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The president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas seeks to take Great Britain to the International Criminal Court for issuing the 1917 Balfour Declaration one hundred years ago, which stated that “His Majestry’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” - arguing the Brits were therefore criminally responsible for the consequences - the so-called Naqba*…

            Undoubtedly, suing the Almighty for giving Abraham and his descendants the “Promised Land” will be next on the Palestinian political agenda**… (Israel HaYom, Yediot)  


* Naqba: The Palestinian ‘catastrophe’ in 1948: the Palestinian refugee problem sparked by Palestinians courting disaster by trying (but alas failing) to “throw the Jews into the sea’ instead of accepting the 1947 Two-State Solution – the UN Partition Plan…

** Palestinians go so far as to claim they are ancestors of the Philistines (!) - a sea-faring people from the Aegean who settled along the coast of the Land of Israel in antiquity that has no relation to Arabs who originate in the Arabian Peninsula, but this allows Palestinians to charge ‘the Jews expelled them twice’…




There are eight million Israeli inhabitants. What are the chances of two patients with identical names
being hospitalized in the same hospital, in the same department, for the same ailment, at the same time – both scheduled for a heart surgery…and neither named Cohen or Levi?

            Luckily, someone on staff at the Asuta Hospital in Tel Aviv realized there were two men by the same name on the ward: 59 year-old Yossi Avigdor from Carmiel in the Galilee and 67 year-old Yossi Avigdor from Shaarei Tikva, just over the Green Line in Samaria – two out of ten persons named Yosef Avigdor in the phone book.

            As a precaution, the two patients were put at opposite ends of the ward; each was assigned a different nurse ‘for the duration’ and the ‘Two Yossis’ charts were marked with prominent WARNING notes…

            But Israelis are gregarious and next thing you know, the sister of one of the men was telling relatives “there’s a visitor on the floor who speaks Turkish and she looks familiar.”  It didn’t take long to connect the dots: The two men not only bore the same name; they were first cousins who’d lost contact two decades ago. 

            Staff, however, chose to play it safe: The two were only permitted to met face-to-face when both were safely out of intensive care.  Their request to room together on the ward was also turned down by doctors. (Yediot)




A member of the highway patrol was floored to encounter an under-age driver and his cousin straddling a souped-up battery-powered ‘toy’ ATV* caught on video tooling down Route 60 at 30 km a hour – a major highway in the eastern Negev.

            Under-age did we say??? 

            The two urchins out for a spin - Bedouin from one of the squatter shanties that hug the highway* - were age two and two-and-a-half…

            A fluke occurrence?

            Uh, yes and no.

            Thirty-five percent of road fatalities in the country are young Bedouin** and 55 percent of the toddlers (1-4) killed by cars are Arab children - 74% of whom are run over in their own yard by their parents or other kin. (Israel HaYom, Walla, Ynet,  RSA website) Photo Credit:  Israel Police Force


* Interviewed on the radio the next morning, the father of the young motorist described his son as “a good driver” and revealed the toddler had told him: “Daddy, there were many cars. I waited until they went by and then I got on the highway.”


** Buckle up? According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), only 24 % of Arab children (compared to 96% in the Jewish sector) are belted-in – behavior fueled by the desire to flaunt ‘Israeli authority’




Are Israelis in for a three-day weekend?  And do they deserve it?

            Most of the workforce enjoys a five-day Sunday to Thursday work week and when Jewish holidays fall on a Wednesday or a Monday, most employees ‘make a bridge’ (‘osim gesher in Hebrew) – that is, they use one day from their vacation days to transform the holiday and Shabbat into an ‘extended four-day weekend…and that’s not counting Passover week and the High Holidays which can send the country into a tailspin for two weeks.

            Nevertheless, beginning in 2017, Israelis may enjoy six long three-day weekends, as well. Strangely enough, PM Natanyahu supports the populist measure, and Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon even favors an additional three-day weekend once a month…

            Proponents say most of the world is off on Sunday (ignoring the fact others work on Friday), and Israelis work longer hours than Europeans (ignoring the fact others are more productive). And, if you know something about the economic state of the EU, it’s hardly a recommendation… (Yediot, Israel HaYom)Photo credit:


* Israel has a 43 hour week, Europeans 40, yet Israeli productivity is 25% lower than in Europe.



IN THE NICK OF TIME…(in the meantime)

An Israeli infantry unit was sent into Palestinian Authority territory on a security mission to seize weaponry and take a suspected terrorist into custody.  While they could find neither hide nor hair of the suspect, the detail stumbling across a two-month old fawn in the home of the Nablus suspect – which officials believe was headed for the cooking pot, had the soldiers not confiscated the animal whose mother had probably been killed and already eaten by poachers. Far from a freak incident, IDF units have standing orders to save such endangered animals and turn them over to the Israeli Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria.

            Ironically, after the fawn recovers and grows enough to fend for itself, it will be released back into the wild in Palestinian territory to fend off accusations that Israel is ‘stealing Palestinian wildlife’*…  (


* according to Emad Al Atrash, head of the Palestine Wildlife Society, in 2013 there are only 500 deer left in the West Bank due to poaching… (Gulf News)




Hollandia, a veteran manufacturer of high-end mattresses with adjustable bed frames, has dreamed up a rather weird compliment to its core business: The owners are building an 8-room boutique hotel on top of their new factory complex in Sderot.

            Yes, Sderot…           Management stresses, optimistically, that the location offers a splendid view of  late prime minister Arik Sharon’s Shikmim Farm (delicately dodging the fact the perch also affords an equally splendid view of Gaza – 840 meters from Sderot).

            Hollandia’s director-general Avi Barsasat explained the logic behind the spinoff: “Hotels spell accommodations…and sleeping is what we do.” Each room will be furnished with a different model in Hollandia’s “luxury sleep system” line, suggesting the firm has taken opportunities to ‘try out a mattress’* to new levels before one plops down up to $10,000 for a cushy new bed.


* A 150-room hotel in Tel-Aviv will follow.