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04/19/2007


Israeli 'Bert And Ernie' Reignite Gay Debate After Introducing Baby In New Ad

Shekateka2

In a new commercial from Israel Electric Corp, the characters Sheka and Teka, a dynamic duo since 2002, introduced a baby into their ambiguous relationship. There have been rumors about the puppet pair's sexuality for over a decade, particularly given that other commercials have found the two sharing a bedroom (albeit in separate beds), lounging on the couch in PJ's, and paddling on a boat in the Dead Sea. The addition of a baby without a mother figure has rekindled the speculation surrouding Sheka and Teka's feelings for each other.

Ynet News reports:

The ads highlight a striking paradox of the Holy Land: Although religion holds great sway and there is no civil marriage, gays have gained a widespread acceptance that is increasingly noted around the world. Gay activists demand the ad characters, who have a close but ambiguous relationship, officially come out of the closet.

...

"This should weigh on the conscience of everyone who worked on this campaign, who will come home and ask themselves whether they would want to raise a child in a country where the electric company says: 'Hide, don't be proud,'" wrote Dvir Bar in nightlife magazine City Mouse.

Although the puppets are fictional characters and have little to do with reality, they do have a prominent pop cultural position from which they could spread a message of acceptance and honesty. However, they are representatives of a state which, while progressive in many regards (e.g. hospital visitation rights and open military service), still maintains a high degree of religious conservatism that limits civil marriages. All of these reports are dependent on whether or not Sheka and Teka could even be considered gay, though, and Israel Electric Corp. has made a statement refuting the claims.

"They represent the concerned Israeli, who is really worried about the air quality he is breathing and the environment he lives in. The baby that was born now represents the next generation," said Oren Helman, a senior vice president who is behind the commercial. "There are no hints or ambiguities here."


NEWS: Turner Field, Drug Sentences, The Deficit, Clinton 2016, Musicians, and Superheroes

 Road President Obama has announced the leader of its new independent committee that will be investigating potential ethics violations by the nation's surveillance programs. At the head of the committee is James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who has already previously misled Congress. Turnerfield

Road A Georgia man fell to his death last night at Atlanta's Turner Field during a match-up between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Road US Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that he will work to cut mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, stating that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long."

Road Current peace talks taking place between Israel and Palestine are facing potential problems as 26 long-term prisoners were moved by Israeli officials shortly before their release.

 Road North Dakota's U.S. attorney Timothy Purdon addressed a crowd of hundreds during a recent joint Pride Celebration hosted by Fargo and Moorhead, MN. During his impassioned speech, he told the state's LGBT citizens point-blank: "you have an ally". 

Road The U.S. Government announced yesterday that its budget deficit through July of next year will be 37.6 percent, and that the budget starting in September 2014 is on its way to having the smallest deficit in five years. 

Road Rihanna and Katy Perry recently reunited during a restaurant opening in NYC. No word yet as to whether there were any more "quasi-bi" antics this time around. 

Road Anthony Weiner, intentionally or not, teased a 2016 bid by Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, telling Buzzfeed that he "knows his wife's role" in the upcoming campaign. 

Road Adele is currently in talks to make a cameo appearance in Mathew Vaughn's upcoming film The Secret Service. If successful, she will be appearing in the film alongside David Beckham and Elton John. 

Road Those wishing to partake of fried food without the sting of racism can breathe a little easier

Road The Wanted released a new music video. Apparently, they also own the night. Who knew? Batman Wedding

Road Lady Gaga committed another possible fashion faux-pas in her quest to obtain even more "Applause". 

Road Meanwhile, Madonna was possibly channelling her uber-butch self a little too much during a recent paintball game. 

Road Breaking Bad continues with its ultra-violent final season.

Road Robert Downey, Jr continues to roll in it after new endorsement deals follow him after his successes with The Avengers and Iron Man 3

Road Torn between you love for your hubby and your love for Batman? Can't decide how to properly honor them both. Just do what these two guys did!


News: Baby Cambridge, Amanda Bynes, Freddie Mercury, Matt Bomer

Road King David's Palace unearthed by archaeologists in Israel? Royalbaby

Road The sex problem in the Navy.

Road New trailer for George Clooney & Sandra Bullock's Gravity.

Road The world finally meets HRH Baby Cambridge.

Road Sofia Vergara gives co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson wedding shout-out.

Road Shia LaBeouf understands the value of a well-planned ensemble when going to The Home Depot.

Road Justin Theroux proves guns are in this season.

Road Reese Witherspoon gets wild.

Road This is not a still from Magic Mike 2.

Road The most unfortunate back-brace/baseball hat combo ever.

Road Dennis Farina battled lung cancer leading up to his death.

Road Amanda Bynes tries to burn down a rando’s house, gets hospitalized against will for mental evaluation. Burns Dog in process. Is this real life?

Road In case you didn’t get your fill of Teen Beach buff-ness yet.

Road Armie Hammer went to Cowboy Camp. Seriously, no one got a pic of that?

Bomer  Road Possibly your new summer anthem. Not surprisingly by Icona Pop.

  Road I hate it when my hair gets caught in a fan.

  Road Even at the airport, Ricky Martin and those boys are darn cute.

  Road In more gun-related news, these firearms were on display earlier this week.

  Road The CW’s The Carrie Diaries finds its Samantha.

  Road Sacha Baron-Cohen will not play Freddie Mercury as earlier planned.

  Road Apparently we need to check out The Vineyard.

  Road A look back at Windsors in the family way.

  Road This might be the best pic from Comic-Con.

Road The fallout from SCOTUS’ VRA ruling isn’t pretty.

Road All in the family: Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' gets mashed up with Growing Pains.

Road New Hunger Games movie promises to bring the beefcake.

Road The witch is back.

Road Maybe he just misinterpreted someone's order for a six inch sub.

Road Is Batman/Superman mashup a bad idea?

Road Mitt Romney's granddaughter shares Baby Cambridge's birthday. So does Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem's daughter.


2009 Shooting at Tel Aviv LGBT Center Not a Hate Crime: Police

Telaviv

This week, in a surprise development, police arrested four suspects in relation to the 2009 shooting at a Tel Aviv LGBT Center that left counselor Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Trubeshi, 16, dead. The case is under a gag order but some details are emerging.

Katz_trubeshiThe AP reports:

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Friday that the motive behind the killing was of a personal nature. He said the suspects intended to shoot someone else at the center. Instead, they opened fire on the two people they killed. Other details of the case are under court gag order.

Haaretz adds:

Telaviv3All three [suspects] are known criminals, with the killer and at least one accomplice being "soldiers" in a large, central Israeli crime organization who have been interrogated since the Bar Noar killings for arson and assault, police said.

The fourth, most recent arrest in the case is apparently of an activist in the gay community. He has been detained for allegedly knowing the motive for the murders and obstructing the investigation by not sharing that information with police. It is believed this individual is directly connected to the motive, and that he was the target of the assassination, which involved revenge.

The activist is known to support young people in the gay community and help them with decisions regarding their sexual identity. Three other suspects were arrested in connection to the murders themselves on Wednesday.

Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv today for its annual Gay Pride parade.


Police Arrest Suspects in Bloody 2009 Attack on Tel Aviv LGBT Center That Left Two Dead

Arrests

In a surprise development, Police arrested three suspects yesterday in relation to the 2009 shooting at a Tel Aviv LGBT Center that left counselor Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Trubeshi, 16, dead, Ynet reports:

Katz_trubeshiThe suspects, all Jews, will appear in court on Thursday for a remand hearing. They are residents of Pardes Katz and the ages range from 20 to 40.
 
Police believe the motive for the murder was a personal dispute and that the shooter was seeking revenge. A comprehensive gag order was placed on the details of the investigation. 

Sources in the Tel Aviv District Police said the investigation is far from over but said their lead was solid and ruled out nationalistic motives. It was suggested that two of the suspects were arrested in a central Israel city after being taken off a truck.

The suspects are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

UPDATE from the Jerusalem Post:

The three main suspects in the murder of two gay patrons at the Bar Noar in Tel Aviv four years ago professed their innocence during their first appearance in Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday.

The court extended their remand by 11 days at the police’s request. The court is now discussing whether to extend the remand of a fourth suspect, a high-profile member of the gay community who is not thought to have taken part in the shooting but is alleged to have held information about the investigation.

Approximately 10 others were injured in the 2009 attack, in which a gunman fired on those gathered at the LGBT center with an automatic weapon.

Previously...
Shooting at Tel Aviv Gay Center Leaves 2 Dead, Nation in Shock


Obama Heckled During Speech to Israeli Youth: VIDEO

Heckler_obama

President Obama was heckled during a speech to Israeli students today at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

Said Obama after letting the heckler quiet down:

"This is part of the lively debate that we talked about...I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I didn’t have at least one heckler."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The WaPo reports:

The man was shouting in Hebrew. According to a White House pool report, he was referencing Jonathan Pollard, an American who pleaded guilty in 1986 to passing top-secret information to Israel.

And here's the NYT report on the "enthusiastically welcomed" speech.

Continue reading "Obama Heckled During Speech to Israeli Youth: VIDEO" »


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