Veteran Israeli coach Ilan Kowalsky is expected to be named the new head coach of the Palestinian national basketball team, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Thursday.
Kowalsky, who coached the Palestinian team in the past without pay, has received an official offer to head the squad, according to the report.
The Palestinians were seeking a coach who can travel with the team to tournaments in Arab countries. Kowalsky, who holds a Polish passport, fits the bill in that respect.
Zayed Baransi, a businessman and an Israel Basketball Association official, brokered the deal. ”I hope the first training camp will be held next week,” he said.
Kowalsky, for his part, said, “I was approached a few weeks ago and was asked whether I would be willing to coach the Palestinian national team. I said that if it won’t cause them any problems, why not?”Only sports and culture will bring peace to this region,” said the coach.
Prominent local celebrities such as comedian Eli Finish and actress Liraz Charchi agree to be photographed buried up to their necks in coal as part of Greenpeace campaign against construction of additional coal-fired power plant in Ashkelon
We usually see them at their best – impeccably dressed and oozing glamour – but as part of a Greenpeace campaign, a line of local celebrities have agreed to be covered up to their necks with coal.
Comedian Eli Finish, columnist Dana Spector, signer Mosh Ben-Ari and others had their pictures taken while covered in coal in what is a call for government ministers to oppose the construction of an additional coal-fired power plant in Ashkelon.
The decision to set up the plant is scheduled to be made by a special Interior Ministry committee on national infrastructure issues. The debate on the matter was scheduled to take place last month, days after the Copenhagen climate change conference. However, the committee decided to postpone the debate to an unknown date following the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan.
Experts estimate that an additional coal-fired power station in Ashkelon would add 10% to the total of Israel’s greenhouse gas infusion. Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace claim that apart from the greenhouse gases, the station would also cause air pollution damaging local residents’ health.
Sources at the group said that they have recently sent letters to all government ministers calling them to voice their opinions on the matter, but received no reply.
Minister Erdan, however isn’t concealing his viewpoint. From his very first day in office he has been calling to defer the decision on the plant’s creation until no other alternatives become available (such as natural gas or alternative energy sources) and there are no cleaner technologies for the production of electricity from coal.
The Israel Electric Corporation and the Ministry of National Infrastructures claim that there is no other way than to use coal since natural gas is not an option. The corporation warned that electricity reserves are too little and supply of electricity on climax days isn’t steady. “If the coal station isn’t set up, there will be darkness here,” one source said.
The corporation further claimed that not only would the plant not pollute the air, it would help reduce pollution since it will enable the upgrade of screening devices in the other active stations’ chimneys.
It was recently decided to reduce electricity rates by 10%.
Environmental groups as well as the Environmental Protection Ministry are opposing the reduction, claiming it will lead to unnecessary consumption and increased demand. They further claimed that this would make it harder to counter the
Electric Corps’ pressure of meeting demands by setting up additional power stations, which will in turn require increasing the rates again.
The Idan Raichel Project is a band whose music consistently tingles my skin and makes me yearn to get back to Israel. So I was thrilled to learn that Raichel and his team will be traveling to Vancouver March 4 to perform for the opening night of the Chutzpah Festival at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver.
Raichel, 32, has sold some 300,000 records since he launched his first album eight years ago. He started out playing backup for other Israeli pop singers but after a while determined he would follow his own musical ideals, which encompass a variety of musical styles.
His recordings for the Idan Raichel project in 2002 include the sounds of 70 different musicians – Ethiopian Jews, Arabs, traditional Yemenite vocalists, a Suriname percussionist and a South African singer among them. Raichel composed and arranged many of the tracks. He plays the keyboard and collaborated with the other vocalists and musicians.
There are love songs in Hebrew, songs in Amharic and traditional sounding tunes set to modern music. But each track on the album feels distinctly different, which makes for great listening. You don’t get the sense of sameness and repetition that haunts many other artists.
My favourite of his songs is Mi’ma’amakim, (”From the Depths”) which was the title track of his second album, launched in 2005. This album also has songs in Arabic, Zulu, Hindi and Yemenite Hebrew. With this rich mixture of voices and dialects, it’s easy to tell that Raichel appreciates the beauty and musicality of language.
High on my to-do list is to get my hands on a copy of Within My Walls, his third studio album launched in 2008. I’ll be applauding Raichel from the audience March 4 and blogging about his music the next day.
Source: Canada’s Israel @ http://www.canadasisrael.ca
Four Israeli and/or Jewish-themed films made a splash at the 60th annual Berlin International Film Festival, with two scooping up prizes and two raising controversy.
“Hayerida” (The Descent), a short film by Shai Miedzinski, took the Silver Bear Award (a second-place prize). It tells the story of a family searching for the perfect stone for the grave of their son, and is shot in the Negev desert.
Miedzinski’s father died 10 years ago. He cast his sister, mother, and her new boyfriend in the film.
“Budrus”, an American documentary by Brazilian-born filmmaker Julia Bacha, won second prize in the Panorama Audience Award. It was one of several documentaries exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and depicts the largely nonviolent protests by residents of a Palestinian village situated near the security fence.
As well, the films “Jew Suss: Rise and Fall” and “Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man” raised controversy for distorting history and failing to reflect the anti-Semitism of their characters.
The Berlinale Film Festival took place on February 11-21, 2010
Source: Ynetmews/Shalom Life
Getting the big picture on a not-so-small country
Sexual pun goes to work for Israel
From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
Can the prospect of oral sex deflate hardening anti-Israel sentiment?
As the Israeli government rolls out a PR offensive to combat what it believes are misperceptions, a new campaign on campuses across Canada is encouraging students to think of the Jewish state as a technologically and culturally advanced Mediterranean playground that can provide a lot of fun and excitement in a small package.
Visitors to the website sizedoesntmatter.ca are greeted with thumping dance music and a series of travel-brochure images of Israel: azure waters, hot bodies, packed clubs, and colourful open-air markets.
There’s also a 50-second commercial featuring a young man and woman talking in bed. “Don’t be mad, but it’s small … I just don’t know if I can go there,” she says, looking at his lap just off-camera.
“I consider this a spot of worship,” he replies, then adds: “It may be small, but it’s brought the driest places to life. Baby, this is paradise.”
What are they looking at? A map of Israel.
The video concludes with the tagline: “Israel. Small country, big paradise,” though the website has a different slogan: “Small country, big appetite for peace.” The site supplies facts about the country’s medical and communication-technology industries, its population, and its environmental efforts.
“Our students year-to-year on campus are so burdened by the politicization of the debate,” says Susan Davis, executive director of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, an arm of the United Jewish Appeal, which backed the effort. “It’s the idea of hearing about Israel in the bigger picture, Israel outside the conflict, Israel as a complete country. And the students are the most excited.”
Pun intended? “Did I say that?” Ms. Davis replied.
Source: Globe and Mail-