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He’s at it again: Yes, Shlomo Avni, the 82-year old Givatyim resident who won
a 2009 Chelm Award after unsuccessfully petitioned the Israel Supreme Court demanding his carcass be dumped in a field on the Golan Heights after he died, to serve as food for wild animals – Avni’s way of paying a debt to Mother Nature for years at the top of the food chain.

            Now Avni wants to have his body tossed into the sea to feed the fish, but hoping to bury him in paper work instead, civil servants told Avni  he has to obtain a special permit from the Ministry for Environmental Quality’s Inter-Ministerial Committee for Permits to Release Effluents and Waste in the Sea. Avni says he’s deeply offended by the thought that the State of Israel wants to classify him as ‘waste’ or ‘muck’ after a lifetime as a productive citizen. If authorities don’t promise to allow him to be buried at sea – with the official blessings of the State of Israel* in advance, the crusty senior says he’ll again petition the Supreme Court, which will then have to rule whether a Jewish corpse** is an environmental pollutant. (Yediot and YNet News)


* a private company offered to do the paper work to ‘export’ his body for burial abroad, hire a boat, then quietly slip Avni in the drink in international waters, beyond the jurisdiction of the State of Israel – but he declined.


**  Such a question will only add fuel to the smoldering  and sensitive controversy over what should constitute ‘respect for the dead.’




The Keystone Cops are at it again:  Four young people loitering about near the Glilot junction north of Tel-Aviv caught the attention of a pair of cops on patrol. When the patrolmen discovered the young men had minor police records they decided to search their vehicle. Lo and behold the cops found a suspicious four-kilo (!*) bag of white powder that they were convinced contained cocaine, but the crime lab was forced to inform Israel’s Finest that they had hauled in the suspects for trafficking in pancake mix.

            Not only had the cops failed to notice the bottle of maple syrup on the back seat next to the suspicious package; they also failed to read the writing on the 4-kilo bag they sent to the crime lab that clearly bore the name and logo of a well-known pancake house just up the road…  


* A whopping windfall for the law, considering a kilo of pure cocaine is now valued at 800,000 NIS ($200,000) since the border with Sinai was sealed by a security fence.




Rai Biton (29) stood to tie the knot, but decided not to take her fiancé’s name,   When the couple registered to get married she told the Rabbinate in Ashdod that she intended to keep her maiden name.  Nevertheless, six months later Biton was surprised to find her last name had automatically been changed in the Ministry of Interior’s population registry without her knowledge or her consent.  Unable to fill a prescription medicine, take out a mortgage or buy a plane ticket under her own name, she filed suit against the Ministry for damages, settling out of court for 17,500 NIS ($4,375). 

            From now on, the Ministry is playing it safe: Any Israeli woman who want to take her husband’s names after getting hitched will have to sign a form requesting to do so.




New eateries open and close at breakneck speed, but Avi’s Hummus probably takes the cake…or takes the chick peas as the case may be.         Located on Frishman Street in the heart of Tel Aviv, the establishment serves straight hummus, hummus garnished with whole chick peas, parsley and oil, or hummus with a hard boiled egg – but with a twist, allowing clientele to “pay by the taste” or decide what their dish was worth.

            The manager told customers the chickpeas came from a farmer named Avi who specialized in growing chickpeas and that the recipe was a “house secret.”  Of course, this was only half the truth, since the hole-in-the-wall eatery turned out to be a front for the Israeli milk & salad  giant the Strauss Group. 

            Strauss said it opened the storefront eatery serving its mass-produced hummus to “meet their customers face-to-face” -.randomizing taste tests for Achla Hummus* first-come first-served if you wish. The wildly popular hummusia – where Israelis lined up and paid 20 to 35 NIS ($5-8.75)  a serving including a side dish of salad, although one client plunked down a 100 NIS bill ($25) – is scheduled to close its doors just before Passover, two weeks after it opened.  


* sold in the States under the Sabra label.



Barak Obama’s visit to Israel has hit hard several dozen business - cafes and restaurants, a petrol station, a pharmacy and grocery, a gym and a string of other establishments – after the Secret Service demanded all businesses within a one to two kilometer radius of the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram Campus and the Israel Museum close their doors for three full days at the height of the pre-Passover shopping orgy, to create a ‘sterile zone’ for the American President.

            Who will compensate the businesses? 

            An Israeli government official replied lamely: “We have clear directives how to compensate in the event of war, military campaigns, damage from rocket hits and so forth.  But to the best of my knowledge, no fund compensates for closing businesses* for the visit of a personage.”


* Jerusalemites are used to brief traffic jams created by temporarily-closed streets as motorcades of visiting heads of state pass by.