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Did You Know?

Israel engineers are behind the development of the largest communications router in the world, launched by Cisco.

Monday, April 30, 2012

BUYCOTT Israel Action Alert

ALERT: Show your support of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing in Tel Aviv

Show your support for the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing in Israel this September! The band is currently being asked by various Anti-Peace and Anti-Dialogue groups to cancel their scheduled performance later this year.

Urge the band to not change their plans and play in Israel - a country that promotes peace and dialogue!

Send them a personal message via Facebook, Twitter or their website.

Forward to a friend

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Independence Day Israel!

PM Netanyahu's Message for Israel's 64th Independence Day 


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PM Netanyahu's Message on Israel Independence Day 2012

Israel Celebrates 64 - Special Greeting for Israel Independence Day 

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Special Greeting for Israel Independence Day


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Lone soldiers wish you a happy Israeli Independence Day!

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JERUSALEM — Israel’s leaders marked their country’s 64th year of independence on Thursday with a ceremony in Jerusalem, singing classical Hebrew songs and honoring outstanding soldiers.

“Israel does not threaten its region, does not seek to rule another people, and does not wish ill for any other nation,” President Shimon Peres said. “Israel, despite its strength, prefers bridges of peace over fences of hostility.”

Israelis flocked to beaches and thronged parks for barbecues across the nation, filling the air with the scent of grilled meat and charcoal. Military bases were open to visitors for the holiday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to award the Israel Prize in the evening, a prestigious honor in the fields of entertainment and academia.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Israel.

“For many around the world, Israel remains a beacon of hope and an inspiring example,” she said Wednesday in an official statement.

Government statistics showed that Israel’s population grew by 137,500 since last year to 7,881,000. The Central Bureau of Statistics said 75 percent of the population is Jewish, 21 percent is Arab, with the remainder belonging to tiny minorities or immigrants who are not Jewish.

Source: The Associated Press

"Remember" - IDF Commemorates Memorial Day

Israeli soldiers stand at attention during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall Tuesday. (photo credit: Noam Moskowitz / Flash90)
Israeli soldiers stand at attention during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall Tuesday. (photo credit: Noam Moskowitz / Flash90)


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The IDF commemorates memorial day and remembers its fallen soldiers.

IDF Remembers Fallen Soldier Dan Talasnikov 


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Each year, the citizens and soldiers of Israel take 24 hours to remember its fallen comrades. On May 2, 2005, Talasnikov and his team of paratroopers conducted an undercover operation in Tulkarem. During the mission, Talasnikov was leading his team when he was killed by a terrorist.

IDF head Gantz vows to safeguard nation as Israel remembers its fallen

‘I stand before you and promise to fulfill the most precious oath of all, to protect you, protect all of us, and to protect our home,’ army chief says at Jerusalem ceremony

Israel stood at attention at Tuesday night as sirens heralding the start of Memorial Day blared across the country in memory of the nation’s fallen.

The country’s main memorial ceremony began at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. The flag in the plaza’s center fluttered at half-mast as President Shimon Peres stood at attention alongside IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and a memorial torch was lit.

Peres spoke first, offering words of comfort to the many grieving families: “We can gather all of the words from dawn till dusk, we can consult experts, try every expression, sentence, word, and I know that the word capable of healing the pain hasn’t been found.”

“This is the same darkness that descends on our land every day, but while this is an evening hour for the rest of the people of Israel, for yourselves - bereaved families - this time of heartbreaking sadness does not fade with time,” he said. ”No act or gesture on our part can heal your hearts, memories do not let go.”

Gantz used his turn at the podium to vow to protect the country.

“I stand before you and promise to fulfill the most precious oath of all, to protect you, protect all of us, and to protect our home,” he said. ”We mourned our friends and officers, then our subordinates, and over the years, unfortunately, their children grew up and chose to their way. This is the wonderful and terrible chain which chills the body at the siren tearing the silence, the heart.”

Israel began its Memorial Day ceremonies on Tuesday afternoon for the 25,470 soldiers, service personnel, and victims of terror who have died serving the Jewish State.

Through the decades, 22,993 soldiers have lost their lives, and 2,477 civilians — including 120 foreign nationals, tourists, and workers — have died in terror attacks. In the past year, 126 soldiers died and 15 civilians were killed in terror attacks.

The most recent victim was Lieutenant Hila Betzaleli, who was killed last Wednesday when a lighting structure collapsed onto the stage at Mount Herzl where she and other soldiers were rehearsing for Wednesday night’s official Independence Day opening ceremony. Betzaleli’s mother, Sigalit, will light one of the symbolic torches that are kindled during that ceremony.

Decades of conflict have left 10,524 bereaved families, 2,396 orphans and 4,992 widows of service personnel in Israel, according to figures released by the IDF.

Sirens marking the national memorial day for two minutes at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, and the two chief rabbis attended a ceremony at the Yad Labanim memorial site in Jerusalem.

At the Knesset on Tuesday evening, during an event titled “Songs for their Memory,” Rivlin, government ministers, and police chief Yohanan Danino will read excerpts from poems written by and about fallen soldiers and those killed in terror attacks.

In addition, thousands of participants in the Masa program, which brings young Jewish adults from around the world to visit Israel, will participate in a ceremony at the Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun, 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem.

Memorial events have been held since the beginning of the week. Gantz placed flags on Sunday at Mount Herzl at the graves of the most recently fallen soldiers, including that of Betzaleli. “These tombstones represent lives that were cut off prematurely and dreams that will never come to fruition,” Gantz said.

Sigalit Betzaleli broke down in tears at the event, crying out, “This is my daughter, watch over her.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday placed a memorial flag in the cemetery of Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon, where he grew up and where nine soldiers are interred.

The Wednesday morning siren will launch official ceremonies at cemeteries, IDF bases, and schools around the country. Over a million people, including 190 bereaved families from abroad who were flown to Israel for the ceremonies, are expected to visit the country’s 44 military cemeteries. Army figures indicate that 23,000 candles will be lit at graves and 124,000 wreaths of flowers laid beside them.

A million bottles of water will be provided at Wednesday’s ceremonies as a precaution against the hot weather. The Defense Ministry will also distribute 1.8 million stickers carrying the slogan “Blood of the Maccabees,” recalling the second-century Jewish army that fought to liberate Judea from foreign rule.

Memorial Day events will end on Wednesday evening with the beginning of Independence Day ceremonies at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. At the official ceremony, which will include marching displays, a space will be left vacant on the stage to mark the position that would have been filled by Hila Betzaleli.

The family has supported the decision to proceed with the Independence Day event as scheduled, saying that this was what their daughter would have wanted.

Israel lures Russian tourists with beauty pageant

Russian beauties compete in Eilat as part of ministry’s effort to boost tourism to Israel. Winner gets diamond ring, opportunity to swim with sharks

The final of the “Miss Russian Tourism” pageant was held in Eilat this week as part of Israel’s efforts to attract more Russian tourists.

Out of more than 300 women who competed in the first of its kind beauty pageant, which was sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, 25 made it to the final round. The contestants, aged 18 to 30, all work in the tourism industry.

The semi-finals were held in March as part of a tourism fair in Moscow. Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, who served as one of the judges, drew harsh criticism for posting a Facebook photo in which he poses with one of the contestants.

The 13 finalists landed in Eilat on Sunday, along with a large number of Russian reporters, cameramen and make-up artists. A special video showing the contestants at various locations, including the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, was aired in Russia in order to boost tourism to Israel.

The final was held on Tuesday at Eilat’s Princess Hotel. The winner, Svetlana Dubovenko, was awarded a diamond ring and a week-long stay at an Isrotel hotel. On Wednesday she was invited to swim with sharks at the Underwater Observatory Marine Park.


Report: 2 Israeli execs could replace Buffett

Wall Street Journal reports that Iscar’s Danny Goldman, Jacob Harpaz among executives Berkshire Hathaway chief has referred to in ‘emotional terms’

Two Israeli executives at Iscar Ltd. have been named as candidates to succeed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Buffett, who has run Berkshire Hathaway since 1965, recently announced that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to the report, the disease was detected early, and “his prognosis is good.”
Iscar is Berkshire’s Israeli-based cutting-tool division.

According to the WSJ, Buffett has said that members of Berkshire’s board have selected a successor whom they “know and admire,” as well as two backups.

However, the report said, he hasn’t disclosed the successor’s identity—even to the chosen person. WSJ asked two independent teams of financial researchers—Paul Tetlock and Tim Scully at Columbia Business School and Richard Peterson at Los Angeles-based investment firm MarketPsych—to analyze what Buffett has written about Berkshire’s divisional executives in his annual letters.

According to the report, both groups of researchers specialize in “textual analysis,” or the use of mathematical formulas to measure the frequency and positive or negative tone of language.

The researchers said Iscar CFO Danny Goldman scored the highest among current executives to whom Buffett has referred in emotional terms at least eight times. In 2009 Buffett referred to Goldman in a letter as “incredible.”

The researchers mentioned Jacob Harpaz, Iscar’s CEO, as one of the divisional CEOs to whom Buffett has referred at least four times in emotional terms.

The analysts found that Buffett has mentioned Ajit Jain, head of Berkshire’s reinsurance group, far more often than any other current division boss—102 times, versus 60 for the next most-cited, Tony Nicely of Geico.


Arabs for Israel - Muslims for Israel - Wafa Sultan

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Arab for Israel and Muslim for Israel, Wafa Sultan refutes a Muslim fanatic on TV during a debate in Arabic TV. Here she exposes the Muslim world and their way of thinking compared to the way Jews think. She is a proud Syrian Arab who supports the rights of the Jewish State's existence.

In 2006 Wafa Sultan was named in Time Magazine in a list of 100 influential people in the world "whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world." Time stated that "Sultan's influence flows from her willingness to express openly critical views on Islamic extremism that are widely shared but rarely aired by other Muslims."

More on Wafa Sultan:

Israelis share a beer at Tel Aviv’s first bar-restaurant co-op

A new bar-restaurant co-op, founded by organizers of last summer’s social justice protests, already has 60 shareholders, and is planning to open its doors next month.

The cooperative enterprise, popular in the early days of Zionism, has made something of a comeback over the past year.

Following last summer’s social justice protests, dozens of cooperatives have been founded. These include the Ha’agala co-op in Mitzpeh Ramon, which competes with the local branch of the Super-Sol grocery store, a social workers’ cooperative and a co-op in northern Israel made up of teachers employed by manpower companies.

Next month, a pub-restaurant co-op is slated to open in Tel Aviv, while in Jerusalem a plan for a cooperative coffee shop is beginning to take shape.

On Sunday, the first members’ assembly will be held for the Tel Aviv co-op, to be called Bar Kayma (Hebrew for “sustainable”), in which its members will vote on its menu, location and design. The original date for the opening was set for May 1, but this was pushed back due to bureaucratic delays.

The prices paid for food and drink at the new co-op will only cover the cost of production, while guests will be charged market prices. A half liter of beer, for example, will cost members NIS 15, while non-members will pay NIS 25. The pub’s seven employees will earn fair wages, and administrative decisions will be make by vote only. The co-op will serve only vegan food, a decision reached during the new institution’s founding conference.

The pub’s founders are Yigal Ramban and Julian Feder, both of whom were leading activists in last summer’s social protests. They sit in an Indian restaurant at Hamashbir Street 22 in south Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood, where the pub is meant to be located, recruiting potential shareholders.

Thus far, 60 people have bought shares, which cost NIS 1,000 each. Thirty more have expressed interested in buying one, but have not yet paid. Rambam and Feder’s goal is to recruit at least 100 shareholders, but Feder noted that Israel’s Securities Law prevents them from selling the shares off publicly in a large-scale sale.

Rambam and Feder’s role models for this very modern enterprise hark back to the beginning of Zionism.

They note the symbolism in the fact that the Yishuv’s first cooperative, which was founded in 1916, was called Hamashbir, the same name as the street on which they plan to found their co-op.

“Thanks to these cooperatives, Israel is not a third world country,” according to Rambam. “Since the summer, people understand that cooperative work is a winning proposition.”

When asked if the pair is afraid that the cooperative model will fail to catch on, Feder said, “Unlike a regular business, here hundreds of people help you promote the business, so you don’t take the risk by yourself.

When there’s a war over the cost of living, being a member of a co-op means beating the system.”

The cooperative model is widespread in Spain’s Basque region, where the Mondragon Corporation, a federation of worker cooperatives, employs tens of thousands, while Ireland has a cooperative pub-brewery.

As it turns out, one of the reasons why co-ops close is not their failure but rather because of their own economic success, which provides their owners with an incentive to sell the business for a profit. Under existing Israeli law, the Cooperative Societies Ordinance of 1933 allows a successful cooperative to easily let go of its shareholders.

“The law incentivizes the dissolution of cooperatives,” said Yifat Solel, a lawyer who works with co-ops and who aided the founders of the Bar Kayma. “Thus a situation is created in which one hand battles apathy, while the other struggles with the outdated Cooperative Societies Ordinance, which is mainly suited to agricultural or kibbutz enterprises.”

“Once there was a cooperative in almost every field in Israel, from agriculture to credit funds and retail: ‘Hapardes,’ ‘Hamashbir,’ ‘Habima’, ‘Davar,’” added Solel, whose grandfather Raphael Marinov was the CEO of the Hamashbir Latzarchan department store for 30 years.

“There were 2,200 different cooperatives here. And still, when I began dealing with co-ops, people looked at me as if I had just fallen from the moon. Now people interested in opening cooperatives contact me every week,” she said.


Playing defense, Israeli style

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Students can learn Krav Maga, the Israeli method for self-defense, all over the world. But some prefer to train in the country where it was born.

"The FBI, the Mossad, the CIA agents, law enforcement, SWAT -- all over the world, all of them are using Krav Maga," says Avi Moyal, an international instructor of the Israeli self-defense system.

"Part of the understanding of Krav Maga is to see the environment of Israel, the Holy Land, where it was created. I think you cannot understand a system if you don't come to the source."

Robert Bennet, a Krav Maga student from Scotland, agrees. "The place of the Krav Maga is the street. So in order to get the authentic feeling of Krav Maga and where it comes from, I came to Israel to train with IKMF [International Krav Maga Federation (] and Avi Moyal."

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Celebrating India in Israel

A Festival Celebrating India’s Cultural Dynamism (27 April – 18 May 2012)

The Embassy of India in Israel and Teamwork Productions India are proud to present the second edition of “Celebrating India in Israel”, a festival of visual and performing arts. The Festival is a unique endeavor showcasing the wealth of India’s classical and contemporary cultural heritage including dance, theatre, music, food, film and visual arts during the 20th anniversary of establishment of full diplomatic relations between India & Israel.

In the Festival’s premier year, we present the following:

- The Magic of the violin by world renowned violinist Dr. L Subramanium. See more
- Folk Music from Rajasthan performed by Rajasthan Josh. See more
- Bollywood Film Festival with a selection of Bollywood’s finest, recent and popular movies. See more The theatrical production Nothing like Lear, a modern day satire on Shakespeare’s classic play
staged in Gibberish. See more
- Words on Water – A Literary Festival of Indian and Israeli writers in Israel. This will include Vikas Swarup (author of Slum dog millionaire), Esther David, Devdutt Pattanaik and Arshia Sattar . See more
- Taste of India – Cuisine from South India. See more
- The wellbeing experience through free Yoga Workshops. See more
- Dance to the tunes of the Bollywood with Gilles Chuyen in the free Bollywood Dance Workshops. See more

The Festival of India provides audiences in Israel an occasion to engage with the cultural diversity of India’s heritage. This ambitious project co-produced by the Embassy of India in Israel and Teamwork productions will be staged from 27 April – 31 May, 2012.

For further details regarding the festival, please visit – the official website of the Festival

ELLE Quebec’s Fashion editor Photo-documents Tel Aviv’s Fashion week

La semaine de mode de Tel-Aviv en photos

Notre rédacteur en chef mode, Denis Desro, a assisté à la première semaine de mode de Tel-Aviv. Voici quelques clichés de son périple en sol israélien.

Click here for the Gallery of pics

Friday, April 27, 2012

Israeli President Shimon Peres to foreign diplomats: Peace worth the price

At reception marking Israel’s 64th anniversary, president says gaps between Jewish state and Palestinians surmountable

Signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians would give Israel more time focus on building a better future for its children, President Shimon Peres told foreign diplomats who gathered at his official residence in Jerusalem on Thursday to mark the Jewish state’s 64th Independence Day.

Peres said achieving peace would not be easy, as both sides must be convinced that it would be worth the price. However, he added, the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians, as he sees them, are very small.

The president said Israel must continue to initiate steps that promote peace.

During the reception, the president also addressed the so-called Arab Spring. He said he hoped regional changes would be accompanied by the least amount of bloodshed possible.

As for the ongoing violence in Syria, Peres told the diplomats that Israel views massacres carried out anywhere in the world as unacceptable.


UK Delegation Visit to Terem Urgent Health Care Clinics

Terem hosted a delegation from the UK who were visiting Israel under the auspices of the British Embassy. They came to learn about telemedicine and Terem, who see more than 250,000 patient visits every year in their clinics, are a an excellent example of how technology,when implemented correctly, can improve patient care.

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Clinton: Israel an inspiring example, calls it a “beacon of hope’”

In Independence Day message to Israel’s citizens, US state secretary stresses ‘unbreakable bond’ says ‘Israel remains beacon of hope’

Israel is celebrating 64 years of independence and its greatest ally has not forgotten to send congratulations.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton published a statement on Thursday in which she said that “On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States…For many around the world, Israel remains a beacon of hope and an inspiring example,” she wrote.

Clinton stressed that “Israel and the United States are united by a deep and unbreakable bond based on mutual interests and respect. Our relationship grows stronger every day as we work to promote regional security, create new economic partnerships, increase two-way trade and broaden our energy cooperation.”

She also reiterated President Obama’s statements and noted that: “We are steadfast in our commitment to Israel’s security, which is a cornerstone of our foreign policy in the Middle East.”

Clinton also noted that on the backdrop of the revolutions and changes in the Middle East “know that the United States stands with you to embrace new opportunities and address difficult challenges.

“And we will continue to work with you and your neighbors to achieve the shared goal of a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East. Congratulations and best wishes for peace and prosperity in the years to come,” Clinton stated.


Israeli scientists, researchers awarded prizes

The Landau Prize from Mifal HaPayis will also be handed out to artists, including Ido Tadmor

The seven Israeli academics to be awarded Mifal HaPayis’ Landau Prize for Science and Research for 2011 have been named.

The winner for research in liberal arts and classics is Dr. Aharon Shabtai of Tel Aviv University.

The prize for research in religious studies has been awarded to Prof. Steven Kaplan of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, while Prof. Amatzia Genin of the Hebrew University has won the prize for research in the field of ecology.

The prize for research in the field of biology and evolution has been conferred on Prof. Eviatar Nevo from the University of Haifa, and the Technion’s Prof. David Hasson has won the life sciences-desalination prize.

Prof. Gil Navon of Tel Aviv University is the winner of the prize for research in life sciences-magnetic imaging, and Prof. Chaim Gans of Tel Aviv University and the Shalom Hartman Institute has been awarded the prize for political science and international relations.

The Landau Prizes are scheduled to be conferred at a ceremony in May, and each of the winners will receive NIS 50,000.

Mifal HaPayis will also be handing out prizes for the arts to the following artists: Amir Benayun (Israeli music); Ronit Elkabetz (film acting); David Gurfinkel (cinematography); Doron Salomon (singing); Eli Degibri (jazz); Shosh Reisman (composing for theater.)

Dudi Goldman contributed to this report.


Report: Israel leads in consumer information freedom

Annual survey by international consumer rights group praises Israel’s legislative and practical approach to information

Israel is the world’s foremost nation in terms of the availability of information to consumers, both de facto and de jure, according to the annual report released by Consumers International (CI), a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting consumer rights internationally.

This year, CI surveyed 48 Western national and several developing countries. Israel was ranked No. 1, followed by Indonesia, India, New Zealand, and the US.

“The organization sees information availability as the most important tool in the advancement of consumer rights,” explained attorney Uriah Yarkoni, who conducted the Israeli survey for the report.

“Intellectual property laws, and to a certain extent privacy rulings, control how information is transferred,” Yarkoni said.

“The basic principle in Western legal systems determines that the public’s right to information begins where intellectual property ends. For example, artists can’t prevent their work from being used in research. This means that the public has the right to use any work in the world for research purposes.”

Israel has intellectual property legislation enacted by the Knesset and is interpreted by the courts, becoming binding – or non-binding – precedents, Yarkoni noted.

“These make up the intellectual property rules in the country. They are well constructed, because until a few years ago there was very little money in Israel and therefore very few lobbyists in the field. Unfortunately, that’s changing,” the attorney observed.

In 2011, Israel did not participate in the survey, but in 2010 the nation was ranked No. 3, despite the lobbyists and the studios. What has changed since then? According to Yarkoni, Israel’s courts have made some “very good” rulings, alongside some “very bad rulings” by foreign courts.

In 2007, Israel passed a new copyright act, which replaced a law that had been based on British legislation from 1911, which was outdated and behind the times on technology.

The CI report addresses this, but not specifically, Yarkoni said.

However, Yarkoni added, there are still a number of gray areas, such as fair use or copying work for backup.

In dealing with these questions, he explained, each country needs to decide whose side it is on – the public and its right to information and free expression, or the copyright holders and their right to property. Israel, he said, has been identified as a country that prefers its citizens over intellectual property holders, which is why it led the list.


Bar Refaeli dressed down in 30 page spread for Spanish ‘ELLE’ magazine

According to, this months Spanish ‘ELLE’ will feature a 30 page spread of Bar Refaeli, 30 PAGES! Well here is a sneak peek!

More here

Israeli sharpshooter wins World Cup silver

Olympic team member Sergey Richter takes second place in London championship.

Israeli sharpshooter Sergey Richter won the silver medal in the 2012 Shooting World Cup held in London Saturday.

Richter won 701.1 points and was a mere half a point from winning the gold.

The win also represents a personal record for the 23-year-old from Raanana.

Richter scored 597 points out of a possible 600 in the early 10-meter air rifle standing competition. But after scoring a perfect 100 points in his first two final sets, he missed a shot and scored 99 points in the third.

His fourth set was perfect, but his fifth left him at a disadvantage. Still, once in the finales Richter was able to add 104.1 points to his score and win the silver medal.

Frenchman Edmond Piasecki won the gold medal.

Two other Israelis competed on Saturday as well: Lior Madlal, who scored 588 points and was ranked 57th; and Amy Ben-Heffer, who scored 577 points and was ranked 82nd.



Sergy Rikhter 

Sergy Rikhter (born April 23, 1989) is an Israeli Olympic sport shooter. 

He shares the junior world record in the 10 metre air rifle, and was the 2009 ISSF World Cup champion. He will compete on behalf of Israel at the 2012 Summer Olympics. 

Early Life -  

Rikhter is Jewish, was born in Ukraine, and is now Israeli and lives in Rehovot, Israel. He began shooting in 2002, at 13 years of age, as part of a Gadna (Israel Defense Forces youth corps) program. He then trained with Hapoel Rehovot.

Shooting Career -  

Rikhter trains at the Herzliya firing range, is now a member of Maccabi Ra'anana. He is right-handed, and his "master eye" is his right eye. He is coached by Israeli three-time Olympian Guy Starik.

Rikhter won a gold medal at 20 years of age at the 10 metre air rifle men's final of the 2009 ISSF World Cup in Munich, Germany. His qualification score of 599 points was one point short of the world record, and tied the junior world record. He won with 701.7 points. Rikhter said after the match: “This is exciting, I did not expect to finish on the highest step of the podium. This is my fourth time in an international competition!”

That year, the German shooting team Kolber invited Rikhter for trials, and signed him. Rikhter became the team's leading shooter, and a local star. He recalled competing for Kolber, with competitions carried on live television and fans seeking his autograph:
It was like a homecoming in films – fans, club staff, and all. I ... thought the German league would be a minor event, but it was utterly insane. They transformed a basketball arena into a firing range, filled the stands with trumpets, drums, and what not. Everyone was drinking beers and celebrating. I suddenly felt the fans get behind me, and expect me to lead the club to success. I was really moved.
In February 2010, he won the gold medal in the IWK Air Gun competition men's 10 metre air rifle match in Munich. In June 2010, he came in fourth in the men's 10 metre air rifle final at the 2010 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia, missing the bronze medal by one-tenth of a point. In June 2011, he was ranked fifth in the world by the ISSF.

He came in seventh in the September 2011 ISSF World Cup final in the men's 10 metre air rifle. He did so after being penalized with a deduction of two points, for being late in reporting for the final. Had the two points not been deducted, he would have finished with a silver medal.

He won a silver medal at the 2011 Changwon, South Korea, World Cup, with 597 points, becoming the first Israeli athlete to qualify for the London Olympics.

Discussing the dismissive attitudes of some fellow Israelis, Rikhter said: "Almost every person who served in the army 'had the best shooting results in basic training', or 'was the IDF champion'. They're all 'expert marksmen'. No one will say, 'hey, wow, that's really something.' Every Israeli is basically the best shooter you can find."

In April 2012, he won the silver medal in the 2012 Shooting World Cup in London, in in men's 10 metre air rifle. His 701.1 points were a personal record.

Rikhter will compete on behalf of Israel at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in men's 10 metre air rifle, having qualified by earning a quota place. After the Olympics, he plans to complete his military service, and to study graphic design.

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Israeli Model/Actor features in Turkish Commercial

The relationship between Israel and Turkey may not be perfect yet, but it doesn’t bother Turkish clothing brand W Collection, which cast Israeli actor/model with the exotic name Angel Bonanni for their current TV commercial.


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Bonanni, who’s proved lately that he can also sing, is presenting a several outfits of the clothing line, in a very urban-futuristic video where he is seen walking around a very posh apartment. This little Turkish gig of his kickstarts another round of meetings with agents and a few auditions for Angel, starting in Los Angeles next week, and continues in New York.

Bonanni is not the first Israeli actor to be cast to a Turkish commercial. Last year it was the Israeli pop artist Liran Notik, who starred in a Turkish candy TV ad.


No matter where it originated, falafel is still Israel’s national food

Middle Eastern food fights aside, Israelis have found their own way to eat the fried chickpea balls. Just in time for Israel’s Independence Day, Vered Guttman gives us the scoop on how to make and eat these delicious treats.

What is the most Israeli food? You’re probably thinking of falafel. And you’re probably right, assuming that the question has one answer.

But as with anything else in the Middle East, politics can’t be left out of the equation. Israelis who argue falafel is their own face strong objections from Egyptians, Palestinians and Lebanese, who themselves claim to be the sole owners of these fried chickpea balls.

The falafel debate has actually turned into a verifiable food fight, much like the Great Hummus War between Israel and Lebanon, ongoing over the last few few years.

Two years ago, 300 Lebanese chefs fried 5 tons of falafel balls. Coincidently, only two weeks later in NYC, an Israeli chef managed to fry a 24 lb. falafel ball. Not appetizing.

So who’s right? Who really owns the falafel?

Falafel most likely originated in Egypt (though others claim it comes from India), where it is called ta’amiya and is made from fava beans.

Jews who lived in Egypt and Syria where exposed to falafel for centuries. Does that give them the right to use it then in their new country?

If a dish becomes popular to the point where you can find it everywhere and it is eaten by everyone in the country, rich and poor, young and old, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, and many see it as their national dish, does it really matter where it came from?

Falafel is so synonymous with Israeli food that the Israeli Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs has even asked Israelis to explain to people abroad that Israel has plenty more to offer, and that Israelis do not eat falafel and hummus three times a day!

Since food always traveled with immigrants, and local cuisines were adapted in new places, this discussion seems almost beside the point. I don’t see the Germans accusing Americans of stealing their hamburgers.

If everything was peaceful in our region this probably wouldn’t be an issue worth arguing about. Maybe it would be better to concentrate on the real problems? But then again, food fights might be a better choice.

Falafel was made popular in Israel by Yemeni Jews in the 1950s. They brought with them the chickpea version of the dish from Yemen and introduced the concept of serving falafel balls in pita bread.

And the way the Israeli falafel is served is, in my opinion, the main reason why Israeli falafel is truly, well, Israeli.

The Israeli falafel is served in a pita bread and may include Israeli salad (oops, I meant Arab salad), hummus (did I mention the hummus war?), German sauerkraut, Iraqi fried eggplant and pickled mango sauce, Yemeni hot sauce and French fries (to name just a few of the additions). This combination cannot be any more Israeli.

Israeli or not, falafel in a pita bread with hummus and tahini dip, and with a chopped vegetable salad is a well balanced meal that will work well for vegans, vegetarians and anyone else coming for dinner. It’s cheap and easy to make, so there’s no reason not to prepare it often.

To make it even easier, you can double the recipe and freeze half of the mixture (before adding the flour and baking soda) then thaw it to fry fresh falafel when you’re ready. Chop some tomatoes and Israeli cucumbers (unless if you prefer to call them Persian cucumbers) for a simple salad. Make an easy tahini dip by mixing 1/2 cup tahini with 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup lemon juice and some salt. Open a can of Israeli pickled cucumbers and serve it all in pita bread filled with the hot falafel balls.

Way better than a 24 lb. falafel ball.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The meaning of strength

Noah Klieger says 67 years have passed yet he still doesn’t know how he found strength to survive

What is strength? First, we may need to ask what strength we’re talking about. Mental strength? One’s will?

The strength to withstand difficult situations and make decisions? The strength to survive? And perhaps this is simply about physical strength?

For 67 years I’ve been asking myself how I found the strength. The strength to face, every day, the blows that destiny poured on me in that cursed place known as an extermination camp.

The strength to wake up every morning at five to the sound of screams and run naked, in summer and in winter, to the frozen shower. The strength to return to my block wet and receive the dark water masking as coffee, the stale bread and piece of margarine we swallowed in seconds, to put on the striped uniform that was too big for me and the wooden-soled shoes, and to rush to the courtyard where we were counted, until the order was given: Arbeitskommandoes formieren – get into working groups.

The strength to head out of the camp every day, in rows of five and marching in the same pace, with the Kapo ordering us: Muetzen ab – remove your hats – as SS soldiers counted us. Again.

How did I find the mental strength and will to survive another day, and then another day?

And where did I find the strength to present myself as a boxer, feeling this may turn out to be a positive decision? After all, this strength bordered on chutzpah, as I was no boxer. Here too was an expression of that will to make every effort, realize an objective that appeared to be impossible, and survive the horror.

I also found physical strength. At the boxing ring I used the little strength left in my body in order to face fellow inmates who were professional boxers. I did it all in order to receive the extra liter of soup served every evening by the camp commander, the man who initiated these fights for his own personal pleasure, a private show organized at the camp.

Sixty-seven years have passed, and I still don’t know where and how I found the strength.


Israelis Remember. Footage from 2 min of silence as the sirens go off

Twice a year, Israel comes to a standstill (Holocaust Remembrance day and Remembrance Day). A Siren sounds… Israelis stop to remember, this is footage from today’s holocaust remembrance day 2 min of silence.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day 19/04. Ten lanes of traffic stop to reflect the two minute silence as sirens go off and then the cars quickly buzz back up again.

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Yom HaShoah יום השואה (Remembrance Day) in Israel is a time when all of Israel comes to a complete halt on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nissan (this year Apr 19th). From10:00 o'clock to 10:02am Air Raid sirens fill the air, not as a sign of war but as a sign of remembrance. People stop walking, cars stop driving for a moment of silence in remembrance of the people who lost their lives unjustly in the Holocaust and WWII fighting for good.

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צפירת זיכרון יום השואה ישראל 2012 - Holocaust Remembrance Day Siren

Israeli NGO saves sight in Ethiopia

Eye from Zion expands its free cataract surgery clinics to northern Ethiopia, where 1,400 people awaited the medical crew.

When the seven-person crew from the Israeli volunteer organization Eye from Zion arrived in a remote region in Ethiopia in February to provide free cataract surgery, they were expecting several dozen patients. Instead, hordes of adults and children were waiting to receive the life-changing operation. And one young girl with a protruding eye was given a very special gift - a medical trip to Israel.

Eye from Zion personnel from Israel were flooded
with potential eye surgery candidates in Ethiopia

Using its proprietary mobile unit that encases the patient’s head in a sterile environment, Eye from Zion has already performed the 20-minute procedure on thousands of people in Asian and African countries. This time, the organization was asked by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pay a visit to northern Ethiopia because so many people there are blinded by cataracts.

Confronted with the unexpected mass of people, Eye from Zion founder Nati Marcus decided he would send no one away if he thought they could be helped. “They told us 70, and when we arrived there were 1,400 waiting for us. We sent 400 away immediately because there was nothing we could do - some even had no eyes. But we knew there were about 1,000 we could help.”

Eye from Zion’s unique mobile operating suite

After an initial 170 operations in the regions of Debark and Gondar, plus training for a local nurse who had taken it upon herself to perform cataract operations, Marcus planned to return with another team of four eye doctors, a couple of nurses and a technician over the course of the year to finish the job for those on the waiting list.

On March 17, a crew led by Prof. Dov Weinberger, head of ophthalmology at Rabin Medical Center, flew over with representatives from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which has on-the-ground staff in Ethiopia.

“One thousand is an unbelievable number,” Marcus says. “We worked from morning to night with a local doctor from Ethiopia who helped us in the mobile operating room.”

Ethiopian patients awaiting free cataract operations

Marcus, a retired businessman, invented this unique surgical setup to overcome the problem of operating in remote locations. The contents of the unit were donated by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer after Marcus founded Eye from Zion four years ago in order to share Israeli medical expertise and training to people in developing areas.

A mission for a special girl
Supported by MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, the Foreign Ministry and volunteer medical personnel, as well as donations, Eye from Zion also enables doctors from around the world to network and share techniques that can advance medical treatment for improving sight in the developing world.

Marcus always hopes that people who benefit from the training and the treatment will go on to become goodwill ambassadors for Israel and the Jewish people.

One of those potential ambassadors is only 10 years old -- a girl named Kavda Imsak who underwent preliminary surgery in Ethiopia to remove a tumor behind her eye. Marcus and the Eye from Zion volunteer physicians insisted she be brought to Israel for further treatment since the tumor had pushed her eye out grotesquely. The JDC financed Kavda’s trip to Tel Hashomer as well as her treatment and hospital stay.

This little girl was flown to Israel for more
complicated eye surgery, free of charge

“Everyone said, ‘You are stupid to bring this girl to Israel. She will die there.’ And I said, ‘No, we are going to save her life,’” Marcus recalls. “She is now recovering. In one month she will undergo some plastic surgery and will get a glass eye. And she is going to recover and we are going to send her home.”

Marcus insists that no one at Eye from Zion receive any money for their services. “We have zero overhead,” he says. “We are going to the most rural areas with our mobile operating room. We can even carry it to the mountains. It is something very special.”

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Secret freedom at Tel Aviv’s ‘Palestinian Queer Party’

Firmly in the closet at home, Palestinian gay pride flourishes once a month in an underground Israeli nightclub

Chiseled, scantily clad men danced onstage. Strobe lights flashed as the bass echoed. The smell of cologne wafted through the air. There were kisses — one on the right cheek, one on the left — and friendly embraces everywhere.

It could have been any Tel Aviv club, really, except it wasn’t. It was a Friday night and I was at my first Palestinian gay dance party in south Tel Aviv.

People greeted each other in Arabic: Kif inta? Shu ’jdid? The stereo wailed, inti ‘omri! — you are my life! — as the DJ played hit after hit by Egyptian and Lebanese pop stars Amr Diab, Nancy Ajram and Sherine. No Eyal Golan or Justin Timberlake here.

And there were drag queens, dressed to the nines in high heels and short skirts, with bows in their very long, very straightened hair.

Others covered their faces, or wore burka-like head veils.

This did not, however, stop them all from carousing together. One of the drag queens yelled at me to stop photographing — it could be dangerous for them if someone sees the pictures, I was told, because many of those at the party are still in the closet.

In fact, a few people I met did not want to tell me their names or where they were from, or any detail that could link them to the fact that they were at the party. Hence, the names of people interviewed for this article have been changed to protect their identities, and the photos carefully selected.

The party is an anonymous safe haven. And that’s why it’s such a hit.

The group alQaws organizes the Palestinian Queer Party — its name for these monthly events. According to its website, alQaws works to “promote sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society” throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The monthly Arabic music extravaganza is meant to be a kind of free zone for Arab men and women to be gay — in their own culture, yet outside of society’s proscribed sexual and gender rules.

It’s inclusive, meaning fans of the community are welcome, and yet it’s discreet. It’s also a meet and greet and, for some, it may be their only outlet to gay culture in their otherwise straight lives.

Call it activism or pleasure seeking: The party celebrates both being Palestinian and being gay.

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It started about 10 years ago, originally taking place in Jerusalem on weekday evenings, when some 40 or 50 Palestinian men from the area would gather. The organizers moved it to Tel Aviv about five years ago, and now hundreds show up each month. People travel from all over: Ramallah, East Jerusalem, small Arab villages in northern Israel, Yafo, everywhere. Those traveling from Ramallah have their own ways of getting into Israel – some of them with official permits, but most of them without. (For the purpose of this article, Israeli Palestinian-Arabs and Palestinians from the West Bank are grouped together — broadly, in terms of social culture — and not to achieve a political message.)

Some West Bank Palestinians request visitor permits to enter Israel, but the documents don’t always materialize. Often they need an Israeli to act as sponsor and even that won’t guarantee entry. The unofficial channels are still preferred.

Abbud, a young Palestinian man from outside Ramallah, smiled when I asked him how he got to Tel Aviv.

“Oh, we have our ways,” he said, hinting that it was not the first time he’d made the voyage. I asked him how he planned to get home at the end of the night. “Getting out is easier than getting in,” he replied.

When I asked him if he thinks people come from Gaza, he laughed and said it’s too dangerous, but added that they would probably like to. There have been rumors of over a hundred gay Palestinians from Gaza who have crossed into Israel to live, to avoid persecution for their homosexuality. However, the move remains dangerous.

Yet crossing borders, it seems, is a minor hurdle compared to the challenges of daily life “back home,” living as a gay man in patriarchal Arab society, where tradition and family honor abound.

Full Article Via Times of Israel

Destination: Love. USA to Israel. Kelly.

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Destination: Love. Reality romance as you've never seen it before. Experience the powerful pull that has driven men and women from dozens of countries to be with their Israeli loves. CosmicLoveTV

Israeli film opens Tribeca Film Festival

(L-R) Actors Ohad Knoller and Oz Zehavi, director Eytan Fox, and  screenwriter Itay Segal attend the "Yossi" Premiere during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the School of Visual Arts on April 19, 2012 in New York City.

New York festival founded by Robert De Niro honors Eytan Fox’s movie

The Israeli film Yossi, directed by Eytan Fox, received the great honor of opening the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York after the festival’s founder, Robert De Niro, decided to promote the film’s screening.

Yossi is the sequel to Fox’s 2002 film Yossi & Jagger and is set 10 years after Yossi & Jagger ended. Ohad Knoller, who won the Best Actor Award at Tribeca in 2003 for his work in the original film, returns as Yossi, who was a closeted gay soldier in that film and is now a Tel Aviv doctor.

Walking down the red carpet with Eytan Fox were scriptwriter Itay Segal and the film’s stars – Ohad Knoller and Oz Zehavi.

“We finished the film just two days ago and we’re so overwhelmed with the love we’ve received at the festival,” said Fox.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and their grave effect on Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood.


Israel's top 10 microbreweries

Almost overnight, Israel has become a mecca for beer drinkers, offering some surprisingly fine ales, stouts and lagers. ISRAEL21c takes a look at the top 10.

Cold beer

It’s hard to believe that Israel had no microbreweries only a couple of years ago. Now the country is practically awash with fine ales — more than 20 licensed “boutique” breweries, and a rapidly evolving drinking culture.

“Israeli beers are making a mark on the international beer circuit,” says Shachar Hertz of the Beer & Beyond, one of the country’s major suppliers of beer-making equipment and ingredients. “We have in Israel a cadre of passionate brewmasters who use only premium ingredients and offer a range of style and flavors.”

Unlike mass-produced commercial lagers such as the quintessentially Israeli brands Maccabee and Goldstar, these beers are sold in-house or at selected pubs and restaurants, rather than in the general market.

Hertz notes that most of the microbreweries are boutique — meaning they produce less than 5,000 liters a year. “Only five or six years ago, you had to try really hard to find a decent beer in Israel,” he says. “Now there are hundreds of specialty beers on offer around the country.”

Of course, it’s all a matter of taste, but here is ISRAEL21c’s list of the best beers in Israel.

1. Dancing Camel
The American-style Dancing Camel brewery in Tel Aviv starting the ball rolling when US émigré David Cohen opened Israel’s first licensed microbrewery in 2009. Based in the heart of Tel Aviv, this state-of-the art brewery produces a surprising variety of carefully crafted kosher brews. Notable are its Carobbean Stout, brewed with the ubiquitous Mediterranean carob; Six-Thirteen Pomegranate Ale, released for the High Holidays; the high-alcohol content Golem beer; Gordon Beach Blond, spiced with rosemary and mint; and Trog Wit, brewed with etrog (citron) for the Sukkot holiday. The Flying Camel also has its own pub which, unusual for Tel Aviv, is closed on Shabbat.

2. Jem’s Beer Factory
Jeremy Welfeld of Jem’s Beer says you have to understand the science in order to brew the perfect beer. He earned degrees in microbiology and the advanced sciences of brewing from the University of California, and brewing technology from Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, before realizing his vision. His unique brewery in Petah Tikvah has become something of a shrine for local wannabe beer connoisseurs. His latest selection includes a clear gold Czech Pils lager; a dark German lager, a copper-colored English-style amber ale, a cloudy light gold Bavarian Wheat, a reddish Belgian ale and a black Irish stout.

3. Alexander
Ori Sagy, a former fighter pilot, runs Alexander in Emek Hefer, near the Alexander Stream. A beer hobbyist for 25 years, he studied beer-making at Siebel and brought in Dutch brewmaster Patrick Van Dam, who is responsible for the production process. The brewery is particular about making its brews with minimal impact on the environment. It produces small batches using traditional European techniques on modern equipment. Like all local brews, the hops, malt and yeast are imported from Europe, while the water is Israeli — treated by reverse osmosis.

Alexander specializes in ale-type beers: Alexander Black, a seasonal beer for the winter with aromas of dark chocolate and espresso; Alexander Ambree, a reddish French-style ale; Alexander Blonde, a low-alcohol Belgian-style ale with a floral and fruity aroma; and Alexander Green, a hoppy IPA with an Israeli twist — a fruity aroma of grapefruit, guava and mango.

4. LiBira
The LiBira brewery in Haifa boasts one of Israel’s few authentic beer cellars – a pub oozing warmth and intimacy, with a sparkling tap bridge hosting six freshly brewed, richly flavored, draft boutique beers fresh from the brewery. The brewery’s regular offerings include Weiss, a Bavarian-style wheat beer (Hefeweizen); Double Pils, a strong German-style lager; Porter, a traditional British-style dark ale with coffee and chocolate flavors; and Bitter, a traditional British-style amber ale with a subtle sweetness.

5. Malka
The Malka brewery, in the picturesque Western Galilee community of Klil, produces three bottled brews — an Irish stout, a pale ale and an English lager — whose rustic tastes and aromas hark back to forgotten times. The owner, Assaf Lavi, maintains a small-scale family-run brewery with a hands-on approach, using only natural ingredients and low-tech equipment (the community insists on not being linked to the national electricity grid, and its power source is sunlight). A visit to this tiny pearl of a brewery should be on every discerning tourist’s itinerary.

6. Yochai Kudler
Kudler, owner of this Negev brewery, learned to love beer in Alaska and learned the trade at a brewery in Boulder, Colorado. The brewery’s specialty is its light and fruity passion-fruit beer, while the smoked salmon variety has to be tasted to be believed.

7. Katzrin
This family-run Golan Heights brewery specializes in traditional Bavarian-style beers with a local twist: Its lines are named Golan beer, Galil beer and Emek beer.

8. Salara
The Salara brewery of Kibbutz Ginegar in the Jezreel Valley has earned a place of pride on the local beer scene. Its two flagship lines have a particularly good reputation among local beer aficionados: a smoked stout with rich flavor and dark chocolate-coffee aroma, and a dark bitter reminiscent of a typical British pub brew. At latest count, the brewery was producing five types: the latter two plus a lager, a pale ale and a wheat beer.

9. Art-Bar
Everyone in the Carmel range seems to know “Danny Bira,” US-born Danny Schlyfestone, who runs the funky Art-Bar in the picturesque artist’s colony of Ein Hod, where live bands play on weekends.

Schlyfestone is a true home-brewer who is forever experimenting. He always stocks at least five different beers — all interesting and distinct.

10. Shapiro
The Shapiro brewery in Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, is one of the latest arrivals on the local beer scene.

It’s making quite a buzz, mainly thanks to a rather offbeat series of ads in which one of its beer bottles strikes a different character on the head in mid-sentence. It’s still too early to predict how the brand will overcome the ever-growing competition, but one thing is for certain — Jerusalemites are proud to have a beer they can call their own.

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Special mention: In Taybeh, a town near Ramallah, Nadim Khoury makes Taybeh Beer, the only such business in the Palestinian Authority territories. Taybeh (“delicious” in Arabic) bills itself as “the finest beer in the Middle East.” Its German-style brews are becoming increasingly popular among Israelis. Maybe sharing a beer together will bring peace?

Source: Israel21C

Tel Aviv switches lights off to mark Earth Day

Israeli cities hold "Earth Hour" blackout several weeks after the rest of the world, Tel Aviv to hold Earth Day concert.

People hold candles during Earth Hour  
Photo: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

More than twenty Israeli cities will black out on Sunday for one hour to mark the 42nd annual Earth Day.

The event, "Earth Hour," will mean lights off everywhere from Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to Jerusalem's Old City, along with 14 local authorities and Israeli Defense Forces bases. Israel will be joining about 6,000 other cities, albeit several weeks later, in the yearly tradition to raise awareness about energy conservation. The rest of the world held "Earth Hour" on March 31.

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Israel will also commemorate the holiday with a campaign to clean up beaches and with performances at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square by Rami Fortis, Shlomi Shaban and Geva Alon. Electricity for the event will be supplied by vegetable-oil generators, along with the pedal power of 48 cyclists.

In other corners of the world, China, the world's largest fossil fuel emitter, is hosting a climate bicycle race to promote green transport and nomadic people are planting trees in the Kubuqi Desert.

In the US, all of the 400 plus national parks are holding guided nature walks and organized cleanups as part of a presidential proclamation.

In Thailand, the World Dhammakaya Center is gathering more than 100,000 Buddhist monks from 30,000 temples around the country to promote world peace through inner peace.

Since Earth Day's inception in 1970, the holiday has been celebrated in nearly every country, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Despite such magnanimous support, the world still increasingly suffers from pollution and depletion of valuable resources.

The most recent estimates of the world's carbon footprint show China emits more CO2 than the US and Canada put together, an increase of 171 percent since the year 2000, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Preliminary estimates for 2009 and 2010 show 2010 was by far a record year for CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion and cement manufacture.

Even more notable is the growing evidence of rapid climate change. According to NASA, the global sea level rose about 17 centimeters in the last century, and the global temperature continues to increase.

Nevertheless, many countries and blocs are committed to reducing their emissions. The EU, the world's third largest emitter, has the most ambitious climate goal: an 80-95% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050, measured against 1990 levels.

Israel too has pledged to make environmental responsibility an economic issue. The Packaging Law, which went into effect last year, requires importers and manufacturers to ensure that a certain proportion of product packaging is recycled. Last month, the Knesset passed a law enforcing Israel's cooperation with OECD pollution-reporting standards and the state is working on a NIS 20 million initiative to remove asbestos from the western Galilee.

Source: JPost