Photo Credit: Wiki
Pamela Anderson showed up in Israel to be on the Israeli version of the popular television show, "Dancing with the Stars."
Anderson will appear for a number of episodes as both a judge and a guest dancer, but will not be one of the competitors.
As some of my readers will recall [see my article 13 Peta Poses], Pamela is a PETA person, so while she is in Israel she will also be pressing for the passage of a bill banning the use of animal fur in the making of clothes, hats and other products in the Jewish State.
One might well ask why anyone would be wearing fur in Israel, it's not like it ever gets cold there.
The problem for PETA is shtreimels, a common sight among ultra-Orthodox Jews of European descent. Pictured above, the shtreimel is a hat trimmed with sable fur worn mostly by married men on the Sabbath, Jewish holidays and festive occasions. The various nuances of styles reveal the affiliation and sometimes the social and financial standing of the Jews wearing them.
Putting lie to the notion that Jews are cheap, these hats go for four or five thousand bucks a pop. Some of the hats are imported and others are stitched together by local milliners using imported fur. Only about 10,000 are made annually worldwide according to one Jerusalem craftsman.
According to the blog Inside the Middle East:
The sable covered hat is believed to have originated some 500 years ago in Russia after a government decree that all Jews identify themselves by attaching an animal's tail to their skull caps. What began as a humiliation eventually turned into accepted fashion spreading throughout the Jewish communities in Europe.
One would think passing such a bill shouldn't be very hard in a country with a hot climate, a loose and informal dress code, and a practically non-existent fur trade; however, despite the fact that nearly 80% of the people support the initiative (according to public opinion polls), when presented last year, the proposed legislation failed because of opposition by ultra-Orthodox Jews (1).
Israeli Daily newspaper Yediot Aronoth reported last week that Pamela sent a letter to the office of Israel’s Minister of Religious Services, Ya’akov Margi, of the religious political party of Shas (2), saying she was disappointed to hear that the bill to ban fur in Israel had been delayed once again. She wrote: "I urge you to support this historic bill and speak up for the millions of animals who are bludgeoned, electrocuted, and skinned alive for their pelts each year."
Pamela Anderson poses during the unveiling of a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) poster in London. (Getty Images)
Am I crazy or doesn't this poster of Pamela scantily clad and all, make eating meat more appetizing? I mean, give me some breast and rump.
A tip tip of the shtreimel to Simply Jews: Pamela Anderson, Fur and Israel.
Oy vey, you will be sending thousands of haredim to jail!" lawmaker Menachem Eliezer Moses of the United Torah Judaism faction is said to have exclaimed last year upon seeing the bill that called for a one-year jail sentence for violators.
The law has sputtered for over a year now, undergoing various incarnations. The original proposal sought to ban the use of fur from cats and dogs. Later expanded to include other furs imported or incorporated into textile, the bill did allow for certain religious use.
It looked like common ground was reached on the matter, and activists were excited about the final push toward a bill that would make Israel a fur-free forerunner. But when it came up for a vote in September, it was stonewalled. The minister of religious services, Yakov Margi, postponed the discussion and asked for time to study possible implications that hadn't been considered, and Moses backed out of previous agreements. Lawmaker Ronit Tirosh, coauthor of the bill, was furious; local and international activists were dismayed. "Ban on fur trade in Israel frozen via dirty politics," was the title of the international anti-fur coalition's report.
... below is a letter from Pamela Anderson urging the Minister of Religious Services to ensure the passage of the bill. The PETA video she refers to can be viewed here (Warning: graphic images of animals being slaughtered)
The issue is fur from over.