Now hatching at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo: chicks of the endangered griffon vulture, soon to be released into the wild.
The griffon vulture was once very common in Israel. Fifty years ago, more than 1,000 pairs bred on cliffs from the Golan and Galilee in the north to the Judean Hills and Negev Desert in the south. Today, due to a variety of factors, only about 40 pairs remain, and the vulture is on the edge of extinction.
But efforts are underway to improve the situation, thanks to the National Center for Artificial Incubation of Raptor Eggs, operating at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (jerusalemzoo.org.il/len) since 1998. Every year, the center incubates up to 15 vulture eggs. Recently, the first chick of 2011 hatched.
The chicks are fed using a special stuffed vulture device, so they don’t get used to human caretakers. The zoo does all it can to ensure the young raptors will have the best possible chance of survival once they’re released back into the wild.
Stress reliever – After meeting with leaders of the American Jewish community Sunday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, clad in sportive attire, went on a sunset stroll through Washington DC.
The Prime Minister’s Office stated that during the one hour and a half outing, the couple walked by historical landmarks that include Former US Presidents Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial sites and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
“The prime minister and his wife discussed the history of the United States during their stroll, and from time to time stopped to look at the scenery and the river. When they reached the Jefferson Memorial, the prime minister recited by heart the US Declaration of Independence,” the Prime Minister’s Office wrote in a statement.
The statement also noted that passers-by cheered the prime minister and his wife as they ascended the staircase leading up to the Lincoln Memorial. The couple responded by waving to the crowd, the statement said.
After the stroll, Netanyahu went back to work and held a meeting with his advisors at the Blair House –the official state guest house in Washington – ahead of his speech at the AIPAC conference on Monday evening and at the US Congress on Tuesday.
Netanyahu on Sunday expressed his satisfaction from Obama’s speech, saying “I share the president’s wish to promote peace and I appreciate his past and present efforts to achieve this goal.
“I am determined to work with President Obama in order to find ways to resume the peace negotiations. Peace is a vital necessity for us all,” the prime minister said.
There is no shortage of news photographers in Israel nor news for them to cover. There are so many, indeed, that they often have to work to keep other photographers out of their frames.
But Alex Levac, 67, is no longer among them. Instead, he wanders the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem looking for the little moments — humorous, offbeat or ribald — that are his trademark.
“I really see myself as anthropologist of the street or a paparazzi of the anonymous,” he said. “I do not want to call myself a historian, but I want people to look at the pictures in 50 years and see something about Israeli society.”
In 1981, Mr. Levac became a staff photographer for the daily newspaper Hadashot. When it folded in 1993, he moved over to Ha’aretz. But he found news photography too predictable and covered it less and less over the years. Now he only does personal street photography for a weekly column in Ha’aretz in which he presents a single image reflecting the eccentricities and contradictions of Israeli life.
So what is an Alex Levac photo?
“Not just informative,” he said. “There has to be a little wink in it. It’s not very clear. You can decipher it in your own way. You can play with your imagination while you figure it out.”
Mr. Levac was born in Tel Aviv in 1944. He lived and worked as a photographer in Brazil, England and the United States before returning to Israel. He feels he is able to make better photographs in his native country. “I understand every nuance of the slightest gesture,” he said. “In other countries, you miss things because you are a foreigner.”
In 2005, he won the prestigious Israel Prize. “No other photographer is as involved as Alex Levac in the Israeli experience,” the judges said. “He has commitment and discipline and an original and penetrating, sometimes ironic, view of Israeli reality.”
As for his working style, Mr. Levac tries to blend in while photographing. That’s not always possible.
“You know what Israelis are like,” he said. “They’ll ask what you’re doing, what’s so special about this. They’ll say, ‘I think you should take pictures of flowers’ or something else. And, of course, sometimes they’re right.”
Legendary artist Paul Simon is due to perform in Israel in July, it was announced on Tuesday.
Simon will be performing one show on July 21 at the Ramat Gan stadium, as part of his world tour for his new album “So Beautiful or So What.” He is also expected to perform at venues across the United States and Europe.
Rumors regarding Simon’s performance in Israel have been circulating for several weeks but the final date was only now revealed.
This marks Simon’s third show in Israel. He performed in Israel in 1978, and in 1983 with Art Garfunkel as part of the famous duo Simon and Garfunkel.
Yehuda Weinstein appoints special committee to explore harsher punitive measure against those who abuse animals
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has decided to put an end to the courts infamous leniency in animal cruelty cases.
Currently, the Cruelty to Animals and Animal Welfare Law allows the court to sentence those convicted of animal abuse or cruelty to up to three years in jail, but the majority of such cases end with a fine, or at best – short probation.
Weinstein, a devoted animal lover, recently convened a special session on the matter, which included representatives from the Justice and Agriculture ministries and the police.
Various measures of harsher enforcement and legislation were discussed, and an interministerial committee was formed as well, with aim of reviewing pertinent legislative recommendations.According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the panel will also seek the input of various animal rights groups prior to submitting its recommendation.
“A just society is measured not only by how it treats people, but how it treats animals,” Weinstein said.
American singer, who performed in Eilat last year, to be hosted by legendary musician in his Ramat Gan concert; other famous artists may join big night too
Ynet has learned from sources in the show’s production that Dylan was the one asked to host the veteran singer in his Israel gig, and that other famous artist may join the big night too.
Jones latest performance in Israel was last year at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat. During the Ramat Gan concert, she is expected to join Dylan’s band and perform some of his famous songs with him, and perhaps even some of her own.
Many tickets are still available for the concert as sales continue.While Israelis prepare for the greatest performance this summer, the world will mark Dylan’s 70th birthday this Tuesday, with major media outlets already launching special projects in honor of the event.