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Between 2008 and 2015 there were 7,151 complaints to police about camels on Negev roads. Running into a camel on a pitch black
road is no laughing matter, but wandering camels have been treated pretty much like unleashed dogs in the neighborhood…  And, only in one case was the owner identified.  

            Israeli parliamentarians are finally passing stricter legislation that will require all camels to be tagged with electronic chips, like Fido. Under the new law, owners can be charged with criminal negligence – even manslaughter in fatal encounters between camels and cars. (Yediot, NRG - Maariv)


* Not a new problem, in 1987 Gleanings (a forerunner of Chelm-on-the-Med) (in a story dubbed ‘Camelflage’) reported that Bedouin would be required to paint the legs of their camels with florescent paint; in 2008 the Roads Commission investigated the effectiveness of requiring camels to wear florescent vests like road construction workers (perhaps prompted by vests designed by a concerned Tel Aviv schoolboy). Suffice it to say, the Bedouin just scoff at these and other suggestions.



In 2010, Einat Levi-Levin requested that her husband Tzafrir's last name - Asaf - be added to her hyphenated maiden name. The Ministry of Interior told her nobody in Israel could have three different hyphenated last names at the same time in the Population Registry, while in fact somebody already did, but the exception to the rule was Judy Nir-Moses-Shalom* – a somebody (born into the illustrious Moses media dynasty, the owners of Yediot Aharonot).

            Now the Population Registry – in the face of a discrimination suit in the district court - has dropped its distinction between ‘somebodies’ and ‘nobodies’: Anyone – starting with Hila Medina-Rappaport-Levinson – a divorcee who remarried - can have a triple-barrel surname.

            Hila’s carries her first two kids’ hyphenated surname. Can this go on forever? And what happens if tomorrow two double-barreled kids fall in love and want to get married and keep their birth names?** (Yediot, Mako, 301 FM-Maariv) Photo credit:  Hila Medina-Rappaport-Levinson Facebook account


* Judy Nir-Moses lost her first husband, renowned counterterrorism expert Amiram Nir in a plane crash, and later married rising political figure Silvan Shalom.


** Perhaps the powers-that-be would be wise to begin now to program computerized forms to accommodate any length name…



After the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, better know as the Mossad, placed want ads for a ‘car modeling specialist’ (shades of Q who built 007’s custom-made cars* that in a wink of an eye could convert to submarine or airplane mode?), and a ‘master carpenter’ (see, “The Ultimate Woodworking Job”), now the Mossad is looking  for a “master tailor in design of leather apparel”… (YediotPhoto credit: James Bond official logo    


* For one of the best classic Bond chase scenes with a souped-up car, see THIS.



We all know the adage ‘two is better than one’.  But, what about ‘one is better than two’?

            A 63 year-old individual who underwent a successful kidney transplant after his two kidneys failed, filed for a special exemption from income tax. Tax authorities, however, claimed he was ‘as good as new’ arguing: “Logic holds the transplanted kidney replaced the two kidneys as if his kidneys hadn’t been amputated [sic. removed].” The claimant’s lawyer explained to a Labor Court that under the tax code anyone with only one functioning kidney was entitled to a tax break (which the claimant had previously received); he still had only one functioning kidney – just not the same one.

            The bench sent the case back to the Tax Authority’s medical review board which got the message, ruling on second thought that the tax men’s ‘logic’ was illogical, awarding the claimant his tax break. (Yediot) Photo credit: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Lieutenant colonel (res.) Irit Oren-Gunders has initiated a unique ‘project’* entitled “Light by New Life’ (Or l’Haim Hadashim) designed to help bereaved parents ‘gather themselves together’ after the loss of a son or daughter during their military service.

            Life-embracing choices after a tragedy take many forms, but Oren-Gunders’ initiative is geared to extend assistance - moral and financial support - to parents in their forties and fifties who believe the best way to dig themselves out of their grief and bring joy back into their lives is to ‘create new life’ by bringing another child into the world.

            Donations are earmarked to cover a host of options: the cost of engaging an egg donor and in vitro fertilization (20,000 NIS in Israel), ‘renting’ a surrogate womb (300,000 NIS); or adopting a child abroad (120,000 NIS and up).**


* Operating under the umbrella of the non-profit support group Or L’Mishpachot (Light for Families) which seeks to reach out and embrace bereaved families of IDF casualties, a non-profit founded by Oren-Gunders in 2008.


** Clarification: estimated costs - ranging between $5,263 and $78,947 - are cited in other media sources.



The presence of Israeli forces on the ‘West Bank’ prevents Palestinians from lobbing rockets at Israel, but topography - the fact Israel’s northern coastal plain between Haifa and Tel Aviv sits ‘at the bottom of hill country’ in Samaria offers other ways for Palestinians to show their distain for Israel. For example millions of cubic meters of untreated sewage released by Arab villages and towns is left to flow down into Israel…where Israelis simply turn the pollutants into a bonanza – treating and recycling effluents for Israeli agricultural use.

            Unfortunately, so far no one has found a solution to another unique challenge of geopolitics and gravity – gefet (the waste material from olive oil extraction*): Every fall during olive harvest season, Palestinians in the West Bank chuck tons of this muck into wadis in Samaria which with winter runoff flow into Nachal Alexander in Israel – polluting the tiny watercourse which empties into the Mediterranean near Hadera that serves as a nursery for newly-hatched already endangered Nile soft-shelled sea turtles… (Yediot) Photo credit: Wikipedia commons Lena Levin


* In Israel, disposal of gefet is strictly controlled by law - turned into fertilizer (or recycled as compressed olive logs that contain 33 percent more energy than wood logs) while toxic liquid residue is used as a herbicide in olive groves and on unpaved roads in JNF forests.