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      Arutz Sheva/Israel Vibes Pre-Election Debate on Google Hangout

      Arutz Sheva and Israel Vibes to offer a special pre-election video cast in which viewers can join. Eight different parties will be there.
      By Ben Bresky
      First Publish: 1/16/2013, 5:33 PM / Last Update: 1/17/2013, 5:58 PM

      Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio is teaming with Israel Vibes to offer a special interactive pre-election video cast. The show will feature interviews and debates with eight of the leading political parties running for the January 22nd elections. The focus will be a celebration of Israeli democracy and will end on a positive note.

      The program will be simulcast on Israel National Radio's live English language audio stream as well as on video using Google Hangouts. The Google+ feature has been successfully used by US President Barack Obama, the Japanese electorate, and the United Nations for online conferences.

      Google Hangouts allow for multiple participants to enter into a single video conference. Participants can join the conference using their web cams or by typing in the live chat feature. Additionally, the event can be broadcast to an unlimited audience.

      David Lev co-founder of Israel Vibes, and producer of the event stated, “We're taking it to the next level in the high-tech sense. We're also looking forward to some colorful debates with a wide variety of candidates."

      Lev is the publisher of Aliyah Magazine, a blogger for Arutz Sheva and a frequent guest on the Aliyah Fever podcast.

      Avraham Venismach, co-producer of the event and a co-host of Israel National Radio's Aliyah Fever show, stated, "The event promises to be both educational and entertaining. We want to help our fellow English-speaking Israelis, new immigrants in particular, to better understand the choices in Israel's often complex system."

      Venismach is also the marketing executive of the Keshet Yehuda aliyah program for young Jewish men. The event's co-host is author Ellis Shuman, who made aliyah from the United States in the 1970s. Shuman host to offer a counterbalance and commentary to Lev's political outlook.

      The program will be divided into four parts. The first part offers party representatives an opportunity to explain their platforms. The second part will be a questions and answers segment from viewers and listeners. 

      The third segment will be a debate between the different party representatives. At this stage, the rules of engagement provide for a game show style element. Each politician will have the opportunity to respond to probing questions. Accordingly, the more attacks launched against any panel guest will provide the guest more time to respond. Therefore, attempts at "ganging up" on a particular party representative could result in more air time for that guest. The purpose of the format is to provoke audience participation and to encourage skillful and hard-edge debates.

      The fourth and final segment will focus on positivity and unity and is one that Lev had insisted on incorporating. “Politics really has a way of separating people. I wanted to see how we could bring everyone together,” he stated. In that vein, each party representative will be asked "What do you think brings us together?” 

      Lev explained, "after all, the elected parties will sit in a building called the Knesset, which was founded on the principle of the Great Assembly. This Jewish assembly was once gathered over three thousand years ago in Shiloh. Back then it was all about people with diverse views being able to live and work together, while making important decisions that could affect the entire Israelite community."

      Representatives from the following parties will be live on the show:
       
      * Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home)
      * HaTenuah (The Movement)
      * Avoda (Labor)
      * Likud / Yisrael Beiteinu (Likud / Israel Our Home)
      * Meretz (Energy)
      * Otzma LeYisrael (Power to Israel)
      * Shas ("Shomrei Sefard" - Sephardic Guards)
      * Yesh Atid (There is a Future)
       
      The program will begin Thursday evening January 17th at 6:00 PM Israel time / 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. For more information click here: http://www.israelvibes.com/.

      On election day, January 22nd, Arutz Sheva and the Orthodox Union will feature a live streaming video and audio cast from the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem featuring interviews with various candidates.