The Chelm Project is a pro bono endeavor. Your donation is greatly appreciated. Your support helps balance overly conflict-driven news that warps perceptions of Israel.

Donate in Shekels


Donate in Dollars

Subscribe to our list

Email Format

Join us!

Are you a publisher or literary agent?

Click HERE

Savor Classic Oldies from 1987-2007
Click HERE

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn




Shimon Peres’ seven-year term as President of the State of Israel will come to a close on July 21st  – following the election of MK Reuven (‘Ruvi’) Rivlin* as Israel’s 10th president.  But Peres still hasn’t met the neighbors next door…or that’s what it seems.

           Three residents of a third-story flat overlooking the President’s Residence unfurled a giant scroll over their balcony railing with a message to Peres saying they’d like to meet the President to raise a glass and wish him well, signed “the students at Hanasi Street #4.”  The approximately 10-meter long banner was accompanied by an e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

* The modest and down-to-earth President-elect said he’d prefer (if at all possible from a security standpoint) to continue to reside in the Rivlin family flat in Beit HaKerem that he and his wife have lived in since the 1970s, and use the President’s Residence for official business.



Up until now the rule was ‘anything goes’ when it came to names people could choose for themselves or for their offspring.  As Chelm-on-the-Med already reported, one Israeli even changed his name to  Mark Zukerberg (a request that was approved, although the clerk asked the applicant with a frown, whether his mommy approved).

           As a result there is a girl named Grapefruit or Eshkolit…actually given in memory of the late president of the State of Israel Levi Eshkol), but a new bill before the Knesset wants to empower children as young as ten to turn to the courts to change their names, even against their parents’ wishes.

           What if dozen of crazed teens will appeal to change their names to Justin Bieber?

           The sponsor of the legislation said she submitted the bill after receiving an appeal from a down-in-the-mouth girl whose family decided to call her Avelut (Mourning).                                                                                                               


The Israeli press is bubbling with controversy over whether the Israeli government should give up its ‘golden share’* in floundering ZIM Lines – which requires the company’s owners to keep eleven ships in the hands of Israeli crews regardless of who owns company stock, a security measure designed to assure Israel will have the means to ‘deliver the goods’ if other ships would refuse to dock in Israel in times of war.

           El-Al has a similar ‘arrangement’ but few know the story George Guttelman – a yid** with a golden heart who didn’t need golden shares when the Mossad asked him to fly 6,400 Ethiopian Jews out of Sudan in the 1984 Moses Operation. The Belgian Jew put the fleet of his charter flight airline – Trans European Airlines (TEA) that specialized, among other things, in flying European tourists on holiday to North Africa and Muslim pilgrims to Mecca and could fly into Khartoum – at the disposal of the Mossad, for the six-week operation that took the refugees to Israel – via Brussels.

           Israel only paid for fuel for the 30 flights. 

           Guttelman – who now lives in Tel Aviv – didn’t ask for or receive a penny in compensation although his company failed* after the Arabs boycotted him when they got wind of his role.

* ‘A golden share’ entitles the holder, usually a government, to outvote all other shares in certain circumstances

** Yiddish for a Jew

*** Also the result of the Gulf War, but Guttelman went on to establish other airlines.



The owner of a shoe store chain was at a loss – literally and figuratively: Why in the world would someone repeatedly steal one pricy lady’s shoe out of the display window in his branches throughout the country? 

           The odd shoe perpetrator wasn’t an amputee. Nor Cinderella for that matter…

           Putting two-and-two together, the businessman realizing in every case the left shoe had been taken from one store, and the right matching shoe had disappeared from another branch in the area – dozens of pairs of shoes gone missing in the course of three months. A detective planted a miniature GPS tracer in the heel of a hot flashy platform-heeled shoe as bait and sat down to wait.  Sure enough, within days the ‘trap was tripped’ and the GPS signal led detective to an Arab village adjacent to Karmiel where private eye cornered the odd shoplifter with the goods, and called in the cops.  



Minister of Finance Yair Lapid announced young vets would soon be able to buy their first apartment VAT-free, provided the flat didn’t cost more than 1.6 M NIS ($457,142). But there was a fly in the ointment: The Government’s legal counsel warned that the proposed ‘18 percent discount’ legislation scheduled to be voted into law in July might not stand up in court since it ‘was discriminatory* (!) against those who didn’t do national service in the army or civil service.

          Not about to give up, Lapid suggested the law be opened to all young people, offering the same perk to non-vets…provided they could find a flat for less than 600,000 NIS  ($171,428) to qualify.** Of course, with inflated prices of real estate in Israel, there are only 430 apartments that fit the bill...

* It’s questionable whether the GI Bill that allowed countless American vets to go to college for free, would have passed the Israeli Supreme Court…

** The two-tier ceiling is based on the assumption that non-veterans gain several years of income earning power while vets were in the service.