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The epidemic of run-of-the-mill citizens ‘documenting’ unfolding events with their smart phones to post the dramatic images on Facebook or beam to the media could have tragic consequences warns the Israel Police’s Negev Special Recognisance Unit.

            When members of the rapid response unit sought to locate and neutralize the Palestinian terrorist armed with a fire arm lurking somewhere in the Beersheva mall, they found themselves facing a barrage of flashing cell phone cameras at every turn that in the blink of an eye, could be misinterpreted as the flash of a gun barrel. (Israel HaYom)



Israeli architect/interior designer Orly Eran, found herself facing a law suit filed by the Tel Aviv Municipality for a 7-8 cm (3 inch) deviation in the placement of one of the exterior walls of the building plan she drew up. A municipal affairs magistrate threw the Municipality out of court saying the accusation was what was misplaced.

            If city hall insisted on drawing and quartering an offender (figuratively speaking) for breaking the Planning and Construction Law by three inches, they should have sued the contractor who carried out Eran’s plans, or the building engineer who oversaw construction, said judge Itai Hermalin. (Calcalist)



Kibbutz Gaash has rolled out a prototype for a souped-up lamppost for streets and parks designers describe as “a streetlamp with sechel (Yiddish for ‘smarts’)” that can come packed with a surveillance camera, wi-fi Internet* and sensors that measure air pollution and monitor traffic volume. The only optional feature the designers apparently overlooked is…a loud speaker. 

What for? Ask the Rechovot Municipality About eight years ago, Rechovot planted a pair of video cameras attached to a set of very loud speakers in two public parks that had repeatedly fallen victim to vandals. Wireless technology linked the surveillance equipment to the local police station, thus allowing the nighttime duty officer to scare the wits out of potential troublemakers before they could kick the daylights out of their first trash can. The Booming-Voice-Out-of-Nowhere made it clear that a squad car would be on the way if those already caught on camera didn't behave.

(Yediot) * as a public service for the citizenry, or only for conductivity between the lamppost and municipal communication hubs.



Business and commerce in the capital is suffering painfully from a sharp drop in traffic. Mayor Nir Barkat - an ex-hi tech entrepreneur -  ordered the Jerusalem municipality to set up an online platform where any and all Jerusalem businesses can advertise their products or services – allowing residents…in fact, anyone anywhere in the country who wants to express their solidarity, a way to patronize Jerusalem businesses by placing orders online and having their purchases home delivered. (Israel HaYom)



As the 20th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination (on November 4, 1995) approaches, Channel 10 television – renowned for its hostile relations with the presiding prime minister – faced an embarrassing blooper after the channel’s presenter in a promo for an upcoming ‘Rabin special’ spoke of “the 20th anniversary* of the assassination of prime minister Bibi Natanyahu”… (>Maariv,

* If that wasn’t enough, Rabin’s granddaughter attorney-at-law and scriptwriter Noa (nee Ben Artzi) Rothman responding to a surfer’s question whether the 20th anniversary would be marked as a work holiday, retorting in a talkback on Maariv’s website “perhaps with the murder of Natanyahu there will be [a holiday]”…  



Not just at funerals*:  Dozens and dozens of Israelis demonstrated their support for lone soldiers by meeting Yonatan Hadar at the finishing line of the traditional 70 kilometer march that climaxes in receipt of his much-coveted brown Golani Brigade beret, after Hadar’s mother in New York posted a note on Facebook saying she couldn’t be there at the ceremony like the parents of his buddies**, asking perfect strangers to serve as surrogate parents.

            The well wishers at the finishing line at the Golani Memorial Junction on the road to Tiberius came from as far away as Rechovot, armed with food and presents and hugs of appreciation. (Yediot)   


* For those who may have missed this story from Protective Edge in the summer of 2014: Twenty-thousand people from all over the country came to the funeral of Sergeant Sean Carmeli z”l from Texas in Haifa and 30,000 attended the funeral of Sergeant Max Steinberg z”l from California in Jerusalem – mourners for soldiers whom they didn’t know at all, while 7,000 Ashkelonians braved rockets to do the same as an act of gratitude for Sergeant Jordan Bensemhoun z”l from Lyon France and his family, a third ‘lone soldier. 

** see video clips of such only-in-Israel style parents’ days that climax each leg of training in the Israeli army’ on Golani’s facebook page - particularly this one that captures the ‘tone’ of the gathering.



Is seasonal migration a wise choice for storks? Sure enough, it was an Israeli doctoral student who asked this out-of-the-box question. It’s already known that young storks in their first year of life depend on flocks of older storks to navigate the way to Africa and back…if they can keep up with the flock or can ‘re-attach’ to a later flock if they get lost...but how many actually survive? 

            The Israeli ornithologist followed 18 offspring of German storks, fitting the fledglings with solar-powered GPS devices just before they left their nests. (Now you realize, to accomplish this, someone had to climb up ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ style to reach the storks nests built in treetops, on rooftops, church spires, telephone poles and just about anything else that's tall and has a decent view.)

            While the doctoral student emerged from the research unscathed, it turns out that 70 percent of young storks died on the way.

            All the more interesting – the last two chicks to hatch who ‘missed the last flight out’ and remained in Europe…both survived and were observed by German colleagues in snow-covered fields, providing food for thought: While the early bird may get the worm, the two latecomers hatched behind schedule, found ample people-food in garbage dumps in Europe even in the dead of winter. (Ynet

* The birds, incidentally, are loyal to their two-meter wide nests and return to the same ones every year when they return in the spring. (Credit: “Green Violinist”, Marc Chagall, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; “stork nest” / Olympus Optical Co, Ltd.)



Definitely worth repeating (even if it doesn’t originate in the Hebrew press, the following barb was coined by Members of the Tribe):  Who isn’t aware of the plethora of twisted headlines abroad that talk speak of Arab fatalities/casualties of knifings in Israel (the perpetrators of the terrorist attack …without mentioning what they were up to or their victims).  The LA Times took the prize with “Four Palestinians Killed in Israeli Violence.”

            Staff at Jewlarious (one of my favorite watering holes) fought back with this gem: “Imagine reading this: September 11, 2001 – 18 Saudi Nationals Die in Tragic Plane Accidents”… There are more worth a wicked chuckle. (