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