Calling Israel a “a progressive, wonderful example to the rest of the world” for not maintaining any fur farms, former Baywatch TV star Pamela Anderson made her local debut on Sunday at a press conference at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, followed by a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a day ahead of her guest appearance on the Channel 2 reality show Dancing With the Stars.
The ardent animal rights activist, who is an honorary director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came to Israel with her dance partner, Australian dance professional Damian Whitewood. She said she was planning to meet with Knesset Members about a bill to ban fur imports to Israel presented by Kadima Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh and currently being discussed in the Knesset Education committee.
She acknowledged that she had sent a letter last week to Shas Religious Affairs Minister Yaakov Margi calling on him to back the bill to ban fur with a link to a PETA video.
She wrote that even a few seconds would be enough for Margi to agree that the way the animals suffer and die in the fur trade violates Jewish principles, which prohibit unnecessary suffering to animals.
Anderson, who competed last year on the US version of Dancing With the Stars, said she had received no pressure from anti-Israel groups to delay her planned visit.
“I’ve always wanted to come here,” she said. “My good friend David Chappelle was just here – his exhibit is still up at the Museum of Contemporary Art – and he had the most fantastic time. We don’t get to hear about all the wonderful things in Israel, and just looking out my window here at the hotel and seeing the beautiful beach, my goodness, it’s gorgeous! I’m sure I’ll be
going back with raving reviews.”
The 43-year-old Anderson received a ten, the highest possible score, from each of the three judges on the show last night, after she and Whitewood performed the tango. They are due to perform the rumba on tonight’s episode. The two also review the performances of the contestants on the Israeli show.
Commenting on her own experience on the show in the US she says, “There’s less pressure making the final basket in a basketball game in the final seconds than there is to be a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.”