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A New Internet Channel

Lisa Ohayon ... station anchor

An exciting new Internet Video Channel is being offered to Israeli English speakers, in conjunction with ESRA ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections to the 20th Knesset. Welcome Kamatov TV.

The name Kama Tov comes from the Arik Einstein song of the same name – "How wonderful it is that you came home!"

Kamatov TV is a web channel which aims to offer a daily dose of life in Israel, but entirely in English. This may take the form of wonderful initiatives such as many of those maintained by ESRA, and especially in the run-up to these critical elections interviews of people who are either directly involved with or connected to political parties and viewpoints that we would otherwise only be aware of in the most superficial of ways.

What exactly is an internet video channel?

This is simply a webpage where one can show and watch videos. Although younger people take it for granted, the very high internet bandwidth means that we can watch programs on our computers or phones just like on TV.

Why launch a service like this?

Have you ever wondered what's going on, what's really going on, in Israel?

My husband Yochai and I were chatting when we realized that native English speakers in Israel constitute an electorate of over 200,000. Beyond the strength of our vote, we are articulate and influential members of local society and events, as well as opinion makers beyond these shores.

Israeli society and media is thankfully and unapologetically Hebrew speaking. This, combined with the fact that things in Israel move faster than a speeding bullet, means that many particularly local and domestic issues never make it onto the radar of the typical Israeli Anglo mindset.

In fact, most Israeli Anglos base their voting decision on their understanding of Israeli foreign policy and the peace process, which is fetishized by the English speaking global media.

While this may be a legitimate basis for deciding, and is a natural outcome given that we are all immigrants from 'somewhere over there', it is polar opposite to a country like the U.S, where local issues such as housing, taxation, employment trump U.S. foreign issues resoundingly, even as they are waging military campaigns.

We hope that by exposing Israeli Anglos to Israeli issues, we will enrich our options when it comes to casting our vote and deepen our awareness beyond.

When is the show on?

One of the great advantages of Internet TV is that we can watch on demand, whenever we have a few free moments.

How can someone who does not understand computers watch?

If you can type Kamatov TV in Google and click on the first result you see you can be watching almost instantly.

How did you get into video blogging?

Two-and-a-half years ago, I was privileged to return to university. This time to do a Masters in government at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Since July of last year I have been writing for the Times of Israel, and I have become very active on Facebook.

My short career in blogging and social media made me aware of the opportunities that exist to reach and engage with my fellow concerned citizens, particularly ahead of the elections.

When does it start?

Our launch will be on the February 3.

What will you show?

We intend to load fresh content of around five minutes each day from Sunday to Thursday with a focus on the upcoming elections. We hope to get into the spirit of the elections with heated but fair debates and will endeavor to show the gamut of opinions across Israeli society. Beyond the election period we hope to spotlight cultural sporting and other difference makers in Israeli society.

Does the audience have any say in what is shown?

Absolutely. All recommendations and suggestions made on our Kamatov Facebook talkback page will be monitored and evaluated – in this sense it truly is a community channel.

Furthermore, we are looking for volunteers to help with the production and the programming of the channel.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to be involved in what we feel will be a fun and worthwhile project.

ESRA is pleased to offer this video channel as a service to English speakers. The views expressed on this video channel do not necessarily reflect ESRA's editorial policy.

Lisa Ohayon: The channel can be found on Facebook. Search for Kamatov. It can also be found on YouTube. Search for Kamatov TV. If you "like" the Facebook page it will automatically show up in your newsfeed when something is posted. 



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Wednesday, 19 June 2024

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