Tel Aviv, Charles Clore Beach: Residents are calling it a modern miracle, as untreated sewage has chased the recent oil spill away from Tel Aviv’s beaches.
A few weeks back a bunch of oil started washing up on Israel’s shores, hurting wildlife and closing the beaches. Nobody knows exactly how it happened, but if you think that’s going to stop an Israeli politician from pontificating on something, well Boker Tov. Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel decided that this would be a good time to publicize her personal Fauda Fan Fiction Blog, and blamed Iran for the oil spill because why not? Anyhoo, the oil spill was doing serious damage until Thursday night. You see, Tel Aviv’s sewage treatment system works amazingly well except for extremely rare events…. like whenever it rains a bit, and then a whole bunch of untreated sewage flows into the sea.
And that’s where the miracle happens. Sensing a violation of our sovereignty, the patriotic untreated sewage attacked the oil spill, forcing it to retreat toward Lebanon, which naturally submitted a UN resolution condemning Israel (OK, this part is actually true). Reaction from Israel’s streets was immediate.
“I always knew our poorly maintained municipal infrastructure would save us.” noted Yafo-based musician Assaf K. “Am Yisrael Chai.“
“This reminds us of the importance of not doing anything to fix our problems!” enthused Alert Local Ronit S. as she walked past a storm drain blocked by debris. “Imagine what would have happened to us if we had actually planned ahead?“
The Daily Freier looks forward to the Oil Spill writing an Op-Ed for Haaretz next week where it blames its departure from Israel on The Occupation.
Tel Aviv: While all of you losers were complaining about our 5th or 6th election in 18 months or whatever, the Daily Freier did something about it. That’s right, thanks to some helpful friends in Estonia who we met playing Minecraft, we have our own Bot Farm. Not only that, but using Artificial Intelligence, we created our own Political Party! In fact, our very own Science & Technology columnist Mark Levy is the brains behind this ambitious project. Hopefully, this will work out better than the last time we built a Bot.
Our party’s manifesto is to replace the entire government sector in Israel with the world’s first sovereign AI algorithm consisting of a Bot Farm managed from our underground data center near Eilat. The AI algorithm, which we call “HaMedina” (the State), is programmed to replicate as realistically as possible the level of service provided by your average Israeli government office.
“The algorithm takes virtual coffee and smoke breaks once an hour.” explained Mark. “It works between 10:00 and 15:00 Mondays to Wednesdays and 09:00 to 11:00 on Thursdays but only during years with an even number…. in the Hebrew calendar.”
The algorithm’s default response subroutine is “no, that’s not possible” and it has even been imbued with the ability to create red tape and bureaucracy out of thin air. “There’s going to be a special ishur needed to apply to interact with the bot.” Mark continued. “And there’s going to be another ishur (permit) needed to apply for it.”
The party itself, he said, will consist of 5 virtual MK’s. Each would be an algorithm with a unique personality that would appear in plenum through a unique hologram technology that would be capable of generating a unique “face” for each member of Knesset.
“We’ve also managed to impart certain cultural characteristics into each virtual MK,” he said. The MK bots for instance are able to periodically interrupt one another while speaking and also heckle members of the opposition.
Levy believes that our ambitious project — a world first — is entirely without precedent. “We’re planning to upend the entire state bureaucracy.” he admitted. Levy projects that the ambitious project could end up saving the taxpayer tens of millions of shekels.
“High tech is the strong suit of Israel’s economy and we have good reason to believe that our algorithm and virtual MKs will do a better job than what we have now.” The only costs associated he said would be maintaining the data center and paying a small team of algorithm engineers to program the MKs (and bureaucracy) with new interests. But we’re probably going to ask MASA for some free interns so that should cut down on overhead.
“We’re even working on a fully drone operated delivery service called ‘Leiat Leiat Yisrael’ that we expect could fully emulate the level of service provided by the Israel Post Office.” Mark noted. The tentative delivery service would periodically dump packages into the Dead Sea, thereby losing them, and circle the country for months before arriving at their destination.
Also, none of the Bots ever made money on a deal involving submarines.
So now Israel has lots of Vaccines against the Corona Virus! Gadol! Start-Up Nation at its Best! You know, it’s this history of Israeli Innovation that led me to leave my family and friends behind and defend the Land of Israel! Because, by the way, I’m a Lone Soldier. Not a lot of people know that I’m a Lone Soldier, so sometimes I need to remind them. Like right now. Or when I’m on the bus. Or at the Makolet. Honestly there’s not a “Wrong” time to let people know you’re a Hayyal Boded. Am Yisrael Chai!
So back to the vaccine. Is it free for Lone Soldiers? Because, and not to put too fine a point on it, we HATE to spend money. Like ever. On Anything. For example, I plan on stretching out my streak of not buying groceries into my Miluim time as a Reservist. Couple cans of tuna and chickpeas will no doubt end up in my backpack at the end of every weekend. And by “a couple” I mean “around twenty“.
Maybe I can ask about getting the vaccine for free on Secret Tel Aviv, because I also just moved into a new apartment and need a futon. And a toaster oven. Some pots & pans. Maybe a PlayStation.
Wait wut? The vaccine is free for Everyone? You know that’s kinda bullshit, right?
Tel Aviv: “It’s a hate crime! Ethnic discrimination! Racism!” cried Mindy R. “These stores and their discriminatory practices that make the food I like more expensive. It’s just because I’m Ashkenazi, isn’t it?“
Mindy, a Passaic native who now lives in Tel Aviv, tearfully described her experiences shopping for food at her local AM:PM supermarket. “These cultural micro-aggressions have got to stop!”
“They’re charging 21 Shekels for a tiny bottle of McCormick’s seasoning, and like 10 Shekels for a kilo of some random yellow spices I’ve never heard of.” Mindy complained. “Their motives are pretty obvious; they think they’re better than me and are trying to force me to be like them…. maybe I don’t want to serve yellow chicken and yellow rice and yellow vegetables for Shabbos like every Israeli I know? That’s why they made the jars of duck sauce so expensive, because they don’t want me to buy them! And yeah, I tried Amazon and Target but they don’t ship here.”
We headed to Mindy’s corner supermarket with her typical shopping list: jarred gefilte fish, duck sauce, and cream of mushroom soup (You know, the essentials!) in order to get the whole story from Rami the manager. “Am I racist against her? No way! That girl is one of my best customers; she easily spends 4000 Shekels every month!”
We asked Mindy why, if she felt uncomfortable at her local grocery store, couldn’t she just go to another store like Osher Ad? “I would need a car to get to a supermarket like that.” she said. “I would totally buy one, but groceries are sooo expensive.”
UPDATE: Stay tuned for tomorrow when this crisis migrates to Facebook and morphs into an angry rant on the popular page “Living Financially Smarter in Israel”!
Tel Aviv: Israeli viewers are losing their minds over Channel 11’s amazing new Series “Tehran”, the story of a Mossad agent named Tamar who goes deep undercover in Iran and the Iranian Secret Police’s attempts to find her. In fact, Apple TV just bought the rights to distribute it worldwide! Start Up Nation in the House! Here at the Daily Freier we have been watching this show on the edge of our seats, so we were really excited about this week’s episode where the Iranians hack into the Mossad’s Fax machine in order to locate Tamar. The Daily Freier spent the morning wandering around Dizengoff Square discussing the episode with random people. (Spoiler Alert!)
“The series is just so realistic!” raved Adi, a yoga instructor. “When the Iranian Double Agent pretends to be Israeli but then he says ‘Sorry’ and blows his cover? Incredible.”
The Daily Freier then spoke to Alon, who was walking 12 dogs when we met up with him. “My favorite scene was where the Iranian hackers inside Mossad Headquarters lose Internet access at the very last minute because of Hot Mobile’s poor Customer Service. It just made me feel incredibly proud to be Israeli.“
“I really liked the scene where the Iranians are about to intercept an important fax.” explained Alert Local Ronit S. “But the machine runs out of paper because the office manager was on maternity leave and left the key to the supply cabinet at home!“
Tune in next week when the Iranians hack into Yair Netanyahu’s Twitter account and decide not to change a thing!
Somewhere over the Arabian Peninsula: Quick, somebody call The Scorpions, because The Winds of Change are here! That’s right, Ivanka’s husband has Peace springing up all in this joint. Our Treaty with the United Arab Emirates holds fast, despite the arrival of Israeli travelers. Serbia and Kosovo want to move their Embassies to Jerusalem. Now Saudi Arabia is starting to show signs of thawing its relationship with Israel by allowing Israeli commercial aircraft to fly over its airspace, vastly shortening trips to the Gulf, India and the Far East!
You’re flying EL AL to Dubai on business, feeling quite emotional about this historic change, and the Flight Attendant (Smadar?) is totally ignoring your request for a Coke. Only now she’s ignoring you over Saudi Airspace! Incredible! Im Tirtzu, right?
So Smadar has finally acknowledged your existence, and she’s reacting to your request for a soft drink as if you asked for a Gold Krugerrand on caviar. Only now she’s doing it over what looks like the lights of Riyadh! We’ve come so far!
Wait, she’s returning with what looks like a soft drink in a plastic cup! OMG! As we fly over a nation that was once our enemy but now is sort of our frenemy! Is that your Coke? Yes it is, and she just slammed it down on your tray table with all the strength of Start-Up Nation! Who would have thought just ten years ago that you could enjoy passive-aggressive EL AL customer service 10,000 meters over the Arabian Desert! Herzl is smiling down upon us!
Wait, so she didn’t provide ice in the drink and you want to get her attention? What are you, nuts? Do you have some sort of death wish?
Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Center: Many of you know Dizengoff Center as a place with quirky shops, a playground with a slide exiting an elephant’s tuchus (really), and a Kafkaesque design plan. But did you know that Dizengoff Center has a rooftop Urban Eco Farm? Well it does, and it contains really cool things like bamboo, an herbal wall, beehives, and greenhouses! Trouble is, the insects that are supposed to inhabit the ecosystem keep getting hopelessly lost in and around Dizengoff Center. That’s right, the insects in Dizengoff Center are just as confused and disoriented as you are. The Daily Freier stopped by to talk with some of our friends from the Invertebrate Community and offer our support.
“I’ve really just given up hope.” sighed a cricket named Dudu. “I moved here last month from Holon because the rent was cheap and the view was amazing. But I’ve been wandering the parking garage for five days and I have no idea where I am.” Dudu turned around, trying to find a familiar landmark. ” I just feel like I’ve made a huge mistake.“
“This doesn’t even make any sense.” complained a honeybee named Devorah somewhere near the food court. “I was supposed to meet a girlfriend for coffee so I left the hive early just in case…. I’ve passed that weird tattoo shop four times in the last hour.“
Finally, the Daily Freier met up with a speckled moth named Uri near the movie theater. “I left the greenhouse four hours ago to get a smoothie and now I can’t find my way home. I read the Daily Freier and thought that Olim only get lost here because they’re idiots.” Uri stared silently into the distance. “But it’s real… it’s real.”
Dubai: Years of hard work by diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the United States are up in smoke today after the UAE abruptly withdrew from its Peace Deal with Israel. What caused this change? The BDS Movement? No. An angry phone call from Abu Mazen? Nope. The whiny complaints of Ben Rhodes or Peter Beinart? No, but they were hilarious. No, No, No. In the end, the deal was destroyed by the arrival of a unique threat. That’s right, Israeli tourists showed up. The Daily Freier was able to get the facts just before Dubai permanently banned Israelis again forever.
“It seemed like a good idea.” explained a Tourism Ministry employee named Ahmed. “The young Israelis said they wanted to have a ‘Nature Party’ on the sand dunes. Who doesn’t love nature?” Ahmed took a long sip from his coffee and stared out the window into the distance. “Your young people really like trance music and Ecstasy.“
“We had a problem on a flight last night.” sighed Ibrahim, a Customs Officer at Dubai International Airport. “We don’t even know how the Israelis got on the airplane during Corona, but they did.” Ibrahim nervously fidgeted with his cigarette and continued. “May I ask you a question? What does ‘Ani rotzah shokolad‘ mean?“
Finally, the Daily Freier stopped by the Dubai Hilton to try to figure out what went wrong. “I am sorry, but I do not have time to speak with you.” explained the manager. “The bathrobes and hair dryers are currently missing from all of our rooms.“
When asked about the abrupt diplomatic loss, Prime Minister Netanyahu was surprisingly relaxed. “The irony is that the Emiratis did not even get a chance to meet our National Dream Team of Tourist All-Stars.“
Tel Aviv: So we got good news and bad news. First, the good news. We met a recent arrival to Israel who is enthusiastic, refuses to quit, and determined to make it work here. The bad news is it’s the Corona Virus. The virus, who immigrated to Israel in late February and is named Rachel or Sarah, was kind enough to sit down with the Daily Freier at that cute cafe near Ben Yehuda that’s really popular with Olim.
“OMG I love it here!” enthused the virus. The Daily Freier asked the virus about her story. “So, like my family was originally from China, but then I just started traveling! It was so exciting! Europe! North America! It felt like I was on Gap Year!“
The Daily Freier asked the virus if it had any long-term goals in Israel. “I’m going to start my own NGO!” she replied. “It’s going to be like Taglit, except it will bring young infectious viruses to Israel! Isn’t this exciting?!! Imagine…. a virus riding a camel! Taking shots of Tubi! It just made out with the cute soldier from the bus! It’s got mud all over its body at the Dead Sea! ” (Later, we reluctantly had to admit that this idea wasn’t the dumbest piece of Israel Advocacy that we had ever heard of.)
Then the virus started to “spill tea” on life in Israel. “I hooked up with a Golani last week! We met at the beach!” Then the virus turned introspective. “But why isn’t he calling me? I mean, I got his text that he’s sick with a high fever. But is that just some kind of commitment issues bullshit? They say he’s in an isolation ward on his base, but I think he’s just ghosting me.“
As we got up to leave, the virus had one more question. “So when do I get my 750 Shekels from the Government for Covid Relief?“
UPDATE: There appears to be an End Date to the Corona Epidemic. After the Holidays, she’s going to get married and move to Ra’anana and then nobody will ever hear from her again.
Over the past year, the Daily Freier has grown very attached to our favorite Tel Aviv cult community organization. We even teased them a little in an article! So it was a bit of a shock when we got the news that Kerem House had moved a few blocks away. Anyhoo, we cyber-stalked various Kerem House Committee Members and asked them the reason why they decided to move. So Behold, here is our Research!
1) We received a message from HaShem.
2) The Police started to ask questions about our Crypto Currency.
3) We needed to break up with our vegetable guy at the Shuk.
4) Wanted to be closer to Bograshov when the French arrive in August.
5) It was a chance to score another free Mezuzah from Chabad on the Coast.
6) The guys from MidBurn built a tipi on our roof and refused to leave.
7) We explained this in our Newsletter. Wait, you don’t subscribe to our Newsletter? Here, give me your phone. OK, you’re signed up now.
8) The mold in our bathroom wanted to live closer to the beach.
9) We applied for a Nefesh B’Nefesh “Go North” grant.
10) You’re gonna have to attend our next weird-ass TED Talk to find out.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.