Shorts: Arts

Oprah criticized for pro-Israel stance

Oprah Winfrey has been criticized for supporting Israel by the Joint Advocacy Initiative, a partnership between the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine. The JAI said in a Friday, June 8 letter that Winfrey’s willingness to visit Israel was “very shocking” considering her image as someone who “stands with oppressed, marginalized people, fights racism, and works for justice and human rights.”

The letter was apparently a response to the talk show host’s declaration last month that she sympathized with the suffering of Israelis and would accept an invitation from Elie Wiesel to visit the Jewish state. Calling Israel’s policies a violation of international law, the JAI invited Winfrey to visit the Palestinian territories and “witness firsthand the refugee camps, Apartheid Wall, movement restrictions and ghettos.” — jta

QVC to feature Israeli jewelry

Viewers will be able to purchase high-end gold jewelry from Israel when the Adi Paz Gold Collection debuts on the shopping channel QVC on Wednesday, June 20 at 10 p.m. The Adi Paz Collection reflects the artistry and craftsmanship of four Israeli designers and includes gold pieces accented with diamonds and gemstones. It is a unique collection specially priced for QVC. According to Danny Newfeld, an executive with Adi Paz, “This is amazing opportunity for us to showcase the unique jewelry from Israel that captures Israel’s historical significance and its beautiful landscape. As a country of immigrants, Israel has absorbed newcomers from more than 70 countries who have brought with them their own creative spirit and diversity. This sets Israel apart from other key centers for jewelry design.”

The upcoming show represents a test market for Adi Paz. If the segment does well, says Newfeld, there will be more QVC shows.

Dead Sea film center planned

Israel plans to create an international film center at the Dead Sea. Vice Premier Shimon Peres, whose portfolio includes regional cooperation efforts, said the new cultural center would open in Kibbutz Ein Gedi with a view to encouraging joint Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian film projects. The first stage of construction is being funded with an initial government investment of $250,000 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2008. Veteran Israeli film director Amos Gitai is slated to administer the center. — jta

Mirren mulling Gaza film

Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren is in talks on starring in a film set in the Gaza Strip.

A British production company said last week that Mirren, who won an Academy Award for her performance in last year’s “The Queen,” was in negotiations to play a woman whose daughter, a journalist, is killed after falling in love with a Gazan Palestinian. Haaretz reported that Mirren’s character is Jewish, and that the film would likely be made in Jordan given the current security problems in Gaza. — jta