June 2016 Column 1

GLEANED FROM ISRAEL’S HEBREW MEDIA

May 25 – June 1, 2016

by Daniella Ashkenazy

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.

J’ACCUSE

Arguing with God is an entrenched Jewish tradition, but David Shushan dragged the Almighty into court ‘for stalking him’.* The petitioner swore under oath that over the course of three years, he – David Shushan – had repeatedly lodged complaints with the Israel Police charging “God began to treat him badly.” Squad cars that had “responded to his call more than ten times” finally told Shushan in exasperation “to request a restraining order from the courts”…which is exactly what he did!

In one of the shortest rulings in the history of the Israeli courts (remember, Israeli judges tend to be long-winded – see “Benchmarking”) in “David Shushan vs. God” (I swear, this is what’s written on the ruling)  Haifa magistrate Ihsan Kanaan wrote shortly: “This is a delusioned request and it is clear the petitioner is not in need of the assistance of the court, but rather the assistance of other  agencies, and I therefore order the request be rejected.”

The document – logged “Petition 5221-05-16 for a Stalking & Protection Injunction” – also duly notes that the defendant in the case “failed to appear.” (NRG.com – Maariv)

 

 

ABOUT FACE!

Any army veteran will tell you: Boredom is the worst enemy of soldiers, so when private Hannah Defore remained in boot camp while her buddies went out on a training march, the American-born lone solider* sent a video clip to her friends back in LA who’d been nagging her for a report on how she was faring in the Israeli army. The update on “the changes in her daily makeup routine” consisted of a parody on the makeup tutorials that clog the Internet…done deadpan using IDF camouflage face paint…

            Of course someone uploaded the clip to YouTube…and to the popular soldiers’ Facebook account PAZAM** where the “CAMO tutorial” debuting Hannah’s “new color palette” went viral with over a quarter of a million hits… (PAZAM)

* In Hebrew chiyalim bodedim who have no immediate families in Israel – mostly volunteers from abroad.

** short for perek zman minimali or minimal service time remaining at a particular rank or in a particular assignment…which can also relate to the countdown ‘til the end of a draftee’s term of service. If you’re on the PAZAM site, don’t miss this hilarious-but-true-to-style clip on IDF battle rations…

INSIDE JOB

A bank teller in Acco caught a bank robber…armed solely with her quick wits.

The assailant entered the Postal Bank at 8:30 PM demanding everything in the till but instead of simply doing as she was told, one of the two employees on duty told the bank robber the two of them had to take a scheduled delivery, walked out the door with her colleague in tow, and neatly locked the would-be bank robber inside and called in the cops. (Yediot)

THINK AGAIN…

“Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” asked a British survey sponsored by YouGov.

You’ll never guess who came in 10th place of the ‘most admired’ figures among American respondents after Barak Obama (1st  place), the Pope (2nd), Bill Gates (3rd), Stephen Hawkings (4th), Billy Graham (5th), Bernie Sanders (6th),  Jimmy Carter (7th), Donald Trump (8th) and the Dalai Lama (9th)…

Bibi Natanyahu!

Natanyahu not only ranked higher than Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Mark Zuckerberg to mention a few; the Israeli prime minister also scored better than Bill Clinton and all three leading Republican presidential hopefuls after Trump…

Does this support snide remarks about Bibi being “the Republican Senator from Israel” leveled by Left-wing critics of the PMs ‘Americanized’ leadership style? Or does it squash charges that Natanyahu jeopardized relations with America by addressing the Congress on a nuclear Iran?

Lord knows…maybe both. (Israel HaYom)

THE ULTIMATE IN ‘JEWISH GEOGRAPHY’

Speak of diversity! Among the speakers at a conference held in Israel by the FSU – an organization dedicated to bolstering the Jewish identity of young Russian Jews living in the United States and Canada, was Yelena Khanga (53), a Russian African-American Jew…

Khanga is the daughter of a Tanzanian Muslim (Abdulla Khanga) whose paternal grandfather was an Iman, married to a Russian-born Polish Jew who immigrated to America, and whose material grandfather was a rabbi. If that’s not enough, her family is related to the exalted Hebrew poet Haim Nachman Bialik through the same maternal grandmother – Bertha Bialek, but Yelena was born and raised in Russia and speaks fluent Russian…and English with a heavy Russian accent.* A journalist by profession, in the 1990s Yelena Khanga hosted a popular talk show on sex on Russian TV called About That.

Her lecture topic at the FSU gathering? About that: Sex, couplehood and marriage, what else. (Israel HaYom)

* How did she get to Russia? Crazy saga of four continents, three religions, two races: A bit of internet snooping reveals her maternal grandfather Oliver Golden (a Christian Afro-American agronomist, found himself unemployed and disillusioned with America, and went to the USSR in the 1920s with his wife Bertha (nee Bialek) Golden (both of them ardent Communists – to develop the cotton industry in Uzbekistan, where Yelena’s mother Lily Golden was born. Lily Golden subsequently met her African husband in Moscow (i.e. he returned to Africa not long after Yelena’s birth, and was assassinated when she was a preschooler). (New York Times) 

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