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Veteran Chelm followers no doubt recall the work of Elyasaf Miara who used an artist’s palette to made ugly squat prefab shelters against Palestinian rockets from Gaza ‘blend’ into the surrounding landscape of the northern Negev (see “Paint Job”).

            Giving a new twist to ‘applied art’, the same local Negev artist was invited to give the IDF Tze’alim Training Base’s mockup* of a Palestinian neighborhood used by IDF infantry to rehearse urban warfare tactics, 

a touch of visceral-level reality…by painting some of the walls of the buildings with splashes of typical Palestinian ‘resistance’ graffiti. ( and Channel 2 tv) Photo credits: (top) Wikipedia Tzealim - Michael Jacobson / (bottom) Channel 2 Reshet tv screenshot -  Elyasaf Miara


* The urban warfare mockup encompasses 600 structures including mosques with minarets, a mixture of single-storey dwellings to eight-storey apartment buildings, a refugee camp marked by narrow alleyways and courtyards, and is the largest of its kind in the world.



Should one invest in Osem stock, the folks who invented Bamba?

            It’s now official! NIH – the prestigious National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland - is recommending American babies snack on peanut products like Israeli melt-in-your-mouth Bamba in their first year of life to ward off peanut allergies.

            A British study replicated the ‘Bamba effect’* in a study of 650 British babies.  Not only a mere 0.1 to 0.2 percent of Israeli kids have peanut allergies*; the British study found only 1.9 percent of British kids did after being fed Bamba from infanthood to age three as a snack…compared to 13.7 percent found to be allergenic among a control group of British tots who didn’t eat Bamba. (Yediot)


* a 2008 study that found a peanut allergy is rare among Israeli tots apparently due to Bamba, the control group being Jewish children in the UK who had a ten times higher rate of the allergy.


Peanut allergies aside, the Israeli government is sponsoring a bill that will require all restaurants in Israel to have an EpiPen® auto-injector on hand, capable of delivering a pre-measured shot of adrenaline for anaphylaxis, should a diner has a severe reaction to something on their plate.



Pushcarts in the Old City of Jerusalem are undergoing a face lift, under orders from city hall.

            The cumbersome 80 kilogram wooden hand carts used to sell fresh oval-shaped rolls covered with sesame seeds – an integral part of the landscape at Jaffa Gate – are being replaced by lighter aluminum ones that are also equipped with brakes to prevent carts taking off and rolling down the Villa Dolorosa. (Yediot)  Photo credit: Siesta at Jaffa Gate, Daniella Ashkenazy



Forget about CDs, books and perfume, even home appliances purchased online. Zoara – a high-end diamond
dealer founded 150 years ago has also gone digital – cutting out middlemen in jewelry stores.  Purporting to be the largest online diamond dealer in fine jewelry, its website boasts a catalogue of 200,000 polished diamonds for sale worldwide over the Internet. 

            Now Zoara is offering its valued customers a special perk when they buy a fancy-smancy diamond wedding ring or other pricey item which can range from a few hundred bucks to a million dollars a pop…

            In what is surely one of the strangest marketing ploys to date, Zoara is sending its merchandise directly to customer’s home by…Brinks Armored Truck “to enhance the shopping experience.” (Yediot) Photo credit: Creative commons – Brinks - GeorgHH



Findings at a rare archeological site near the Banot Yaakov Bridge at the foot of the Golan Heights - artifacts preserved because they were buried under the Jordan River under conditions of ‘moisture without oxygen’ - reveal stone age prehistoric humans ate a mixed diet of primarily grains, nuts, fruits and edible flowers, complimented by meat. The latter ranged from deer, antelope and fish…to elephants – some eaten raw, some cooked – leading a Yediot editor with a sense of humor to compliment the piece with the heading “Elephant with a Side Order of Salad”.  

            However, the findings challenge the ‘Paleo diet’ food fad* as a quick way to loose weight ‘naturally’. Apparently, our prehistoric ancestors were also smitten by the Munchies: The findings dating back 780 thousand years discovered seeds among the 55 species of plants and seeds consumed by local gatherer-hunters that could be roasted…even popped like popcorn, say the archeologists. 

            What’s for sure, Middle Eastern addictions of noshing on pitzuchim (roasted pumpkin and watermelon seeds cracked between one’s teeth) ismore deeply rooted to the region than previously thought. (Yediot, Israel HaYom) Photo credit: Public Domain: H. Osborn, 'Men of the Old Stone Age'


* read this New Yorker article on the Paleo diet…and don’t miss the first cartoon…



A Haifa Labor Court awarded a semitrailer truck driver in his forties a work-related disability pension for wrist pain – based on an orthopedist’s testimony that there was more than a 50 percent likelihood that the pain in the driver’s right-wrist was a case of (misplaced?) ‘tennis elbow’ caused by repetitive action in the course of his work: constantly shifting gears and turning the steering wheel. The bench ordered Bituach Leumi to reverse its previous ruling. (Yediot)


* Indeed repetitive motion cases know no bounds: In 2010 the Ministry of Defense recognized a Border Control officer’s plight – pain in his right palm - as a service-related injury. What was the cause? The officer in question had spent years in a cubical at Ben-Gurion Airport stamping passports eight hours a day. 




In 2014, 32,825 persons and in 2015 27,954 persons were killed by Islamic terrorism worldwide (not counting actual warfare). In 2016, 21,240 persons were killed in the worldwide Jihadi wave – only 17 were in Israel. (Yediot)