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Israeli diplomacy can take some strange forms – and if you don’t believe it, check out this one-of-a-kind request for foreign aid from an African monarch to fight AIDS already reported by The Chelm Project. Here’s another recent gem:

       When Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations discovered that the ambassador to the United Nations from the Ivory Coast was none other than Youssoufou Bamba, the head of the Israeli diplomatic mission decided to leverage promotion of good relations between the two countries by introducing the African diplomat to Bamba – a peanut-flavored melt-in-your-mouth snack item of popped corn grits, invented by Osem in 1964, that’s as Israeli as salad for breakfast.* Ambassador Ron Prosor cornered Youssoufou Bamba to let the Ivorian know he’s the only diplomatic figure in the UN whose name is on “the lips of every single child in Israel…”

       The gift basket of Bamba that followed was accompanied by a copy of the popular book about Israeli ingenuity in other fields – Start-Up Nation.


* Bamba holds 25 percent of the snack market – popular not only with kids but with combat soldiers and… well, everyone.




Who was considering taking up Greek president Karolos Papoulias’s 2011 plea that Israelis help out his country’s troubled economy by investing in Greek real estate?

       When rabbi-professor MK Daniel Hershkowitz from the Bayit Hayehudi* party got wind that Athens wanted to sell or lease some Greek ‘offshore assets’ to generate revenue to run the country, the Israeli minister of science collared his colleague Ehud Barak, suggesting the minister of defense check out acquiring one of the Greeks’ uninhabited islands for Israel.

       The IDF Planning Division was reportedly looking at the feasibility of a strategic naval base in the middle of the Med when the Israeli Navy nixed the notion.


* Jewish Home party




A sharp hike in petrol prices sent not only Israelis looking for slower-but-cheaper means of commuting to work besides the family sedan.

       Rommel Suyuti, a Palestinian journalist, found a dirt cheap-albeit-pokey way to negotiate the 10-kilometer commute from his home in the village of Huwara to his Nablus office, investing 500 NIS ($125) in the purchase of two* donkeys from a local peasant. The hard-pressed journalist – sporting a spiffy white shirt and striped tie – proceeded to jockey his expenses by hoofing it to work, arriving at the paper’s editorial offices on his ass in two hours flat.


* The only question that remains is why did Rommel Suyuti buy two donkeys? Did they come cheaper by the pair, or was the second a ‘spare’ if the first vehicle of transportation got flat tired?




Are we all equal in death? Not entirely.

       After 58-year-old Dr. Eitan Gross, a physician at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, keeled over and died while on duty, the deceased, it was reported, was buried in the Professor’s Section (!) of the Givat Shaul Cemetery.




The venerated head of the Chabad movement Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who passed away in 1994, hinted in 1988 that the area surrounding the polluted Kishon watercourse that empties into Haifa Bay harbors gems and other precious stones. To date the only minerals found in the Kishon have been heavy metals in toxic effluents dumped for decades into the now-rehabilitated stream by petrochemical industries and the like along its banks. But wait….

       Shefa Yamim Exploration and Mining – which up until recently was traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at the princely value of one agurah (.25 cents) per share – found a 4.1 mm specimen of moissanite in sediment from a test borehole it drilled. Moissanite is a rare mineral whose optical qualities exceed that of diamonds. Synthetic moissanite sells for $500 a karat – double the price of synthetic (‘industrial’) diamonds…

       Chabadnik Avi Taub, who holds a 35 percent controlling share in the company, believes, after sinking $14 M. dollars in the project, that Shefa Yamim is close to locating the mother lode for natural moissanite. (Calcalist, Yediot)




The media had a field day after the head of the IDF Northern Command General Yair Golan found himself out in left-field, so to speak, after the pilots of his military helicopter set their Black Hawk down in the wrong soccer field.

       The bird was supposed to land in an old abandoned soccer field near Hadera. However, the landing crew, armed with flares designed to guide the helicopter down safely got disoriented and set up base smack-dab in the middle of Hadera’s municipal soccer field by mistake.




The center of Jerusalem can be an obstacle course for the ultra-ultra pious, filled with unholy sights from immodestly dressed women and manikins to – gasp – cheeseburgers, leading a Jerusalem rabbi to suggest that myopic haredi men remove their eyeglasses in public to avoid unsightly spectacles on public streets, which begged the question: What about the extra-pious among the flock who are cursed with 20-20 vision?

       Sure enough – someone came up with an ingenious solution: “modesty spectacles” for roaming eyes – now on sale in Mea She’arim for 30 NIS ($7) a pair. The specially ground lenses blur-out anything or anyone more than an arm’s distance away, ensuring the wary wearers’ eyes will remain tightly glued on the ground to avoid breaking their necks when out and about in public.