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How do rich people get rich? Never pass up a good investment opportunity!        Ask Motti Ben-Moshe  one of the billionaires who competed (successfully) to buy control of a major Israeli conglomerate in financial trouble: Ben-Moshe may be a billionaire and may have (without so much as blinking an eye) plopped-down 600 M NIS ($171 M) with the court-appointed trustee as a sign of serious intent, but in the course of sharing the source of his own money with the court handling the takeover, it became public knowledge that Ben-Moshe took out an attractive 700,000 NIS ($200,000) long-term bank mortgage on his three-million NIS ($857,143) villa in the bedroom suburb Modi’in – mortgaged to the hilt, just like everyone else...

           “I bought the house with a mortgage at a good interest rate, and it’s not worth returning the mortgage at this time,” explained Ben-Moshe, laconically. The Israeli tycoon even owes installments on his car…



In the past, Palestinian Arabs claimed they are the original Philistines, therefore “the Jews kicked them out of ‘their land’* twice – once in antiquity, the second time in 1948” – a hard line to swallow since Arabs originated in the Arabian peninsula and invaded Palestine in the 7th Century while Philistines are an ancient Mediterranean seafaring people who originated in the region of the Aegean Sea...

           How does that old ditty go?  ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try try again’?

           Now Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is claiming** Palestinians trace their ancestry back to the Canaanites, and were around 3,000 years ago when Joshua invaded ‘their land’ crossing the Jordan River with the Children of Israel to possess the Promised Land, putting siege to Jericho. 

           And that’s not all: Consequently, said Erekat, Palestinians can’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state…

* In fact, academics have found that a good percentage of Palestinians Arabs (and almost all Israeli Bedouin) are of Egyptian and North African extraction. 



As it is, choosing to go by train to Jerusalem is a lengthy love affair – taking an hour and 22 minutes, while taking the bus or the car – traffic and all - is usually a shorter affair. But recently a commuter train from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem completely railroaded commuters when their 7 AM commuter train simply ‘failed to make the grade’ – literally and figuratively, turning the one-way trip into a three hour ordeal.  

           The locomotive chugged out of the Beit Shemesh station, but then gradually lost momentum as it struggled to climb the Judean Hills towards the capital, eventually grinding to a halt in the middle of nowhere.

           The chagrinned engineer in the cab announced the tuckered-out locomotive couldn’t make it up to Jerusalem, explaining to passengers that he’d have to slip-slid back to Beit Shemesh…in reverse. 



Anyone who has ever flown El-Al knows that Israel’s national airline distributes the Tfilat HaDerech (the Traveler’s Prayer for a safe journey, with G-d’s help) along with the toothpicks at mealtime, perhaps explaining why passengers clap in gratitude when El-Al planes return to terra firma. But the airline’s rabbi (here is such a function) took things one step too far when in late December he ordered the Traveler’s Prayer be broadcasted over the cabin PA system before every take-off and landing… 

           Officials reproofed Rabbi Yochanan Chaiyut for what they labeled an unauthorized “personal initiative,” after some crew members and passengers complained about the strange background music.



Tel-Aviv resident Talia Mikumel got a call from City Hall threatening to place a lien on her bank account if she didn’t immediately pay her debts to the city.  After four hours waiting in line at the municipality, Mikumel found out the reason for the call: a 39 agurot (10 cent) debt on her arnona (city property taxes)…

            The clerk clarified that not only that, there was hell to be paid - interest a penalty fine!  Another two hours in line clarified interest and the penalty jacked up the total due to a whopping 90 agurot* (25 cents).

Mikumel’s father, who had accompanied his daughter to City Hall, revealed he was weighing demanding the right to pay the debt in 12 installments, but on second thought decided to waive such a move.

 * When queried, a clueless official retorted defensively: “We don’t put liens on bank accounts for that kind of money.”



A 23 year-old woman who underwent breast enlargement surgery claims that ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of her boobs are displayed on her plastic surgeon’s website.  A friend brought the ‘coverage’ to her attention after recognizing her signature tits, she complained.

           Not so, said the clinic.  They’re someone else’s knockers…demonstratively refusing to remove the knockout photos.

           The maiden sued the clinic for a million shekel* in damage to her reputation for ‘turning her into a laughing stock’ and straining relations with her family and friends.

           Now it’s up to the courts to decide whose boobs are on display.

* $285,714



A poll of 500 Israelis and their relationship with the Book of Books conducted by the Smith Polling Institute came up with mixed results.

           The good news is that 96 percent of all Israeli Jews – whether religious and secular – support Bible study being an integral part of Israeli school curriculum.

            The bad news is that while 93 percent of the population have a copy of the Bible in their house, 28 percent don’t remember when was the last time they opened their Bibles…including 10 percent of the religiously-observant respondents.