The Big Felafel

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Videos category.

The Holy Crap! Scandal

Fresh off the press former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is corrupt… This can’t really be news. I mean I’ve known he was corrupt ever since he tried to hide his bald head with that ridiculous comb over. I said, “You can’t hide your comb over and you can’t hide the truth.” And here we are several years later suddenly (please read with a very sarcastic tone) breaking the news that the man is involved in a series of building scandals during his term as mayor of Jerusalem. Come on!!

First off, it is practically a national law to bribe municipality workers. I would do it if I had money to do it with. But that’s why young couples and students’ demands end up getting ignored by the city. Sure we want affordable housing, but we simply can’t afford to pay off the municipality workers who can make that happen. In fact, current Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat once gave a speech to a crowd of new immigrants expressing his shock when a young entrepreneur had his business shut down because he had not known to bribe the municipality workers. Bribing and power trips are old news.

What is shocking is to read about the other former mayor’s role in the scandal, Uri Lupolianski. I guess it still surprises me to see a super religious Jew fall so far from his holy teachings. Worse, Lupolianski allegedly laundered the money through million dollar donations to Yad Sarah, a charity for disabled and elderly people, which he founded in 1976. Is this a modern-religious man’s version of Robin Hood or did he end up pocketing the money and having hair treatments and spa time with Olmert? Time will only tell, since these men are obviously too corrupt to tell the truth.

But for those of us that live in Jerusalem and deal with the daily and disruptive construction (destruction), I think we knew awhile ago that something shady was going down. Or maybe it was just little-cynical-me. It just seemed like the expensive high-rises went up too fast but the pot holes on the streets never seemed to get fixed. In fact, the Holy Land Scandal is predicted to be just the first in a list of scandals. According to investigators the Mamilla mall, YMCA, Cinema City Project and Gilo Uptown project may all be linked to dirty hands.

While I may not be an official city investigator (who may also be accepting bribes by the above mentioned people), I have my own predictions about Jerusalem scandals. Mainly I believe that Project Light Rail is as dirty as they come- and it’s not from all the digging…The project was also initiated during Olmert’s term and continued on in Lupolianski’s reign. Mayor Barkat even stated that the train was ‘built in sin’. The project never seems to end. For years they have ripped the city streets a part causing painful traffic so that they can build a train that goes from one suburb to another. The rails are not convenient for the average traveler and probably won’t make traveling easier or faster. But will make it more expensive. Between Egged’s monopoly on bus transportation and the evil train, most of us end up walking or paying for a cab (that gets stuck in traffic). You can try the bike route, but since the city never made special bike lines then your simple ride into the city is more like a death march. I’ve done it plenty of times and every time I get off the bike I want to kiss the ground.

So when you read the news about the dirty evil sinful stupid light rail train scandal just know that The Big Felafel broke the story first! As for the other news, there’s nothing new about it.


HaHaפuch Comedy Show- Just the Beginning!!

Well, the HaHaפuch Comedy troupe had our first show and we are already looking forward to the next one in March. The show, a mix of improv, sketches, videos, musical guest and immigrant innovation spotlight interview, finally got to share with the world, or at least the people in the audience how funny we find Israel to be. From our sketches on the new creation of Hummus in a Bag and the Stacy Spin-off Show (via Srugim) to a Q&A with the Rabbanout and our satirical news segment, we have only just begun our humor attack on Israeli life.

Check out some of our videos from the show and let us know if you have any ideas for Israeli sketches. We want to hear from you about daily life experiences from job interviews to bureaucratic fights, to delicious food and bad dates. We plan to perform once a month at The Merkaz Hamagshimim Theater still at the same location in the German Colony. Every month will be a whole new show of improv, sketches, musical guest and more.

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Be Cool. Matisyahu gives us a much needed beat

Kenneth Cole Celebrates  Fashions Night Out

Living in Israel is never easy. Understatement. And now with talk about a third Intifada, actual rioting in the Old City and calls of the destruction of Israel from Arab leaders in East Jerusalem to Arab leaders in the Arab nations, life here seems to be more stressful than ever. Reading the news makes me nervous to walk the streets, ride the buses or be in crowded places.

But I still go out and I still live my life here. In fact last night I went to the Matisyahu concert held at Sultan’s Pool right outside the walls of the Old City. On my way I couldn’t help but worry about the possible terrorism that could take place. My mind has a wild imagination, so I was worried about the parked cars, the people with big bags and making sure the security guards were thoroughly during their job—not to mention my fears of 18-year-old “Shana Alef” girls and boys that would probably be drinking beer and standing next to me at the concert (some might argue that is the scariest of all).

But when the music started all the fears, worries and doubts disappeared into the raging beats and all I could do was move to them. Matisyahu’s lyrics and mere presence reminded me that this isn’t just a concert in Israel, this is a part of our way of life and nothing or no one can change that. We are the Jewish people and this is our Homeland. The songs helped to remind me that life is hard, life for the Jews has always been hard, but we can still find the joy in the fog of hate and we can still bust a move.Matisyahu hits the stage at Rumsey Field!

So I danced to the music. We all danced to the music—even if our moves were that of Jewish white boys and girls, and we couldn’t manage to stay on rhythm. We danced because we could. Because we were dancing in an ancient pool of the Israelites. Because the Old City, might be old but we are keeping it young. We are keeping it. We’re dancing for our ancestors; we’re dancing for our future. We’re dancing cause we think we’re cool and we’re dancing because we know we’re afraid.

The last piece that Matisyahu left the crowd with is his famous song “Jerusalem.” The lyrics say it all, “Jerusalem, if I forget you, fire not gonna come from me tongue. Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.” From the prayers of King David to the hopes of the next generation, thank you Matisyahu for reminding us to move to the beat and keep going.

CNN World Report: Jerusalem’s YMCA Preschool

peace-preschool This week my piece  for Israel21C on Jerusalem’s YMCA Preschool was on CNN World Report. It starts around 9 minutes. I love this show because it takes news stories from around the world to show what’s going on in those countries, as opposed to what the media thinks is most relevant in those places.

Don’t Have a Happy Chanukkah have a Funny Chanukkah!!

Benji and I are at it again.  Watch Benji attack the people of Jerusalem to find out what Chanukkah is all about in the Holyland!

World AIDS Day: Be Safe, Wear it, Measure it and Spray it on!

'No To Pope' Rally In SydneyToday is World AIDS day, reminding us that there is still no cure for this epidemic. If you are in Jerusalem and would like to have a free, anonymous HIV test, you can go to the Open House Clinic on Sundays between 5pm and 9pm. The clinic is located on 2 Hasoreg Street at the intersection of Jaffa St. and Queen Shlomtzion.

And remember an easy way to stay safe is using a good old fashion condom. Now apparently if you’re French then you’ll need an XXL according to a European study by the Singen-based Institute of Condom Consultancy. Yes, after over 10,500 men measured their member, it turns out Frenchies need a condom that is about six inches (15.48 cm) long, making them the biggest in the region.

Of course I can’t help but wonder where Israeli men would fall on the scale, but I will say this: anyone is free to measure and figure it out on the Institute’s website. While I admit I’m kind of curious to do my own study, I don’t think my husband would approve. You know you’re a little curious too (oops, I said little, is that a Freudian slip?)! Continue reading this entry »

The Game is On: The U.S. Presidential Election…What’s Your Vote?

With the U.S. Presidential Election just a few weeks away, do ex-pats in Israel, Israelis and foreigners know which candidate will be better for Israel? For me the best candidate would be the one that said, “Israel we’re just going to stay out of this. No more three-ways, scrappy peace documents, or lame promises–if you vote me for President, I’ll stay the hell out of it and focus on my own country.”

But since that probably is not going to happen, just like a kosher Mexican restaurant popping up in Jerusalem’s city center or a real gym built on EmeK Refaim ain’t gonna happen, my group of kids went to the heart of Jerusalem to find out what other people, besides bitter me have to say.

Check out what these folks had to say about the better candidate for Israel: McCain or Obama?





Tu B’av: Where’s the Love?

Check out this funny clip brought to you by the witty Benji Lovitt. Tu B’av is the Israeli version of Valentine’s Day. Benji wants to share this holiday with a hot Israeli girl, but does a hot Israeli girl want to share it with him? Watch the video to see if Benji can bring it!

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 »

Funny and Disturbing: Hamas vs. Hummus video

In this video, Hamas gets an image makeover from a image consultant that rebrands Hamas as Hummus. Some memorable lines include “black masks… how 80’s” and “hummus wrestling” The narrator’s voice sounds strikingly to the voice in this hilarious video from Keta Keta.

I guess if you don’t laugh at the situation, you’ll cry.
[thanks Karl, for using the suggestion box and sending me this link]