Unfinished Business

Jaffa – and several parts of Tel Aviv – are undergoing gradual gentrification. I was surprised at the extent of this.

One block back from the somewhat rundown King George Street, for example, there are newly built, modern apartment blocks, with a price that partly explains why the city is supposedly one of the top ten most expensive in the world.

The old and the new. Near King George Street in Tel Aviv.

In Jaffa, just by the famous Gesher Theater, a tree lined shopping plaza with extensive underground parking, and a mix of boutiques and restaurants, is slowly building in popularity.

Jaffa mall, early morning, before the crowds

For all the challenges this young country has, there is plenty of good news.

There is also plenty of evidence that Israelis still haven’t figured out that asking a native English speaker’s advice is worth doing when it comes to signage.

Suits what exactly?

Do we really think Dor’s groom suits something or somebody? Himself? His bride? Being dressed up? Sold here?

Well, it made me laugh.

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Lightning Strike

According to this article in Globes:

“The Ministry of Justice has begun investigating law and accounting firms suspected of non-compliance with ‘know your client’ anti-money laundering rules.”

By way of background, these regulations put obligations on lawyers, accountants, and banks to make sure their client is who he says he is.

In some quarters these regulations have the nickname “Business Prevention Rules” because asking people for copy passports, utility bills, certificates of corporate status and so on, are seen as a barrier to doing business. In practice, 100% of the honest population are mildly inconvenienced so as to try and restrict the unlawful activities of the dishonest minority.

That background explains why sometimes professionals do not properly enforce the regulations. And from time to time, whether in Israel, the UK, or Europe, the authorities clamp down and maybe prosecute a few bad apples as an example pour encourager les autres.

The Globes article is worth looking at only because of this gem of a typo:

“Sources inform “Globes” that Adv. Adi Comeriner Peled, the supervisor in the Ministry of Justice for non-financial businesses and professionals, has begun conducting lightening visits to law and accounting firms suspected of violating provisions of the law concerning documentation of deals and services provided to clients.”

I can just hear the conversation now:

“I’ve come on a lightening visit.”

“Great. Which burden are you going to lighten?”

English in Israel is often an adventure into the absurd.

[I see that some other diligent reader spotted the typo. Maybe they will fix the article. Too bad.]

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Signs of Our Times

Here’s the sign above a shop in Herzliya:

Here’s how I imagine the conversation going:

Shopper: “Do you do home design?”

Shop Assistant: “That’s what it says on the sign. Of course we do.”

Shopper: “Do you design children? How does that work?”

Shop Assistant: “I’ll get back to you…”

Note that I am exercising restraint and not really commenting on the “House In” part of the crime scene.

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Eilat English

Susan and I had a relaxing time in Eilat for Sukkot. We did a bit of lazing about, some reading, spent time at the gym and the pool, ate (too much, of course), shook our lulav and etrog, and even went to shul.

The standard (and availability) of kosher catering in Eilat seems to be gradually improving. However, you could not say the same for the standard of English translations:

Whine for table four?

Whine for table four?

And if you think that was bad, how the hell do you explain this one?

The food equivalent of the Unfinished Symphony - the Unpaid Penne?

The food equivalent of the Unfinished Symphony – the Unpaid Penne?

Israeli English; nothing quite like it.

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Typo of the week

From the Ynet article about Fox Sports journalist Emily Austen, who was fired from her job as a sideline reporter last weekend after telling some stories – including one about “stingy Jews” – to Barstool Sports:

The writer [Austen], who covered the Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Rays, finally added her anti-Semitic comments about “stingy Jews,” saying “I just didn’t care about the way I spoke to Jews in Boca (Raton, Florida),” she said, describing her time as a waitress.

“They would complain about everything. I gave one guy a bear, and he complained that there was too much head on it. I knew that he was crazy stingy, and that he wouldn’t leave me a tip,” she said.

I’m not quite sure what I would do if a waiter gave me a bear, with or without a head…

The whole piece is here.

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Nothing to see here

I was at an office event at the Tel Aviv Convention Center yesterday, and spotted this sign for a restaurant on the site.

"What else is on the menu, apart from your best dish?" "Er, nothing..."

“What else is on the menu, apart from your best dish?” “Er, nothing…”

My guess is that it is somebody’s attempt to improve on Nothing but the best. I’d judge that a resounding failure!

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Principles

Current political joke in Israel: Tzipi Livni recently announced that in preparation for the election, she had considered her position very carefully, and was prepared to present her principles to the public. However, if the public didn’t like them, she did have some others…

With that in mind, here’s the front cover of a Bayit Yehudi flyer given out at last night’s hustings. You will note it has been prepared in English for the expected English speaking audience.

Who would these people be?

Who would these people be?

I read this, and thought to myself: there are two possibilities here.

One: I am going to open this up and read about the principal individuals involved in Bayit Yehudi. That makes sense. I really only know Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked. It would be good to know more about the others.

Two: I am going to open this up and read about how the principal individuals in Bayit Yehudi (and their campaign people) may have principles, but a good standard of English communications is not one of them.

So, without further ado, here is what was inside on the first page.

by2

Yes, a language fail. I see no principals! Shame.

Update

Here’s an update from last night’s hustings, from a co-conspirator who stayed longer than me:

“…seriously the best stuff was after you left…Yisrael Beytenu showed how Bennett’s lot (Bayit Yehudi) sided with the haredim on all Jewish issues, and Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) with the more dati leumi view (rabanut, conversions, agunot etc)…”

[Thank you, Sharon!]

 

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Mossad agent started with a curry

From Ynet:

Former Mossad agent Mike Harari passes away

Mossad legend from Operation Wrath of God, Operation Thunderbolt dies, putting end to illustrious career shrouded in secrecy.

One of Israel’s most respected and legendary Mossad agents, Michael (Mike) Harari, has passed away at the age of 87.

And it all started with a curry.

You don’t believe me?

It says so in the report:

currier

You can read it all, spiced up or not, here.

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