A new report by the ELA Beverage Containers Collection Corporation suggests that in 2011 Israelis recycled over 50% of their plastic bottles – more than their American and European counterparts.
The annual plastic bottle recycling rates was 29% in the US and 48% in Europe.
According to the report, some 20,000 tons of bottles were recycled in 2011, and since the prices of recyclable packages in Israel carry a consumer deposit, the public has been able to regain NIS 1.04 billion (roughly $280 million) in deposit fees over the past decade.
ELA’s report noted that, in total, 77% of all beverage containers, both plastic and glass, were collected for recycling, exceeding government targets of 73%, amounting to some 600 million bottles.
The report’s segmentation said that households recycled about 41% of all beverage containers – about 300 million bottles – also surpassing a the government’s 35% goal.
ELA Chairwoman Nehama Ronen said that, “A year since the Packaging Law came into force – we succeeded in surpassing the goals set for us by the Environmental Protection Ministry.”
The cooperation further notes that in the past year 140 municipalities and regional councils nationwide installed 4,400 new recycling bins, bringing the country’s total number of recycling points to 15,000.
ELA said that the most successful recycling cities in 2011 were Kiryat Ono and Givat Shmuel, and the most successful regional councils were Arava Kfar Shmaryahu. Bnei Brak set a municipal record in 2011, going from having only seven recycling bins across the city to exceeding 400.
“As we gear to implement the Waste Separation Law in Israel, this data suggests that the Israeli public is committed to the issue of recycling,” Ronen said.
Even if you haven’t heard the name, you’ve seen it in action. Daniel Craig as 007, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, this issue’s cover star Jason Statham as an ass-kicking man of mystery—they’re all disciples of Krav Maga, a mainstay of Israeli military training that has become a staple among Hollywood’s hard bodies and is now the hot fitness trend among civilians.
“Directors are coming to us because they want realistic fight scenes,” says Darren Levine, founder of Krav Maga Worldwide, whose two Los Angeles schools are A-lister favorites. “We trained Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond. He was out of shape when he first came to us, and he left rock-solid.” Levine’s instructors also prepared Daniel Craig for the role of James Bond (“He was very impressive—all business”) and Tom Cruise (“superb to work with”) for Mission: Impossible. “It’s the in thing, for actors and performers, not just for the skills they learn,” Levine says, “but because it’s fun. Their shoulders are ripped, their core is defined, and their legs get really muscular.”
David Kahn, U.S. chief instructor of the Israeli Krav Maga Association, says the emphasis on “continuous combat motion” provides the toning you’d get from boxing, with better full-body results. One of Kahn’s students is John Mayer, who trained with U.S. Marine Corps martial-arts instructors. “The marines put him through a conditioning challenge they call the Crucible, and he showed real toughness,” Kahn says. “Most people are never going to have to use the fighting skills, but they’re going to come out of a workout feeling empowered.”
One such empowered devotee is Ashton Kutcher, who practices Krav so he can “save the people I care about” if and when the world descends into lawless chaos. “When you start training,” says Kutcher’s instructor, Jarret Waldman, “you envision yourself as a bad- ass.” But whether you’re preparing for Armageddon or a role in an action-movie franchise, or you just want to look the part, perhaps the best thing about Krav is that it’s “simple and easy to learn,” says Waldman, who serves as Krav Maga Worldwide’s lead instructor. “We can bring people to a high level of proficiency in a short amount of time.”
Read More Via Details.com
srael was chosen by top European police officials to host the annual International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) conference on May 8-10, marking a historical first for the country.
The three-day conference will take place in Tel Aviv and will include 200 representatives from 50 countries.
The conference seeks to bring police forces from the various member countries together to coordinate their crime fighting strategies.
Attendees will include members of Interpol’s executive committee, Israeli and European ministers, police chiefs, observers and police officers involved in the investigations and extraditions of Israeli criminals who have fled to other countries.
Interpol members like Italy have cooperated with Israeli police in the past. In August 2007, Italian police arrested Boaz Yona, former CEO of the failed Heftsiba construction company, who was accused of embezzlement and fraud. Yona fled to Italy and was found hiding in the resort town of Castelnuovo del Garda when he was arrested. He was then extradited to Israel in 2008 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Italian police have also provided Israel with information concerning Israelis abroad who have been involved in criminal activities relating to casinos and prostitution.
A senior Israeli police official told Israel Hayom on Wednesday that the Israeli delegation to the conference intends to raise the case of Lee Zeitouni’s killers with their French counterparts.
Zeitouni, who was 25 at the time of her death, was killed in a hit-and-run accident in September. Claude Issac, 40, was allegedly at the wheel of a black BMW SUV registered to his friend, Eric Rubic, 38, who was in the passenger seat, when they hit Zeitouni in Tel Aviv. Rather than stopping the car or slowing down after hitting her, witnesses reported that the driver of the SUV continued down the road at a high speed. Both suspects, who are French nationals, fled back to France after the incident. The Israel Police subsequently asked Interpol to issue an international warrant for their arrest. After their arrest in France, Israel’s Justice Ministry sought to ask Paris to extradite them to Israel to stand trial. However, the French have so far refused to do so as Israel and France do not have an extradition treaty.
Interpol is considered the second largest international police organization in the world, with 190 member states. The organization enables police and other law enforcement agencies from different countries to transcend borders and share crime-related information. Information transferred between members is secured through advanced encryption methods and the organization maintains operational police databases.
Israel joined Interpol in 1949 and a local branch, known as “Interpol National Central Bureau for Israel,” was set up in the country as part of the Intelligence Branch of the Investigations and Intelligence Department. Similar branches are located in nine European countries
Until 2006, Israel belonged to Interpol’s Asia group, which hampered its ability to cooperate with the organization as most of Israel’s international crime-related operations involved European countries. Israel was then moved to the European group when current Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino served as head of the Investigations and Intelligence Department.
“The Israel Police is proud to host those leading the struggle against crime and terrorism, for the first time since [Interpol] was established and since Israel joined Interpol,” Danino said. “There is no doubt that the European continent faces many challenges today and cooperation is vital to contain crime and maintain public order for the sake of all citizens.”
A young Arab woman who won a popular Israeli music competition has become an unlikely star, capturing hearts in a country where suspicion and hostility often mark relations between Arabs and the Jewish majority.
Nissren Kader recently won first place on “Eyal Golan is Calling You,” a popular television show hosted by one of Israel’s most successful entertainers. On the program, Golan as host chooses over the course of a 3-month-long competition the best performer of Mizrahi songs, the musical tradition of Middle Eastern Jews.
In winning the show, the 25-year-old Kader seems to have pulled off a difficult balancing act: She touched on the nostalgia that many first and second generation Mizrahis, or Jews of Middle Eastern origin, feel for their ancestral homelands, even though most proudly identify as Israeli. And by singing beautifully in Hebrew, she charmed her audience by showing that she too was moved by their cultural traditions.
“I am so proud: I’m the first Arab to win a Hebrew singing program,” said Kader, who is from the northern Israeli city of Haifa.
“I never imagined that they (Jews) would like me to the degree that they did. I’m an Arab citizen in a state that has troubles and disagreements between Jews and Arabs, and they saw something else,” she told The Associated Press. “They saw another side.”
Kader, who before competing on the show worked as a wedding singer in the Arab community, shared her win in late March with Maor Ashwal, a Jewish Israeli. The finals, on a cable TV music channel, were the second most-watched show on television that night, according to an economic magazine that publishes Israeli television ratings.
During the final, her audiences sang along, cheered and clapped to songs in Hebrew — and Arabic.
Israel’s Arab minority makes up about one-fifth of the population and occupies an uneasy place. They are citizens of a Jewish state who identify with their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza. Arabs in Israel are generally poorer, less educated and complain of discrimination.
In recent years, Jewish and Arab politicians have used increasingly harsh rhetoric against each other, further polarizing relations.
Kader, for her part, has stirred up mixed feelings among Israelis. They marvel at the power of her voice, but are uncertain about how to deal with her Arab ethnicity.
“My friends criticized (host) Eyal Golan: ‘Why did you pick an Arab? You chose an enemy and let her win the show,’” said Moshe Alfassi, an Israeli of Moroccan descent who works with troubled youth. Alfassi, 27, said he found it strange to see an Arab woman singing Mizrahi music, but like many other Israelis, was quickly won over by her voice.
Eliyahu Haviv, a 70-year-old Iranian-born Israeli, said Kader deserved her victory, and shouldn’t be viewed through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He noted, as many Israelis did, that Kader sang in Hebrew to God to protect the people of Israel in a song that was originally written to commemorate slain Israeli soldiers.
“She sang our prayers, and I think it was very good because she sang them with emotion,” Haviv said. “I say yes, there are Arab terrorists, but this is something else. We need to be as one heart.”
“We are taught that in the house of Israel, there will be a prayer for all people,” said Eliyahu Dahan, 50, a Jerusalem bar owner. “That was her song.”
The popularity of Golan’s show also highlights just how far Mizrahi culture has come in Israeli society.
When Middle Eastern Jews fled en masse to Israel in the years following the Jewish state’s establishment in 1948, they encountered a European Jewish establishment that regarded them, and their cultures, as inferior and threatening because they resembled their Arab enemies.
That included Mizrahi music, which was seen as lowbrow — a stigma that still lingers. The music ranges from soaring liturgical chants to cheesy pop that is indistinguishable from top-40 tunes in the Arab world. In an echo of that Arabic heritage, many Mizrahi Jews enjoy classic Arabic songs — tunes that Kader belted out to the delight of the audience in the studio for the show’s final.
Her victory is part of a small but growing trend of Arab artists and entertainers rising to prominence.
One of the country’s most popular sitcoms is a comedic satire about an Israeli-Arab journalist trying to fit into Jewish society whose attempts frequently backfire. The program is written by Sayed Kashua, an award-winning Arab writer.
All but one of Israel’s soccer league teams have Arab players, including the season’s top scorer, Ahmed Saba.
Israeli entertainer Golan said he faced criticism for his choice, but said Kader’s talent couldn’t be ignored. He is currently producing an album for her.
It will likely have Mizrahi and Arabic music on it, and Golan believes Israeli Jews are ready to hear it.
“There will always be those who will jump up and say, how did you pick an Arab?” Golan told the AP.
But, he said, “I didn’t do a political program. In the end, what wins is the songs, and not whether she’s an Arab or a Jew.”