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When Robi Gluden and Izolda Abraham decided to get married, instead of hiring a wedding hall and a band, the two aspiring actors wrote a 90-minute-long romantic comedy about how they met and fell in love, then set out to find a venue that would agree to stage their drama.

After a series of performing arts centers delicately declined to cater to the star-struck couple’s fantasies, the 449-seat Nesher Cultural Center outside Haifa agreed to host the play.

Invitations were designed like theatre tickets and a reception was held in the foyer. Acts ran from a scene recalling their first date to re-staging their first lover’s quarrel, climaxing in the last act – how could it be otherwise – with a staged, but apparently binding, marriage ceremony.


With the majority of Norwegians convinced Israel is a racist country filled with aggressive extremists, what’s the appropriate response?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent the Norwegians a Druze ambassador, who is a professor of literature; a Christian-Arab deputy-ambassador from Jaffa; and a Jewish consul. No joke.

Maybe they should send the Norwegians a complimentary subscription to Chelm-on-the-Med as well…


What’s the most popular day of the week to kick the bucket?

It’s not Sunday morning (e.g., Israel’s ‘Monday’), the first day of the work week, as one might think. According to the Red Magen David, Israelis should beware of Shabbat morning!

Some 7,300 persons die each year in Israel – an average of 20 persons a day, but the data shows the numbers per weekday vary all over the lot: 1,025 die on Sunday and only 879 on Friday… while 1,295 are pronounced dead on Shabbat.

Paramedics say the rise is linked to the fact that Israeli HMOs are closed on Saturday, so family physicians are with their own families. And why are more deaths registered at 7 am, more than any other hour of the day? “It’s not that people don’t die during the night, they’re just discovered first thing in the morning,” explained a Red Magen David source.


How and who tried to convince former chief-of-staff Gabi Ashkenazi to treat leniently two brigadier generals whom Ashkenazi had dismissed from their commands after the two senior officers allowed family members to drive IDF vehicles – a military sedan and an all-terrain bike – without authorization and then tried to cover up the infringement after the drivers caused minor accidents?

A leak from a Knesset committee reveals that Minister of Defense Ehud Barak asked Ashkenazi rhetorically whether he hadn’t pulled some similar boners in the course of his military career, admitting that he (Barak) had allowed his father to drive a tank (!) without authorization when the minister of defense was a company commander...


Moshav Estaol in the Jerusalem Hills hit an only-in-Israel snag after village residents attempted to ‘join the 21st century’ by connecting the village to the nation’s central sewage system and phasing out environmentally unsound and leaky septic tanks. The contractor they hired didn’t get very far. After the first 100 meters, he was stonewalled when the trencher hit 5,000-year-old antiquities dating back to the Bronze Age.

The Antiquities Authority not only halted all excavations on the sewage line, but under Israeli law the moshav had to underwrite a preliminary investigation of the archeological site’s importance to humanity – an estimated 2m. NIS* ‘rescue excavation’ if they wanted to continue laying pipes. As if that weren’t enough, the Antiquities Authority clarified that even if Estaol’s 100 families forked over the princely sum,** there was no guarantee the preliminary excavations would ever take place because finding an archeologist who would consider the ‘find’ worth the time could take forever.

* About $500,000

** 20,000 NIS ($5,000) per family


In 2008, an American delegation came to Israel to evaluate the Iron Dome project and gave it a 15 percent chance of success; the technological barriers were just too great said the experts. Two years later, the same delegation apologized and Israel was given $200m. worth of American backing to finish the project. What was the key to Iron Dome’s success? “We did the opposite of what’s written in all the project management manuals,” revealed the visionary behind the project, Brigadier-General (res.) Danny Gold.

If one wants to really get a handle on just how far-out Israeli out-of-the-box thinking goes, the key is not only in Iron Dome’s science-fiction level technology, it’s hidden in harebrained schemes raised in brainstorming sessions when the problem of rockets as the next war theatre was first raised almost a decade ago. Among the sky-is-the-limit ideas raised (and dropped) was a ‘containment doctrine’ based on wrapping the border with Gaza with a huge soccer field net held up by helium balloons tethered high enough* to snare any rocket launched from Gaza, revealed Rafael‘s Iron Dome project head. (Channel 10, Yediot Aharonot, the Second Channel)

* Reflecting a sentiment expressed by Dutch-Israel military historian Martin van Creveld in a caustic 2003 interview (during the Terror War) that Israel “ought to build a wall so high, that not even a bird can fly over it”…