic degree. They keep it in a drawer for 5 months, take a vacation for 3 weeks, misplace the drawers, and then give you government approval. But when lives are at stake, this is a first.

Police are checking the involvement of Chief of Police Dudi Cohen in giving the final OK to Channel 10, but it seems he was not aware of the sensitive information in the tapes at the time, or the fact that nobody saw them. Let’s just hope everything will be OK, and roll our eyes a bit. Hopefully, this will lead to a renewed sense of responsibility among police staff. We can only hope.

Dudu Your Friendly Neighborhood Thug

Dudu TopazDudu Topaz, one of Israel’s icon television and theater entertainers, is a guy who just can’t stay out of the public limelight. But age and poor ratings apparently began catching up with the man who once had some of the most highly successful programs on TV. His catastrophic fall from grace reached a climax yesterday, when he was arrested and indicted for his alleged role in a conspiracy to attack and intimidate some top management officials in the Reshet and Keshet Israeli television network companies, including Shiri Margalit, Deputy Director General of Reshet, and daughter of Channel 1 TV icon Dan Margalit.

Topaz was remanded into custody at Tel Aviv’s Abu Kabir lockup on charges that he masterminded a group of thugs who were sent out to beat up and destroy the property of Margalit, Avi Nir, Director General of the Keshet network; and even Topaz’s own agent, Boaz Ben Zion. Things must have gotten pretty bad for Dudu is he put out an intimidation contract on his own agent, but this is apparently what happened, according to police sources, who now say that Topaz was at “the top of the pyramid” of the gang, and that he spend “thousands of shekels” of his own money to try to get even with people in his industry who had probably had enough of his actions.

Topaz, actually David Goldenberg, had reached the point where he wasn’t given any offers to host new TV programs, due to his poor ratings in previous ones. The three mentioned people who had been attacked by men who are now said to have been Topaz’s security guards, were attacked over a period of nearly two years. Ms. Msraglit, the apparent last victim of Dudu and the gang, was injured in the assault and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. Topaz is said to suffer from medical problems, including a form of diabetes, which could be partially responsible for his irrational behavior, sources say. When “interviewed” recently in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, Topaz almost had the appearance of a homeless person and told a Channel 10 interviewer that “if any of you (TV and the public) think I’m capable of doing such things, it’s very sad”.

People who know Topaz personally, including his brother Miki and long time friend and fellow icon Manny Peer, said Topaz is “a man who loves people” and will do anything to help those in distressed. But often his remarks and gestures got him intro trouble, including incidents such as the time he called right winged Likud party members “cha chacktim” (low persons w/o education) and when he fondled a visiting Argentine actress during an appearance on a TV show. Not being considered for recent variety programs (for which Dudu was once a master of) must have been too much for him, as he is that kind of individual who simply has to be in the limelight all the time. And when his own agent quit working for him, that must have been the last straw. His most recent girlfriend, Dr. Rita Rodriguez Barer (herself a psychiatrist and possibly a former physician treating Topaz) said she cannot believe he would do such a thing.

When arrested, reporters tried to interview Topaz when he was being shuttled from room to room by his police guards. When asked if he had any comments regarding his arrest, his answer was “All I have to say, I’ll say to the police”.

Yossi Sibi, a close friend of Topaz, said that his “colorful lifestyle” often got him into trouble. For all of us who remember Dudu in better times, his long fall from grace is a very sad event and something that Hollywood movies often pick up on.

Topaz, who police said was trying to leave the country, will be remanded for 8 days while the investigation continues.

A Snuff Film on 8 O’Clock News

A young man died yesterday after hours of excruciating pain. He and his friends accidentally wandered into a mine field in the north of Israel. A mine explosion got his leg blown up, bleeding for hours on the ground. Finally, the rescue helicopter that had come to — well, rescue him — didn’t tie his stretcher properly and he fell from a great height and died instantly.

His family and friends hasn’t had time to absorb the news. Some of them were probably not even yet notified of his fate. And the man hasn’t been buried yet! But both Channel 10 News and Channel 1 chose to broadcast the video footage in which the man is seen suffering, and then dying — all of it was captured by the camera, making a true snuff film. In addition to the extremely insensitive decision to broadcast the footage, viewers were not warned in advance that they are about to watch a real man dying… A real man who died just an hour or two ago.

Is it because the dead man was an Israeli-Arab that it’s OK to turn his death into a cheap entertainment spectacle?

I am deeply ashamed of both Channel 10 and Channel 1 for their actions and decisions last night, and I expect them to make a sincere apology and to take measures that would prevent such a thing from happening again.

P.S.

Apparently Channel 2 News has added the video footage to its Mako web site. I think this too is extremely inappropriate.

Survival

The Israeli reality “Survivor 2″ is picking up the pace. Although it is lacking the hype that the first season had, it is slowly becoming Channel 10’s strongest card — and frankly, probably the only card it has in the moment.

The challenges are more extreme this season, and the social atmosphere more intense. One contestant has had to leave the game after an unfortunate injury, and according to the promos, come Wednesday we shall see another contestant prematurely leaving the game, due to inappropriate behavior.

This brings me to my other point. The long promos have been phenomenal this year. Much better than the episodes themselves. They generate interest in the characters, and that’s exactly what needs to be done, because the characters are the show.

During the war in Gaza, Channel 10 featured a musical promo that asks us “What are they doing in the meanwhile on the island?”. And in the past few days we’ve been exposed to a promo that reveals the forging relationships between the various characters.

While the castaways are doing their bit of survival on the island, Channel 10 is the one truly fighting for survival at the moment.

Loving Yonit Levi

Yonit LeviYonit Levi is Channel 2’s anchor goddess.

She has been having a few bad days lately after some comments and gestures she made about the plight of the Palestinian population pissed off a bunch of viewers that write the talk backs on some of the news sites. In fact these hotheads went as far as putting up a petition online (now closed) calling for her dismissal and they got 35,000 signatures. Things got so bad that the people at the competing Channel 10 actually proclaimed their support and that they were standing behind her.

Apparently things got to the point that she was receiving some violent threats from a bunch of yahoos and a talk from her bosses asking her to tone down her alleged reactions. Now to be fair, Yonit Levi, is an extraordinary anchor woman. Aside from being a real hottie, she is a sharp, articulate, intelligent, very factual and professional anchor woman (you get we like her right?). She is sometimes called “The Ice Queen” for her cold, almost detached, professional approach. Personally, I think its wonderful and refreshing compared to some of the mindless, mushy twits we see on TV.

This war has received unprecedented support in Israel. Maybe as a result of the last war – that many felt was a slap in the face with the bumbling idiots that were running the show. Maybe its the fact that we had enough of turning the other cheek and getting shit on by a bunch of fundamentalist hate mongers. We feel like this is a just war and we won’t take any criticism for it.

In a post a while ago I discussed Fox News as an example of how low TV News Channels can take the news and the absurd of having to sell yourself as “Fair and Balanced” when that’s the last thing you ever will be. Yonit Levi is ACTUALLY fair and balanced and doesn’t need to sell it. She has been doing this for a long time and has been presenting the news in professional even tone, void of personal views and opinions.

In short, Yonit we love you ! Keep up the great work.

The View from Rimal – Gaza Web Stream

As you’ve probably noticed, I added a web stream from Gaza to the sidebar.

The stream is shot by Ramattan News Agency, which is located at the 9th Floor of the Shawa & Husari Building, Al Wahda Street, Rimal, Gaza City.

I assume the feed wouldn’t last very long in case the conflict broadens into the center of Gaza City, since it is the IDF’s interest to shut down these live feeds.

The web feed is set up via Nana10, an Israeli media company.

This is what it looked like a few days ago.

Luck doesn’t live here anymore

Human Narration on BNarrator.com

Pais (pronounced “Pa’ees”) is the name of Israel’s only Lottery organization. For dozens of years, the weekly lottery raffle had been broadcasted on Israel’s Channel 1 (“A’rutz E’had”) every Tuesday evening.

Beginning July 1, the Pais raffle has moved to Channel 10. The show’s mythological host, Irit Anavi, will continue to entertain the Israeli gamblers from the show’s new TV studio.

Israeli Pais

The Naked Truth

Assi Dayan is a renowned Israeli actor, writer, and director. In recent years he is most associated with the character of Reuven Dagan, the therapist in the midst of the hit drama “Be’Tipul” — which has been adapted to the American audiences by HBO, titled “In Treatment”. Assi Dayan is a long-time drug addict and he doesn’t hide this fact. In fact, he likes to talk about it.

T ShirtLast week, Dayan was twice viciously exposed in the media: First, he gave an interview to Yediot Ahronot, Israel’s leading daily newspaper in the Hebrew language, and was featured naked on the weekend edition. In the interview, he compared his hairy belly to the state of Israel, saying they’re both in terrible shape. Then a few days later he made a phone call to channel 10’s entertainment correspondent Haim Etgar and invited him to come with a film crew to document his messy apartment and his messy life. The piece, aired on primetime TV during the evening news, bluntly exposed Dayan snorting white powder

These sensational interviews brought much outrage on the media affiliates that apparently weighted ratings over ethics, while Haim Etgar defended himself by saying that Dayan was pleading for help and that the primetime exposure was meant to divert public attention (and support) to his ill condition. Needless to say that Dayan granted full permission to both these interviews — He initiated the whole affair.

Dayan’s cousin, the author Yonatan Geffen (who was once a drug addict himself) published an article in Ma’ariv — the second largest Israeli daily newspaper — in which he blames the media for exploiting his cousin’s condition, and reminding us that Dayan’s so-called consent is morally and legally invalid, since he was not thinking clearly at the time. He accused the media of “tenderly” pushing Dayan towards his death, comparing his cousin to Britney Spears, who has also been suffering from intrusive media reports. Although perhaps an Amy Winehouse comparison is more fitting in this case.

We all have demons of self-destruction; they are not the sole property of celebrities. I wonder why the camera loves them so much.

Channel 10 — the true Survivor

Up until 2002, there was only one commercial broadcasting television channel licensed to operate in Israel. There were already many niche channels transmitting via the cable networks (which have meanwhile merged into the “HOT” network) or the satellite network “YES”, but up until that point, Channel 2 was the dominating force of commercial TV in Israel, and considered to be the mainstream option for the average Israeli TV-goer.

In 2002 businessman Yossi Meiman made the bold move and initiated the creation of Israel 10 (known simply as Channel 10 in Israel), infusing huge amounts of cash into this media adventure. At the beginning, it seemed that he threw away his money in vain, having to face many bureaucratic obstacles and initial low rating levels. Despite shameless purchasing of Channel 2’s main news anchors, Ya’akov Eilon and Miki Haimovitz, Israel 10’s future remained uncertain for the first 3 years or so. All changed when new investors jumped onto the wagon, and when Israel 10 had decided to claim its share of the lucrative pie known as Reality TV…

Israeli Survivor 10Yesterday 36% of Israel’s TV screens were tuned “10” — mine including — on the occasion of a “good-trash” celebration, known as the Survivor 10 Live Finale, taking place in a major basketball arena, no less. After 16 successful seasons in which the reality show Survivor has been a definite “hit” in America, it was high time for the gold-laying chicken to learn how to speak Hebrew. Still, it wasn’t a simple case of a format purchasing and localization. Israel 10 went several steps ahead and has grossly altered the known format, turning the fast-paced reality into a semi-scripted soap opera. Countless magazine articles have published multiple claims of game manipulation by the Israeli production, ranging from the supply of groceries to the castaways, and up to changing the rules on-the-fly in order to keep their preferred characters inside the game, when these faced an imminent threat of dismissal by their fellow tribe members. Personally, I have no idea if these claims have any truth in them; the production certainly denies such allegations. One thing is for sure, the show fulfilled its purpose as a major rating magnet, and provided Channel 10 with a widespread buzz, that is normally the exclusive property of Channel 2.

Three finalists came on top after 52 days on the island: Dan Mano, the young Haifa attorney, whose uncle owns the wealthy Mano Cruise company. Dan has been painted as the manipulative mastermind, who managed to irritate most of his fellow castaways, and a great proportion of the viewers. At one point, when Dan was about to be voted off the island in the following tribal council, the production suddenly transferred him into the women’s group, virtually “saving his ass”. He always claimed to simply playing the game, and personally I must admit that he was my favourite pick for taking the one million shekels prize. Next to him, we had Na’ama Keisary, the new mom, who left her one-month baby, and her dying father, in order to challenge herself in this dire experience. She hadn’t won even a single contest on the island, yet came across as a strong and independent woman. Last but no least, the third finalist pleading the jury for a check last night, was Noam Tor, the humble bee-keeper, who was elected Israel’s sexiest man alive by a major magazine. Noam was voted off the island relatively early in the game, but survived a secondary game in what was called “the Island of the Dead” — a serious deviation from the original format.

Despite being filmed in the Caribbean Islands, the winner wasn’t chosen on-site, as done in the original version, nor was the decision free of public influence. The castaways arrived at the Nokia Arena while already enjoying a celebrity status, and have had many weeks to influence the members of the jury after leaving the island. In addition, the TV finale included an SMS poll, in which the audience was asked to pick its favourite finalist — and these results would have been considered the tie-breaking vote if such a scenario was materializing. In the end, after an excruciating evening that included 3 weary finalists, and many emotional breakdowns, Na’ama Keisary was chosen the ultimate Survivor, surprising everyone believed strongly that Noam was signaled by the production as the suitable winner.

Now that the first Israeli season came to an end, Channel 10 is losing its first rating monster, and leaving many viewers with a bad taste in mouth. Nevertheless; it was fun, it was hot, and it was addictive. Expect a second season heading your way next year….

Spunky News

Israeli people are known for their sauciness and their “spunk”. They have the boldness to strive for success and to invent breakthrough enterprises. A good example for this would be the large amout of Israeli entrepreneurs, especially in the high-tech domain. And an even better example would be the state of Israel itself! I mean, it took major spunk for the first Jewish immigrants to disobey the Turkish and British authorities in Palestine, and to claim their place in the world. Whenever they were told “No”, they did not waver, and came up with saucy ideas such as the “Tower and stockade” operations.

Yesterday we saw a good example of that spunk on TV. As a prelude to his second visit of Israel (which began today), gave George W. Bush an exclusive interview to Israel’s Channel 10 News, conducted by front anchormen Yaakov Eilon and Gil Tamari. They sat down for an open, apparently unscripted, conversation with the US President. He seemed amused by their questions and attitude, and they came across as naughty kids who enjoy pushing the envelope ever more.

Watch a short clip of the interview: Mr. Bush on the Olmert Allegations

You could see them inquiring the president about his vision for the middle east, asking for his opinion as regards to the corruption allegations againt Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, and greeting him on his daughter’s wedding. At one point, they began speculating about a possible Iran attack, and albeit Mr. Bush said he doesn’t like to talk hypothetically, they continued to press the issue. Later, they teased the president about his relative lack of involvement in the middle east, saying it took him 7 years to actually “get started”, and asking whether the next president should start earlier. Yes, it actually happened, and I must say that admired the president’s way of handling the cross-fire. He remained calm, even laughed a bit, and then gave straight and frank answers about what he think that could and couldn’t be achieved by the end of his candidacy.

Finally, these two cheeky anchormen directly appealed Mr. Bush to release Jonathan Pollard — the Israeli spy held prison in the States since 1987 — as a goodwill gesture in accordance with Israel’s 60th birthday. He simply said that his policy on the matter hasn’t changed, and even agreed to reveal that he continually receives such official requests from the Israeli government; a piece of information the Israeli public would find very satisfying.

Maybe it’s the freshness of Channel 10 attitude, or perhaps it’s the lax behavior of a president who’s about to leave office — in any case, this rare interview was a pleasure to watch.

Israel Reality Shows Getting More Attention Than News

It’s a fact, and most people in Israel aren’t surprised to hear that Israeli TV reality shows, including Star is Born, Super Nanny, Born to Dance, and Israel’s version of The Survivors, have perpetually received much higher ratings than news and other broadcasts. These programs are not that different from American reality shows, including The Bachelor, American Idol, Trading Spouses, and a host of others.

Reality ShowsMany of these ‘song and dance’ reality shows, involve hundreds of contestants vie for a beginning position that ends up weeks later with only one candidate winning first place. In the most recent of these programs, “Born to dance”, hosted by Israel’s “favorite MC” Tzvika Hadar; three contestants reached the finals, in which a young man named Natanel (pictured) won a first prize of NS 100,000. While this is not big money as compared to something in American or UK TV, it gives the final contestants a lot of exposure that can result in being awarded private entertainment contracts later on. Ratings are very important to these programs and Israel’s two commercial TV channels, Channel 2 and Channel 10 are constantly competing with each other for a big share of the nightly viewing audience. Since both channels have commercials, that “share” is very important as it means more contracts with companies that pay top money for prime-time ‘spots’ on TV.

Star is Born, Israel’s equivalent to American Idol, has produced such talent as Nanette Taib, Shiri Maimon, and Boaz Maudi, this year’s Eurovision song contest participant.

While Channel 2 has the monopoly with the singing and dancing programs, competitor Channel 10 has come up with programs like Super Model and Survivors, which manage to pull in a good deal of fickle viewers who make sure they are parked in front of their plasma or regular TVs when their favorite reality show comes on. The Survivors show, which began with two groups of contestants being “cast” onto a seemingly deserted Caribbean tropical isle (actually a national park in the Dominican Republic), has been on for a couple of months now; and viewers get to watch the intimate trials and tribulations of the participants, who have to endure tropical storms, horrible food, countless attacks by mosquitoes and other insects, as well as undergo very difficult physical contests staged by the show’s MC, Guy Hamerei. As in other reality programs, only one “survivor” will finally prevail to collect a prize of NS 1,000,000 ($274,000) and a new Land Rover SUV.

Indeed, watching these types of programs allows people to momentarily escape the actual reality of life, especially in a country like Israel where the real “reality” often involves terror attacks, and war. At least by getting involved in these programs and having empathy with many of the participants, it takes many peoples minds off ‘the real thing’ that is so graphically portrayed on the news programs nightly.

And if the Israeli reality shows are not enough to excite people, then thanks to satellite and cable TV, there’s always American Idol, The Bachelor, and all the other foreign reality programs to keep even the most discriminating viewer glued to the “boob tube” for at least a couple of hours.

Israeli Version of “Survivor” Premieres with Animal Abuse

Survival IsraelAs I am writing this, the first episode of the Israeli version of the hit tv series “Survivor” is being aired on Israeli television (channel 10).

Having bought the rights to the show, it is so far a fair imitation of the original series, this one shot on the Caribbean Islands.

So far, survivors were split into groups and challenged to jump off a boat in the middle of ocean and get the game started.

What they were asked to do was swim to rafts filled with tools necessary for survival, grab as many as they can and swim back to their new individual boats.

So far so good.

What I didn’t see coming, however, was a couple of cages with live chickens amongst the items on the raft.

The participants of each group swam to and jumped on the cages trying to get a hold of them first, causing the chickens in the cage to panic. That was already a huge shock to me (because anyone who knows me knows how sensitive I am to animals) but if that wasn’t enough, the struggle over the cages caused them to open, the chickens fell into the water hysterically trying to swim and the contestants continued to fight over who gets the chickens!

The whole thing was just 30 seconds of chaos: people yelling, chickens panicking, water splashing, feathers flying…

At that point, I just burst into tears and ran out of the room leaving my husband in shock.

He knew how long I had been waiting to see the Israeli version, with all the promos and publicity the show has been having – but I couldnt help it! I just started crying in disbelief.

How is it possible , as we head towards the year 2008, that today’s society and media STILL allows this kind of mistreatment of animals!

And for what???? For rating????

I’m not proud of my reaction. I wish I could go on watching the show as if nothing happened (just like millions of Israelis are probably doing right now). I wish I didn’t take everything so hard and get so emotionally involved when I witness these kinds of injustices…

But I do. It’s just who I am. I have always been this way and I guess I always will be.

And so I continue in my personal (and sometimes emotionally exhausting) pursuit of a better world.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Shira Tamir enjoys blogging on topics that encourage spiritual, social, environmental and global change. Her personal blog can be found at www.livinginmyownworld.com

One Less Plastic Bag

A new environmental program is being inaugurated in Israel to persuade people to use less polymer plastic material. The program, mentioned briefly on T.V. Channel 10, is asking consumers to “use one less plastic bag” when sacking up their groceries during their weekly supermarket shopping forays. Most shoppers use an average of 20-25 polymer plastic shopping bags each week; and though lighter in weight than paper bags, as well as slightly less polluting, these bags are not wholly biodegradable and wind up being buried by the millions in sanitary landfills and garbage dumps.

Made from petroleum derivatives, these bags take up to 100 years to completely disintegrate, and on their own contribute immensely to Israel’s already critical pollution problem. The government’s Ministry for Environmental Affairs began a plastic bottle recycling program more than 7 years ago in which plastic beverage bottles, usually made from an even less biofriendly polyimide plastic material, have been recycled by placing large wire mesh “cages” in residential neighborhoods for people to put empty beverage bottles in; usually in the 1.5 to 2 liter size. While this collection method has been partially effective, countless more empty bottles, particularly those which contained bottled mineral water, wind up either in the garbage dumpsters or littering roadsides, beaches, and other public places. These bottles take even longer than plastic bags to disintegrate, with environmental scientists saying that a bottle of this type will take hundreds of years to be biologically “broken down”.

While recycled bottles are melted down and made into other plastic products, including garden hoses and lawn furniture, the bags often are not. Some large supermarket chains in America, for example, have launched programs in which no bags, either paper or plastic, are furnished at the store check-out counters. Customers are expected to either carry their food purchases home in empty boxes (if available) or bring bags or boxes with them to carry their purchases home in.

To give you an idea of what can be achieved by using less plastic grocery bags, it is estimated that if citizens in a city the size of New York City use one less plastic grocery bag per year, the savings will be 109 less tons of disposable garbage and $11,000 less in disposal costs. Now multiply that by one less bag on each weekly shopping trip!

While this idea may not catch on in Israel, at least in the foreseeable future, by using less bags at the check-out counter, each customer will not only help reduce the overall expenditure on petroleum products from which the bags are made; they will also help reduce the amount of these pollutants which wind up being buried in our country’s very soil! Many people even take extra bags home with them for use around the house, especially to put garbage in. Obviously these bags are going right into the ground, and may even delay the natural bio-degrading process of the garbage itself, due to it being “trapped” inside the bags!

Some food chains, including the Super Sal Chain, are selling large green environmentally friendly bags for shoppers to carry their grocery purchases in without the need for polymer bags. These bags cost around 3 NIS each and can be used repeatedly on other shopping trips, as well as for going on picnics or to the beach. The bag’s green color is derived from the “green” environmental conscious movement which is finally beginning to receive due notice in Israel.

Using a few less polymer bags won’t hurt anyone; and the end result will be a cleaner environment, as well as money saved. If people can accept the idea of using less shopping bags, even one or two, we’ll all benefit in the end.

“Bottle Blonds” are big hit

Yael Bar ZoharBlond hairdos are becoming more and more popular among Israeli fashion “trendies”. Though not a new phenomenon, it seems that as more and more Hollywood celebrities are seen with golden locks, so are Israelis, especially youth, who follow the trends being glamorized in “La La Land”. You don’t have to image about stars such as Britney Spears (when she had hair), Madonna, (deceased) Anna Nicolle Smith, or even Paris Hilton. Israel has it’s own versions of these foxy ladies in the form of personalities Pnina Rosenblum and Yael Bar Zohar, singer Shiri Maimon, and super model Galit Gutman. The reality in respect to all these ladies, and many more, including a sylph-like nymphet known as “Roni Superstar” is that “only their hairdresser (and their husbands/lovers) knows for sure “.

You guessed it; their blond locks came out of a bottle!

This is nothing unusual, as most of the most famous Hollywood blond stars, going back all the way to 1930’s superstar Jean Harlow, used peroxide and other hair color treatments to help increase their popularity. Whether it has something to do with all those “dumb blond” jokes, personified with the mid-1950’s Marilyn Monroe movie: “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds”, or just something dealing with how innocent, or even how “clean” a bond person looks as compared to a brunette or “brownette”; the blond hair mystique seems to have caught on in Israel’s melting pot society as well.

Israelis originate from literally all world ethnic backgrounds, and even Ethiopian Jews can now been seen sporting blond hair, with a good example being the model Mimi Tadesa, who was runner-up on the recent Super Model contest shown on Channel 10 TV. After all, If Tina Turner can be a blond, why not Mimi?

How many Israelis, even from northern European backgrounds who actually are true blonds is something that has to do with their ethnic origins; or, in other words, how much “foreign DNA” was put into their ancestors by invading armies or by feudal European nobility who demanded the “first night right” with every young Jewish bride. Rape, coercion, and other means of acquiring Nordic and Western European chromosomes, resulted in a certain number of Jews in both Israel and the Diaspora actually having genetic traits such as blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin; all desired qualities in today’s glamor conscious world.

Some groups of indigenous people in Israel, such as the Druze still have many of their members who have blond hair which they ‘inherited’ from invading Crusader armies during the 11th and 12th centuries.

No matter what their origins, many Israeli women believe that “blonds have more fun” and that this can be had by simply purchasing a bottle of Clairol, L’Oreal, or other similar preparation. Being blond seems to be more desirable in women, at least in this country. And if it works for Pnina, Yael, and Roni, it might work for many other aspiring singers and entertainers, not to mention young girls who just enjoy the added attention they may receive by simply “going blond.”

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