Best Bar Slogan on Earth

March 25, 2010

Next time you have to market a bar, keep in mind the greatest ad slogan ever, for Herlinger, in Tel Aviv:

Check out Herlinger on Facebook.

Pimping the monies on Israeli news

March 1, 2010

Today was the holiday of Purim, where Jews traditionally dress up in costumes. Apparently, even the guests on Israel’s leading economic news program (Economic Night) dressed up.

Here is a pic of their stock analyst:

Yes, he kept the Israeli Money Pimp get-up on during the whole segment:

And when he was done delivering his pick of stocks for the week he brought out his Christian nun skanks singing “shekel, shekel bill, yall!”

Jerusalem is hot for erotic video on demand (VOD) action

February 24, 2010

Apparently, in a recent study of all video on demand content viewed by customers of the Israeli cable company HOT, Jerusalem viewers watch more erotic content than viewers in any other city in Israel. The most viewed content by Tel Aviv customers is documentary.

Take that, J-town!

The details were discussed on the evening’s economic news program, Economic Night, and posted to their Facebook page.

Israel is a small penis

February 22, 2010

Check out this pro-Israeli tourism ad. You will not be disappointed! And then read this blog post for everything I’d say on the matter.


July 29, 2009

A bar in Tel Aviv is not allowing Israeli soldiers to enter. Read the article in the Jerusalem Post. The next step will a bar in Israel that doesn’t allow Jews.

Israeli Independence Day

April 29, 2009

For a fun take on the awesomeness of freedom in Israel, check out Benji Lovitt’s blog post over at 61 more things I love about Israel. I counted about 7 references to doody. See how many you can catch!

My favorite thing: “I love the distant cousin of the shuk vendor, the guy outside the Arlozorov train station selling ‘baigeles.’ Apparently he gets paid to say baigele 568 times per minute without taking a breath. ‘BAIGELE BAIGELE BAIGELE!!!'”

Swine Flu in Israel Infects Government Ministers

April 28, 2009

Ben Hartman has a great piece in today’s Ha’Aretz newspaper about the sheer insanity of Israeli politics, how coalitions are put together, who runs our ministries and why we have nothing to do but laugh at the situation.

On what must have been a slow day at the Knesset, the de facto head of the Health Ministry, MK Yakov Litzman, stated Monday that swine flu would be from here on in referred to as “Mexican Flu,” as pork is non-kosher and considered unclean under Jewish law.

…While this may seem to be just the semi-weekly “Haredi government minister gone wild” comment that makes for great office banter, the truth is that it’s just one more in a series of state-sanctioned declarations by a government official that serves only to further humiliate Israel in the eyes of the world.

Israeli Big Brother Celeb VIP

March 2, 2009

Here we go! The “VIP celeb” version of Big Brother in Israel is off to the races. You can actually subscribe to a 24/7 live feed from the house! They’re giving a free preview for another day or so and I highly recommend you tune in (channel 20 on satellite provider Yes). So far, from what I can tell, they do a hell of a lot of singing. Israelis love singing! Actually, about 50% of the participants are singers.

Some of the participants include A-grade Israeli celebrities such as:

  1. Yossi Milshtein – famous for being a business strategist who was recently arrested on tax evasion and may or may not be living in his mother’s home. See this article in the Jerusalem Post: Gaydamak adviser posts bail after arrest for tax evasion.
  2. Pnina Tornai – designer of wedding dresses… boasts on her About Me page: “In the last to years Pnina has expended herself over seas: New-York, Los-Angeles, Miami, and Cyprus.
  3. Kochi Mordechai – famous for being the ex-wife of the first Israeli minister to be found guilty on sexual assault charges (Yitzhak Mordechai).
  4. Sharona and Daniela Pick (Pik) – famous for being the daughters of extremely popular Israeli musician Tzvika Pick. Yeah, they also sing:

Check out the official website for more details on the stars.

The Hebrew-Israeli Language

February 27, 2009

There is a fascinating documentary series airing now in Israel that explores the evolution of modern day Hebrew. Below is an outtake from Haaretz:

Hebrew: ‘London, Corner of Ben Yehuda’
For the proponents of good Hebrew, and also for those who are interested in an intelligent, horizon-expanding television program, Channel 10 is now broadcasting a weekly series (on Wednesdays) entitled “London, Corner of Ben Yehuda.” In the series, veteran journalist Yaron London examines the ways in which our use of the Hebrew language has changed, from its revival by Eliezer Ben Yehuda to the present day. Along the way, London addresses subjects such as the generation gap, slang and “sub-languages” – including those of the Internet and of the settlers in the territories. A fascinating conversation between London and the writer Meir Shalev is a balm for every language-loving dinosaur, as London calls himself. In the second episode, which deals with the language of love – or, as poet Michal Zamir puts it more accurately, the language of erotica – London turns out to be an excellent writer of love poems (he wrote two especially for the program). And he proves, with his body and voice, that curiosity, intelligence and articulateness are enough to turn him, too, despite his age and pot belly, into an erotic object. (Neri Livneh)

Vote this November!

November 8, 2008

This November be sure to cast your vote! No, I’m not writing this post a week too late… November 11th is Tel Aviv municipal election day! Below is one of the “viral” election ads for Dov Khenin (bio on Wikipedia) of the City for All party that’s filled with Israeli celebs. Yeah, by the way, he’s a communist (not that there’s anything wrong with that)! His videos, interviews and positions (especially on the environment and high costs of rent in Tel Aviv) seem to make a lot of sense and are presented professionally and without many typos.

Banji Jamping Sommeliers

October 29, 2008

Premier Cru is a new company offering sommelier services for private events in Israel. Their site is enticing, getting the user to read almost every page and build interest in their offering. We can set aside the fact that Israelis don’t drink very much and, when they do, are not known for their interest in high quality wines. The most interesting part of the site, however, is “The Team,” where they provide detailed bios on all their wine connoisseurs.

In this case, knowing the people behind the company makes you lose any interest in actually working with them. The impression you get is that most employees are students at Tel Aviv University (many seem to be majoring in biotechnology) and are also children of the former soviet union. This is not necessarily the profile that springs to mind when thinking about wine experts you’d invite to your next high-profile private event.

And if you have any doubt, make sure to read Tal’s profile, where you’ll learn that she enjoys “light athletics” (don’t ask me what that means) and “banji.” I wonder if she packs a beg of mashrooms while on her way to do banji.

Does anyone get the impression from the website these people can do what they claim? No references, no real pictures, no stories… just glamorous-sounding mumbo jumbo. And, by the way, all the pictures on the site were taken in a furniture store. After seeing the exhaustive bios, professional make-up job and fancy photo shoot it seems the site is more about feeding their own ego than anything else.

Beware of plastic begs

October 2, 2008

There are some common mistakes Israelis make when writing English. Here is a great status update on Facebook but what makes it perfect is the response. The status says “begs” instead of “bags” and the responder repeated the mistake!

Other golden ones are “sabmit” for “submit,” “massages” for “messages” and “cat and paste” for “cut and paste.”

Share yours in the comments!

Miki Buganim Rocks America!

September 20, 2008

Check out Best Week Ever’s coverage of visiting Israel and enlistign the help of Ivri Lider to get an appointment with the fa-bu-lous Miki Buganim.

Tu B’Av = Sexy Israelis + Silly Americans

August 15, 2008

On the mystical, magical “Jewish Valentine’s Day” Zabaj would like to make fun of Americans for a change (Americans who’ve moved to Israel, of course). Check out this video made by our friends Benji and Molly:

Israel and Fuel Prices

July 8, 2008

Gotta love our beloved Israeli, when asked about his views on rising fuel prices:

“I don’t care about the price – I always fill up only 50 [shekels]”

When informed by the interviewer that he will be getting less fuel if he continues paying the same total, our friend says:

“No, not really, as you can see, I drive a scooter”

The video itself is highly recommended! To view it, visit the site here and skip exactly two minutes into the video. To make sure you’re viewing the right video, it should be the one that says (in Hebrew): “Einav Galili laughs at the whole world.”

TWS 2008 – Worst Israeli High Tech/Internet Conference Ever

July 1, 2008

The arrogance and silliness of Israelis reached an all-time low with what must have been the most disapointing high tech/Internet conference ever.

The TWS 2008 event earlier today assembled a group of 10 Israeli start-ups (although I’m not sure what Answers Corporations was doing there, almost 10 years after being founded) to present themselves to the Israeli marketplace, VCs and others in the Industry. In addition to the featured “start-ups” were panel discussions and other bonuses.

One of my main problems with the conference was that everyone was forced to speak in English. Just because someone is an entrepreneur, even a very smart one, doesn’t mean he or she’s a good presenter on stage. What’s more, it doesn’t mean he’s a good presenter when forced to use something other than his mother tongue. Worst of all, of coruse, is when people make bad jokes in their second or third languages. I understand there were several people from America who don’t speak Hebrew but translations should have been provided for them, not the other way around. Some presentations were entirely incoherent, defeating any purpose of trying to cater to the few rich foreigners (in the end no one ended up understanding anything).

Because most of the panel discussions were entirely boring, without direction and filled with nothing but buzzwords (“mobile is going to be big!”) most people didn’t even pay attention to what was going on on-stage. Certainly nothing new was shared or learned today. This was exacerbated by nearly every speakers’ silly habbit of polling the audience. Almost no one raised their hand for any question. “Eh, how many peoples in audience have profiles on the Facebook?” “If you do twitters raise your hands.”

The event opened with a game both excruciating to watch and painful to participate in. They has three different venture capitalists pitch the audience based on Powerpoint presentations they had never seen before. What could have been a funny 60 second excericse turned into 30 minutes of grown men making fools of themselves to an audience that couldn’t have cared less.

Combined, I think more harm was done to the impression foreigners have of Israeli high tech than anything else. The games we play here, the lack of professionalism in how projects are presented and the complete lack of respect we show for each other that leads us to leave cell phone ringers on and talk in loud conversations while some poor guy is trying to present his product in something other than his mother tongue.

Israeli CEOs are Stupid

June 28, 2008

This post isn’t meant to poke fun at a random Israeli speaking with a few mistakes. Rather, I am picking on one Israeli to make a larger point. For most Israeli companies to succeed they have to have their eyes and strategy set on international markets from the beginning. The Israeli marketplace simply isn’t large enough to sustain many large companies. So start-ups immediately set their sights on Europe, the Far-East or America as destinations to export their technologies and as targets for their marketing.

That’s all fair and good. The problem begins with a basic Israeli weakness – the overwhelming impossibility of a typical Israeli to admit his or her flaws. You’ll seldom hear waiters or public sector workers admit they don’t know something or that they did something wrong. This universal Israeli weakness is even more acute among those that become entrepreneurs and managers. Of course, if they are ambitious, have ideas and pursue them, they will almost never admit personal shortcomings.

A very blatant example of this phenomenon is seen in almost all Israeli attempts to market their products to American audiences. The false-confidence stems not only from general over-confidence but also from most Israeli businesspeoples’ belief that they know English well. “Ehhhh, of course, I spent one year in America with Shoshana and the kids, of course I am speaking the English goodly.”

In my line of work I get to meet a lot of Israeli start-ups and entrepreneurs. Those I like will surely hear from me this tirade and my bottom line of “get a native English speaker on your team to present your company to Americans! Do not assume you’ll do a good job just because you’re the CEO and grew up watching Seinfeld.”

What prompted me to write this post is a video by Israeli CEO Uri Shinar giving an elevator pitch for his company, Aniboom, which Techcrunch posted recently. Click here to see the video (sorry that WordPress won’t let me embed it here but I promise you its worth the link to watch this horrible video).

In my opinion the video is the perfect example of the over-confident Israeli CEO telling himself “of course I should be the one doing the pitch, I am the CEO.” What he probably didn’t consider for a second is that his English will not only be a detriment to the video but may even turn people off entirely because they won’t really “get” what he’s trying to say. And before you tell me that maybe he had no one else available to do the video let me say that I know for certain several native English speakers work at the company. One of them could have made the company’s pitch in even less than 30 seconds and wouldn’t have made people cringe from some of the mistakes Uri made: “eh, we get great feedbacks from the peoples.”

Good luck Uri! I hope others learn something from this, seriously.

Bang – multi-purpose liquid

June 26, 2008

From our friend Esther: “Products like this one are the reason Americans will always laugh at Israelis.”

The only thing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad likes about Israel

June 12, 2008

This is a new commercial airing now on Israeli satellite provider YES. In it, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that by Monday he’ll destroy Israel but he’s then stopped by fellow Iranians declaring how much they love Israeli TV. Things then turn into a big ‘ole song and dance orama.

Thanks to Greg Levey, author of the new book Shut Up, I’m Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government — A Memoir, for the post.

Addicted to spell check

December 30, 2007

What’s wrong with this picture? Were they drunk when they designed the sign? Probably not…they were probably just too lazy to use spell check before spending all that money on getting a big ass sign made.

Smith Bar

I know last time I checked…alcohol was spelled with ONE “h” and it isn’t located after the “c.” How did NO ONE catch that? Way to go, Smith Bar!