web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yityish Aynaw’

Visa Limits Force Miss Israel to Miss Out on US Event for IDF

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Yityish Aynaw may have a meeting set up with President Barack Obama when he travels to Israel later this week, but getting one with a U.S. embassy employee in Tel Aviv is a more difficult task.

Israel’s first beauty queen of Ethiopian Jewish descent was unable to attend a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces event in New York on March 12 because she could not get a visa on time.

“We had just three days to issue a visa,” an organizer was quoted by the Israeli news website of Yediot Acharonot as saying. “Bureaucratically, it was impossible.”

Congressmen Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ted Poe (R-Tex.) have drafted a bill that would waive visa restrictions for Israelis, but the legislation is currently stuck because of Israel’s relatively high visa rejection rate.

Israeli officials recently asked younger citizens not to travel to the U.S. unless necessary in order to reduce the rate of visa rejections.

Miss Israel: I’ll Ask my Role Model Obama to Free Pollard (VIDEO)

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

President Obama’s advance team insisted that Yityish Aynaw, the first Ethiopian Miss Israel, be included on the guest list for the official state dinner President Shimon Peres will host for the U.S. president.  At the time, they probably did not think it was necessary to do extensive background checks on the young woman.  What could be problematic about a beautiful African young woman who came to Israel as an orphan at the age of 12, and now reigns as the beauty queen of this Middle Eastern country?

But a potentially problematic YouTube video has surfaced.  Unlike a video which tanked the former Miss Delaware, forcing her to relinquish her crown, Miss Israel’s video is unlikely to harm her reputation within her domain.  The former Miss Delaware’s YouTube video confirmed rumors that she had made a pornographic movie, and it was later revealed that she was paid for her participation in that movie.

Miss Israel’s YouTube video, which is a clip of an interview aired on Israeli Ch 2 news on Wednesday, March 13, reveals something quite interesting, but utterly non-salacious.

The interviewer asks Aynaw, “What will you tell Obama when you meet him?”

She answers, “That he is a role model for me, and second, that he should free Pollard.”

Aynaw explains that she was very active while in high school – she was head of the student council – working on many different activities to help free Pollard.  She explained to the interviewer that she knows the story very well, and that if she has the opportunity, “lama lo? (why not?)”

So far there has been no response from the White House.

Jonathan Pollard has been in prison since 1987.  He was an American naval intelligence analyst in the early 1980′s when he passed certain classified information to the Israeli government. No other person who was convicted of obtaining classified information for an ally of the U.S. has served in prison as long as has Pollard, and several who were convicted of spying for enemies of the U.S. were released after serving shorter sentences.

On Wednesday, March 13, Jonathan Pollard and his wife, Esther, released a statement calling on all Israelis to show the utmost respect to President Obama during his visit to the Jewish state, according to the Jerusalem Post. This statement was made in response to a call from an Israeli politician to boycott President Obama’s speech if the president does not bring the Pollard home to Israel with him.

“Esther and Jonathan Pollard join the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home in urging the public to refrain from any action that may impugn the honor of the State of Israel by conveying, even inadvertently, any hint of disrespect or dishonor towards our official distinguished visitor,” the Pollards said in a statement. “We call upon the Israeli public to welcome President Obama to our country and to behave at all times with all due respect and honor towards the president of the United States.”

Obama to Dine with Miss Israel

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Ethiopian-born Miss Israel, who was crowned only two weeks ago, will dine with President Barack Obama at President Shimon Peres’ official residence next week, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

Obama’s staff invited Miss Israel, otherwise known as Yityish Aynaw, who also was an officer in the IDF.

The appearance of a black Jewess, from Africa no less, dining with the first black American president, who has roots in Kenya, is a PR dream for Israel, which finally will get enthusiastically positive media coverage.

Aynaw will also have plenty of good copy for the herds of journalists who will be covering President Obama’s three-day visit.

Her relatives in Israel brought her from Ethiopia when she was 12 years old.

The Ethiopian community has suffered prejudice in Israel, particularly but not only from Russian Jews, whose culture and tradition are the antithesis of that of Ethiopians.

Like many Ethiopians, whose Jewish beliefs are deep-rooted, she was told that milk comes out of faucets and gold coins are in the streets of Israel.

After being named Miss Israel at the age of 21, she said that Martin Luther King Jr. was one of her heroes because “he fought for justice and equality, and… I want to show that my community has many beautiful qualities that aren’t always represented in the media.”

Correct politics probably had a part in her winning the beauty competition. Former Miss Israel winners have included a Russian immigrant and an Arab. Pageant director Iris Cohen told the Tablet, “I think she was not the most beautiful, by classic beauty, [but] she stands on the stage and you cannot ignore her.”

Now decked out in dresses far more fancy than the ones she sold in a store, she speaks her mind.

Unlike previous foreign-born pageant winners and many new immigrants from Ethiopia who adopted Hebrew names, she told Tablet, “I was born sick, but my mom believed I had a future,” and she explained that Yityish is Amharic for “look,” or as Aynaw explains, “looking toward the future.”

“I’d never change my name,” said Aynaw. “Ever.”

Yityish Aynaw Crowned the 5773 Miss Israel

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The 2013 Israeli Beauty pageant provided the usual amount of tears of joy and of disappointment from the contestants, but also managed to record a historic moment: Yityish Aynaw, 21, of my home town of Netanya, was turned in an instant from a shoe store manager into a queen.

She broke out in tears as soon as she heard her name announced. A former Israeli army officer, she became the first Ethiopian-Israeli to win the Miss Israel pageant.

I’d like to think that all of us here, in Netanya, have become queens, even if for only a moment, as we basked in Yityish Aynaw’s glory.

A panel of judges at the International Convention Center Haifa on Wednesday awarded the title to the young and gorgeous model, who came to Israel only about a decade ago.

“It’s important that a member of the Ethiopian community wins the competition for the first time,” she told the judges during the spoken word part of the competition. “There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it’s important to show that to the world.”

Aynaw came to Israel with her brother after their parents had passed away, when she was 12. Acclimating to Israel was difficult at first, Aynaw said, but she picked up the language quickly with the help of a friend.

She has been working as a shoe store manager since her army discharge.

During the competition, Aynaw, who said Israel badly needed more dark skinned models, cited the slain American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. as one of her heroes.

“He fought for justice and equality, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here: I want to show that my community has many pretty qualities that aren’t always represented in the media,” she said.

JTA content was used in this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yityish-aynaw-crowned-the-5773-miss-israel/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: