Archive for February, 2008

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90 Turkish Journalists and Editors to Come to Israel in Hasbara Campaign

February 28, 2008

A delegation of 90 journalists and editors from the Turkish media will arrive in Israel on Sunday, in an initiative by construction company Yilmazler to increase awareness and Israeli-Turkish relations, according to Ice.co.il (sorry, it’s in Hebrew).

The delegation will include representatives from the important dailies in Turkey, including Sabah, Star, Turkish Daily News, and Reuters in Turkey, as well as representatives from TV stations and agencies including TGRT, Channel D, ATV, Show TV, Dogan, and Cihan. They will be joined by representatives from dozens of weekly magazines such as Economist, Tempo, and Aktual. The journalists will be the guests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

The owner of Yilmazler, a Turkish business man named Ahmet Raiz Yilmaz, has been working tirelessly for years to assist Israel-Turkish relations. The company has had many building projects around Israel and is the only Turkish company to be operating in Israel for 13 years. Among others, it built the square Azrieli building in Tel Aviv.

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Israeli TV Format Picked Up by CBS – Pilot Ordered

February 28, 2008

Exciting news! CBS has ordered a pilot based on the successful Israeli TV show The Mythological Ex (direct translation from Hebrew- האקס המיתולוגי). If picked up, this will be the first Israeli series to be broadcast on network television in Israel.

Preceding this show are several other formats, among them In Treatment, which is in production and currently broadcast on HBO.

The fact that CBS ordered a pilot is even more impressive considering the fact that they announced they will be reducing the number of pilots taped due to the writers strike. Casting has already begun, even though the script itself has yet to be written.

It’s important to note that although a pilot will be taped, this is no guarantee that the show will be picked up by network. Generally speaking, Hollywood studios only tape additional episodes after the pilot has been approved.

The Mythological Ex is about a woman who goes to a fortune teller and is told that her true love is one of her exes. She proceeds to go out on dates with each of her exes in an effort to find out which one is The One.

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Microsoft Acquires Israeli Start-Up YaData

February 28, 2008

 YaData provides advanced tools for the discovery of unique customer segments. Its technology will enable Microsoft to provide its advertisers with richer targeting capabilities so they can connect with their audience more efficiently and in more engaging ways, while providing more relevant and focused ads to its customers.

The YaData team will join the Microsoft’s R&D center in Herzelia.

It’s always wonderful to hear about another successful exit for an Israeli company. Way to go!

You can read the entire press release here.

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Israel Helps Find New Solar System

February 28, 2008

On the heels of a difficult day in southern Israel, and what looks to be another one today, an international team of scientists, including astronomers from Tel Aviv University, have found a “twin” of our own solar system, reveals Science magazine.

I’m very proud of this achievement, but since I don’t understand a thing about astronomy, I am leaving you with a link to the article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

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1 Killed, Over 40 Rockets Launched at Israel

February 28, 2008

Over 40 rockets were launched at Israel yesterday from Gaza. One of them hit Sapir College and killed a student, Roni Yechiah, a father of four who underwent kidney transplant surgery several years ago. Several more were treated for wounds.

Earlier yesterday, a rocket hit a poultry factory and later a rocket fell just outside of a Carlsberg beer factory. Several rockets also landed in Ashkelon, one of them landing near a hospital’s helicopter pad.

Hamas – yes, yes, Palestinian government Hamas – claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks.

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Sderot to Receive Benefits – Maybe…

February 27, 2008

You’ve gotta love messed up governments. MK Silvan “Steve” Shalom proposed a new bill that would grant small businesses in Sderot and other towns close to Gaza that have been hit by Qassams several benefits. These include various tax benefits, monetary compensation, and permission to receive extra credit (not the school kind) for businesses who have lost much of their income due to the present situation.

Sounds good, right? Not so much, apparently. The official government position was against it – but the Knesset passed the bill in the first round (of three to get a bill approved in Israel). Even some of the MKs who are in the coalition voted for the bill. Many abstained. 34 voted for the legislation, and 22 voted against. Which means that 64 (!!!) MKs either abstained or did not show up to vote on the bill. In case you don’t know, there are 120 Mks.

I guess they were too busy accompanying former MK Omri Sharon to jail, where he will be serving a 7-month sentence for corruption and fraud connected to his father’s election bid (former PM Ariel Sharon, whose 80th birthday was yesterday).

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Best Airport in the Middle East!

February 26, 2008

An international quality survey found Israel’s Ben Gurion airport to the be the best in the Middle East. It was ranked best passenger terminal in the Middle East, and second in the world in the category of 5-15 million passengers, only behind Central Japan.

Accoring to Ynet, the ASQ rankings are based on the results from nearly 200,000 questionnaires completed by passengers in 2007. The survey captures the passenger’s immediate appraisal of 34 airport service factors, from check-in through to departure at the gate.