May 2016 Column 3

GLEANED FROM ISRAEL’S HEBREW MEDIA

May 12 – May 18, 2016

ABOUT THIS COLUMN: “Backpage News from the Front” is a series of weekly special reports ‘for the duration’ of  the Jihadi Wave of 2015/6 (for lack of a better name) that combines the regular odd and only-in-Israel Chelm-like-but-true news stories ‘hiding’ in the Hebrew media that are normally reported by this author twice-monthly in columns entitled “Chelm-on-the-Med Online” – antics that Israelis continue to do even in the worst of times, and piquant aspects of heightened conflict – from the galling, to the touching, to the downright bizarre.

IMAGE ENHANCING

Israeli makeup artist Matan Merhav turned the Israeli adage “barbering on someone else’s beard” (learning at someone else’s expense) on its head — to ‘profit at someone else’s expense’ — and not just anyone: Merhav took a selfie of himself with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu not merely for vanity’s sake or as a personal memento.

Much to the prime minister’s embarrassment, the makeup artist posted the results of the impromptu photo opp on his Facebook page…spilling the beans* that Netanyahu puts on makeup before appearing in public — to be exact: “a moisturizing base, brushed highlighting as a concealer, an eyebrow pencil followed by a transparent mascara”…to his eyebrows. (Yediot)

* Netanyahu sacked the tactless makeup artist on the spot.

HARD LANDING

Can someone really board the wrong flight in this day and age of heightened security…just because the departure time and the gates are close to one another?

An Iranian-born German national — Mouhanad Alani — boarded a Turkish Pegasus Airline flight from Germany to Dubai.  Following a stopover in Istanbul, Alani promptly donned earphones after taking his seat — oblivious of his surroundings until two hours later he was rudely awakened to the fact that he had boarded the wrong plane in Istanbul after the captain announced “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll shortly be landing in…Tel-Aviv.”

Jumping up, the alarmed passenger told the cabin attendant of his plight. Unimpressed, the flight crew informed the frantic vacationer he’d have to pay for his flight back to Istanbul. (Of course, the Israelis on the flight immediately closed ranks behind the beleaguered stranger — insisting it was the airline’s fault…)

How he got on the wrong plane without the right boarding pass remains a mystery… Or is it? The airline insists he left by the right gate, but boarded the wrong connection bus out on the tarmac.  (Yediot)

12 PENNIES FOR YOUR THOUGHTS

President of Egypt el-Sisi is taking flack from the Opposition after Banque Misr — a state-owned Egyptian bank published an exchange rate between the Egyptian Pound and the Israeli Shekel…but there is a downside to the story: The state of the Shekel in the Land of the Nile is akin to Chanukah candles which one may ‘gaze upon’ but one is forbidden to ‘use’:  Egypt’s Central Bank still prohibits the use of what is branded “occupation currency.” (Yediot)

WHO’S IN THE JAWS OF THE BUREAUCRACY?

At the urging of the chair of the Histadrut National Labor Federation Advocate Daniel Avi Nissenkorn — a frequent visitor at the Ministry of Finance, Minister of Finance Moshe Kachlon sought to award Simcha with a permanent position as a Ministry employee in his capacity as a security guard – the ‘familiar face’ that had stood at the entrance to the Ministry of Finance year-in year-out as ministers came and went, who had been employed ‘on a temporary basis’ by an employment agency for 17 (!) years straight.

The order may have come from the highest authority and with attorney Nissenkorn advocating for him, but protexia (pull) only goes so far: The Minister of Finance found himself powerless to help: Creating a job slot required an open public tender and the power to waive a public tender resided further down the chain of command…with the Commissioner of Civil Servants.

But all’s well that ends well:  In an untimely fashion, Simcha the security guard was finally awarded the job security he deserved.  (Yediot) 

GLASSED IN

Giving new meaning to concepts of ‘student council’ 30 high school freshmen in Ganey Tikva — an upscale bedroom suburb east of Tel Aviv  – will be helping design their community’s first high school after the youngsters underwent a crash course in planning, engineering, and design under the tutelage of the Ganei Tikva Regional Council’s chief engineer.

Among the kids’ recommendations — classrooms with glass walls to encourage “open thinking.” (Israel HaYom)

WHAT MEN WANT

A husband kept requesting reconciliation with his wife in a Rabbinical Court after she initiated divorce proceedings following ten years of unhappy marriage — a process called shlom byit, in Hebrew: literally a request for ‘domestic tranquility’.

In such cases, particularly when there are children involved, the court is in no hurry, and orders such couples to try and repair the relationship – including recommendations they go for professional counseling.

Alas, in the above-mentioned case, the tug-of-war dragged on in the courts for three years, with hubby fighting divorce tooth and nail…until his wife finally nailed him: presenting the High Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem with irrefutable evidence that hubby, in fact, simply wanted to continue to ‘have it both ways’: A want-ad in the personals placed by her estranged husband ‘seeking a relationship with women 35 and above.”

The court order the couple to divorce. (Yediot)

EVERYONE AND HIS DOG

The IDF Homefront Command distributed leaflets in communities hugging Gaza informing inhabitants (i.e. those exposed to mortar fire that provides no warning time to take cover) that in the event of a new war with Hamas, most residents might be evacuated by the army en mass to safer areas to avoid causalities.

What essentials should they take with them? Personal gear and clothes, medicines, any fire arms in their possession…and family pets, said the IDF. (Israel HaYom)

Correction in our Independence Day edition: Corporal David Brooks z”l served as a crew member (the driver) of a mobile armored artillery cannon (totach mitna’ea) that is part of the Artillery Corps’ armored formations (Battalion 485) , not part of the Armored Corps. 

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