Offbeat Israel: Sex Gum, Sports and the Separation Wall
Hamas has come up with some pretty bizarre conspiracy theories about Israel, but this one surpasses them all. Israel is bringing aphrodisiac chewing gum in to the Gaza Strip in order to corrupt its residents. Of course, encouraging Gazans to hook up and make more little Gazans is clearly an integral part of Israel’s strategy for the demographics of the Middle East. See a report on this story below:
Of course, the flip side of Hamas’ claim is that it is crediting Israel, and not its own smugglers who run Gaza’s famous tunnels, with fresh breath in the Strip.
Admittedly, it’s hardly the biggest hurdle to Orthodox Israelis who want to see female rabbis ordained. But they have selected a title. This means that if they manage to sway an Israeli Orthodox community, which is currently for the large part dead against female ordination, everybody will know what to call the new religious authorities.
America already has an Orthodox female rabbi, known by the title “maharat” — an acronym for the Hebrew words spiritual, Halacha, and Torah teacher. If Israel follows suit, here they will be called “rabba,” if a vote just held by the Orthodox feminist organization Kolech holds sway. The organization wants to get the word registered with the Academy of the Hebrew Language, the body that determines what words enter modern Hebrew. Read about the decision here.
Have you seen the new advertisement for Israeli cell phone company Cellcom?
It shows IDF soldiers on patrol along the West Bank separation barrier stopping their vehicle after it is hit by a football from the Palestinian side of the fence. They end up holding a game with Palestinians, to the delight of female soldiers. “All in all what do we want? To have some fun,” is the slogan at the end. The ad is below:
Ahmed Tibi, leader of Israel’s Ta’al political party and adviser to former Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat is leading a campaign for Cellcom to shelve the advertisement, on the grounds it is racist and “presents the barrier as though it were just a garden fence in Tel Aviv.” Meanwhile, there is another controversy surrounding the advertisement. Two filmmakers Itamar Rose and Yossi Atia claim that Cellcom copied a short film they made three years ago — a claim the company denies. Make up your own mind: Here’s the Rose and Atia clip, added to YouTube in September 2007: