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Israel will go to the polls on January 22, 2013. The number of recognized parties in Israel – all it takes is 100 signatures and a 2,182 NIS ($574) registration fee – is mind-boggling: There are 91 (!) parties in the Party Registry 

       Not all decide to run*, but among the new wannabes is a newly-minted 'Pirates party'** which will proudly take its place on the ballot along side the party that would legalize grass , another that would legalize casinos and a third that would allow citizens to sue the banks…

       Before you laugh, in the past upstart parties have attracted a chuck of the votes – the weirdest being the Pensioners' Party ('GIL') which in 2006 attracted almost 186,000 votes, mostly young people in Tel-Aviv jaded with politics – ten percent of whom voted for GIL in lieu of casting a blank ballot, bagging the Pensioners' seven seats in parliament that propelled seven stunned seniors out of retirement and into the 17th Knesset.  (Arutz 10 and Yeditot)


* Out of 86 parties during the last national elections, 33 parties actually ran for seats in the Knesset, although only 12 made it to the House. (The list for the 19th Knesset elections will close this afternoon, after this column goes to press.


** Party heads showed up at the Knesset in pirate regalia (hook, line and Tinker) claiming to be fighting for "development of the economy's 'pirate sector'" unfettered by rules and regulation.



Operation Pillar of Defense was a windfall for M. – or so he thought.  A firm believe in 'make love, not war,' the unidentified 35 year-old set off for a carefree week of lovemaking with his mistress, armed with what seemed an ironclad alibi: He'd gotten an emergency call-up. 

       Borrowing his wife's car, M. and his illicit liaison made a beeline south, further embellishing the cock-and-bull story by his lady friend pretending to be his unit's liaison officer – calling M.'s worried spouse to let her know her husband had indeed been mobilized and sent south…

       Every evening M. made sure to call home to share in vivid detail preparation for a possible ground assault  – while the twosome were cavorting around Eilat dining at posh restaurants and relaxing on the beach. Everything worked splendidly until the Mrs. got a call from an Eilat garbage collector telling her that her car was blocking the service entrance to her hotel – bringing an end to the marriage*…or at least an end to the affair.


* Jumping to conclusions, the lady of the house immediately hired a pair of detectives, and filed suit for a divorce – well armed with incriminating evidence of infidelity even before hubby showed up to face a firing squad on the home front.




In the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense, Yediot Ahronot asked leading public relations firms to capsulate the essence of the confrontation in a bumper sticker, Baumann Ber Revnay came up with a winner: SDEROT, ROTHSCHILD - a reference to the new linkage between residents of the town of Sderot targeted for over a decade  by rockets from Gaza, and the espresso-drinkers along Sderot Rothschild (Rothschild Boulevard) – the navel of the Big Orange and an iconic reflection of the essence and the ambience of Tel-Aviv…suddenly interrupted by wailing sirens.




For those who remember the story about the ban on singing in the shower (“Stop the Music”) between 2 and 4 pm, Haifa justice of the peace Aharon Sadeh ruled that the right to ‘peace and quiet’ applies not just to noisy people but also to noisy pets.

       His court order was the upshot of a suit brought against two dog-owning families whose residences bordered the home of the plaintiff – a war veteran with PTSD – who repeatedly found himself in a crossfire of barking dogs on both sides that triggered anxiety attacks.

       From now on, between 10 pm and 7:30 am and between 2 pm and 4 pm, wrote the judge, the defendants’ dogs would be permitted to bark for no longer than four minutes straight.

       Within a week of the landmark decision, the defendants found themselves courting trouble after the plaintiff filed a complaint with the Migdal Haemek police charging that the four-legged guilty parties had broken the court order.




Last July, to celebrate the city of Rehovot’s 120th year, Weizmann Institute researchers left their labs for the bars and bistros to belt out lectures to young Israelis out on the town on subjects ranging from the latest brain research to how life was formed. Picking up on the last theme, a group of fertility specialists – physicians Ronit Kochman, Ariel Horwitz and Eli Mimon, decided to target the Tel Aviv bar and café scene and get more personal about ‘how life is formed’… or isn’t as the case may be.

       The three OB-GYNs waded into TA’s anything-goes (well, almost-anything-goes) nightlife to strike up conversations with the café and bistro crowd, telling single women over a cold beer about the possible repercussions of enjoying their carefree Thirties. Suffice it to say, more than one ticked-off single felt Israelis’ unbridled propensity for frankness and striking up conversations with total strangers had gone one step too far…

       Alas, the well-meaning, in-your-face physicians not only wanted to tell party-goers that their biological clocks were ticking, they also wanted to make sure the ladies knew freezing one’s eggs in a timely fashion was included in the basket of services covered under Israel’s national compulsory health law. (Yediot, Haaretz)




A gay couple and a Tel Aviv rabbinical court found themselves in a rather weird tangle when MK Professor Uzi Even and his partner Dr. Amit Kamah, who had tied the knot in a civil ceremony in Canada eight years ago, decided to part ways after successfully fighting to have their status recognized by the Israel Ministry of Interior.* 

While a civil court recognized their separation, when the 72-year-old Israeli physicist-turned-parliamentarian wanted to wed a different partner, Canadians demanded that Professor Even first prove he was legally divorced, not just legally separated. Ironically, because both men are Jewish, Ministry of Interior regulations require confirmation of their divorce by a rabbinical court… which never recognized their union in the first place. How will the two unravel the Gordian knot remains to be seen.

       Go fight City Hall perhaps.


* On orders from the Israel Supreme Court