a different side of Israel

Category: People (page 4 of 21)

People, celebrities, characters, criminals and others…

The Dale Carnegie Course Lieberman style

Dale Carnegy Vs Liberman“I have seen all the proposals made so generously by Ehud Olmert, but I have not seen any result”; so spoke Israel’s new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, during his first address to the media after assuming his post. He went on to say that the way the free world has tried to deal with issues like Islamic sponsored terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program hasn’t worked, and that the real world security problems are coming from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq and not from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lieberman specifically renounced the giving of concessions in order to gain peace. “The fact that we say the word “peace” twenty times a day will not bring peace any closer”, he added. He also said that the time-worn “Westphalia” conception of nation states is dead, and has been replaced by a modern conception of states, semi-states and “irrational international players” most noteworthy Al Qaeda and Iran. But what seemed to frost many diplomats the most, especially Egypt’s, was when he said he will only go there on diplomatic missions if his counterpart is willing to visit him in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. That remark caused the Egyptian ambassador to say he will “keep his hands in his pockets” should the two men even meet face to face.

Judging from the silence that emanated from his remarks, and the comments made by various international medias afterwards, Foreign Minister Lieberman did not go very far in regards to the strategies mooted by that world famous maestro of human relations Dale Carnegie, whose best selling book How to Make Friends and Influence People appeared in the late 1930’s, and is still widely used for perfecting human relations strategies by many people today.

Thus began the term of the man who is questioned and even feared in his own country, regarding his outlook on the present world order; especially when he ended his 15 minute reality trip by quoting an ancient Roman general who said in regards to peace: “Si vis pacem para bellum“– if you want peace, prepare for war – be strong!”

Dale Carnegie would never have used this strategy in his world famous books and self improvement courses; but again, Lieberman is not Carnegie, and doesn’t intend to be. And we can all be certain that Israel’s enemies and critiques are already aware of this…

Yuval Arad joins the Fight for Gilad Shalit

Yuval Arad is a young woman, who’s now 24 years old. Her father’s name is Ron Arad, and he has been missing for nearly 23 years, ever since his Phantom plane crashed in Lebanon in 1986, which resulted in him being captured by the Amal Movement, and later handed over to Iran. For the first year and half of his captivity, it was known for sure that Ron is alive, but we have since lost track of him, and his fate remains a mystery.

Yuval Arad grew up without her father, and until recently has kept away from the limelights.

This week she decided to join the fight for the release of Gilad Shalit, visiting his parents in their protest tent in Jerusalem, and granting an interview to Channel 2 news. This matter burns inside of me, she told Oded Ben-Ami. “For the first year and half we knew my father was alive. We know now that Gilad is alive. We can’t know what might be in half a year from now.”

This coming Friday, March the 13th, at 10 am, the public is urged to come and protest together with Gilad’s parents in front of Olmert’s residence in Jerusalem. Olmert is leaving office in less than 2 weeks, and now is the time to pressure the man who could not find a way to release Gilad in the past 3 years. Bus routes 9 and 32 can take you from the Central Bus Station to Olmert’s residence.

Taking Out the Goat

“Taking out the goat” is a known Israeli expression. It usually means creating a false demand during negotiations, so it could be dropped later in a public display of compromise. Obviously, the whole idea of taking out the goat revolves around ego-maintenance and manipulation of public opinion.

Well, over the past few days, knowing whether Daniel Friedmann, current Minister of Justice, will remain in office when the new government swears in — is Israel’s most burning question. Is Binyamin Netanyahu truly bent on his decision, or is Prof. Friedmann the goat that has to be taken out?

Photo: Michael Kramer

Photo: Michael Kramer

Either way, the implications are very serious, and the answer should probably clear up in the next few days.

Happy International Women’s Day

Sunday, March 8, is the International Women’s Day.

Marina Maximillian Blumin, a young singer who caught the national spotlight during her appearance in “Kochav Nolad” (the Israeli version of “American Idol”), will perform this Saturday in the Comfort club in Tel Aviv. Entrance is free for women!

Russian ska band “Los Caparos” will accompany her, and R&B singer Ayala Eingadesht will also perform during the evening.

Here’s Marina performing Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Israel’s Channel 2:

Waltz in Gaza

This video was made by Yoni Goodman, one of the animators that worked on Waltz with Bashir:

Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement calls on the State of Israel to fully open Gaza’s crossings and to allow the real victims of the closure – 1.5 million human beings – the freedom of movement necessary to realize their dreams and aspirations.

Tonight: Kdam Eurovision

The Kdam Eurovision (or Pre-Eurovision) will take place tonight, at 21:45 Jerusalem Time (GMT + 2:00). On the agenda, 4 different songs by Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad, accompanied by musician Gil Dor. Only one of these songs will be chosen to represent Israel in the 2009 Eurovision in Moscow.

As we’d like to believe in our beloved democracy: Every vote counts. So turn on, tune in, and send off your SMS.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

One Thousand and One Nights

980 days and nights have passed since Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas militants.

Later this month, on Sunday, March the 22nd, we shall all mark the 1,001st day of Gilad’s captivity. On this day, the Aharai! (“Follow me!”) organization is holding a simultaneous march in 4 Israeli cities: Acco, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, and Jerusalem.

The march in Tel Aviv is planned to begin in the Central Train Station (Savidor Station) and will continue to Rabin Square.


Waltz with Bashir and the 18th Israeli Knesset

Regrettably, Ari Folman’s animated doco-fantasy film “Waltz with Bashir” didn’t win the Best Foreign Film at the 2009 Academy Awards presentation in Hollywood. With just a month passing after winning the Golden Globes film award, the American film industry second biggest awards extravaganza, hope had been high that Folman’s film would pull it off, especially due to its strong anti-war message. But Folman and his crew of animators, writers, artists and other team players had to sit by and see the Japanese film, Departures, win the coveted Oscar.

Waltz With Bashir

In a way, this event displays similarities to the results of the recent parliamentary election in which Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party managed to edge out over the rival Likud party, headed by Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu. Even though Kadima managed to gain more seats (actually 1 more) than Bibi’s party did, the Likiud has been given the nod by Israeli President Shimon Peres to form the next coalition government. Bibi’s right-of-center party has a lot of friends in the Knesset, including the right winged “Israel Beitenu” party, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, and the ultra-right winged “Ihud Leumi” (National Union) party headed by Benny Alon. The Likud party’s ideologies also make it easier to bring at least two religious political parties, “Shas” and “Ha-Bayit Ha-Ye’udi” (Jewish Home) into its fold as well, to guarantee enough Knesset seats to form the next government. Livni’s center movement party can only hope to pick up some of the left winged parties such as the now deflated Labor Party, headed by Ehud Barak, and others such as Meretz – a very left-winged party formerly headed by such liberals as Yossi Sarid and Dr. Yossi Beilin.

And just like the character in Waltz had to cope with life in Israel in the aftermath of the war, so does Livni and her party have to cope with the aftermath of both the 2006 Second Lebanon War (in which her party, headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, was accused of committing a number of blunders) and the just completed Operation Cast Lead foray in Gaza. Netanyahu has the advantage of being able to use the security element to convince parties with similar ideologies to join up with him and control Israeli politics for the next 4 year period; or until another election is held, as has been too often the case.

Israeli politics sometimes create strange bedfellows, however, and Tzipi may decide in the end that discretion is the better part of valor and decide to join Bibi’s governing coalition. If this happens she will get her “waltz” in the end; but the question will be with whom she winds up dancing with.

Dubai: Why Andy and not Shahar?

Something’s really shitty is happening when one player from Israel gets bumped at a tennis tournament and another is allowed to play. Such is the case at the annual Dubai Tennis Championships when Israeli female tennis star Shahar Peer was denied a visa to play there, while her male colleague, Andy Ram, was able to receive one. Last year, Israeli players, including Peer, didn’t have a problem playing in the tournament, which up to this year anyway appeared to be growing in standings, just like the Dubai Classic Annual Golf Tournament is, with big name golf professionals playing there.

Up to now, the Emirate city-state appeared to be one of the more liberal Arab countries with many Israeli businessmen able to go there and to conduct lucrative business deals, despite Dubai’s official non-recognition of Israel in the political arena. Coming on the heels of the recent military actions between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, and the adverse publicity the 22 day conflict received in many international circles, the Sheikdom may have decided to ban Peer for this reason. Peer’s doubles partner, German player Anna-Lena Groenefeld, also found her self out of the tournament by not having a teammate to play with.

Israeli Tennis

There might have been some logic as to why Ms. Peer was not allowed to play, at least in some circles, due to political and cultural norms on the part of the Dubai government and the tournament organizers. But this situation has changed dramatically with the allowing of Andy Ram to play, making one wonder if Peer’s ouster was simply because she is a woman! The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) who is responsible for the welfare of female tennis players at such events, has fined the Dubai tourney organizers a record $300,000 for their rejecting of Peer, and will grant Shahar a compensation fee of $44,250 plus 130 ranking points for not being allowed to defend her world rankings in this event.

For his part, Ram appears happy that he was allowed to compete, although many people in both Israel and elsewhere feel that he should have refused to play, in sympathy with Peer. This makes the entire matter even more problematic, resulting in the “gender factor” being a possible reason for Ms. Peer being refused the visa. WTA officials are now requiring that tournament organizers for such events post a $2 million bond to compensate players and advertisers in the event such things happen in future tournaments. Ram’s visa granting was not automatic, however, and only resulted after the international men’ ATP tennis federation put pressure on the Dubai tourney organizers.

Still, the whole affair puts a bad tint on future tournament events to be held in Dubai, and in other so-called “moderate” Arab countries; and will probably have an effect on future participation by Israeli and other tennis players, especially female ones.

This is One Movie You Simply Don’t Want to Miss

Adam Resurrected is a new movie based upon the 1968 acclaimed novel by Yoram Kaniuk. The novel is titled “Adam Ben Chelev” in Hebrew, which might be loosely translated as “A Man, Son of a Dog”.

The film stars American Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe alongside Israeli Ayelet Zurer and Hanna Laslo.

The story goes back and forth between two very bleak “battle fields”: A Nazi concentration camp, and an Israeli mental asylum in the desert. Yet through all the horrors of life, Adam — a Jewish holocaust survivor, and a former star entertainer in Berlin — manages to find pockets of love, laughter, and humanity wherever he may find himself.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, since it only starts playing in Israeli theaters this Thursday, but the trailer is very moving and extremely intriguing.

Bar Refaeli Conquers America

The annual release of the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated is practically a national holiday in the States. Supermodels are defined by their appearance in the Swimsuit Issue. The entire media is abuzz with excitement and awe whenever a new Swimsuit issue comes out. And this year… our very own Bar Rafaeli has been chosen as the front cover girl!

This undated image released by Sports Illustrated/Raphael Mazzucco, shows model Bar Refaeli on the cover of the Feb. 14, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, on sale now.  (AP Photo/Sports Illustrated, Raphael Mazzucco)    **NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY FOR THREE WEEKS, ENDING MARCH 6, 2009. NO SALES. ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES** **MANDATORY CREDIT: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, RAPHAEL MAZZUCCO**

This undated image released by Sports Illustrated/Raphael Mazzucco, shows model Bar Refaeli on the cover of the Feb. 14, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, on sale now. (AP Photo/Sports Illustrated, Raphael Mazzucco) **NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY FOR THREE WEEKS, ENDING MARCH 6, 2009. NO SALES. ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES** **MANDATORY CREDIT: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, RAPHAEL MAZZUCCO**

She is only 23, but Bar Refaeli is already an international sensation. She grew up in Hod HaSharon, a suburban city southeast of Tel Aviv, and has been modeling her entire life. For the past 3 years, she’s been dating the “Titanic” Leonardo DiCaprio.

Mind you, Bar already made an appearance in the 2007 Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated on the inset page. However, this year she is spread over the front cover itself. A gigantic copy of the cover page has been plastered in Times Square, New York, causing serious traffic jams.

Bar is a Hebrew adjective which means “Wild and Raw”.

Bar Refaeli - Behind the Scenes

Tzipi Livni womanhood in Israeli politics

Livni in The Uman in Tel AvivA little while ago the US showed the world that it can reinvent itself just when we thought we knew everything about them. A black man was elected to president. I still remember the Eddy Murphy comedy show Delirious where he makes fun with the notion of a black president. A president that would have to make his speeches while running to avoid getting shot… And yet, there he is. Obama is the President.

Now in Israel it seems like we are not quite there. Yes, this is a generally forward thinking society BUT (insert big but here..) there are actually political figureheads/political parties that feel that politics is no place for a woman. This is to the extent that if you were to look at the election posters in Jerusalem where all three candidates are showing, the face of Tzipi Livni has been erased.. To remind you the year is 2009!

Now this goes beyond the religious parties which like there Iranian counterparts are fanatics. This extends to the mainstream. When it comes to discussing the issues and facing a woman in the race, the gender card will ultimately be used by any of the “modern thinking” leaders as well. It will just be better disguised.

Given that we are a testosterone driven society. We are faced with 10 flavors of death in any direction, but still. Wouldn’t the job of a good prime minister be putting together the right team? Would it not be possible for a woman to run Israel?

Livni recently went for the young vote with her campaign. She did the Tel Aviv bar/club circuit trying to get the young vote. She recently has invested more in getting the undecided women vote and sounded good in front of the women’s conference in Herzelia. I heard some of the speech and she sounded comfortable and energetic. I didn’t like the way she sounded when she was in some of the other venues and in Knesset. She got a heavy, old political guy tone to her that just sounded tired and almost forced. Like someone who has to make them sound like an old experienced political horse, something she isn’t and shouldn’t be. I think sounding like a modern, smart, leading woman in this election is the way to go.

I don’t think Tzipi Livni will win this election although she seems to be moving forward in the poles. The assumption is that Bibi and the Likud will take it and then form a coalition with one of the top three mainstream parties, maybe the religious as well. I would like to see her in there though and wish her the best of luck. It would be nice…

This is Livni on the Lior Shlein show (Night Show)

Her Morning Elegance

Oren Lavie is a 33 y/o Israeli musician, director, and actor. He grew up in Ramat-Aviv, the green suburban neighborhood in north Tel-Aviv.

At the age of 16 he enacted the role of King Saul in the cult musical “David”, as part of the “Chich’s Neighbors” ensemble. (“Chich” is the nickname associated with former Tel-Aviv mayor Shlomo Lahat.)

Since 2001 he’s been spending most of his time abroad, in New York and Berlin.

In 2008 his song “A Dance ‘Round the Memory Tree” has made it into the “Narnia 2” movie soundtrack (properly titled “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”).

This is his newest video clip, called “Her Morning Elegance”.

No Turkish Delight

Row Between Israel and Turkey Threatens to Damage Historic Ties

The sharp exchange of words at the World Economic Forum between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Turkish Prime Minister Recep ErdoÄŸan over who started the Operation Cast Lead war in Gaza, is a sad and ominous message regarding the deterioration of relations between the two countries.

Prior to the recent 22 day war in Gaza, Turkey and Israel had enjoyed fairly decent relations with one another, despite the increase in terrorism against Jewish targets in Turkey and a rise in Islamic fundamentalism that begun to increase in this country despite efforts by Mr. ErdoÄŸan’s Justice and Development Party to create closer ties to the West, and his efforts to act as an intermediary in preliminary peace talks between Israel and Syria. All that has changed now, and relations between the two countries have sunk to such a low that many Israeli travel agents have cancelled tourism package bookings to Turkey and are considering canceling package tour trips to Anatoly and other Turkish resort locations popular with Israelis.

Turkish DelightPrior to the economic forum conference, held in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. ErdoÄŸan was quoted at a news conference that it appeared that it was Israel, and not the Hamas organization, that broke the 6 month cease fire agreement, while not mentioning the rocket that were being fired into Israel by Hamas and other militants, despite the cease fire.

It is a bit strange, as well as frustrating, that Turkey P.M. ErdoÄŸan could make a statement that Israel broke the truce with Hamas, despite the fact that around 300 mortar shells and rockets were fired by Hamas militants into Israel. This statement, by a Turkish head of government, only re-enforces the ongoing changes occurring in a country that appears to be drifting further into Islamization, and away from the secular ideals so adamantly espoused by Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey.

When Kurdish rebels make attacks against Turkish villages and towns bordering on Turkey’s borders with Iraq or Iran, Turkish air and ground forces retaliate – sometimes fiercely. Some of these retaliations have resulted in large scale intrusions into Kurkish areas, on scales not unlike the IDF’s entry into Gaza. Yet, the U.N. and other international forums have condemned the Turkish government on a much smaller scale than Israel has been condemned. This truth was mentioned by Mr. Peres when he asked Mr. ErdoÄŸan what his government would do if missiles were to rain down on Istanbul.

The right of self defense must be the same for both countries; and Mr. ErdoÄŸan and his government should be well aware of this fact. As Israel and Turkey enjoy a goodly amount of trade with each other, it would be a real pity if this were to end or be sharply reduced.

Save an Angel: Amit Kadosh Bone Marrow Donation Drive Today

Amit Kadosh

Amit Kadosh

Today Jan 21st, 2009 is the Bone Marrow Recruitment day for this 6 year old angel – time is running out. The cost of each of these tests is 180 NIS – So let the moth out of your wallet and give now !!!

The story is from the good people at Ezer Mizion

Amit Kadosh turned six years old on September 3rd. Her father Yuval is a sales manager, and her mother Naomi, a travel agent. Amit has an eight year old brother named Omer.

Amit began first grade at the local K’far Saba elementary school on September 1. About a month later, she was diagnosed with AML, a kind of leukemia which is rarely found in children.

Ezer Mizion and their corps of volunteers have been at the side of Amit and her family from their very first day at the oncology ward in Schneider’s Children’s Hospital, assisting them in many ways. Ezer Mizion’s Oranit Guest Home for children with cancer in Petach Tikvah has become one of Amit’s favorite spots.

Amit is an endearing child, and the personal charm that she exudes endears her to the entire staff of the hospital as well as Ezer Mizion’s staff and volunteers.

Amit KadoshThe municipality of Kfar Sabba, where Amit’s family lives, and her school have both “adopted” Amit and her family with great warmth. Students in the school regularly send her pictures, flowers, candy and gifts. When her medical condition allows it, the teachers come to visit her. Between treatments, Amit sometimes goes out with her family to a park near her house, and her classmates come to meet her there, in the open air, where there is less risk of her becoming infected by illnesses that can endanger her life.

Recently, on a day when Amit was feeling well, she came to school with an enormous chocolate cake and gave out slices to her classmates, as a token of appreciation for their concern and caring. The encounter was a tremendously emotional one for everyone present.

In order to save Amit’s life, she desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Her brother Omer, who was the most likely candidate for an optimum match, was tested and found to be incompatible. The only chance for Amit is to find a donor from an unrelated stem cell donor. Until now, no matching donor has been found in any registry in the world.

Ezer Mizion has scheduled a stem cell donor recruitment drive in the hope that the person who will be Amit’s perfect match will join the registry and save her life. The drive will take place throughout Israel on Wednesday, January 21. We hope that thousands of donors will join that day and save Amit’s life and the life of hundreds of other patients across the globe whose only hope for survival is a stem cell transplant.

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