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ISRAEL's PAPARAZZI are far from happy about a bill proposed by MK Yuval Steinitz whereby photographers would require the permission of public figures to photograph them in their private life activities. The argument advanced by Steinitz was spurred by the visit of Bar Rafaeli and Leonardo DiCaprio to the Western Wall last week. If the bill is passed, it will cause a big dent in the income of local paparazzi, most of whom will be hard-pressed to take a photograph that could by any stretch of the imagination be considered a scoop. Anyone who saw video footage of the fracas between photographers and the couple's entourage could not help but realize that Rafaeli and DiCaprio were not the only victims of the media onslaught. There were many Western Wall regulars who resented the intrusion of so many photographers, and who tried unsuccessfully to get them to leave. The aerial photograph of the Rafaeli home - actually a farm - in Hod Hasharon, not to mention the paparazzi encampment outside its high gates, may act as a deterrent to other Hollywood stars who may be contemplating a visit to Israel.
It's amazing how much can change in a relatively short time. Early in her career, long before she became a supermodel, Bar Rafaeli modeled for Renuar. At that time, her parents were eager to get her maximum media exposure, so much so that they hosted a huge Renuar fashion show on their back lawn with Bar walking down the runway together with actor Adir Miller who was dressed in drag. At that time the photographers were encouraged to come inside and take as many pictures as they wanted, not just of the runway, but also in the dressing room.
FRENETIC BROADCASTER and DJ Didi Harari has signed up for a three month-long evening course with Camera Obscura to learn the secrets of photography. His big ambition, as someone who is himself chased by paparazzi, is to catch them in the act and photograph them while they are snapping celebs to see how they feel about constantly having their privacy invaded.
HIS VOICE won him first place in the fourth Kochav Nolad (A Star is Born) contest, but his big mouth caused Jacko Eisenberg a lot of grief. The singer has since learned to muzzle himself and is in the process of recording his first album to be produced by the legendary Louis Lahav, who has been an influential force on the Israeli music scene for some three decades. Part of Eisenberg's prize for winning the contest was a recording contract with Helicon, but when Eisenberg was quoted in a newspaper interview making derogatory comments about some of the stars in the Helicon galaxy, the company cancelled the contract. Eisenberg recently signed up with Hed Arzi, and if he's learned his lesson, he won't be bad-mouthing anyone on Hed Arzi's list of performers.
AFTER 20 years with Helicon, Rita and Rami Kleinstein have decided not to renew their contract. It was a great relationship while it lasted, but the couple has decided to go it alone, and Rita and Rami will now produce their own recordings.
AMONG THE celebrities attending the lingerie show by Go Under - Bellisima was international television personality and fashion model Moran Attias, who now divides her time between Milan, Haifa and New York. Attias brought along her young sister Shani, who is even more beautiful than she. Also seen at the lingerie show was Eyal Tayeb without his famous sister Ninette, but with his girlfriend Sarit. At the end of the show, invitees were each given a sample of the merchandise to take home. Tayeb collected a parcel of lingerie for Sarit, and then asked if he could take another for Ninette. Would anyone dare refuse him?
SOME 400 real estate agents representing the 78 branches of ReMax laughed till they cried when rapid-fire comedienne Adi Ashkenazi delivered her patter at a company convention at Kfar Hamaccabiah. Ashkenazi brought the house down when she said she was looking for an apartment in the center of Tel Aviv, but had been unable to find one because all the rental advertisements specified that only serious people need apply - which meant that she didn't qualify.
JEWISH THEATER professionals and aficionados from many parts of the world are congregating in Vienna this week for the International Conference of the Association for Jewish Theater. The conference is conducted within the framework of Tikun Olam - the Festival of International Jewish Theater, which begins today and concludes on March 24. The two interconnecting events are being hosted by the Jewish Theater of Austria. Among the Israelis participating in the conference are Atay Citron, chairman of the University of Haifa Theater Department and director of the avant garde Acco Festival, Shimon Levy, Professor of Theater Arts at Tel Aviv University, Moti Lerner, playwright and director, and Moti Sandak, Director and Editor-in-Chief of the All About Jewish Theater Web site. World famous, stage and screen actor Theodore Bikel, who embarked on his career in Tel Aviv before moving to London and eventually the United States, has returned to his native Vienna to participate in the festival.