The Big Felafel


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the If I ran Israel category.

Israel PR: Leave it to the Youth and Put it on Facebook

Israel’s PR for Israel is crap. That of course is an understatement. But this past Sunday Hebrew University students decided to contribute their young and savvy minds to help fix the problem. The students, currently StandWithUs Fellows, launched a Facebook tool called Israpedia to promote their country.

With already 3,000 Facebook friends using the application, the tool is bound to make PR history inIsrapediaLogo a country where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only joined Twitter last week. The idea is similar to that of Kassam Counts and is actually built by the same developers. Like Kassam Counts, Israpedia takes over your status message on Facebook and makes updates for you. The difference is that Kassam Counts was updating how many rockets were fired into Israel, where as Israepedia will supply interesting facts about Israel as your status updates.

The idea is that Israel has many sides to it, but somehow the news just likes to focus on the one bloody aspect forgetting that this country also invented a method to get rid of bad breath through the use of laser technology–for example (brought to you by Israpedia). The random facts go beyond the conflict and shed light on Israel’s magnificent achievements, rather than its war statistics.

The students have put their heart and mind into this project and have shown the rest of their peers that we all have the potential to make this country a better place and let the world know that were awesome too.

 Check out their facts page at http://www.israpedia.info/facts1.html

 For the application: http://www.facebook.com/tos.php?api_key=07a32905120b031dd6b8273ba4b70128&next=&v=1.0&canvas

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Freedom of Speech: Israel Isn’t Iran or is it?

Iranian-American Protestors Rally In Southern CaliforniaIt’s in the news, it’s on twitter and even CNN is using Youtube to get their information about the latest and breaking news in Iran as their citizens battle for freedom of speech and right to fair elections continues. But here in Israel news of freedom of speech being denied doesn’t seem to make the headlines around the world, on social media or even in Israel’s own media.

Last week Islamic Movement Northern Branch Leader Sheikh Raed Salah was finally granted permission to speak at Haifa University. Sheikh Salah is an Arab-Israeli and the former mayor of Umm el-Fahm. He was imprisoned for two years in 2003 for raising millions for Hamas and in 2007 he organized riots against an archeological dig and a new pedestrian bridge near the Temple Mount.

Sheikh Ra'ed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah

Despite his track record Haifa University allowed Sheikh Salah to speak on campus. This sounds like freedom of speech. Point one goes to Israel. But who was allowed to attend the speech, not Jews. In a Jewish State at a Government Educational Institution, Jews were forbidden and denied access to participate in the discussion. Point one removed from Israel and add a negative thousand.

Sheikh Salah told Arab students to sacrifice themselves as shahids in the war against Israel. He claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to dig tunnels under the al-Aksa mosque and replace it with a Jewish Temple and added that “We will not compromise on our principles or holy sites. We prefer to die as shahids and will welcome death joyfully.” This prompted chants of “Allahu Akbar (God is Great).

Meanwhile the lecture — if you would like to call it that— went on with cheers as Sheikh Salah’s incited hate, Jewish students gathered outside reciting “this isn’t Teheran.” They were not let in and instead clashed with Israeli police. Apparently freedom of speech is a one-way road.

Let me ask you this: If there had been an Israeli right-wing extremist that wanted to speak on campus would Israel allow him to do so? Would Israel ban Arabs from going? And if so, would that make the news?

Link to Sheikh Read Salah’s speech – YoutTube


A Post to Jerusalem’s Mayor Barkat: Did Your Landlord Raise the Rent Too?

apartment-drawingThis is an open letter to Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, the city council and young frustrated Jerusalem citizens who have waited for change long enough.

Dear Mayor Barkat,
What’s up? I’m sure you’re busy, but this is an urgent matter which affects the young population of Jerusalem. Six months ago you were elected into office promising great change for the city. But when it comes to your commitment to the young people of Jerusalem and the disastrous housing problem, you have yet to make a dent, submit a proposal or take action on the matter.

Once again, I know you are the mayor and dealing with a full plate, but I can’t help but feel neglected. And I am not alone. I also point my neglected finger at the party Hitorerut-Yerushalmim (Wake up-Jerusalem) that also made unfulfilled promises to young voters.

Although the economic situation is running on an empty tank of gas, landlords across Jerusalem continue to raise the price of rent. Almost every person I know has been informed by their landlord that their rent will be going up at least 10%. So, while your apartment ages and becomes more rundown you find yourself paying more to live there. Fair? No. Is our city council and mayor aware of the situation? Yes.

Mayor Barkat today is the day to make change. Why are there no proper consumer rights organizations to protect you from corrupt landlords? Why is their no proposition making its way to the Knesset floor demanding rent control? The stories I have heard from rent raising to threats of being kicked out, are endless yet there seems to be no beginning to your fight against this fraud.

There was so much talk about affordable housing before election day but come the day after and the day after that, I have yet to hear another word about it. While Israel and the international community debate about construction in settlements and outposts, no judgment is made on the housing catastrophe in the country’s capital.

Is asking for rent control such a far fetched concept? Isn’t it you who wants and needs people to stay put in your city? Students and young families belong in the heart of the country and are the key to the revitalization of this city, but you have yet to try to open the locked — bolted — doors. Soon the only doors left will be those of vacant apartments where the rent became more than a couple could budget, or a landlord that yelled at his tenants too many times or simply homes that are unsuitable to live in — leaving the young to move out of the city and out of their dreams.

Do not become like all the other politicians, representing their interests before concerning themselves with their citizens’ fears. Give the next generation what they rightly deserve, a home for the future at a reasonable price.

Yours truly,
Molly, a concerned young citizen of Jerusalem


Yom Hazikaron: Remember those that have fallen and those that lift us up

Israelis mark Holocaust Memorial Day in JerusalemAs we celebrate our fallen soldiers throughout the many wars and plights for the state of Israel, it’s important to remember, on this day of remembrance, not only our fallen soldiers but our everyday heroes as well.

As a new immigrant, the move to Israel is more turbulent than just the plane ride. In fact, that may be the easiest part. It’s like you are suddenly playing the board game of life, but you keep landing on the squares that screw you. You jump from bureaucratic offices stumbling through conversations in Hebrew and not understanding a word, to trying to open a bank account, contract a cell phone and maybe even get internet. All the while you are crying, pulling out your hair and wondering what the hell you are doing here.

So maybe you didn’t cry as much as me (my tears could fix the water drought!). And maybe you didn’t pull out as much hair (with the right tools I could create my very own shaitel – wig). And just maybe you are more of a Zionist than me, so you didn’t want to pack your bags and take the next plane back. But I know you have fought many a battle with one of the above mentioned. I know you have had small victories and bigger defeats. I know the man has gotten you down.

But do not give up. Do not lose faith. And do not move back. We are here to make a difference. Each one of us will find his or her calling. I now know mine is to fight for consumer rights in Israel. My battle with Pelefone is over and I am the victor. Me! Me! Me!

pelephoneIn a previous post I wrote two months ago I told you about my ensuing battle with Pelephone. My complaints seemed simple enough: stop charging me for internet since I don’t use it or want it. And where is my contract because I never agreed to pay NIS 50 for this phone! My complaints were met with yelling matches between the customer service agents who do not believe the customer is right and managers who would rather belittle you then admit their faults. I was angry and deflated like a shriveled balloon. But somehow rather than exploding I came to my senses and decided to fight for my rights

I searched the web for consumer rights organizations and filed complaints. I demanded Pelefone for my contract and told them I would sue if I was not heard. I wrote my post and through the gift of social media, found support and help from strangers that have also struggled like me. And finally I found my Israel Israeli that could give me the confidence and will to fight until the end.

Everyone needs an Israel Israeli on their side. Israel Israeli is the person that comes into your life just when you are about to throw in the towel. He or she will not only encourage you to fight, but to fight hard. And they will even get on the phone and speak on your behalf, write letters and give you a high five for the small triumphs along the way. They will be there for you and never ask for more than a thank you for their efforts on your behalf. They will never give up. They will restore your faith. And you will not want to move back.

My fight with Pelefone is a not just a victory for me but a victory for all new immigrants who don’t believe the system works. Ok, so most of the time it doesn’t, but if you just commit to the fight and hold on to your Israel Israeli then you have a chance.

At the beginning of my battle with Pelefone, the manager told me I would never be able to cancel my internet charges. Not only have I successfully cancelled them, but Pelefone is refunding the last several months of charges. Also, my fight against paying NIS 50 a month for a phone that I remembered the customer service agent telling me would cost NIS 15—which at the time was a big deal for me since I was paying NIS 5 a month before that—was an accomplishment. Since Pelefone does not keep contracts (a standard practice for all cell phone companies) they had no proof of the original agreement. They told me they had given me a copy, which they did not, and said it was my responsibility to keep it safe. And what about them? Why didn’t they properly file a hard copy of the agreement? Well, after several letters, emails and phone calls (all with the help of my Israel Israeli) I stand before you today the proud owner of a phone that I now pay NIS 15 for!

Get empowered! Get help! And get an Israel Israeli! If you have issues, write them here and you will find that others will come to your aid. And since I believe this is my calling, I too will help you (and hopefully my Israel Israeli will be by my side).

Just like the heroes on the battlefield, there are also our everyday heroes that make a difference when it comes to the field of life. I thank my Israel Israeli for giving me the strength and knowledge to fight and win my rights as a consumer. I thank all those that have let me cut in line at the supermarket, slowed down their car to let me cross the street, gave me directions when I was lost, or just smiled when there was no reason to even make eye contact. Our country has survived because of the fallen soldiers that died for our right to live and because of our everyday heroes that give us the strength to battle on.


Three Weeks of NIS 3 Coffee!

coffeeWhile it may seem like the holiday season is over, there is still much to celebrate. How about NIS 3 coffee? I don’t know about you, but I’m jumping up and down (and not just because I had three cups of pure caffeine joy!). What café finally got the memo that coffee doesn’t have to be expensive? Café Hillel on Emek Refaim right here in Jerusalem, that’s who!

Although I previously reported that Café Hillel would be opening at a new location on Emek, it turns out that they have changed their minds and decided to stay at their original location and renovate. The café itself is closed but for the next three weeks you Despite Price Rises The British Love Of A Cup Of Tea Endurescan get NIS 3 coffee at the little side barista they opened up during the renovation process. The cheap coffee isn’t just hot; you can also get ice café for NIS 9. It isn’t as cheap as my all-time love of NIS 5 ice café at Marzipan in the shuk, but it’s a bigger cup and low fat (supposedly). In any case these are just some of the amazing deals worth pooping your pants over.

Good bargains don’t just happen. Either you or someone you know has hunted them down, passed them along or created them on their own. We cheap buggers have to stick together and look after each other to ensure the deals keep coming. That’s why I implore you to not only take advantage of the next three weeks while the coffee is NIS 3, but to tell the cashier, manager or owner to permanently keep the NIS 3 coffee as a part of the menu. I think in the long run they will end up making more money off the NIS 3 coffee than any of their ridiculously over-priced salads. Also, if the coffee is NIS 3 now, but after the renovations the price goes back up to NIS 15, we will all feel scammed — and nobody goes to a restaurant that rips them off.

Friends, drink and be merry, but don’t forget to be cheap and persuasive too!


Rowdy English election debate in Jerusalem

National elections are coming up on February 10, 2009 so over 1,000 undecided Jerusalem English speakers came to the Great Synagogue Saturday night to hear what the major parties had to say for themselves.

I felt a little confused when I arrived, not sure if I had arrived at the national mah-jong tournament or a national debate, being that the average age of the crowd was somewhere around 82. Perfect constituents for the Pensioners party, too bad the party missed out on the opportunity.

But don’t be deceived, there was enough spunk in the audience to rowdy things up with a round of Jerry Springer-like boos and applause. Unfortunately, I would’ve liked to see more makeovers and girlfights. Maybe at the next English debate.

David Horovitz from the Jerusalem Post started off the evening by reminding us what happened at the previous Mayoral Debate in Jerusalem, and poking fun at the candidates: Porush for not letting his translator translate, Barkat for arriving late, Birron for being a politician for less than a month, and Gaydamak for being… well… Gaydamak.

David then let the representatives introduce themselves, followed by a few questions from the audience. I wonder why they didn’t ask my TV tax question (will you get rid of it?) Molly, I tried..

Here’s my take on each party’s performance. All this talk about parties makes me think we really should’ve gotten goody bags for attending. David Horovitz, if you’re listening…

Danny Ayalon – Israel Beitenu
Excellent speaker (former ambassador to the US). Very smooth and convincing about how we need to restore national pride and change the political system. He only got angry when Uri Bank from the National Religious party claimed that Yisrael Beitenu would give up parts of Jerusalem. Restoring national pride, you say… what do you say about the accusations against head of the party Leiberman’s daughter.

Dr. Bennie Begin, son of the Menachem Begin – Likud
He basically called out the current, Kadima-led government on all the things they are doing wrong.  But I ask you this, Bennie, Whatcha gonna do? Why couldn’t you provide us with some solutions of your own. Oh, and notice anything familiar about the Likud website? Maybe this screenshot comparison to Obama’s site will help.

netanyahu obama

Uri Bank – Eichud Leumi – National Union
American-born and proud of it! I think he must’ve mentioned his American-ness at least 302 times and repeated the line “Vote for us and I will be your congressman” a bunch of times. I know we’re Americans, but I think we’ve finally caught on that we don’t call our Members of Knesset Congressmen. Perhaps he was playing the American card a little too much. He even said “When you vote eichud leumi, the best thing you get – is me” Very modest. Bank also affirmed that the next Prime Minister will be Netanyahu. Great, thanks for spoiling the anticipation! He then proceeded to bash Likud.

Dr. Tzvia Greenfield  – Meretz
Tzvia is an ultra-Orthodox woman on the Meretz list, a liberal party focused on peace and social justice. She started out by bashing all the people who spoke before her, claiming they just go on and on about war and death. Here’s the confusing thing – Tzvia presents herself as Hareidi, but wasn’t Meretz’s platform in Jerusalem “Putting an end to the haredization of the city”.

Daniel HershkovitzHabayit Hayehudi
As to be expected, he also did a little bashing – of Uri Bank and his inconsistencies. His claim is that we should unite the land, the torah, and the people of Israel.  Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home) is a new right wing party, a joint party of the National Religious Party (Mafdal) and National Unity movements. A little English on your website would be helpful.

Rabbi Michael Melchior – Green Meimad
The least bashy yet, Melchior was a confident and powerful speaker who really cut through the crap and made me start paying attention. He said that no matter who the Prime Minister is from the 3 major parties – Labor, Kadima or Likud, they all believe that Israel should remain a Jewish and Democratic country, so they will pretty much handle Israel’s security in a similar way, and that 80% of Israelis believe there will be a 2 state solution. The real question is, what are the other parties proposing to do about education, social issues and the environment.

greenbaby

One of their slogan reads “all the other parties are fighting each other but we’re fighting for you”. It’s so true. All the other parties were so busy bashing each other that they couldn’t even get their visions across and they missed out, because I, for one, was in search of an leader who can see that Israel needs to be more than secure, it needs to be a place where people want to live and bring up their children. And for me, the only person who got that message across effectively was Melchior. And hey, if that baby is gonna vote for them, maybe I will too.

Avraham MichaliShas
I have to be honest, by this point my ADD was fighting to take over, and Avraham’s slow and unenthusiastic English didn’t help much. So, I took it upon myself to read up on the Shas website after the debate. Unfortunately, there was very little English. What I did notice was their logo “Yes we can!”. Hmm.. reminds me of something very familiar. Also, you may want to get rid of the Drupal favicon. Sorry for being such a geek on that one.

drupal
shas

Nachman Shai – Kadima
Nachman aroused the biggest number of boos from the crowd when he expressed his support for the disengagement from Gaza, and his willingness to go to the 1967 borders or whatever it takes to preserve the Jewish democratic state. Followed by more boos and his response to the audience, “enough already”.

Dr. Einat Wilf – Labor
Einat spoke confidently about her party’s focus on education, welfare and health issues. Also, she is all for higher levels  of political responsibility and that the Labor party may sound boring but it is most definitely responsible. Later on, I checked out the Labor website  – I love that a mini-Barak waltzes across his website and starts talking to you. It looks like he got trapped in the Willy Wonka TV shrinking machine and I could peel him right off the site and put him on my desk.

minibarak

Are you still reading? 22 points for you.

And if you’re still undecided about which of the 34 parties to vote for,  you can use the Election Voting Compass, a guide that asks your stance on several questions and then advises you on who to vote for. Thankfully, they offer it in the 3 most common languages spoken in Israel – English, Hebrew, and  Dutch.

comp compass


Food Torture: Not Another Cafe!

Cafe Hillel, just another cafe

Cafe Hillel, just another cafe.

I’m angry. What a surprise. I’m in the daze of a food nightmare. Living near Emek Refaim Street, you would think a girl could have her way with restaurants: endless options, yummy in your tummy food, and the cultural basics. But apparently the Food Gods don’t like us Jerusalemites.And instead of lots of different restaurants, whipping up all kinds of food-we in Jerusalem must suffer with choice A: falafel or choice B: café food. Crap and crap.

dscf1268

The sign reads: Coming soon Cafe Hillel. I wish the man in the picture would just keep walking. He even looks like he is stealing our taste buds! Shady!

 

In a previous anger post, I wrote about my desire for a Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem. Needless to say, my prayers and rants have gone unanswered. But friends, it just gets worse. Since my cries for Mexican food, two pizza places have opened in my neighborhood. And then…then this happened (focus your eyes on the picture). My cheap wrap place that almost felt like Mexican food if you closed your eyes tight enough and just held on to the wrap like it was a burrito, Tarantino’s, suddenly without warning closed down and a café Hillel is now opening in its place. Oh, the food inhumanity! Oh, the food torture! And obviously the worst part about it: THERE IS A CAFÉ HILLEL TWO BLOCKS DOWN!

Is this for real? Isn’t it bad enough that Emek Refaim is lined with cafes? It’s just the same menu, with different names for the salads, soups and sandwiches. Not to mention the difference in price from Café Aroma to Caffit for practically the same meal.

Now I know Nir Barkat just became mayor, but wasn’t he all about adding some culture to this city? I’m not saying that adding Mexican should be the first item on his agenda…no, I am. I think Mayor Barkat should shut down the building of this new café Hillel, which is clearly an abuse of our taste buds and a monotonous slap in the face. And instead, let us join together and build a burrito stand and unite for the sake of Jerusalem and her culture. Mexican food is just the beginning!

Stop the lame cafes from taking over our streets. They can have their menus but not our shekels!


Indecision 2008 Jerusalem: Meet the Candidates

Shira’s coverage of Indecision 2008 Jerusalem continues…

Lets take a look at the candidates, but not just their billboards, which would have you believe that Porush is cute and cuddly, Barkat is a strong force, and Gaydamak “can’t speak Hebrew” (according to the vandalized slogan). Alright, so the last billboard isn’t so wrong..

Before you go to the polls, learn about each candidate’s past, see what they’ve done (or haven’t done) for Jerusalem lately, decide who best represents your values. and, if you still can’t make up your mind, find them on Facebook and see if you would friend them.

Did you know that each resident actually gets two votes in a local election?

1. a vote for mayor

2. a vote for the municipality council (by party)

While the two highest elected municipality positions, mayor and deputy mayor, are paid positions, the other 29 seats on the council are volunteer positions. The mayor’s salary comes from your taxes, has his/her hand most tightly around the budget and has the best chance of passing his/her policy decisions. But the council members are either a part of the mayor’s coalition, thus helping the mayor pass policy and allocate money, or they are a part of the opposition, with a unique opportunity of exposing the improprieties of the coalition to the public and leading a strong opposing stance to the ruling force. So both votes are extremely important.

Vote#1: Mayor of Jerusalem

Nir Barkat (Jerusalem Will Succeed)
Nir Barkat is the obvious choice for a normal mayor with a head for business and success. I admit that if cookie monster were running against Barkat, I’d vote cookie monster but I think he is the lesser of all evils and a vote for Barkat is going to support the only hope for getting Jerusalem out of its 10 year Olmert-Lupo rut. I want to make clear that Nir Barkat has proven through his actions to be an unreliable, a flip-flopper on the issues, and has been sleeping with the religious and Haredi right for 5 years and throughout his campaign. But if you’re into that kind of thing, then maybe he’s your man. So look into him, meet him, ask questions and decide for yourself.

Dan Birron (Aleh Yarok- Green Leaf)
I really do want to believe that a stoner can be better for Jerusalem than any of the other politicians, but I am afraid of how much of a toll the munchies might have on our city budget. Seriously, if I wasn’t overly concerned about splitting the secular vote, I might consider this guy. He is much more serious about separating religion and city politics, equality and pluralism than Barkat but his campaign is much less known. They want a clean city, a multi-cultural city and freedom. Their whole website is videos of Dan Birron talking out his points. It’s actually pretty cool. Check out his english video .

Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism)
Despite the cute cartoon imagry, Porush is actually a really seriously scary Haredi candidate who will do more of the same, if not worse, for Jerusalem than Lupoliansky. If you go to their website, you can see his real picture- he isn’t actually a fluffy cartoon cross between santa, a rabbi and Dumbledore. He’s old and he looks about as in touch with your average Jerusalem citizen living in 2008 as Moshe Rabeinu himself might be.

Arkadi Gaydamak (Social Justice) with Deputy Yigal Amedi
Please, please, please, if you have a shred of sense in your head, do not vote for Gaydamak. He is a wanted man, he is as corrupt a they come, he owns the local violent and racist soccer team and his Hebrew is worse than yours. I believe that Gaydamak poses more of a threat to Jerusalem than Iran.

Further reading: A brief JPost article on all 4 candidates

Vote #2 Municipality Council

(listed in order from love to hate)

HitorerutYerushalmim: This list combines my two favorite movements of the past few years (and you know how much I love a good social-political movement!)
Hitorerut
(Wake Up) Jerusalem is a movement started by young Jerusalem activists who want to bring a new energy and a sense of responsible leadership to the city council. Yerushalmim is comprised of social change organizational leaders who want to get inside the political system to make the important changes from within. Headed by Rahel Azaria, director of social change organizations and a young, religious mother, and Ofer Berkovich, a young, charismatic community activist, their target audiences include: religious and secular, young families, soldiers, high school students, university students and activists of all ages who want to see a pluralist Jerusalem.

These are the people that I want to see on the coalition or opposition, fighting for fair allocation of the city budget and social justice in Jerusalem. I admit that I wish they would take a firm, open stance supporting Jerusalem Pride, an issue that in my opinion encompasses the fight for social justice and civil rights in Jerusalem. But aside from that they have my vote to represent me and my voice in the city.

Meretz Despite their scary and slightly offensive posters earlier in their campaign, Meretz has been the people’s strongest voice over the past 5 years while Jerusalem was flushed down the crapper by Lupoliansky and his boys. Defending cultural institutions and protesting awful traffic and building plans proposed and activated by the Haredi coalition, and being the only vocal support for Jerusalem Pride, Meretz always has mad respect from me.

The New Black Panthers Headed by Ayala Marziano-Sabag, they want to get onto the city council to evenly distribute the city budget to help weaker and weakened neighborhoods. Check out their history in Hebrew on Wikipedia.

Or – Hayerukim (Green Party)– A new combination headed by Gregory Tamar from the Or Party and 2 Green Party activists: Dalia Zomer and Gidon Shathel. Or’s campaign takes a hard stance against Haredi corruption of Jerusalem and for democracy. I couldn’t find Or’s website, which is not a good sign for them…

Lma’an Yerushalem– For Jerusalem, headed by Meir Turgeman, this party is a big mystery to me. I have seen some posters and heard of a few people voting for him but I couldn’t find a website or more information.

Likud– Using the face of Bibi Netanyahu on their ads (please note, the MK is not running on the list from what I can tell), Likud tries to make a play for Jerusalem City Council. At the top of their list, Elisha Peleg, lawyer and city councilman in the 90s and Dr. Vladimir Shaklar, local leader in city sports commission and Beitar Jerusalem.

MAFDAL and Ichud Haleumi– the popular duo is back! At the head of the list, David Haderi, previous city councilman and Director of Emunah. Interestingly, their 3rd seat goes to a woman, Edna Friedman- a newcomer to the list, but MAFDAL Jerusalem chairwoman and Jerusalem Emuna Boardmember.

Shas– You know the drill- it hasn’t changed. Haredi-Sepharadi. They support Porush as mayor.

Please note that in addition to these lists are the parties listed in #1, who aside from running Mayoral candidates are running for council seats as well.

Happy Voting! Feel free to send comments with questions– especially if you want to get involved and we’ll see what we can do!


Boo to Elections. Yay to Reform.

"I will grab the boob by the nipple"

"I will grab the boob by its nipple"

I guess you want me to say “yay”. Yay that Tzpi Livni is in which means Ehud Olmert is out. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that Olmert-poop-face is out, but let’s face it, Livni ain’t that much better. Am I complaining, probably, but is there truth to what I say, probably.

Livni is not really a step up from Olmert. She is still in the Kadima party (not a fan) and she’s still apart of that dirty three-way between Conda-poo-poo and Abu boo boo. Now, you’re thinking, so fine tell us who is better, and to that I say: no one. Everyone who is hot on the political scene is a liar-liar-pants-on-fire type of politician. What I would like to see is someone new, someone with a clean slate. This person exists except they are not in our face lying about what they can do or promising the unthinkable. I think the country is too apathetic to seek this person out, so instead we are stuck with the same old crowd.

I think the whole system is lame. This election just proves that there is a lack of checks and balances in Israel. Livni was voted in by her buddies and will form a new coalition making deals with the other parties. But where do we factor in? Where are the deals with the people? Why should Livni be my Prime Minister, when I don’t even get to vote for her? The system denies me my voice. If she is now the Kadima party leader, then we should have new elections and let the best man or woman win. Do you feel me?

I know Israelis loves their paper in an envelop style voting but I really want to stir things up and change the whole system. I propose a dance-off between the candidates. Let’s see who has the best moves on the dance floor when it comes to hip-hop, ballet, and traditional Israeli folk dance. Can you imagine the horror? And how about a hummus eating contest? If you are a true Israeli, then prove it with your hummus eating skills. Wipe down your plate and do it right! Finally, to show you are one of us I would like to see the candidates go through the most grueling process of them all- stand in a line at the bank, stand in a line at the bus station, stand in a line at the post office and lets see who crumbles under the pressure first. Because obviously the voting system is a joke, so why not make it something worth watching?


Srugim and Haolim – 2 new Israeli TV shows that I can relate to

Srugim - new show about singles in Katamon

Lately, I don’t relate much to the characters in TV shows – doctors with tough decisions to make (Grey’s Anatomy), moms that sell pot to support their kids (Weeds), a secret call girl in London (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), etc.

As Esther points out, Sex and the City comes closest in its understanding of the ups and downs of being single in a city but obviously does not touch on the Jewish scene. Yes, Charlotte converts to Judaism, but it’s not quite telling of the singles scene on the Upper West Side in NYC or the German Colony in Jerusalem.

In contrast,  Srugim, a new Israeli drama on Yes!, focuses on the singles scene in the Katamon area in Jerusalem so accurately I feel like I’ll be invited to their next Shabbat meal and end up on the set. The show included shots of Burgers Bar and Coffee Mill on Emek Refaim, so I was even looking for myself in the background somewhere. On top of that, I even knew one of the actresses, Shira Katz, who plays Stacy, the American neighbor. A little too close for comfort? Maybe, but I really got a kick out of it and couldn’t turn away, and I’m definitely waiting for the next episode. You can watch the show online in Hebrew with Hebrew subtitles. Explorer and Safari only. [Update: Available in Israel only] Continue reading this entry »