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The ‘Jihadi Wave’ OF 2015

a mixed bag of piquant



November 13, 2015 – November 19, 2015



Bibi Natanyahu is adopting ‘speed dating’ techniques*…to streamline cabinet meetings: The prime minister ordered the cabinet’s secretary to hang stopwatch displays on the walls of the cabinet room, and told his ministers they would will be given only three minutes each to state their position on any issue under discussion.

            At present the prime minister holds four portfolios** in addition to his seat as head of the government, and it remains to be seen if Natanyahu will get 15 minutes to present his case while switching hats. (Globes, Yediot


* three-to-eight minute matchmaking sessions dreamed up by Aish HaTorah to streamline and optimize the chance of Jewish singles meeting their match from ‘within the tribe.’

 ** Foreign Affairs, Communications, Regional Cooperation… and Health up until a month ago ‘replaced’ by the Economics portfolio on November 1st – positions that Natanyahu has been holding temporarily for the last six months, in the hopes of broadening the Likud’s thin coalition.



Palestinians charge Israelis are simply shooting people for no reason (The women driver who tried to mow down a group of soldiers - also found to have a butcher knife concealed in her pocketbook on the passenger seat  - ‘was only trying to make a right turn into a gas station.’)

            Rogatka (‘Slingshot’) Productions shot back with “a public service announcement for Palestinians wanting to avoid getting shot” called How to Avoid Israeli Brutality – A Quick Guide (“When driving a car, do not purposely drive into a crown of people standing on the sidewalk. You might get shot”…and more*) - a takeoff on the parody produced by American comedian Chris Rock How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police. (


 * view the service announcement, then check out this video to see what prompted the second piece of advice about what to do ”when an Israeli policeman asked for an ID,”



 Looking for a lucrative profession? Look no farther than the nearest shawarma stand. Shawarma mavens* who know how to choose, stack, grill and most important – slice the layers of lamb or turkey dark meat and lamb fat properly – behave like prima donnas, demanding and receiving 15,000 NIS ($2,947) a month gross for their services.

            This tidbit was part of a two-page expose in Israel HaYom that investigated why there is such a huge price gap between Israeli shawarma (33-40 NIS) and sawarma in Gaza (8-10 NIS). There was not only a gap in quality of the meat and the price of pita, and labor costs (wages being one fourth those in Israel). Hamas, it turns out, has imposed arbitrary price controls on shawarma to undercut seething discontent on the street… (Israel HaYom)


* Yiddish for ‘experts’ from the Hebrew verb meveen or ‘understand’



In Jewish tradition guests come to a wedding to ‘bring joy to the groom and bride’ but Itai and Re’ut felt in light of ‘The Situation’* a role reversal was called for - to ‘give the public-at-large a reason to rejoice’ by holding a surprise wedding at the busiest corner in Tel Aviv: The entrance to the Carmel Fruit & Vegetable Market and the Nachalat Benyamin Crafts Fair on a Friday.

            A friend designed the wedding gown, set up the chupah (wedding canopy) and made all the other arrangements – including a reception with a klezmer band in a small park off Shenkin Street for family and friends…and any and all Friday shoppers and café patrons who wished to dance at their wedding. Technically speaking this was a retaking of their vows… without waiting 50 years for their golden anniversary (since the two had already tied the knot several months earlier at a wedding hall), but who’s counting? (Ynet) Photo credit:  Eight Bells Wedding Imagery


* The wedding took place hours after the murder of a father and son on the road by Palestinian terrorists, and hours before the carnage in Paris began.



Israel is bending over backwards to avoid providing material for mud-slinging Israel bashers: In construction of the new train line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel Railways was ordered by the government to dump excess soil from digging certain tunnels entering Jerusalem and at the former ‘Latrun bulge’ that lay ‘beyond the Green Line’ only on the other side of the 1967 border (i.e. in the ‘West Bank’) so no one can accuse Israel of stealing Palestinian land… There was no such stipulation in the original contract.  

            The strange order came to light after Israel Railways demanded in court to be reimbursed for 20 M NIS ($5.3 M) in extra costs – a chore complicated by the fact that much of the excavated earth consists of sludge that needs to be dried out before it can be trucked out and disposed ‘outside‘ Israel proper. (Yediot)



As winter approaches in earnest, popularity spirals in Israel for preparing cholent*/hamin – the 24-hour slow-cooking meal-in-one served as a midday meal on the Sabbath all year long among religious families.        

            With cholent comes the ‘aftereffects’ of the main ingredient - beans (dry lima beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, fava beansor Egyptian ful or a combination of the above)… But farmers at moshav Ein Yahav in the Arava have a solution – thanks to Tai agricultural workers who introduced their employers to a Tai bean variety that doesn’t cause flatulence.

            The farmers are investigating growing the new bean in hothouses after their mainstay crops - winter bell pepper* exported to Russia – became a losing proposition after the ruble collapsed. (Israel HaYom) Photo credit: Gila Brand – Wikipedia


* Two other farmers, NoaBarel and Dana Meltzer from moshav Hatzeva led a delegation of 150 Arava famers to the Knesset. No, the debt-ridden farmers weren’t looking for a financial bailout. They want legislators to pressure the ministries of health and agriculture to let them transform the Arava – already renowned for its state-of-the-art hothouse technology - into a world hub for growing medicinal cannabis. Export of pot would bring in 170 M NIS ($4.5 M) in taxes annually, claim the pair. (Yediot)



Arab politicians serving in the Knesset repeatedly challenge the legitimacy of the concept of Israel as ‘a Jewish and democratic state’ but this  bent took a piquant twist at an orientation for new members of parliament when newly-minted MK Dr. Yousef Jabareen from the United [Arab] List asked rhetorically - “Where is it written that this is the State of Israel?!”      

            It turns out there is nothing on the law books that states that the State of Israel is the State of Israel (not even just plain ‘Israel’) as was declared on May 14th 1948 in Israel’s Declaration of Independence*… The name of the Jewish state was never passed into law!

            MK Oren Hazan (Likud) has introduced a private bill to correct the oversight by amending the Flag and Emblem Law (May 18, 1948) which only assumes so much – de facto, speaking of the flag and state seal “of the State of Israel” without officially declaring that the state is the State of Israel de jure.

            Of course, there is also no law that sets forth the borders of the State of Whatchamacallit either…but that’s another matter. (Israel HaYom)


* In paragraph 11 of the document:  “Accordingly we, members of the People's Council, representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist Movement…declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”