Grapevine: Questions of perception

Shiri Malki will discuss Japanese street fashion as compared to what happens in Israel on Purim.

Japanese girls 88 248 (photo credit: Yocheved Miriam Russo)
Japanese girls 88 248
(photo credit: Yocheved Miriam Russo)
■ EVEN THOUGH there are many examples of even handed reporting by the BBC, there’s a wide-ranging perception in this country that the BBC is anti-Israel. There are quite a lot of Brits who would agree with that assessment, among them London based barrister Jonathan Turner, who during a recent vacation in Israel, spent much of his time disseminating information and tips on holding the BBC to account. At packed meetings at the homes of Hadassa and Stuart Palmer in Haifa and Lynette and Michael Ordman in Netanya, Turner explained how he and other members of UK Lawyers for Israel (which he founded to combat delegitimization of and disinformation about Israel), had succeeded in obtaining a ruling by the BBC Trust against reports by the BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen on the Six Day War and the construction of Har Homa. Although Turner’s guidelines on the procedures for complaining to the BBC seemed somewhat daunting, there was audience consensus at both the Palmer and Ordman homes that his success was an inspiration for all those who are interested in promoting fair reporting by the media. Stuart Palmer is a public diplomacy activist for the Israel Citizens’ Action Network and the Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers. The Ordmans are recent immigrants from the UK who shared the experience of their own victory against an anti-Israel documentary by Dan Cruickshank in 2004.
■ WHEN MULTIMILLION-dollar real-estate transactions are completed, the name of the seller is usually made public, but the name of the buyer is generally regarded as classified information. Not so in the case of the luxury villa in Caesarea that until recently belonged to Russian-Israeli business tycoon Arkadi Gaydamak. According to Yediot Aharonot, following the removal of liens which had held up the sale of the property, it was sold for $12.8 million to Prof. Shlomo Ben-Haim, who lives in London and who made his fortune in biotechnology.
Gaydamak is far from homeless, and there is no need for him to stay in a hotel when in Israel. He owns a slightly less magnificent but nonetheless impressive house on Rehov Havatzelet Hasharon in, Herzliya Pituah, where one of his neighbors is Suzy Eban. The house was rented some years ago to Kazakhstan Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov, who was his country’s second ambassador to Israel and who is currently Kazakhstan’s permanent representative to the OSCE. After Abdrakhmanov and his family returned to Kazakhstan some five or six years ago, the house was occupied by Gaydamak’s former right-hand man Yossi Milstein and his family. It has since been renovated, and is now Gaydamak’s abode in Israel.
■ MANY ISRAELIS are perplexed about America’s foreign policy, particularly with regard to the countries of the Middle East, including Israel. To shed a little light on the subject, Thomas H. Goldberger, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv will take the opposite tack and talk about “An overview of Israel’s Foreign Relations – the view from America.” Goldberger will be the guest of the Board of the McDonald Synagogue in Netanya, which has made it public that it will welcome English speakers from the whole of the surrounding area. This is the first in a program series. The date is Monday, February 28. The time: 7.45 p.m.
■ STREET FASHIONS, theatrical costumes, ceremonial garb and what people wear at festivals have for decades inspired couture designers, whose ideas are then carried back to the street where they are copied and revamped. In few places is this more obvious than in Japan. At the Shishagrirut Friday lecture (in English) at the Japanese Embassy in the Museum Tower in Tel Aviv on Friday, February 25, fashion aficionado Shiri Malki will discuss Japanese street fashion as compared to what happens in Israel on Purim.
Malki’s lecture will be accompanied by videos and photos taken in recent years in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo during her seven years of study in these cities. Malki, who recently returned to Israel, has an MA in social studies from the University of Kyoto and wrote her master’s thesis on “Modern Japanese Street Fashion” in Japanese. She also graduated with honors in Fashion Business Studies from one of Tokyo’s most respected fashion schools. A notice from the Embassy encourages those attending the lecture to come dressed in accordance with its theme. The lecture begins at 11 a.m.