A male patient is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. A young student nurse appears and gives him a partial sponge bath.
“Nurse,”‘ he mumbles from behind the mask, “are my testicles black?”
Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, “I don’t know, Sir. I’m only here to wash your upper body and feet.”
He struggles to ask again, “Nurse, please check for me. Are my testicles black?”
Concerned that he might elevate his blood pressure and heart rate from worrying about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and pulls back the covers.
She raises his gown, holds his manhood in one hand and his testicles gently in the other.
She looks very closely and says, “There’s nothing wrong with them, Sir. They look fine.”
The man slowly pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her, and says very slowly, “Thank you very much. That was wonderful.
Now listen very, very closely:
Are – my – test – results – back?”
As the international community continues to slam Israel for construction in Jewish settlement communities, Palestinians are quietly engaging in massive construction of entire neighborhoods in many parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem. In addition to overlooking the Palestinian building project, the West has clearly been neglecting a crucial difference between the two efforts: while the construction in the Jewish settlements of the West Bank and neighborhoods of Jerusalem has long been carried out within the frame of the law and in accordance with proper licenses issued by the relevant authorities, the Palestinian construction is illegal in every respect.
In this behind-the-scenes endeavor, which does not meet even the most minimum standards required by engineers, architects and housing planners, the Palestinian goal is to create irreversible facts on the ground.
A quick tour of the areas surrounding Jerusalem from the north, east and south easily exposes the colossal construction that is taking place there. In most cases, these high-rise buildings are slapped together without licenses or any adequate planning or safety concerns.
The Jewish outpost of Amona in the central West Bank, home to 42 families, is currently the subject of fiery controversy both in Israel and in the international arena. In 2006, the High Court of Israel ruled that the outpost is illegal under Israeli law because it lies on private Palestinian land. In 2014, the High Court ordered the government to evacuate and demolish the entire outpost within two years.
In Israel, as Amona demonstrates, no one is above the law. Israel boasts an independent judiciary system that is second to none.
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If you were looking for a place free from chatter about Donald Trump and his ties to Russia, the Treasury Select Committee’s hearing on Brexit with Mark Carney this afternoon in Portcullis House would be a good bet. It was not an entirely Trump-free zone though, as Mr Carney revealed that the Bank of England did monitor his Twitter account: “Anything he said is felt by markets.”
The Bank of England governor had much to say though about Britain’s future outside of the European Union, and it wasn’t as gloomy as his remarks before the referendum. Mr Carney told MPs that the Bank no longer felt Brexit was the most significant risk to financial stability, remarking that “the scale of the immediate risks…have gone down for the UK.” He indicated that Britain’s economy would grow faster than expected. On top of this, he warned that a messy Brexit would be a bigger risk for the European Union “because of the importance of the British financial services industry for the region”. The Governor’s Damascene Conversion must have left his old foe Jacob Rees-Mogg, and fellow Brexiteers, purring with delight.
The Governor didn’t just offer a sunnier outlook on Brexit, but had advice on what it should look like. He said it was “highly advisable” that there was a “transitional phase” agreed “early on” as part of the Brexit process. He also indicated it was “desirable” for the UK to “remain part of the EU customs union”, something Liam Fox would not rush to agree with him on.
The idea of a transitional deal has been gaining greater currency in Westminster, as James Kirkup has previously noticed. Nigel Farage and others have suggested a transitional deal is tantamount to “backsliding”. Theresa May has in her cautious, careful way has suggested that she is indeed looking at some sort of transitional arrangements, but has stopped short of committing herself, perhaps looking to others to give her the political cover. Governor Carney – who only a few weeks ago was threatening to quit over Mrs May’s treatment of him – might today have made the PM’s life a little bit easier.
This week on Unorthodox: We’ll always have Casablanca (except Mark).
Our Jewish guest is writer and comedian Lynn Harris, founder of Comedy GOLD, which teaches girls and women how to empower themselves through comedy. She tells us why mining difficult experiences for stand-up comedy material is a valuable skill, how to tell a joke in a culture dominated by political correctness, and what it’s like being married to a rabbi.
Our Gentile of the Week is author and Bloggingheads founder Robert Wright. He was raised a Southern Baptist, and tells us how he discovered Buddhism, which he now practices. His question for the panel is whether someone who is born Jewish can choose not to be a Jew, the way one can be, as he is, no longer a Christian.
We love hearing from you. Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com with comments or questions, or just to say hi. We may share your note on air.
This week’s episode is sponsored by HelloFresh. For $35 off your first week of deliveries, visit hellofresh.com and enter UNORTHODOX35 when you subscribe.
This episode is also brought to you by Harry’s. Try a shave set for free—just cover shipping when you sign up. Go to Harrys.com and enter code UNORTHODOX at checkout to also get a free post shave balm.
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Ideologically speaking, Iran’s hardliners, primarily Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who enjoy the final say in Iran’s domestic and foreign policies, have made it clear that Iran will not change the core pillars of its religious and revolutionary establishment: Anti-Americanism and hatred towards the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan”, Israel.
Supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei and the IRGC enthusiastically shouted “Death to America” in response to a recent speech that Khamenei gave, applauding the 1979 hostage-taking and takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.
Iran’s major state newspapers carried anti-American headlines this week, quoting the Supreme Leader. In his latest public speech to thousands of people, which was televised via Iran’s state TV, Khamenei made it clear that Trump’s presidency will cause “no difference” to Iran-US relationships. Khamenei pointed out that, “We have no judgment on this election because America is the same America”. In his speech, Khamenei attacked President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. The Ayatollah called the US election “a spectacle for exposing their
Other hardliners echoed the same message that there would be no change in Iran’s revolutionary principles and ideals against the US and its allies. The deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, told Iran’s Fars news agency: “When the Republicans were in power, they threatened us and showed their hostility… and when the Democrats were in power, the policies of the United States were the same.”
Khamenei also remarked that the US will remain the evil, or the “Great Satan,” saying:
“In the past 37 years, neither of the two parties who were in charge did us any good and their evil has always been directed toward us….We neither mourn nor celebrate, because it makes no difference to us… We have no concerns. Thank God, we are prepared to confront any possible incident.”
The upcoming international peace conference in Paris is a “rigged” effort intended to hurt Israel and its hopes of reaching peace, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday, adding that Jerusalem was not bound by any decision that would be taken there.
“It’s a rigged conference, rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances. This pushes peace backwards,” he said. “It’s not going to obligate us.”
During a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende, the prime minister called the planned conference, scheduled for Sunday, “a relic of the past.”
“It’s a last gasp of the past before the future sets in,” he said.
The conference comes just five days before the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump, who is widely expected to take a more friendly approach to the Netanyahu government’s policies.
Netanyahu also called the conference an effort that would “render peace hopeless,” comparing it to a terror attack.
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