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The Jihadi Wave of 2015

a mixed bag of piquant



December 11, 2015 – December 17, 2015


December 2015, Column 3



Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven says Palestinian stabbing attacks may not qualify as terrorist attacks: “No, it is not classified as that. There is an international classification when it is, or is not. What I know is not classified as terrorism,” he told Swedish news agency TT – a comment that only adding fuel to the fire after three days earlier Sweden’s Foreign Minister said knife-wielding Palestinians were victims of extrajudicial executions by their intended targets.

            YES! The Almighty indeed works in mysterious ways: Three days after the ‘T word’ incident, Swedes in various communities found letters (in Swedish) at their doorsteps giving them a choice of converting to Islam, paying ‘protection’ or being decapitated.  With a knife, of course… (Ynet,



To further popularize local poetry actress Riki Bleich launched Thus Said Poetry.  Without any warning, 300 conferences, festivals, plays and even movies will open with the recital of two to three poems by an actor that are not on the program.

            “When two hundred scientists come to talk about a subtopic of quantum physics, and suddenly they hear poetry, their eyes widen and they begin to smile,” the actress claims. “Sometimes an audience absolutely loves this, sometimes they don’t get what’s fallen on them – but that’s the whole point,” she added. (Calcalist) 



 Remember the June 2015 piece Cutting Corners about permission to grow a beard in the IDF? Well the issue went all the way to the Supreme Court!

            Sitting as a High Court of Justice, Israel’s austere Supreme Court ruled that the IDFs stiffer criteria regarding permission to grow a beard are “legal and reasonable orders” rejecting  the petitioners’* claims that soldiers in conscript service have a ‘basic right’ not to shave.

            In part, the petition had argued that the soldiers’ beards/mustaches were “part of their identity and personality” and thus deserved protection under the Basic Law: Human Dignity!

            Sound incredible?

            Well…yes and no: The petition cited the High Court’s 1994 decision that “the right of a person to grow a beard is part of [the Basic Law] Human Dignity” when the Israel Supreme Court ordered the Ministry of Defense to distribute specially-designed gas masks to anyone with a beard…but this time the bench ruled military discipline comes first. (Yediot)


* Non-religious soldiers in uniform were represented by a former military prosecutor – Attorney Leor Shteltzer (who sports a beard and a mustache). During the three months it took the High Court to address the matter, the army amended regulations to make the ‘approval process’ more egalitarian in terms of religious vs. non-religious soldiers.



It’s always been assumed that there are some occupations that are immune to recession. Tombstone makers, for example. 

            Think again! 

            It’s not that there are fewer deaths in Israel or something.  It’s just that new burial modes are dealing a lethal blow to the industry: As Israel’s population approaches 8 million, most municipal burial societies are attempting to save space left for the living… Not only are couples offered the option to save the cost of reserving an adjoining plot (a relatively rare request*), with a ‘bunk bed’-fashion grave. Burial ‘in the tradition of the Sanhedrin’ – that is, in multi-tiered burial alcoves (without the fancy Late Antiquity sarcophagi one finds at Beit She’arim and other sites) is threatening to kill the livelihoods of most tombstone makers in Israel, claim people in the industry –  their work reduced to a marble plaque on the ‘door’ of the burial vaults.  (Calcalist)
Photo credit: Hertzliya Municipality)


* burial plots are underwritten by National Insurance on a ‘first come – first served’ basis, but to reserve an adjacent plot can run thousands of shekels.



An angry regular customer of the GiraffeNoodle Bar decided to sue the north Tel Aviv Asian restaurant in a 13.4 M NIS ($3.6 M) class action suit. 

            The pissed-off customer said she has repeatedly had to wait too long in line for the lavatory and the chain’s owners “had enriched themselves at their clientele’s expense” by failing to provide enough stalls. What was ‘enough’? The plaintiff had hired a private detective to check the ratio of tables to toilets (!) at other establishments. Moreover, Giraffe had 90 chairs and only two toilet seats when the law said they had to have at least four toilets on site.

            How did she reach the princely sum of 13.4 M?  Ah! Among the clauses in the suit was “detriment to privacy, modesty, human dignity, autonomy of will (whatever that is…), causing a nuisance, much discomfort and great anguish” which occurred 355 days a year over seven years for occupants such as the plaintiff who occupied the eatery’s 90 seats (multiplied by three diners a day) – a sum total of 670,000 cases of ‘dire need’ to take a leak. (Calcalist)



Three combat officers demobilized from the Duvdavan Special Forces Unit established an NGO called Warriors without Borders* (Lochamim lelo Gvulot) that calls on IDF vets to join the war on poverty by volunteering during the first two weeks of their post-army ‘trek of a lifetime’ across South America or South East Asia. Seven thousand outward bound young Israeli veterans signed up.     

            For example, one group of thirty volunteers spent their service time not only teaching English to kids in Mumbai; they also taught Indian women krav maga – a simplified form of self-defense developed and practiced in the IDF – in this case, designed to combat the high incidence of sexual harassment and rape in India. (Yediot)


* in English they dub themselves ‘fighters for life’

* A December 2015 survey by TACK Strategies found 67 percent of all Israelis volunteer or want to volunteer



In December 2014 (in the aftermath of two months firing rockets at Israel) Hamas contested the EU having designated it a ‘terrorist group’ back in 2003 - prompting the EU's General Court to annul the decision, saying it had been "based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet".

            On December 14, 2015 Hamas (founded in 1987) celebrated its 28th Anniversary and  proudly summed up its ‘achievements’ in an official flyer with the stats: 16,377 rockets fired at Israel, 122 terrorist attacks against Israelis (86 suicide attacks and 36 stabbing attacks), more than 500 border infiltrations and raids and 250 shooting attacks, and 26 kidnappings of Israelis (dead or alive).


            Will that suffice for the General Court to reinstate Hamas on the European terrorist list and freeze its funding? (Israel HaYom,,