From U-No-Hoo to Wu-Han-Cock

grass

It’s been a relatively quiet fortnight in Israeli politics.  The new “Bennett/Lapid” coalition seems to be functioning reasonably well and the various ministers seem to be settling into their jobs and are being given credit for doing what they’re paid to do, i.e., serve the people.  So far, it seems to be in contrast to the way in which the previous coalition operated, whereby when things went well, U-NO-HOO took all the credit and when things proved difficult the ministers would be invited to appear and explain to the public why things were difficult and why they hadn’t quite worked out as expected, meaning that when times were less than good, ministers were expected to accept ministerial responsibility, something that appeared not to be the case with U-NO-HOO.

The new Opposition still hasn’t got used to the fact that it’s not the government.  It’s been reported that there is a move afoot among those who feel that power “was stolen” from them to continue to refer to the former Prime Minister as “the Prime Minister” and according to Anshel Pfeffer, the well-informed correspondent for HaAretz daily newspaper and The Economist, “He [Bibi] smiles benevolently upon those who do so”. However, Pfeffer does warn us that he shouldn’t be written off. Keen to rebound yet again, he and his satraps have taken to delegitimizing Bennett by making it look as if Bibi  is still the real prime minister and that’s the reason he’s  keeping up a stream of images of him greeting local and foreign dignitaries in appropriate settings on his social media outlets.  Quite why he has been allowed to stay on in the Prime Minister’s official residence in Jerusalem until July 10 is beyond me;  I mean, it’s not exactly as if he and his wife would have become homeless if the moving van had arrived the day after the new government had been formed.  After all, there is a large villa in Caesarea that is waiting to be re-occupied.

Eventually, I imagine the message will eventually sink in, in particular if the current coalition survives longer than some imagine it might.  Ironically, the way I see things is that Mr. Bennett painted himself into a corner a few weeks ago as a result of which, because of his zigzagging and wavering between a broad and potentially unwieldy coalition like the one he’s now leading and facing yet another election in which he might not have done so well, he chose to become Prime Minister.  And again, there’s irony in the fact that all of his cabinet colleagues, having been given jobs to perform, feel as if they must do them well — because if they don’t, their parties’ share of the vote will likely drop at the next election, whenever that might be.

How does it stay there?

However, one great mystery about the Bennett government remains.  How does the new Prime Minister’s knitted kippah (skull cap) stay on his head.  These days, he has less hair than appears in the photograph above and what little remains appears to be shaven and then the head polished.  Does he use double-sided cellotape? Or perhaps it’s Velcro?  Or Blu Tack? Or Bostik? Or maybe it’s a suction pad? Or for all I know he uses some hi-tech invention based on silicon developed in the Start-Up Nation for which he is now responsible.  I asked a friendly intelligence agent to investigate, and I now have it on good authority that the mystery is no longer.  In other words, I know. However, as the subject in question is the Israeli Prime Minister, it’s a security issue that just can’t be divulged to the general public.

Given the rumblings within the Likud party, with several individuals seeing themselves as successors to U-NO-HOO, the situation appears to me to be beginning to resemble 1990/91 in the United Kingdom, when the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, after three terms in office, managed to alienate several members of her own party because of her poll-tax policies and opposition to further British integration into the European Community, so much so that she came to be regarded as an electoral liability rather than an electoral asset and in November 1990, she failed to receive a majority in the Conservative Party’s annual vote for selection of a leader. As a result, she withdrew her nomination, and was replaced by a paragon of blandness called John Major and she resigned six days later. Her 11 years in office was the longest continuous tenure of a British prime minister in almost two centuries and the outcome was that she was elevated to the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire).  Just imagine if we were able to carry on like that in Israel — Baron Bibi of Caesearea (on the Carmel Coast)!  In the words of Eliza Doolittle, “… wouldn’t it be loverly”?!

Meanwhile, although Israeli politics has been relatively quiet following the display of bestial animosity in the Knesset a fortnight ago when the Prime Minister was attempting to address the members, British politics took us on an interesting side-trip last week with the story that broke regarding the Secretary of State for Health, WU-HAN-COCK, who was photographed by various media outlets in a close embrace with one, Gina Coladangelo, who he had taken on as an adviser to his Ministry.  The accusations pointed at him, however, related less to the fact that he was having an affair with a married woman who was not his wife, but that he had breached social distancing rules that he himself had authorized.   Notwithstanding all the Woo-Ha, I  thought it was rather touching to have read that he woke his children up to tell that he was leaving home.

I just love those socks!

But perhaps he was only following the example of his former boss, who didn’t think the whole affair sufficient reason to fire him.  But when Hancock resigned, poor BoJo, in trying to tear his hair out just made a mess of it all again!

But I’m really very tired of politics and politicians so time for some images.

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Summer’s come early to Tel Aviv this year.   Temperatures have soared and the humidity levels with them so as a consequence, I’ve had to wake up earlier than has been my wont (not that sleeping in the heat is that easy anyway) and get out before it gets too hot.  However, I’m discovering that even at 06.30, things have already hotted up.

Hand in hand

Morning stroll in the Yarqon Park

One of the upshots of getting out early in the morning is that there’s a dearth of people so the subjects that I see are mainly birds and oarspersons (that’s a strange word but it’s what I see).  Occasionally, one comes across someone who is doing something other than riding a bike or walking or jogging or stretching, such as this skipper who I stopped to watch for several minutes while he did his thing without missing a beat.

Skipper

And in the park, one sees all sorts exercising.  All I can say to this young woman is: “Well done”.  She obviously has a bit of work to do yet but if she keeps it up, she’ll be OK.

Some way yet to go

Sleeping rough is common enough but I thought that this guy was a little overdressed for 08.00 hrs. but I suppose that at least he wasn’t cold.

Sleeping rough

At least he was in the park.  Others are obviously less fussy about where they want to sleep.

Air BNB TA

Airbnb. Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv.

Occasionally, one comes across things that are quite different.  Last week, I observed a Tai-Chi [very slow and elaborately choreographed] sword dance being “performed” for all to see.  I took some tai-chi lessons with the same instructor a couple of years ago and found it all too slow and deliberate for what I thought I needed.

Tai-chi sword dance

The Slow Sword Dance

There are many ways of taking exercise in the park and port.  In this case, this rather mature lady is killing two birds with one stone by jogging and exercising her dog simultaneously, both of which activities are essential for the maintenance of physical and mental health.

Two birds with one stone

And on the same day, I stopped to watch this man figure out the correct angle for taking a drink of water. I knew he’d find a comfortable position after he’d squirted water up his nostrils more than once as he moved from one side to the other. However, it did take him quite a while!

Figuring out a way

That same morning, I came across a guy working near the entrance to Tel Aviv Port.  From the distance, I couldn’t quite figure out what he was doing with the stick, to which was attached what appeared to be a scraper.  As I  approached, I was able to ask him what he was doing and thus was able to ascertain what his job was, but he wasn’t too happy that I photograph him.  Fortunately, I had a telephoto lens on the camera that day so after I had walked past, I turned around and was able to take the photograph.  It turns out that the man in question has the mind-numbing job of scraping chewing gum from off the footpath.  I’ve heard of thankless jobs before and this is definitely one of the more abysmal.

Chewing gum

Exercising in the park at 06.30 in this season can be messy, the reason being that I have to clear away the mess from what is falling off the trees…

Messy in the park

… and then when one wishes to sit down, it’s not such as easy matter either.

Try sitting

This morning, I took the bus to a physiotherapy session.  It was, how can I say, rather hot — but at least the bus had air-conditioning.  The thing about buses is that you never quite know who you are going to be sitting opposite or near, so you never really know if you’ll get a photograph. But today I was in luck and one of the things about using the camera on your phone is that it never really looks as if you are taking a picture.  So I switched from reading a WhatsApp message to the camera by moving one finger and that was that.  Did I ask his permission to take the photo?  No, I didn’t — because public transport is public space and one is permitted to take photos in public spaces.  Anyway, what I was photographing was a work of art not the man; it was just that the man was attached to the work of art. And like all works of visual art, it’s created in order to be looked at.  Not so?  Nevertheless, I’ve never succeeded in understanding the whys and wherefores of tattoos because when I was young, the only people with tattoos were people who you might prefer not to know.

Bus tattoo

Finally, here are a few of and for the birds.

Birdbath

The sprinklers went haywire but the crows have a bath

Crows pose

The crows’ nest

Leftovers

Leftovers are always very yummy!

Crow being careful

Nice and easy does it every time!

Take-off

Take-off

Night heron

Night heron in the early morning

Finally, one from the archive

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of my first.  12 years old and still going strong

 

 

 

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