Calling Israel a "a progressive, wonderful example to the rest of the world"
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for not maintaining any fur farms, actress Pamela Anderson made her local
debut on Sunday, a day ahead of her guest appearance on the Channel 2
reality show Dancing With the Stars.
Appearing at a press conference at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv with the
producer of the show, Asaf Gil, Ilan Devries, the vice president of Reshet,
and her dance partner, Australian dance professional Damian Whitewood, the
ardent animal rights activist said she was planning to meet with MKs about a
bill to ban fur imports to Israel presented by Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh and
currently being discussed in the Knesset Education committee.
"I won't have time to go to them because of my schedule with the show, but
there's a plan for them to come to my hotel on Tuesday," said Anderson. "Any
chance I get, I'll speak about the issue. It's almost 2011 we have so many
alternatives to things to enable to be more compassionate in our choices."
She acknowledged that she had sent a letter last week to Shas Religiious
Affairs Minister Yaakov Margi calling on him to back the bill to ban fur.
She linked to a PETA video, writing that even a few seconds would be
enough for Margi to agree that the way the animals suffer and die in the
fur trade violates Jewish principles, which prohibit unnecessary
suffering to animals.
Anderson, who competed last year on the US version of Dancing With the
Stars, said she had received no pressure from anti-Israel groups to delay
her planned visit.
"I've always wanted to come here," she said. "My good friend David Chappelle
was just here - his exhibit is still up at the Museum of Contemporary Art -
and he had the most fantastic time. We don't get to hear about all the
wonderful things in Israel, and just looking out my window here at the hotel
and seeing the beautiful beach, my goodness, it's gorgeous! I'm sure I'll be
going back with raving reviews."
The 43-year-old Anderson who will be dancing with Whitewood on Monday
and Tuesday night's episode, will also be giving reviews of her own -
other contestants, including Aki Avni and Gili Shem Tov, who made Dancing
with the Stars history by competing with another woman, professional dancer
"I'll probably just smile and nod and leave the judging to Damien," said
Anderson, saying that after competing last year, she respects the dancers
too much to criticize them.
"There's less pressure making the final basket in a basketball game in the
final seconds than there is to be a contestant on Dancing With the Stars,"
Reshet's Devries said that the theme of the two shows Anderson will be
appearing on will be 'sensual dance' - the rumba and the tango, a fitting
matchup for the actress who rose to fame as a buxom lifeguard on the hit TV
show Baywatch and has appeared numerous times unclad in Playboy. But
rather than propel her sex symbol image, when she was asked to compete
on Dancing with the Stars in the US last year, she took the task
"I always wanted to learn how to dance and I thought it wouldn't happen
unless I put a lot of pressure on myself, so I just dove in. And I met
Damian, and he's taught me everything I know," she said, referring to her
partner on the American show and on the Israeli show.
Anderson, who until now, was likely to be remembered for her X-rated
Internet romps with then husband Tommy Lee, is intent on reshaping her
image, focusing on both dancing and her involvement in animal rights issues.
"I'd like to be remembered for being a good mom," she said in response to a
question. "And all the work I do for animal rights. A lot of my career has
been frivolous and silly, and to be able to incorporate my beliefs and
passions into the very important issue has been inspiring and keeps me
going... and now, I've learned how to dance as well."
While praising Israel for breaking the gender barrier with Dancing with the
Star's first same sex partners, Anderson answered a question with a negative
response as to whether she would follow suit.
"I'll be sticking with Damian," she laughed.
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