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Favoritism at 30,000 feet

Hey just a question: why do the strictly kosher meals for the haredim come out before the rest of the El Al plane gets their strictly kosher meals?

Is there a technical reason for this? Something to do with pre-heating? Or is it just plain favoritism, prejudice perhaps?

Why do the ultra-religious get their meals first? The black hats get theirs even before the others with knitted and colored kippas do. The latter get their meals when the rest of the secular plane gets its food.

Why can’t everyone get their meals at the same time? Anyone?

And especially on a flight from New York to Tel Aviv, two days before the High Holy Days, where more than half of the plane is ultra Orthodox? The stewardesses spend almost half an hour shuffling up and down the isles handing out glatt kosher meals while the rest of us salivate, and wait.

Most of the Haredim have finished their meals way before we are even served. Like this guy:

Is that the point? That they don’t eat with the non-glatt kosher folks? That their food doesn’t mix with our food? Can’t be. The meal I’m eventually served comes with a little note which says the meal is very strictly kosher.

There must be some perfectly logical explanation for this inequality. Anyone? I would ask the stewardesses here, but I’m afraid someone will hear. I don’t want to start a situation. The scent of the food is killing me. I’m so hungry.

The food sure smells good, but the situation stinks.


If Israel strikes Iran alone, she will stay alone

I think that if we do this alone we’ll dig ourselves into a hole we won’t know how to get out of
I think that if we do this alone we risk the alliance with our only true friend in the world – a superpower at that.
If we do this alone at a time when the entire Arab world is in flux we’ll be playing into the hands of the Arab street
Forget what the rulers say in private [that they would love us to hit Iran]
The street will be turned against us by those very same Arab rulers who privately hope we go it alone. That way they get to see their two main enemies bloody each other: Israel and the Shiite Iran. Continue reading If Israel strikes Iran alone, she will stay alone

Let's roll

12 Questions and Answers about Israel and Iran in 2012

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked the same questions over and over about Israel and Iran: will we do it? Will we do it alone? Will the Americans do it for us? Can we stop the Iranian nuclear project etc etc.

So I’ve decided to put them down and try answer them as best I can [the answers are taken from interviews and background briefings with top former and current security, military and diplomatic officials in Israel].

Q: What’s the best way to stop the Iranians from producing nuclear weapons? Continue reading 12 Questions and Answers about Israel and Iran in 2012


On Israel visit, Romney talks the talk, but stumbles the walk

On a trip to Israel 100 days before the US elections, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney warmed Israeli hearts by stating positions that leave very little daylight between Washington and Jerusalem, the latter, as he clearly stated, being Israel’s capital [as opposed to Obama White House press secretary James Carney who would not commit to that.]

There would be no public disagreements between Israel and a Romney administration, stopping Iran’s nuclear program should be THE top US national security issue, and as President he would “stand by Israel” if and when it chooses to exercise its legitimate right to self-defense. Continue reading On Israel visit, Romney talks the talk, but stumbles the walk

Moment of silence at Olympic ceremony could embarrass Israel

A moment of silence at the Olympic ceremony could, I fear, embarrass Israel. It’s no secret that the International Olympic Committee does not want to ‘politicize’ this issue even more. Holding a minute of silence for Israelis murdered in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists – the way we see it, or Israeli men of military age killed by Palestinian freedom fighters – as much of the Muslim and Arab world sees it – will politicize the opening ceremony to the extreme. We will be accused of exploiting the ceremony for propaganda purposes. We call it commemoration, the world will call it propaganda. Continue reading Moment of silence at Olympic ceremony could embarrass Israel

Weep, you’re on Egyptian candid camera

This is the sickest, most disturbing news I’ve seen coming out of Egypt since the gang raping of western female journalists in Tahrir Square.

What you basically have here is an Egyptian candid camera show, where Egyptian celebrities are invited to appear on what they are led to believe is a German TV show.

Once on air however, the guests are told that they are actually on an Israeli TV channel [Channel 2 Shalom Shalom]

The subsequent outbursts of anger and hate are disturbing, and sad, as the guests lash out at the ‘Israelis’ – with physical violence quite prevalent. [A presenter and crew member are attacked]

What’s even more sad here, for me anyway, is that this concept even came up for discussion, production, and was ultimately broadcast. This would not happen in Israel.

Imagine if your average Israeli Jewish celebrity was invited onto a TV show and told, half-way through the broadcast, that they were on a Palestinian TV channel. I very much doubt we would see the sort of outburst seen in the Egyptian version [cue left-wingers to hit me on this]

Watch, and weep

They want nothing to do with us

Interesting Israel Radio interview with a haredi man from the extreme fringes of haredi society, the Eda Haredit, at a protest against haredi army enlistment on Monday:

“It states quite clearly in the Torah that if everyone studied Torah then there would be no need for anyone to protect us. The seculars don’t learn Torah; they have nothing to do, so they should enlist into the army. The Eda Haredit is not at all interested in the existence of the State of Israel, so it doesn’t make sense to draft its sons into the Israel Defense Forces. Continue reading They want nothing to do with us

The politics of burden

Kadima has left the coalition over the issue of the haredi draft bill to replace the Tal Law, which gives ultra-Orthodox men a blanket military deferment. The Likud wanted to draft the haredi men at 26 years of age, Kadima wanted 23. Never mind that the average Israeli wanted the age at which haredi boys are drafted into the army or national service to be 18, when everyone’s sons and brothers go in. The politicians were busy with their own calculations of power and survival, not universal equality and social justice. It was all a ruse: at 21 a haredi man is married already with a child. At 23 he has two children. At 26 he already has up to 4 children. There’s not much the IDF can do with a 26 year old haredi father-of-four. He’ll be more of a burden to the army, and his family, at that stage of his life. This whole debate was not about the haredi draft, it was about political calculations ahead of the next elections. Why can’t haredi boys go serve at 18, and then, when they reach 21, go work during the day and study at night? They can. Of course they can. Continue reading The politics of burden

Haredi Chutzpah

I don’t know why the ultra-Orthodox leadership is so adamant about not having yeshiva boys go to the army at age 18 like the rest of the Jewish men in this country.

It’s not like they can’t go to the yeshivas after they’ve completed their service, is it? Why do the rabbis insist, upon pain of death, that not one young haredi man serve in the IDF or perform national service at age 18, age 22, or any age whatsoever? Is it because if they give up on their young men, the world, which, as they say, is built on Torah study, will suddenly collapse? Continue reading Haredi Chutzpah

Israel, Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood

What started in Tunisia and Egypt, spread to Libya and Syria, and its aftershocks are being felt in Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Political Islam is strengthening.

The Middle East is going to look vastly different in the mid to long-term future. In political Islam, there is scant regard for what we in the West call universal human rights and the supreme value of human life. Peace agreements with non-Muslims are only honored when it is politically expedient to do so, women’s rights are not respected, and homosexuals are hunted down. Continue reading Israel, Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood

Ad for anti-depressant-laced shampoo

[A slight departure from my regular stuff. Enjoy.]

Are you sick of feeling down…

and dirty?

Want to feel like she does?

And what about you man? Doesn’t he look happy?

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With its revolutionary technology, HampyShampy :) let’s you feel good, and look good, from the comfort of your own home [or while traveling, carry-bag sold separately].

Our certified scientists have come up with a truly remarkable breakthrough in psycho-scalpular biology!

[These are real scientists]

This is how it works:

HampyShampy’s :) revolutionary anti-depressant stuff seeps into your skull when you shampoo and kills unhappy cells. It’s all highly scientific, but take a look at this real scan taken from a real person who used our shampoo:

The grey cells in this unhappy brain are all sadness cells. When we applied HampyShampy :) to the person’s hair, we saw this remarkable result:

Big, bright happy cells! It works! Thank you HampyShampy :)

And that’s all you need to know!

So go out there and buy HampyShampy :), feel good, look good, and be good!

On flotilla, Netanyahu and Barak preferred commandos over office grunts

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’s report on the Mavi Marmara portrays a leadership moving from one crisis to another, constantly busy with putting out fires, and relying on the ‘trust me’ way of doing business that has long plagued this country. While there are very few people who would dispute the fact that the IDF screwed up royally when it failed to properly assess the opposition it would face on the Mavi Marmara, Lindenstrauss lays the overall blame for the fiasco on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Continue reading On flotilla, Netanyahu and Barak preferred commandos over office grunts

What do you do with people who do something like this?

Jerusalem Police on Monday said they suspect Haredi extremists of vandalizing Yad Vashem with grafitti which says: “The Zionists wanted the Holocaust, and Thanks for the Holocaust Hitler, and if he didn’t exist, the Zionists would have invented Hitler.”


Then the vandals drew this on one of the walls:


It’s quite a powerful and noxious image. It shows a Star of David at the entrance to Auschwitz, as if the road to the gas chambers was paved by Zionism. 

I can believe that haredi zealots are behind this. No haredi extremist has been arrested for calling a policeman “Nazi”, which is something some of them do quite often, especially when the police come to clear up disturbances that the haredi extremists create.

Like this:



And since nobody has ever been arrested for this [under Israeli law, you can be arrested and charged for a crime called ‘Insulting a Public Official’] the phenomenon has been allowed to fester and grow, until we get this, the vandalizing of Yad Vashem, most probably by Israeli haredi youth; youth who do not serve in the army but are protected by that same army; youth who do not work but live off the hard-earned taxes of those who do work. 


Caption: “Zionist Pursuers! You declared war on Hitler in the name of the Jewish nation. You brought on the Shoah!”

Whoever did this is diseased. Whoever did this has a mind so full of lies and hate it’s hard to believe we are countrymen. Whoever did this really does not belong in our society. If and when the police find the culprits, I recommend they be put to work helping Holocaust survivors, of which there are many in need. There are many who are poor, ill, and lonely, and above all, with stories to tell. The vandals should spend the rest of their lives in the service of Holocaust commemoration. In the meantime, it would be great to see the leadership of the Haredi communities, all of them, denounce this act.


Pictures Courtesy of Yad Vashem.


On Ulpana story, more questions than answers

When it comes to Wednesday’s drama surrounding the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, there are more questions than answers:

In his opposition to the Outpost Arrangements Bill, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was against the retroactive legalization of the outpost because, amongst other reasons, it would hurt Israel’s image internationally as a law-abiding democratic state which has a strong, independent judiciary. So why then would the prime minister authorize 850 new homes in the settlements just hours after defeating the vote? Does this do anything for Israel’s image? Continue reading On Ulpana story, more questions than answers