Ramallah- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “condemned in the strongest terms” Israel’s “disproportionate and indiscriminate” response to tomorrow’s completely spontaneous riots. Tomorrow’s riots will be a grass-roots, spur of the moment populist reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and will begin approximately 15 minutes after mid-morning prayers. Abbas described Israel’s “Barbaric” attack on tomorrow’s peaceful protesters at a news conference this evening.
By Yuval Weiss
Last Updated 12/23/2016 at 3:00 PM
Tel Aviv, HaYarkon: As a certain President-Elect (Also known as HaShem’s early Chanukah gift to humor writers) selects a team that appears to actually really really want to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, voices are crying out against such a radical move. Voices that are saying “Stop! Such a unilateral move is too risky! You’re going to ruin everything we have worked for!” Are these the words of noted diplomat and windsurfer John Kerry? The President who knows what’s good for Israel better than Israel knows what’s good for Israel? The New York Times? Purveyor of Received Wisdom Thomas Friedman? Not really. Actually, these are the words of Benny, the guy with the shop across from the U.S. Embassy on HaYarkon Street, who will hold your phone for the mere price of 15 Shekels while you are doing whatever you are doing in there.
The Embassy, whose strict rule of Absolutely No Cellphones on site has forced its Israeli Local Hire employees to sext each other via fax, has proven to be a goldmine to the guy in the shop across the street with the World’s Greatest Business Model. Specifically: Open a Shop Across From The U.S Embassy and Charge People 15 Shekels to Hold Their Cellphones While They are Inside the U.S. Embassy. Benny explained his philosophy.
“I don’t understand why you would want to move the Embassy. You have everything here. the beach, restaurants….me. Think about it. When you need a place to put your phone? Boom! Here I am! And how can you be sure that the guy who takes your phone in Jerusalem will be up to the job? He will probably have to close the shop for Shachrit, Mincha, and the rest of that stuff. Me? I’m always here. Am Yisrael Chai. God Bless the USA.”
Benny continued to explain his specific predicament. “My wife doesn’t know about the Embassy move yet. And I saw her pricing tickets on the Internet for a trip to Rome this Spring. And new furniture for the living room. I’m dying over here. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I can call Mister Trump. He seems like a regular guy. Maybe we can make a deal.”
Before making the call, Benny plans to gather other concerned stakeholders to include the Embassy Marine guards, who have come to appreciate being stationed 50 meters from Tel Aviv Beaches full of women from Tel Aviv, the bartender at Mike’s Place who needs to save up for a trip to South America, and the State Department Employees who will need to lie to their wives/husbands/significant others and say that Jerusalem really really has a great night life….you just need to look a littler harder.
By Mia Deych
Last Updated 12/17/2016 at 8:00 PM
Kikar Rabin: Iriyat Tel Aviv has decided to take on the difficult task of turning Israelis into law-abiding citizens. In order to achieve this valiant feat, a team from the Code Enforcement Department had to think outside the box to come up with a creative decision.
Hadas S., team lead on the project, shared her vision with The Daily Freier: “Every single Israeli has some real or imagined relatives in the United States and every single Israeli has thought of moving there at least once in their lifetime. Have you ever seen how tranquil and amenable Israelis are when they wait in a line to apply for American visas? That was the key!” Now, instead of giving tickets and fines, Tel Aviv Municipality will forward the names, addresses, and nicknames of scofflaws to The U.S. State Department, which agreed to place them on a Blacklist for 1 to 10 years depending on their deeds.
One of the first “victims” of the new law, Shlomi from Lod, who nearly hit two pedestrians as they crossed the street next to Habima Theatre, because “nobody stops at the zebra crossing there”, parked his car in the bike lane on Sheinkin Street, because “everybody parks there”, and met his cousin’s brother-in-law’s friend to discuss “some business”, won’t be able to apply for a U.S. visa within next two years. The Daily Freier was on the scene to hear Shlomi’s lament: “This is illegal! My aunt’s neighbours’ family live in Florida and my sister-in-law’s son lives in New York. Also, I have “some business” there”.
Shlomi is not the only indignant Israeli devastated by the new law. Doron, owner of a chain of laundromats, found out about it from the morning newspaper. “What do they expect from us? Watch for speed limits? Don’t litter? Or… pay taxes to Bituach Leumi?! I mean this is Israel, not America or something…” Doron silently reflected for a few seconds, turned the music up louder, and returned to reading his newspaper.
By Yekutiel Bornstein and Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 9/27/2016 at 5:45 PM
Tel Aviv, LaSalle: Today the Daily Freier shares a story of setbacks, the Triumph of the Human Spirit, and an inability to memorize basic verb forms. Now entering his 8th year in Kita Bet, Oleh Not-So-Hadash Jeff S. is still unable to pass the end of course exam, and is thus trapped inside of the Ulpan Gordon Language School in Tel Aviv. The Daily Freier spoke with Jeff during his 10 AM break.
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong” wondered Jeff. “It just feels like I’m in some sort of rut. I mean, my Hebrew hasn’t really improved since Obama’s first Term, but then again my conversational Russian and French are really getting good!”
Despite Jeff’s failings as a student, the dedicated faculty have not given up on him. When he finally mastered Past Tense Verbs last year, the teachers threw him a party. “It was kind of like a Bar Mitzvah.” explained Ulpan Gordon’s Principal, wiping away tears. “And when he made the Bracha on the wine, he was just as illiterate as he was back in 2009.”
Unable to graduate and thus depart the premises, Jeff survives from day-to-day on the snack bar, occasional birthday cake, and emergency rations from the U.S. Embassy Citizens’ Services Section. Various Birthright tours passing through drop off messages from his family, as well as Hebrew flashcards.
The years of isolation have taken their toll on Jeff. He currently makes cultural reference from the 2000’s Decade, to include “Friendster“, “You’re Fired“, and “The OC“. He is currently unaware of Post-First Generation iPhones. His “Arrested Development” quotes are still funny though.
Jeff has become somewhat of an institution at Ulpan Gordon. His current teacher, Shirli, is in fact the daughter of his first teacher in 2009, Nava. “B’zrat HaShem, some day my granddaughter or grandson will teach him.” mused Nava. Shirli also shared her mother’s affection for Jeff. “He gets along really well with my family. My five-year old Uri adores him. But lately, Uri’s been expanding his vocabulary and finds their conversations somewhat limited and a bit boring.”
In addition to Jeff’s friendships with the faculty, he has managed to maintain somewhat of a social life as well. In 2010, Jeff dated, married, and got divorced from a French Olah in his class. Nava explained the situation to us. “We held the reception in the auditorium. We had soda, cake, and a slide show. It was actually quite tasteful.” In order to get all sides of the story, the Daily Freier contacted Joane, Jeff’s ex. “I really enjoyed class with Jeff. But he was never there for me to help around the house.” explained Joane.
Many people wonder just how this tragedy has been allowed to go on so long. The Daily Freier contacted the Misrad HaKlitah (Ministry of Absorbtion) to find out. “Normally, recent immigrants are only granted 5 months of free Hebrew lessons.” explained Uzi, from the Front Desk. “But we really just want to see where this ends up. So every 5 months we extend his benefits. We actually have a bit of a betting pool going.” Uzi then lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned in closer to us. “By the way, just curious, but when you saw him, was he able to name all of the Hebrew Vowels yet?”
The Daily Freier then contacted Nefesh B’Nefesh to demand answers on how they allowed this situation to continue. A Dati Leumi woman from their Jerusalem Office named BatSheva or Elisheva or JustSheva answered our phone call. “Whenever an Oleh from North America stays here more than six months without moving back, we consider this a win. So he’s really good for our statistics.”
UPDATE: The IDF mounted a clandestine operation this evening to rescue Jeff from Ulpan Gordon, as they have a Squad Leader position in their Olah Hadashah Code Talker Unit that needs to be filled.
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Lee Saunders
Last Updated 6/1/2016 at 6:10 PM
Jerusalem: In a world of naff abbreviations, memes and soundbites, the Israeli Knesset this week debated a motion brought by rebel MKs on the benefits of an Israeli ‘MExit‘: an exit from the Middle East.
Seeing how all the talk of a ‘Brexit‘ (British Exit) in Europe has engaged an apathetic British public from its political slumber and scared the bejesus heck out of the European Union, the Israeli PM agreed to the debate, which raged well into Friday night. Drunken new Defense Minister Avigdor ‘the Tom Jones of Odessa’ Lieberman cried into his vodka: “I don’t want to move but at least we would not have to find a lousy Eurovision entry. It’s humiliating. Like Arafat in a thong.”
One of the more sensible suggestions was to charter 2,300 El Al flights, 43,000 kosher meals and take Israeli citizens on a junket to northern Thailand – where most seem to spend their post-army travels and run travel agencies.
Another suggestion was to fit all of the Holy Land inside two streets in a Shanghai suburb, which raised the prospect of Tel Avivians enjoying Chinese food that was actually good.
A third and more challenging option, was to transfer the Jewish people to Mars. Whilst this idea drew widespread support in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and among the BDS movement, there was also a great deal of support WITHIN Israel as real estate giant Shikun & Binui immediately applied for planning permission to build affordable high-rises on the red planet. Marketing the development as ‘Eilat in the Sky,’ young Israelis were also excited, as it seems they don’t actually enjoy paying more than 4,000 shekels a month for a studio as large as a border collie. With nothing to grow, nothing to do and an atmosphere lacking breathable air, Mars is using advertising slogans from the Beersheba tourist board. Discussions broke down after participants learned that the Palestinians claim Mars was actually originally theirs.
There was also excitement in Israel to the sweet idea recently proposed by a British MP that Israel should be moved to the United States of America. “It would fit inside New Jersey” shrieked one excited Israeli, in a three kilometer line for Green Cards at the U.S. Embassy.
Upon the news, everyone’s dreaded President-Elect Donald Trump escorted the U.S. navy to patrol the seas off Ellis Island, carrying a Monty Pythonesque placard saying: “What have the bloody Jews ever done for us?” before being counter-sued by his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
As morning rolled around, Bibi called UK Prime Minister David Cameron to see if he would consider a land swap. The UK would return to supervise the land of Israel while Israelis moved into their relatives’ homes in Hendon and Golders Green. Netanyahu also said Dana International could stay and sing for the UK in next year’s Eurovision. David Cameron, vehemently against a Brexit, was said to be considering such a sweetener.
(Photo Credit: Nefesh B’Nefesh)
By Mark Levy
Last Updated 3/31/2016 at 1:00 PM
Tel Aviv, Derech HaYarkon: The concerned family of an American Olah Hadashah flew to Israel early this morning after receiving no indication that their daughter Sarah had started a Blog about her life in Israel since arriving on Monday. Sarah, a recent graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, arrived on a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight and has yet to create an online platform to describe her interactions with the juice guy on the corner, how to buy fruit in the Shuk, or how silly the ‘newbies’ on the Birthright tour look. Her parents, Leah and David P. of Lexington, Massachusetts, met with Consular Officials before holding a joint press conference at the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv.
“We’re just looking for a sign that she’s OK, like maybe a really, really, really long story about the kindly Russian-speaking grandmother who stopped to help her when she was lost and crying in Shuk HaCarmel before Shabbat.” said a despondent Leah P. “I’m not saying I would actually read it, but it would still be a relief.”
“I just wish she would do an “Only in Israel” entry like her Cousin Melissa always does on that Blog she writes.” stated her father. When The Daily Freier pressed David for details that would indicate such an entry, he admitted that he had never actually “read” any of Melissa’s entries, but rather subcontracted the task to Dylan, his 12 year old son. Dylan, who would read the entries and provide his father a typed “Cliff’s Notes” version suitable for feigning familiarity with the blog when Melissa Skyped them, was currently charging his dad $10 per Blog post or $15 in credit for Minecraft upgrades.
Dylan, who described his cousin Melissa’s Blog as “Lame“, “Stupid“, and “Eat, Pray, Love only whiter” vowed that if his sister was OK and started blogging, he would charge his dad “Like 20 Bucks or something” to read any of Sarah’s future entries. Dylan smiled and turned to his father on the conference room podium. “And every time she posts an entry that says ‘OMG breakfast in Israel is A-MA-ZING’ I’m charging an extra 5 Bucks….. 10 if she also Instagrams the food.”
UPDATE: A U.S. Embassy spokesperson happily announced that Sarah is alive and well and “hanging out at Mike’s Place”. The spokesperson went on to explain that Sarah failed to start a Blog because she was busy creating a new Facebook page dedicated to Israel Advocacy and pictures of her new life here to include documenting the coffee hafuch she purchased from Aroma yesterday, a guy on a bicycle walking 12 dogs on Ben Yehuda Street, and a matkot game on Metzitzim Beach. Her relieved parents promised they would check it out. But they were lying.