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Archive | 2012 | March | 12

Israel mulls charity concert for Syrians

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March 12, 2012
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Foreign Ministry source confirms that singer-songwriter Arkadi Duchin called and volunteered to recruit leading Israeli performers for a charity rock concert.

Singer-songwriter Arkadi Duchin has asked Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for help in organizing a charity concert to raise money for anti-government forces in Syria.

A senior Foreign Ministry official said Lieberman and his aides may approve the idea, as part of a wider effort to express public Israeli support for the rebels and denounce the slaughter of Syrian people by President Bashar Assad’s regime.

A Foreign Ministry source confirmed that after Lieberman issued a press release on Friday offering humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, Duchin called the ministry and volunteered to recruit leading Israeli performers for a charity rock concert.

Lieberman’s office did not reject the idea out of hand and forwarded the proposal to members of the ministry’s professional staff, with an eye to approving it.

Duchin confirmed that he contacted Lieberman’s office about the issue but declined to elaborate. In response to a question from Haaretz the Russian-born performer said he had not pinned down a date for the concert, which is still in the earliest planning stages. “I made the offer from a human and humanitarian place,” Duchin said.

For the past two months Lieberman has been highly visible in calling for support of the Syrian rebels and in castigating Assad, in contrast to the weak comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The foreign minister has urged Assad to step down and offered to assist Syrian refugees who reach the area along the border with Israel.

Last week Lieberman instructed staffers to offer the International Committee of the Red Cross humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians. After consulting with Syrian rebel leaders, ICRC officials notified the Foreign Ministry that the offer was declined. The rebels said they did not want any connection to Israel; accepting aid from Israel would only confirm Assad’s claims that Israel and the West were behind the revolt against his regime, they explained.

Source: Haaretz.com

Israeli actor cast as al-Qaeda terrorist in Indie film

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March 12, 2012
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Yoav Levy to take part in film directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow depicting the American attempt to kill Osama bin Laden

Israeli actor Yoav Levy recently joined the cast of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s promising film about the military hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Levy will be portraying Abu Faraj al-Libi, a senior member of al-Qaeda who was considered to be third in command of the organization. Libi was arrested by Pakistan Inter-Services and transferred under American custody to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Reports say that the plot of the Indie film was based on an earlier unsuccessful mission to try to kill the al-Qaeda leader responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US as he hid in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Israeli actor met with Bigelow and her screenwriter collaborator Mark Boal in Amman, Jordan where he was cast for the part. The project initially began back in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks but production of the film only recently began in India.

This role will be Levy’s first substantial role in an international film. During his career, Levy mainly performed on the stages of the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv.

“I’m very excited and thrilled to have received this opportunity. Bigelow and Boal are very nice and professional,” Levy said in response to his future role.

According to several reports, the film is to incorporate other actors such as Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton. The project was initially named “Killing bin Laden” but the final name of the film has yet to be decided due to script changes and developments including the assassination of bin Laden in May 2011.

Source: Ynetnews.com

Israeli Self-Defense Technique Being Used To Keep American Women Safe

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March 12, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted and 80 percent of victims are under 30.

A self-defense technique called Krav Maga (pronounced Crov  Ma-gah) first taught to Israeli soldiers is now being taught to our military, law enforcement agents and everyday people, looking to defend themselves.

The numbers are staggering — one in four women will be raped before they graduate college.

Cindy Guerro nearly became a statistic.

“There was an incidence when someone I thought was my friend — he kind of forced himself on me. And I froze,” she said.

Fortunately, she got out of that situation unharmed. But like a growing number of young women across Southern California, she is now taking her safety into her own hands.

She is fully immersed in her Krav Maga class. She got the classes as a gift before she started her freshman year.

Darren Levine, a prosecutor for L.A. County, believes Krav Maga is a great gift for any woman. He is also a 6th-degree black belt and one of the highest-ranked Krav Maga instructors in the world.

“For those people who are looking for a measure of self defense… and they want to get it now we show a variety of common attacks, what happens on the street during a crime. That’s what we do,” he said.

A student named Jasmine really finds the classes easy.

“I really like the drills. It definitely gets you out of your comfort zone,” Jasmine said.

Levine said classes also teach more than just how or where to jab an assailant.

“If you were just to teach techniques, then you’re building people for failure. Because you need to teach the mindset to survive, to engage someone who wants to kill you, to stab you, to rape you,” Levine said. “How do you stay there and fight and hit and know where to hit and know how to do all those things?”

Students are taught inside a gym, but they are then tested in more realistic surroundings.

“Your vision isn’t as good in the dark. and that’s more likely when, what they’re going to be attacked in, under those circumstances, rather than the beautiful lighting in the gym we have here. It doesn’t make any sense [to only train in a gym],” he said.

Students are taught how to deal with a knife attack. How to deal with someone pointing a gun at you. How to avoid being kidnapped and what do to if your assailant gets on top of you.

Mia, a student, likes the fact that her Krav Maga instructors repeat drills over and over.

“I’d never taken any self defense class before but the instructors are really great at explaining everything and the other students are really helpful… so they make it really nice,” Mia said.

“And at the end of my day, I have my life in my own hands. And it prepares me for the worst case scenario,” Jasmine added.

Cindy has put the worst case scenario to the test.

“A guy came and just opened my car door while I was waiting at the 7-Eleven, and at the time I just reacted. I just screamed at him and it shocked him and it freaked him out and he just left my car. Prior to this experience I think I would have just panicked.”

For more information about Krav Maga, visit www.kravmaga.com.

Source: CBS Los Angeles


From Tel Aviv to Austin: Israeli bands, techs and reps make big impact on SXSW 2012

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March 12, 2012
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Most Americans think of Israel as the cradle of civilization, a country stuck in the ancient past.

But what few of us realize is that, in addition to the historical landmarks, Israel also has the largest number of per-capita government and private sector investments in Research and Development and number of engineers in the world. Technology is one of Israel’s most developed sectors, hosting IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Motorola’s largest R&D facilities outside the United States.

Now, 75 of Israel’s leading creatives and innovators are traveling over 7,000 miles to join the throngs of attendees at this year’s SXSW during the music, film and interactive portions in a program they call “i: Made in Israel.” With a strong, identifiable presence at the conference, Americans can get a taste of the exciting developments happening in the technology and performing arts sectors of Tel Aviv.

Meetings, deals and demos will take place March 12 – 15 at the “Beachside Cafe” inside the SXSW Tradeshow. This “idea bar” will feature tables with full coffee service and an opportunity to meet with the 30 Israeli startups in attendance at the festival as well as listen to live music from the seven Israeli bands in attendance at SXSW.

The bands — which range from the metal-rock sounds ofI.U.D.M. to the Latin electronica of DJ Erez Ben Ishay to the singer/songwriter sound of Yael Kraus — will have additional unofficial showcases throughout the city during the festival, but will always be on the schedule at the “i: Made in Israel” events.

On Friday, March 16, “i: Made in Israel” will throw an official SXSW “Tel Aviv Beach Party” at Brush Park, across the street from the Convention Center. This is your chance to see full sets from the bands who will play throughout the day, and folks can relax under cabanas while stretching out on beach loungers. Beach-themed drinks and Israeli snacks and games will create the feel of bringing the Israeli culture to Austin.

Six Israeli companies will also partake in the Austin International Technology Summit at the Palm Door on Mar 10. Austin tech companies will meet with delegates from 12 different countries to discuss the use of technology in economic development. Besides Israel, representatives from France, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Japan and Canada.

Source: Austin Culture Map

Tohoku, Japan 2012 – IsraAID Continues to Help

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March 12, 2012
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(Sendai, Japan) As Japan prepares to commemorate 1 year since the devastating March 11th, 2011 earthquake and Tsunami, IsraAID continues to support and rehabilitate the population of Northern Japan’s Tohoku region. Over the past year, its professional post-trauma training courses, and its community development programs have greatly expanded.

Initially focused around the teachers of a single school, the organization today reaches hundreds of professionals and through them, thousands of people from 30 different groups across 8 communities of the Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures.

IsraAID arrived in Japan less than four days after the earthquake and tsunami, and since then, the organization and its projects have grown and matured to reflect the changes on the ground. In the first stages, when Tohoku was a ravaged ruin, IsraAID helped clean-up destroyed houses, rebuilt damaged buildings, open child safety centers, and distributed emergency aid to the tens of thousands of survivors and displaced people living in shelters.

As time progressed, and rebuilding efforts began, IsraAID shifted to focus on the loss and trauma suffered by millions. From a simple art activity in a shelter, it became evident that the children and teachers taking part were experiencing stress after going through the trauma of the disaster and that they needed tools to help them cope. The government and organizations were cleaning and rebuilding their homes, others were donating supplies, but very few were helping them through the shock of having the sea rise up and swallow your entire lives.

In Israel, post-trauma is unfortunately a well known phenomena. Decades of regional conflict have exposed a significant portion of the population to frequent traumatic events. As a result, the development of home-grown coping
techniques has made Israel a world leader in Post Trauma treatment.

IsraAID began bringing experienced practitioners from Israel with expertise in different types of therapy (verbal and non-verbal methods) to work with the people of Watari and help them cope and heal. Word quickly spread, and
teachers and city officials introduced the organization to other communities, endorsing the project as “groundbreaking”, one that “everyone should take part in” and that can benefit “anyone affected by the disaster of March 11th”.

Full Article here

For more information please contact Shachar Zahavi at szahavi@hotmail.com

OTTAWA: Canada and Israel: A Relationship Built on Shared Values

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March 12, 2012
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Join us for a multi-partisan panel discussion on the proud Canada-Israel partnership – including:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Ottawa
Canadian-Israeli economic, academic and cultural cooperation
Canadian and Israeli humanitarian aid efforts

Tuesday March 13 – 5:30pm 
Carleton University – Canal Building – Room 2104

Brought to you by:
Israel Awareness Committee of Ottawa
Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Carleton Campus Conservatives
Carleton University Liberals

More info and RSVP: israelaffairs@hillelottawa.ca

Adam Moscoe
CJPAC Senior Fellow
University of Ottawa

Yaelle Gang
CJPAC Fellow
Carleton University


For more info: http://www.facebook.com/events/337368822980762/