Better half hopes to bring better days to Sderot

Sderot's upcoming municipal elections are in less than a year's time, and one of the candidates running for mayor is a woman by the name of Ahlama Peretz. If the name rings a bell, it's because she's the wife of long-time politician and former defense minister MK Amir Peretz, who is in the process of attempting a political comeback. Up until now, the family has either denied or been vague about her ambition to head the City Council, but now it's out in the open, and she has secured premises from which to run her campaign. Early in his political career, Amir Peretz was head of the Sderot Regional Council, and just as his wife helped him to campaign in those days, no doubt he will help her to campaign now. It's a very politically oriented family: Flora Shoshan, the mayor of Mitzpe Ramon, is Amir Peretz's sister and may give Ahlama Peretz a few pointers. Just as a matter of interest, Flora Shoshan's husband, Sami, is a previous mayor of Mitzpe Ramon, so the trend may spread further in the family. ON ANOTHER matter related to Sderot, after successfully bringing their wares to Tel Aviv, the city's merchants will today, Friday, target Jerusalem. In fact, synagogue groups in the capital, which have in recent weeks visited Sderot on Fridays to do their solidarity shopping, will this week benefit not only from daylight savings in their pre-Sabbath preparations, but also from the fact that they don't have to go very far to demonstrate their support for Sderot. Some 60 Sderot vendors will be the guests of young immigrants, who are residents of Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah, along with the neighboring Nature Museum. The fair-like atmosphere will be enhanced by jazz and folk music performed by Elki Palki. There will also be different kinds of workshops, including one related to ecology and another to the Haggada, plus special activities for children. Stalls will be open for business from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Merkaz, 7 Dor V'Dorshav Street in the German Colony. The stalls will feature a wide variety of products including jewelry, ceramics, Judaica, clothing, toys, soaps, flowers, chocolates, glass, organic cosmeticsand oils, household supplies and baked goods. Organizers at Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah initially planned a small project, but once word reached shop owners in Sderot the phone just kept ringing with requests from vendors who wanted to participate. As a result, the event mushroomed and a decision was taken to simply let it spread "Four vendors had to cancel because Kassams landed on their stores and destroyed their goods," said chief organizer Hanan Rubin. "This reinforces our reasons for holding this fair. We know that not everyone can make the trip to Sderot and the Gaza periphery, so we decided to bring a little bit of them to us." The venue is within easy walking distance of Emek Refaim for those who want to have coffee or a meal before or after, and for Sderot supporters from outside Jerusalem, it's a two-in-one deal: support Sderot and tour the capital. HIS MUSIC may be popular, but the fact that he didn't complete his army service (through no fault of his own) along with his sexual orientation, have made Ivri Lider the target for bigots. On one occasion, when he was scheduled to perform at a soldiers' welfare concert, his appearance was cancelled because of the army service issue, even though he had previously done benefit shows for the organization and had appeared gratis for the IDF. Now, a member of the Beersheba Municipal Council is objecting to him appearing on one of the Independence Day stages in the city because he is gay. WHAT PROMISES to initially be a best seller, Sharon Leader and Father, is due to come out in 2010 - in English. The book, which will be published in the US, is not being written by Omri Sharon while he concludes his prison sentence, but by Sharon's other son Gilad. The book is expected to include material on some of the world leaders who visited Ariel Sharon on the family's farm and elsewhere. ONE OF the benefits of appearing in 'A Star is Born' (Kochav Nolad) is that even if you don't win first place, but you win the hearts of the audience, you've got a career carved out not only as a singer but also as a presenter of products. You also become a celebrity and get invited to all those places that are packed with paparazzi, who, though they may be annoying at times, serve to enhance your image. If you're good looking enough you also become a fashion model, which is what happened this week to Marina Maximilian-Blumin, who was selected to appear with professional models who showed a new Gideon Oberson beachwear collection in Tel Aviv. The collection was a collaborative effort with Hewlett Packard, whose products served as Oberson's muse. DOGS MAY be Man's best friend, but it can be a costly friendship, as artist Ilana Gur, who runs a museum in Jaffa, discovered. Two years ago, Gur's dogs savaged a neighbor's kittens and attacked a puppy. The neighbors, Roz and Stanley Handelman and Pauline Shavit, took the matter to court and won their case. As a result, Gur was ordered to shell out NIS 30,000 in compensation and court costs. ONE OF the reasons that so many prominent business people, political figures, entertainers and sporting personalities were seen in Eilat last weekend was that hotelier David Fatal invited some 200 of them to the reopening of the newly-renovated Meridien Hotel, which has received a $30 million facelift. Owners Yuli and Ruthie Ofer were on hand, looking much more relaxed than they do in Herzliya or Tel Aviv. Invitees included Rami Kleinstein, Zvika Hadar, Pablo Rosenberg, Ran and Hila Rahav, Irena Shalmor, Didi Harari, Harel Skaat and many other well known faces.