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Remember the kibbutz movement’s founding principle – “Each according to his abilities, each according to his need”? Well, the old-time kibbutz may be dead (replaced by what’s labeled the “renewed kibbutz” with deferential incomes and a limited social safety net) but social solidarity ain’t dead yet: 

In an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the roof organizations of local municipal & regional councils - the Local Government Authority, it was decided that 57 rich municipalities and councils would transfer 450 million NIS  ($126,760) of their revenue to several dozen weak councils. The rich communities will underwritten such support by an estimated 15 NIS ($4.23)  increase in arnona (local property tax) per year in places like Tel-Aviv, Rishon, Rechovot, Ashdod, and Ashkelon. 



A security guard claims he was fired for…hiccupping.  According to the suit, the bloke worked for five years at the entrance to an elementary school without a hic, but in 2009 began to suffer from both intractable hiccups and uncontrolled belching. His employers patiently held their breath it would seems, since only in 2011 did they tell the employee that he couldn’t continue to work at the school and transferred him to a night watchman position (where the fellow was sacked for subsequently sleeping on the job).

         End of story?  Not yet.

         A specialist in occupational medicine took issue with the prognosis – ruling that a chronic case of the hiccups did not interfere with his responsibilities as a school guard, so the plaintiff has gone to court, demanding his employer cough up 130,000 NIS ($36,620) in compensation.   



Besides polishing a possible attack on Iran, the IDF faces another existential issue that demands immediate attention:  A demand by scores of women career officers and non-coms that they be allowed to wear any color nail polish their little hearts desire, arguing their service is “a way of life” and such leeway was “cardinal to their femininity.” 

         The Chief of Personnel, Major GeneralOrna Barbiebye (honest, that’s her name), far from tickled pink, rejected the request – hands down. The plea followed a 2012 modification in army dress codes that enables draftees, not just career personnel, to wear nail polish - provided they were women and provided the polish was clear, white, pearl, or light pink – not emerald green or aqua with black polka dots.



It seems that the overabundance of veterinarians in the vicinity of the town of Kiriyat Malachi led a 60-year old vet in a neighboring moshav to augment his income with a lucrative ‘side business.’  

         When someone made an appointment for their sick dog Mitch, the unsuspecting veterinarian let them in, but once the black Labrador entered the small animal clinic, all it took was one sniff:  Instead of trying to turn tail and head for the door like any sensible dog would do, Mitch began barking like crazy and headed for the door to the attic, with his escorts – two undercover detectives – in tow.

         The vet and his accomplice - a professional gardener - swore all 36 potted marijuana plants found upstairs were for their ‘personal use,’* which begged the question - how the very potted physician managed to run his practice in such a state. 

 * hash for personal use is not a ‘federal offence’ in Israel, only peddling drugs (or growing commercial quantities).  


As the Ministry of Finance scrambled to identify additional sources of revenue to cover the country’s budgetary deficit and bolster local municipalities with additional operating capital, someone came up with a brilliant scheme: to tax the dead.  Or, to be more precise – tax their heirs by imposing arnona (local property taxes) on cemeteries ‘til hell freezes over… 

            Based on current property taxes, critics estimated tombstone taxes would range from 209 NIS ($58.87) in Dimona to 1,222 NIS ($344.23) for cemetery plots in the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area’s expansive Holon cemetery.

            What on earth would authorities do if people failed to pay? No one  knows, but it didn’t take long for the public to react, leading the Ministry of Finance to drop the hot potato and beat a hasty retreat.


Remember the flurry of rumors a generation ago about the sexual orientation of Sesame Street’s inseparable pair -Bert and Ernie (AKA Arik and Bentz in the Hebrew version of the iconic series Rechov Sumsum)? 

         Teka (Plug) and Sheka (Socket) – two male puppets that for five years have starred in the Israel Electric Company’s tv commercials designed to educate kids on safe behavior around electricity – have raised conjectures, as well.

         Now, a new service commercial about coal-free ‘clean power’ has led Dvir Bar to drag the Israel Electric Company over the coals. 

         What put his nose out of joint?

         The new ad features a newborn who is the spitting image of Sheka* - with Teka hovering in the background, suggesting the two are ‘in a family way.’ In a scathing op-ed in the Tel-Aviv entertainment guide City Mouse, the gloweringgay activist demanded the two sock puppets come clean, and come out of the closet… (City Mouse, Yediot)

 * eliminating any ambiguity, in one episode, a flesh-and-blood lineman even congratulates Sheka with a ‘mazal tov’, before explaining how the electric company has slashed unhealthy emissions…