Light ’em if you have ’em. Hack ’em if you don’t

In the US Army, we used to have a saying:  “Light ’em if you got ’em, bum ’em if you don’t.”  Obviously, that smoking culture has gone by the wayside.  However, thanks to the help of the Jerusalem Post, it was alive and well while I wasn’t on the light rail recently.

One morning, while waiting to go to a client I care for, I started coughing horribly.  I have allergies.  Smoking on the platform is illegal.  While I told them to put it out, the person would not.  The security guard would do nothing.  When I told him he was doing nothing, he implied that I was the troublemaker and that I was causing a disturbance.

What was more surprising was that I read in the Jerusalem Post online “Knesset to Ban Smoking in More Public Places But Not Enforce Laws.”  The Jerusalem Post should be happy.  The online edition is definitely being read.  I hardly ever have had to ask someone before to out their cigarette.  Most individuals smoking happily have complied when asked.  This past week, I have met three who haven’t cared (two on one platform) if I lived or choked to death.

Now admittedly, the Jerusalem Post is just reporting the news.  However, it needs to be more critical of a rude Israeli minority.  Most smokers are responsible.  Only a few are morons,  I sympathize.  I used to smoke a pipe and cigars, but had to stop because of the allergies.

The Post stated “At Jerusalem Light Rail stations, for example, smoking is already illegal, but violations are a daily occurrence, as witnessed by the number of cigarette butts on the platform. The Jerusalem Municipality has avoided giving NIS 1,000 fines for smoking since the route was opened in August 2011.”  Thank you Jerusalem Post.  Thanks to the genius of this fifth estate community, the violators know they don’t have to care.

Now, you may think I am coming down hard on the Post.  However, they should be coming down hard on the real idiots that make this possible-the Jerusalem municipality.  These fools are the ultimate geniuses who dump garbage at the Finance ministry when they don’t get their financial way.  Gee, I wonder why I had hadn’t thought of that.  Maybe because it is so dumb.  God only knows how many millions of shekels they have pissed away since 2011 (and will continue to do so).

I come from Chicago.  The city government there is also dense as lead.  However, the one thing they do very well is collect money from fines and tickets.  It is awe inspiring to see just how dense mayor Barkat really is.  I’ll try to blow the secondary smoke to city hall the next time around.

Light ’em if you have ’em.  Hack ’em if you don’t.  Obviously, the Mayor doesn’t give a rip.

If you like what you see, please share this op-ed on Facebook, Gmail, Whatsapp, visit my Facebook page at, my Twitter at, or my Patreon profile at Enjoy

About the Author
Akiva ben Avraham is a former community college adjunct, US Army intelligence analyst and officer, and a caregiver.