Aug 3, 2010

Volvo: Symbol of safety or human rights abuses?

On their website Volvo says they want their cars to be "an exciting experience." What they don't mention is that Volvo bulldozers are being used to destroy Palestinian homes in the Negev desert.

The automotive manufacturer Volvo writes on its website that is has the vision of being "the most desired and successful premium car brand by creating the safest and most exciting car experience," and "choosing a car is about the comfort and safety of your passengers, most especially your children." However, the Palestinian people in Israel, including the Bedouins, and the occupied territories might have another view on Volvo.

Lebanese call for Placebo gig boycott over Israel

Five non-governmental organizations say British rock band 'not welcome in Lebanon' after performing in Tel Aviv after deadly Navy raid on Gaza-bound flotilla

Lebanese activists called Tuesday for a boycott of British rock band Placebo on the eve of its Lebanon gig for performing in Israel in the wake of the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Pixies call off Israel gig over Navy raid

American rock band, scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, says 'events beyond all our control have conspired against us'

American rock band the Pixies, which was scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv this Wednesday, has called off its concert following the deadly Navy raid on a Gaza-bound vessel and the international criticism sparked by the incident.

Indie band Editors: Tel Aviv show most memorable of our career

Shortly after wrapping up their performance at Tel Aviv's Barbie club, Editors band members send message to fans, say 'a country's people are not its government'

Hours after finishing their show at the Barbie club in Tel Aviv, Editors band members commented on the cultural boycott of international artists on Israel.

On their official website forum, lead singer Tom Smith wrote that their performance in Tel Aviv will be one of the most memorable shows in the band's history, and that he believes "there are terrible things that happen all over the world, but a country's people are not its government."

'Elvis Costello never liked Israel'

Producer Marcel Avraham says he brings famous artists to perform in Israel 'out of a sense of Zionism and not just to make a buck.' He talks about winning big with Leonard Cohen and Elton John, flopping with Rod Stewart and Metallica, and chances of seeing Barbra Streisand in Holy Land soon

Missy Elliott can’t wait to visit Western Wall

American singer brushes off pressure not to perform in Israel, says will arrive in Holy Land earlier than planned

American singer Missy Elliott has been under a great amount of pressure recently to cancel her upcoming Israel concert, which is scheduled to take place this Thursday at Tel Aviv's Exhibition Park.

Elliott has been receiving messages from anti-Israel elements, who say they expect her "not to legitimize Israel's different activities" with her concert.

Nonetheless, the singer has informed the show's producer, Shuki Weiss, that she has not plans to cave into the pressure and will perform in Israel as planned.

Moreover, Elliott has announced that she will arrive in Israel one day earlier than planned in order to tour the country together with her entourage, which includes 30 dancers and crew members. The highlight of the visit is said to be the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

'Dawson' gets married in Israel

Exclusive photos: James Van Der Beek ties the knot in Kabbalah Center in Tel Aviv. Ashton and Demi's rabbi officiates at ceremony. Katie Holmes stays home

As America's eyes were clung to pictures of Chelsea Clinton's wedding to Marc Medvinsky, actor James Van Der Beek, who rose to fame when he starred in the popular television show "Dawson's Creek," decided to go for a Jewish wedding all the way and married Kimberly Brook, who is carrying his child, on Sunday in Israel.

Why does Gap deliver to Arab states but not Israel?

Clothing retailer's US website allows private customers to purchase unique items via internet, delivers to 50 countries around the world - including Jordan and Kuwait, but not Israel

While Gap has opened its first stores in Israel this year, its online sales website does not cater to customers in the country. An internet fashion consumer recently protested the fact that the clothing giant allows the residents of other Middle Eastern countries to purchase items via its website but not customers from Israel.

"The Gap/ Banana Republic/ Old Navy brand allows online orders of clothes to 50 countries on its US website, a list in which Israel is not included," he claimed. "This, while our neighbors can order whatever they please, including items sold exclusively online which are not offered in stores. Is it because Gap has opened branches in Israel? I don’t think so, there are Gap stores in Britain as well, which is included in the delivery list. If I am not mistaken Gap has branches in the Persian Gulf too."

It should be noted that the consumer's request is not that the Israeli holder of Gap rights launch a local sales website, but rather to be allowed the option to purchase items off the US website, which delivers unique pieces to many customers around the world.

The question is why is there no option to deliver clothes to private customers residing in Israel from the US, as is permitted to private customers in other countries around the world including Bahrain,Jordan, Egypt,

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Elbit Trade & Retail, the holder of Gap rights in Israel said in response: "We are currently reviewing online sales to Israel and assume that a course of action will be decided on in the coming weeks. The online sales issue is one that pertains purely to commercial and logistical aspects."

AT&T, Amdocs launch Israel innovation center

Leading telecommunications company, Israeli provider aim to help local start-up companies develop new products with new center in Raanana

Israeli company Amdocs and American telecommunications giant AT&T are looking for the next big thing. The companies are launching an innovation center, to provide Israeli start-ups with access to AT&T's resources and information to enable them to develop new products.

The American telecommunications company has decided to open three innovation centers around the world, and the first center will be located at Amdocs' offices in Raanana.

"This is a historic moment," Amdocs CEO Dov Baharav said last week, speaking to the press for the first time since his appointment in 2002.

"AT&T is the world's largest telecommunications company in terms of income, with over 90 million cellular subscribers. Amdocs started working with it in 1985, as a start-up. Perhaps this cooperation will yield the next Amdocs."

A group of AT&T executives visited Israel for the event, including Operations President and CEO John Stankey and Chief Technology Officer John Donovan.

Donovan explained that innovation center will have two main tracks – an open track, in which Israeli start-ups can approach the company with new ideas, and a guided track, in which the center will focus on specific projects and seek out the relevant products and companies.

Cooperation with the local start-up companies may pave the way for AT&T or Amdocs to invest in them, and may even lead to acquisition deals.

Oprah coming to Israel for solidarity visit

American talk show queen accepts Elie Wiesel proposal to come to Israel, says she sympathizes with Israelis' suffering

Oprah Winfrey will be arriving in Israel for a solidarity visit in the near future, the queen of American talk shows announced Monday during an event at Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

In the event, Winfrey was honored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity for her contribution to promoting humanitarian issues.

Wiesel called on Winfrey to visit Israel, where "the major war against terror is currently taking place."

in her speech, Winfrey said she sympathized with the suffering of the people of Israel, and that she intended to accept Wiesel's invitation and come with him to Israel.

Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Gillerman, who attended the event, said that a visit of a figure with such influence on the international media could help bring an end to the indifference towards the terror threat faced by Israelis.