The Big Felafel


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.

Advertisements

Shin Bet? No. Shin Blog!

The world of Israeli blogs just got a little weirder. Never mind that anyone who made aliyah has also made a blog (We just have so much to say about our journey that and our painful visits to bureaucratic offices). But, now Shin Bet- Israel’s version of the FBI- is blogging too. Shin Bet? No, Shin Blog!

When my co-blogger (and skinny friend) Becca, sent me a link to Prime Minister Olmert’s blog, I thought, that’s creepy. I mean it is not like he is sitting at Cafe Hillel, drinking the cheapest coffee he could find on the menu, and typing a post about his tough day on the job. In fact, it is more believable that the government probably hired a professional writer, who sits at Cafe Hillel, drinking the cheapest coffee on the menu, writing posts about Olmert’s tough day on the job.

But, forget Olmert and his lame attempt to be one of the cool kids (everyone cool has a blog– duh), now Shin Bet is trying to get in on the trend. While the organization says it is using the blog as a merger attempt to recruit techies, this blogger can’t help but wonder, “what the hell is going on?” Continue reading this entry »


Are you a member of this Facebook group?

sderot-face-book-groups.JPGIf you thought that Facebook was just a website for your random friends and photo albums, then you are sorely mistaken. If you have ever joined a Facebook group then you know that there are a lot of strange and wonderful things happening in cyberspace.Perhaps you have an interest in toes, well don’t worry because there are over 500 groups that are willing and ready to accept you and your foot fetish. There are just as many groups for cookie monster lovers too. And somewhere in between all that you can find a new group urging Sderot residents to learn how to build kassams.

It might sound random but for many this group is a desperate last resort to end the barrage of kassams. I think it is time to admit that if we wait for the government’s response we will all be as bald as Olmert before there is any retaliation. Therefore it is left up to the citizens to end the rocket fire.

There are many ways to try to get your message out there. Continue reading this entry »


On the Border of Peace

I can’t believe it but we are finally on the road to peace. It seems that the disgruntled Palestinians in Gaza have decided to help out the peace process by crossing over the border to Egypt.What does this tell me? The Palestinians are looking for an answer to the current situation. While Bush, Olmert and Abbas try to figure out the refugee problem, the Palestinians are showing us how to solve it. The Palestinians looked for help from their Arab brothers in Egypt and found refuge. The Egyptians said they will keep the border open as long as the “humanitarian crisis” continues in Gaza.

I think the other Arab countries need to take Egypt’s example and open their doors as well. Let’s fix this mess once and for all. The Palestinians live in squalor with or without electricity and gas. They do not need aid from the Arab world; they need the Arab world to welcome them into their countries.

And so it is that this whole disaster is truly a blessing in disguise for the peace process. Israel has forced the Arab world to take action. We are steps away from a “real peace”. Once the Palestinians can move out of Gaza it will obviously stop the rocket fire and destroy Hamas’ Power- since there would be no one to govern.

The UN, EU and USA can throw a little money at the situation to help the Palestinians get started in their new lives and everyone can live in quiet. Isn’t that the ideal?


Hi, is Zionism there?

Update: This post got picked up by Arutz Sheva

Where has the Zionism gone? I guess when rockets explode they bring with them a big bang to our idealism. Forget Gaydamak’s efforts to ship kids from Sderot to Jerusalem, now there is a new organization, Save Israel’s Children, transporting kids all the way to America.

While I commend the Americans who have opened their homes to the victims of Sderot I can’t help but ask the question, why? Why is this the solution? My fear is this attitude to solving problems will soon leave us without a state. If the rockets fire begins to hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will we move everyone to a safer location like America or Europe?

In fact isn’t this playing exactly into the terrorists’ hands? Continue reading this entry »


How I Faked It: Breaking Into The Media

dscf0194.JPGI faked it. While the Americans brought their top security guys from America and Israel posted police on every street corner- I managed to sneak into the Press hotel and pretend to be one of them. It amazes me just how lax security was- so much so that I even had a taste of the White House Press-ONLY Buffet.

Besides being an awesome experience, sneaking in made me realize why the Press don’t report the truth. Indeed they are much too busy making friends and networking in the hotel lobby. Add to that complimentary food and drink and you’ve got a group of people that are never going to do their job well.

How did I do it- you ask? How could I have made it past security and not get caught once? It was simple- I faked it. My backup plan was saying I needed to go the bathroom but I never even needed to talk to anyone. Continue reading this entry »


The Schedule for President Bush’s Visit to the Homeland

The Big Felafel has managed to obtain President Bush’s tentative schedule for his visit this coming week to Israel. While his plans may change make sure to check into The Big Felafel for all the latest news on Bushy Bush’s visit in the Homeland.

Remember that although Bush has been preaching the Road Map during his very long Presidential term, this is his first visit to Israel. Apparently he thought that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was an interactive television show where viewers try to help the contestants- Olmert and Abu Mazen- get out of “trouble. After Conda-poo-poo’s last visit she informed Bush that she was indeed in a real foreign land that does exist. She insisted that he visit to see the real “trouble” occurring in the region. Apparently Bush was shocked to here that this was not just another ABC series like “Lost” and immediately told Conda-poo-poo to plan his trip to the foreign land so that he may meet the real contestants- he meant people.

The tentative schedule:

Wednesday:

8:00am: Arrives and is welcomed by Soldiers and the Palestinian Authority Police Officers. Two of the officers are the terrorists from last weeks shooting in Hebron. He will award them the gold medal of honor in a ceremony that Prime Minister Olmert has set up to show some more “Good Faith.” Abu Mazen is upset that he isn’t getting anything since he helped plan it and freed them.

9:00am: Off to Gaza where he will dig his own tunnel, retrieve weapons through the Egyptian border, set up Kassam launchers with fellow terrorists and even have a chance to fire one or two from the former homes of Gush Katif residents.

11:00am: To the other side, Bush will end up in Sderot where he will meet with Kassam rocket victims, families affected by the rockets and the Mayor who hasn’t slept in months. He has been invited to a family’s home that no longer has a roof thanks to rocket fire. Then he will experience an hour of rocket fire throughout the city. They have told Bush he will be playing hide and seek, for Sderot this means after you hear the red alert you have about 15 seconds to find shelter- good luck! Continue reading this entry »


Fighting Festivals Are The Answer

fight-festival.jpgLast week Peru held its annual Fighting Festival in which citizens, including women and children, are allowed to brawl each other in order to get rid of stress.

Forget Peace Talks I think Israel needs to adopt this Festival as soon as possible. Imagine taking all your frustration of driving in the city, paying ridiculous bills, waiting in lines that have no order, being pushed in the street- I could go on- but just imagine taking that frustration and channeling it into one fight with someone that is just as angry as you. You duke it out, bleed a little and then you feel better. Also friends and family watch and can take part in this exciting ass-kicking moment in your life. Continue reading this entry »


Best and Worst of 2007: the big felafel style

BEST WORST
Olmert getting rid of that nasty nasty comb over Olmert still in Office
Free television online at alluc.org Television tax that only some people receive even if you don’t own a tv.
The Facebook Song Annapolis
The dollar losing value The dollar losing value
Discovering the show Israelim Discovering they cancelled Israelim but you can still watch it online
50 shekel boots Raising the prices of milk,flour and the shuk salatim
Marzipan’s Ice cafe for NIS 5 stays the same price and stays the whole year- no more waiting for summer! Getting my first crown through health insurance
Finding out about Brooklyn Bakery where they serve real muffins and donuts Conda-poo-poo coming here almost every two weeks
Seinfeld coming to Israel Teachers Protest and University Professors Protest
Getting rid of CNN Getting rid of CNN and keeping FOX
Realizing I can take a Sherut instead of a bus The lines wherever you go
Pomegrantes in the Fall Having my bicylce stolen
Learning that you do your grocery shopping online the gyms in Jerusalem (I’m from LA- there is no comparing)
Pesach Rap video The continous Jerusalem construction of new homes no one here can afford
Hannukah Parody video Shmita

We want to hear what you thought was the best and worst too. Feel free to write us and we will think about adding your best or worst!