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Archive | 2011 | March

CALGARY: Israel Day @ University of Calgary

Posted on:
March 24, 2011
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Calgary Hillel and friends will be celebrating Israeli culture on Wednesday, march 30th and Friday April 1st in Mac Hall. Also from 12-2 we will be serving pita and felafel in the Hive!!

Come show your support as we shed light on Israel and show students The Real Israel they don’t see on the news.

Also, we will be handing out Freebies like shot glasses, sunglasses, condoms, ETC.!

Featuring Size Doesn’t Matter and the Truth Campaign

Major Milestone: Israel gets electric car charging station

Posted on:
March 24, 2011

Israeli electric car pioneer unveils its first battery-changing station, says process takes five minutes – quicker than filling up gas

Electric car company Better Place has unveiled its first battery-changing station, a major milestone in the company’s planned rollout of the world’s first nationwide battery-charging grid.

At Wednesday’s demonstration in Kiryat Ekron, cars drove atop a sliding panel that opened to reveal a deep pit. From underneath, a robotic arm replaced drained batteries with fully charged ones.

Better Place says the process takes about five minutes – quicker than filling up at a gas station. CEO Shai Agassi says 40 stations will be built throughout Israel this year.

Better Place is building a network of charging stations in markets around the world, beginning with Israel and Denmark. Its partner, Renault, is making the cars, which are to be sold in Israel by the end of 2011

Source: Ynetnews.com

Bob Dylan to perform in Israel

Posted on:
March 24, 2011
Celebrity, Music
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Legendary musician to give one concert at Ramat Gan Stadium on June 20, shortly after celebrating his 70th birthday

Legendary American singer-songwriter will perform in Israel on June 20, Ynet has learned, following long negotiations with Israeli producer Marcel Avraham.

The concert will be held at the Ramat Gan Stadium as part of Dylan’s world tour, and its Israeli producer will be Gadi Oron.

Many efforts have been made in recent years to bring the veteran musician to the Holy Land. Dylan and his band members are expected to land in Israel several days before the concert.

Dylan, one of the most important musicians in modern music, will celebrate his 70th birthday in May. He will arrive in Israel as part of a world tour, which will be launched in Asia in about two weeks and will end in Demark in late June.

This will be Dylan’s third concert in Israel. He performed here in the past in 1987 and 1993, and visited the country during the 1960s.

The concert is expected to include songs from Dylan’s entire career. It is unclear how long he plans to stay in Israel and whether he intends on visiting different tourist sites across the country.

Source: Ynetnews

As we say goodbye, a picture of Elizabeth Taylor at the Western Wall

Posted on:
March 23, 2011
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On her last visit to Israel, Elizabeth planted a tree and met with then Prime minister Rabin

EXCLUSIVE: One-on-One with Adult Entertainment Mogul Michael Lucas

Posted on:
March 23, 2011
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Who is Michael Lucas ?

Michael Lucas was born in Moscow on March 10th, 1972. His parents, Lev Bregman, an engineer, and Elena Treivas, a literature teacher, gave their son the maternal maiden name of Treivas, as to curb the personal effects of anti-Semitism in soviet Russia. Growing up in a communist nation as a gay-Jewish boy, Lucas faced a great deal of oppression and discrimination. “I have a very liberal Jewish family,” Lucas says, “they are open-minded and respectful about my sexuality and, later, my choice of profession.” In grade school, Lucas experienced firsthand the abrasive forms of anti-Semitism and later in graduate school, the cruelty of homophobia. Quite early in life Lucas understood that he was a gay man and even with such intolerance, he never hid that fact. “I was never in the closet,” states Lucas. “Not to my family and not to my friends.”

The experience of harsh anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union led Lucas to form a strong bond with his Jewish distinctiveness and the state of Israel. He learned early on what would be his minority struggle; even in grade school Jews were separated from Russians in class books, as Jewish was the official nationality on Lucas’ identification. Lucas was determined to hold on to his heritage and endured the bigotry. Out of this torment was born the foundation of a controversial worldview. Lucas is a self-proclaimed Jewish atheist and Zionist. “I believe that people have created God,” Lucas states. “Not the other way around.”

His deep affinity for the state of Israel put Lucas on retribution in 2006 to defend Israel’s morale with the Lebanon War. In the midst of the ongoing battle, he announced his plans to go to Israel. He performed at one of the biggest clubs in Tel-Aviv, The Vox, to a full capacity crowd.

In the summer of 2010, Michael Lucas pioneered his first Tour of Israel that successfully brought together tourists from around the world and guided them through the beauty of the nation.

Tell us about your connection to Israel

I am very strongly connected to Israel. It is the only country after America where I feel at home. I think it comes from me being a russian jew, my experiences with anti-Semitism in Europe and my knowledge of history. Israel has become the center of my life. It is  actually the only reason that Jews live comfortably in diaspora. We all know we can find safe haven in Israel if something were to happen to us in the country we live in. This is why we have a duty to help it defend itself.

Why did you decide to make ‘Men of Israel’ ? How was your experience ?

I decided to do it because Israel is not known as a gay destination and I wanted to help put it on the map. Also, Israeli men, in my opinion, are very underestimated. They are beautiful, strong, confident, and incredibly sexy. And the country itself is beautiful. We were filming in stunning locations. What’s better than gorgeous men against a background of breathtaking landscapes? We filmed in deserts, ancient ruins, beaches, and cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea. This movie had amazing cinematography. I loved filming there so much, that I went back to film a second movie, “Inside Israel” that paired models from all over the world with Israeli men. I wanted to showcase both the country and its people.

Was your Israel Tour well received ?

I had a very successful tour of Israel last year, but unfortunately half of the people who had signed up for the tour this year pulled out because of the uprisings in the Middle East. link to tour trailer

How was the response from the participants?

My group was 80% gay Christian men and they loved the country. In fact, many who had signed up for this year were referred by participants from last year.

What part of Israel are you most excited about showing off ?

Tel Aviv. The group was amazed that the city is so modern and so gay friendly.

Why is showcasing the realities of LGBTQ attitude in Israel important to you ? (In society, army etc…)

There is a misrepresentation and complete lack of knowledge of Israel in the media. People actually confuse it with some Muslim state where homosexuality is illegal. I made my movies to change this. I know for sure that they brought more tourists to Israel, which in turns stimulates the Israeli economy. I’m quite proud of what I did.

Why doesn’t Israel get acknowledged for its openness?

Certain people hate Israel because it is a Jewish state. It’s a new form of anti-Semitism. It’s politically incorrect to say “I hate Jews”, so instead people mask their anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel by boycotting Israeli goods, putting pressure on Israeli government, unleashing anti-Israeli propaganda, and supporting Israel’s enemies. The sick preoccupation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over any other conflict, in which Israel is portrayed as, not only as a bad country, but as the worst country in the world, points out the critic’s anti-Semitic motives. It is political anti-Semitism.

You’ve recently succeeded in effectively countering an IAW event at a NYC community center, do you have advice for people who would like to do the same ?

I have great advice. If a porn star can cancel an entire fundraising party for organizing a new flotilla, then everyone can make a difference. You have to take your time, be persistent and give it all of your focus and hard work.

TO end on a more positive/fun note, what are your favorite spots in Israel. Favorite Club , Café, Beach in Israel ?

I love the old Jaffa. I think it’s the most charming, romantic place. But I also like modern Tel Aviv. I like cafes along Rothschild Boulevard. I like the gay part of Ga’ash beach so much that I filmed a scene each for “Men of Israel” and “Inside Israel” there. It was late in October and there were basically no people there, but it was a hot, eighty degree day with crystal clear water and we witnessed the most stunning sunset I’ve ever seen.

And of course… Does Size Matter ? (In regards to Israel of course)

If you talking about the country because it’s so small, then it is a yes and no answer. Even though the country is so small, you never have enough time to see everything. It’s so rich with history and there are so many things to do and see. There are things for everyone- from historic landmarks to museums to performing arts to the wonderful spas of the Dead Sea to beaches to nightlife in Tel Aviv.

But because the country is so small, there are major security considerations, especially because it’s not surrounded by the friendliest regimes. When certain regimes are open about their desire to wipe Israel off the map, the size of the country matters!

Israelis, Palestinians play as one

Posted on:
March 23, 2011
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Only week after Itamar massacre, championship game of American football league in Israel again brings together people from opposites sides of political spectrum – this time in celebration

The cheers from the skullcapped settlers and armed soldiers filled the air. Jewish and Palestinian teammates worked in collaboration. And the Judean Rebels walked away as champions of Israel Bowl IV.

Only a week after five members of a Jewish West Bank settler family were killed in a knife attack, the championship game of the American football league in Israelagain brought together people from opposites sides of the political spectrum.

This time in celebration.

“We play as a team and leave our personal stuff on the side. If they can do it, I can, too,” said Musa Elayyan, a 21-year-old Rebels defensive lineman from the West Bank city of Ramallah who grew up in the United States and goes by the nickname “Moose.” “Once you’ve played together you create a bond, especially on a successful team.”

The Rebels held off a late charge to beat the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Sabres 32-30 on Friday at Kraft Stadium, the venue named for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

It’s not the Super Bowl – the level of play is more akin to high school football but on a smaller field and with only eight players per side. And it’s definitely not the World Cup – although the shofar, a traditional ram’s horn, can give the vuvuzela a run for its money when its blast is heard around the stadium. But it is a chance for Jews and Palestinians to put aside their political beliefs and lock heads on the football field.

“We are the only Israeli league of any kind that has any Palestinian players and I’m proud of that fact,” said Steve Leibowitz, the founder of the four-year-old league. “We were concerned about the politics but it just hasn’t been an issue.”

‘Terrific tool of creating a bridge’

Even in the stands, the camaraderie stood out. Ultra-Orthodox Jews and children wearing costumes for the Jewish festival ofPurim cheered and waved Israeli flags when Rebels linebacker Ayoub Elayyan, Musa’s brother, intercepted a pass to set up the first touchdown of the game.

Although American football is still an afterthought on the Israeli sporting scene, it has steadily gained ground in recent years. This year’s Israel Bowl attracted more than 1,000 fans and was broadcast live on the Israeli sports channel.

The Rebels are a team made up of mostly Jewish settlers with American backgrounds. They wear orange jerseys and helmets, adopting the color that symbolized the Jewish settlers in Gaza who were removed in 2005.

And although the coach kicked out a few players who had reservations about playing with Palestinians, Musa Elayyan said the team quickly gelled and captured the crown in the eight-team local league in only their second year together. He now considers his teammates to be among his best friends.

“A lot of their views changed after we joined,” said Musa Elayyan, who played high school football in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “You can never fully drop the politics but the football field is a haven.”

The Sabres, who won Israel Bowl III last year, are also a mixed Israeli-Arab team.

Leibowitz calls the concept of the league “peace under the helmet,” and Jerusalem Lions quarterbackItay Ashkenazisaid the nature of the game is what breeds the intimacy between the players.

“The essence of the game brings players together in such a close and intimate nature that you can’t help but rely on each other,” said Ashkenazi, a 31-year-old player who is the son of Israel’s recently retired military chief, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. “Football is a terrific tool of creating a bridge, creating a dialogue between people.”

Source: Ynetnews.com