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CHELM-ON-THE-MED©, November 2015 Column 4




The Jihadi Wave of 2015

a mixed bag of piquant




November 20, 2015 – November 26, 2015



Israel HaYom’s political cartoonist Shlomo Cohen responded to Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallström linking the terrorist attacks in Paris to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict*…this in a country that only weeks ago was forced to distribute body armor to Swedish supermarket checkout cashiers against its own local knife-wielding Muslim assailants: Cohen’s cutting cartoon showing the Swedish foreign minister sitting in front of an eye chart marked “ISIS ISISISIS”  – as she answers “ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL.”  (Israel HaYom)

* A Swedish website commented that there was ‘no missed guesswork’  in terms of the Swedish foreign minister’s  sentiments since she was wearing her heart on her sleeve…or in this case around her neck: Hours after the Paris attack, Wallström chose, of all things, to don an Islamic crescent and star pendant at the press conference where she hinted Israel was the trigger. Photo credit: DN.TV Channel 4, footage captured by



Inbal Lederman has been ‘memorialized’ as a street name in Jerusalem. A decade-and-a-half ago the unknown geographer and town planner from moshav Sde Hemed worked for several months at the digital mapmaking service Mapa. In order to finger entities copying their maps without permission, Mapa ‘planted’ names of employees in remote places on its online maps.

            The ‘errors’ were corrected when the same GIS mapping data was purchased by this or that entity…but everyone and his brother, including apparently municipalities and GIS navigation systems, simply helped themselves to the ‘free’ online data with the embedded incriminating evidence, which then spread like a virus across the country. 

            A sharp-eyed tour guide named Alon Tamari was the first to notice the strange name and inform the Jerusalem Municipality. With only three houses and two synagogues on Lederman’s stretch of street on the edge of the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood, nobody noticed the discrepancy for 15 years…that part of the street named in memory of Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum* had mysteriously been renamed on Egged’s** # 23 bus stop signs ‘Inbal Lederman Street’.

            Egged retorted it had gotten its GIS data from the Ministry of Transportation… (Yediot, Oneg Shabbat blogspot) Photo credit: Google Street        


* who documented life in the Warsaw Ghetto in an secret operation code-named Oyneg Shabbos. The Ringelblum Archive was buried in milk cans and metal boxes in Warsaw Ghetto cellars just prior to 1943 uprising; part survived the Holocaust and was found in 1950.  

** Israel’s oldest and largest public bus coop



As a matter of course, farmers in the field are always on the lookout for snakes, scorpions and other ‘surprises’ but a grocery shopper was shocked to learn it may be wise to look carefully before fingering the lettuce, too. …after spying a baby viper cured up inside the cellophane wrapper of a head of lettuce in a local Petach Tikva supermarket. Adding to her alarm, the cellophane wrapper was open ended… The unidentified end-user took to her heels, but not before taking this picture with her cellphone for her Facebook page to warn others… (Yediot)                       .



Scottish BDS activists seek to divest the Jewish National Fund of its non-profit status in Britain and Scotland, – a Jewish NGO that has planted 240 million trees in Israel since the Jewish National Fund’s founding in 1901.

            The JNF’s latest ‘crime’? Planting trees in the Negev desert thus by Scot logic - ‘displacing Bedouin.’ (Yediot)

 * And speaking of divestment - did an Iberia airline pilot actually announce ‘we’re about to land in Palestine’ (Palestina) before touching down at Ben-Gurion Airport as some Israeli passengers complained?  Or did the pilot only tell passengers in Spanish ‘they were about to land at their destination’ (destina) as the Spanish airline now insisted (this, after Iberia apologized and labeled the pilot’s unscheduled announcement “unwise” saying he wouldn’t be flying to Israel anymore)?  (Yediot, Israel HaYom)



Not all calls from the bank manager spell trouble:

            Employees at a Mercantile Bank – one of Israel’s oldest banks* - chose to extend special financial assistance to one of Israel’s oldest citizens, Abraham Mark – a Jerusalem bank customer of Mercantile  - after Mercantile’s regional manager Shaul Babish got wind of the sorry state of the 102 year-old pensioner’s flat, from employees ‘in the know’ at Mark’s local Shivtei Yisrael branch.

            No, Babish didn’t offer Mark a modest long-term loan or something like that; he contacted Mercantile’s general-manager Shuki Bernstein who sent a 10-man Mercantile maintenance crew to conduct a free, no-strings-attached ‘makeover’ – cleaning and painting the tiny apartment of the Holocaust survivor and Red Army vet - renovating the bathroom, fixing faulty electric and phone sockets and buying a new kitchen range, washer and drier, bed and new bed linens. (Yediot,

* originally the Anglo-Egyptian Bank which opened its first branch in Palestine in 1918.



While yoga is supposed to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue, Israeli yoga instructors are reported to be stressed-out from taking on more classes than they can physically and psychologically handle, just to make ends meet. 


            According to a 2012 health survey, 164,000 Israelis practice Yoga or Feldenkrais on a regular basis, however the number of yoga instructors in the Israeli Yoga Association has spiraled from 200-300 in 2000, to 1,100 in 2015, leading to a sharp drop in the income of yoga instructors. (Calcalist)



A recent survey found Israelis are more worried about being involved in an accident than getting stabbed in the back. Is it any wonder?!    E-bikes* barreling down the sidewalks at breakneck speed have become a clear and present danger in Israeli cities…breakneck in this case referring to pedestrians’ necks.

            Yediot claims at present Israel's cops only have authority to let the air out of the tires of reckless riders. Israel HaYom reports some cops have ‘jumped the gun’ on pending regulations: A kid from Elad was ticketed by a community cop for talking on his cell phone while riding a bike, and a 21 year-old Talmudic student was slapped with a 500 NIS ($131) fine and 6 points for a moving violation by a cop in Bnei Brak for “driving on the wrong side of the street against the traffic”…although he doesn’t own a driver’s license and was riding an e-bike. It’s anyone’s guess whether the charges will stick…unless the courts adopt a new definition of ‘prior conviction’**.  

            One of the strangest ‘priors’ to date concerns a 27 year-old who was ordered to appear in court for ‘driving under the influence’: Yediot reported the ‘drunken driver’ - a professional truck driver, had been at an Ashkelon pub. Aware he might have exceeded the legal limit, he left his car parked outside the pub and borrowed a buddy’s e-bike to flag down a patrol car that had been flagging down drivers to check their alcohol content with a breathalyzer …only to be ticketed and his license suspended by the cops until he appears in court… (Yediot, Israel HaYom)

* also called booster bikes are battery-charged bikes that are powered by an electric motor.

**The regulation under consideration carries a 300 NIS ($75) fine for a host of moving violations…even so much as glancing at a text message while tooling about the city