Only In Israel

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Israeli elections broadcasts.

The Israeli elections are in a few days, and I wanted to share with my readers an experience most Israelis face every elections.
According to the Israeli election propaganda law, every party running for the Knesset gets a TV spot in the three main channels. Each party gets an equal time frame, with time editions for every serving parliament member. I'll post (with subtitles) a few of the election clips by different parties.
Here are the most original and controversial clips so far (will add more next week).

First of all Kadima. The likely winner of these elections, which not only sampled the national anthem into its jingle but also used Ben Gurion and Hertzl in its ad. They're using a wordplay on their name "Kadima" which means "Forward" in Hebrew. Here's the ad (Right-click, and Save as..). Here's the subs.

Here's Meretz, a leftie party, with probably the best ad of these entire elections. Appealing to the heart and extremly original. Won't tell you what it's about, or it'll spoil it. The ad. The subs.

Here's Shinui. This is currently the third largest party in Israel, but it isn't expected to be in the next Knesset at all. It's entire leadership quit (after losing in a primary election) and formed a new party. Shinui deals with stopping the ultra-orthodox Jews from extorting the government into giving them more money, and make them do military service like the rest of us. All noble causes, but this broadcast pretty much made sure noone will ever vote for them again.
This was actually aired only once, and almost all of it was censored ever since due to claims of Anti-Semitic material. Here's the complete clip, along with Jews crawling on their bellies, and then disappearing in black smoke. Here are the subs.

Here's the "Green Leaf" party. Their official goal is to legalize marijuana, they run every elections, but never got into the Knesset so far. This time, they tried having an actual platform on social and economical problems, other than smoking dope. Here's their ad regarding civil and same sex marriages which is widely controversial in Israel. Wait for the end to see why. The ad. The subs.

That's it so far. Will bring more clips next week.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

ISM notices us. I'm flattered.

Warning, Human Speebumps ahead!

I occasionaly check my Site-meter referrals page, and noticed something weird. It seems like I'm getting visits from the ISM website admin page (which is password protected). Which means ISM monitors this blog, and sends out its watchdogs (or in this case watch-morlocks) to flood this blog with ISM propaganda, and attempt to decieve my readers by posting lies in the comment section.
Their newest attempt was to log onto old posts which they assumed I forgot about and post their libelous comments there.
Personally, I'm flattered that the ISM sees me as dangerous enough to monitor and send their followers here to attempt to fight the truth.
My dear ISM followers and other human speedbump wannabees, let me assure you that I will keep you guys as busy as I possibly can. This site will continue publish the truth about the conflict, and all your lies in the comment section will not go unchallange by me (and hopefully by my other readers). I will personally go over every single post in this blog and make sure, that no lie posted by you guys will be left without due comment.

The Green Line

That's what the common name for the 1967 borders is. Most media outlets use that name, and its common in every political discussion about Israel.
Have you ever wondered why it's called the Green Line? Here's why:

See the forest? That's Israel. See where it ends and desert begins? That's the West Bank.
And that's what they mean when they say "Jews made the desert bloom".
Not many people are aware of it, but the world's largest reforestation effort is made in Israel. Israel is probably the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a gain of trees. The Jewish National Fund is responsible for that. It constantly plants new trees and creates new forests every year, making Israel greener and greener.
The situation on the other side is naturally, much much worse. The few natural reserves that the Brits left on the other side were left destroyed and unprotected by Jordan. Rivers are polluted. And here's the worst of it: there is no efficient garbage handling in the Palestinan side. Their way of getting rid of trash is taking it a mile away from their villages and burning it. Which not only badly pollutes the environment, but leaves a constant stench in the outskirts of their villages. Sometimes it's so bad, that driving in a few miles radius from such a site without throwing up becomes a challenge.
Sewage? Since the Israeli built treatment plant in Gaza went out of order in the 90s, Palestinians just let the sewer flow into the sea.
Don't get me wrong, I realize that Palestinians have much bigger problems than their environment to handle. But so did young Israel in the 50s, where every home had a JNF collection tin to plant as many trees possible. It seems to me that the environmental issue is left untouched in the Palestinian authority, and that efforts to clean the environment and make it greener are kept on our side of the Green line.

A satellite photo of Israel. The "Green Line" is obvious even from space

Anyway, I know it's a lot after "Tu Bi-Shvat" (A Jewish holiday, in which it is a custom to plant trees), but you can still plant a tree in Israel, even from your own couch: The Jewish National Fund lets you plant your own tree by donating online.
The next time some Israel-hater starts whining about the "Green Line", remind him what it means.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Just an innocent bystander

Bil'in is dead, hail the new attack point, Beit Sira. The anti-terrorist barrier near Bil'in is almost complete, so the human waste that tried to stop the fence there, now moved to nearby Beit-Sira, to continue their favorite hobby of assaulting soldiers and destroying construction equipment. Such protests are now a matter of everyday event in Beit Sira, and I wish to show you photographs from one of them. This is one of the cases where simply shifting through the pictures helps you reach a few surprising conclusions. Don't you worry, I'll detail all about the fence in Beit-Sira when I return, but for now, let's just have the photos.

Here, the protest is only starting. Look at the old man on the left, he's probably as old as my father. He seems civilized, non-violent, someone you can speak with. Certainly not someone who might be hit by soldiers.

My oh my, that old guy is bleeding, those barbaric soldiers, how could they hit an innocent old man. He was only talking, wasn't he?

Oh yeah. He was also trying to take a policeman's bat, thus pinning him down, while one of his friends kicked him while he was on the floor.
Such an innocent man, all he did was keep a police officer on the floor so that his pals beat him into unconciousnes. Why would anyone want a fence to separate themselves from these lovely people? eh?

Mem Tzadik

Mem Tzadik is a Hebrew acronym for "Mishtara Tzvait"- The military police. It's a loathed combination of letters, too often used as a cry for warning, to warn the other soldiers not to get hit by them. Their presence is often accompanied with white hats (who look like dunce caps to me) and white and orange armbands. They usually hunt in the morning, and their favorite hunting ground is a bus station.

You see, in Israel, soldiers travel in public transportation just like everyone else, and because some high ranking officer had nothing better to do, a special police force was established to keep the soldiers well dressed. For instance, your berret must be in your epaulette, you must be well shaved, have rubberbands that keep the bottom of your pants above the shoe line, and a million of other laws made up by some high ranking officers with too much time on their hands.

The Military Police usually hangs out around central bus stations, where they literally hunt down soldiers. They come in flocks of 3-4, with a couple more soldiers in civie clothes (to catch people who try to run away), they usually surround a victim, and then start looking for reasons to screw him. They usually go way beyond checking you're dressed according to the regulations and find silly little articles in the law, just to land anyone they can a report. A few examples of the more stupid stuff you can get a report for would be wearing a scarf, walking with headphones, not carrying the "IDF spirit" card on you at all times and plenty of other regulations noone is sure how and when they were invented.

There's really no prescription to avoid being harmed by them, they're everywhere and come for everyone. Although it does seem that they tend to sneak on combat soldiers and leave the jobnikim (soldiers with deskjobs) alone. And let me tell you, there's nothing that sucks more than coming home on a rainy day, after 21 days in some hellhole and getting a report for mud on your shoes.

You're probably thinking to yourself, "Hey, so you've got a report, how bad can it be". Oh, yeah. Very bad. Moving from a month's detention bad, to a few weeks in jail bad. For some stupid reason, battalion commanders are extra sensitive about the number of reports their soldiers get, because they compare the statistics of all battalions in the brigade. So, as sad as it may sound, you may find Colonels and even Brigadier Generals dealing with petty things like "how many soldiers walked without a berret last week" instead of actually doing what they're there for - fighting wars.

But, there's a catch, even for "Mem Tzadik" guys. They can't act on private property. Meaning you're only in danger when you're on the outside. They can't catch you inside a bus, a train, a mall, or even a shop inside the central bus station. This is why usually you see shops in central bus stations crowded with soldiers, who run as quick as they can from the shop to their bus, across the dangerous waters of the open street.

My personal favorite game that developed from those laws includes catching some Mem Tzadik's eye from the window, ruffling my hair, throwing my berret away, taking my shirt out of my pants, and giving him the finger, knowing he can do absolutely nothing to me, while I'm on the bus.

Well, it's going to be Sunday morning in a few hours, and they're going to be out, as always, hunting us down. If you don't see me for a long while, it's a sign they got me.