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No. 115 / 2017

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Dan Hotels Israel
Dr. Philip &
Florence Felig
Elie Hirschfeld
Internet Web Systems


Tim Boxer

Boxer Shorts

Russians Are Coming
To Bring Putin to Palin

ussia Beyond The Headlines
, an eight-page broadsheet produced by the state-owned newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, which publishes a number of foreign-language papers, had two items on its front page on March 29 which I found unnerving. The paper is distributed monthly with my home-delivered copy of The New York Times.

One item quotes Mikhail Gorbachev: "Crimea has proclaimed its desire to be with Russia—this is happiness."

Second item proclaims: "Unique Russian dialect continues to exist in Alaska." So, there are some people up there still speaking a Slavic slang.

And President Vladimir Putin invades to protect a Russian speaking segment of the population?

While he is in an expansive mode, why would Putin stop at the border of Ukraine? Why not move his navy across the narrow Behring Straight to the broad border of the United States and demand the return of Russia’s former colony? After all, the tsar sold us Alaska, twice the size of Texas, in 1867 for the ridiculously low markdown of $7.2 million ($121 million in current terms). How much more is Sarah Palin’s backyard worth today? From her perch she would surely detect movement on the horizon—Tatars and Cossacks schlepping bundles of rubles to buy back their former territory.

After that land grab, Putin will take a stand on Palin’s porch, gaze south to another former Russian settlement, and howl, "California, here I come!"

There was a day when Gotham citizens reached for their binoculars to scan the Atlantic for German submarines. Will residents of Coney Island and Brighton Beach gather at water’s edge to keep an eye peeled for Slavic subs on the horizon?

Incredible as it sounds, there’s a petition on the White House website with more than 28,000 Alaska signatures seeking to secede from the union and embrace Mother Russia. Maybe we should put them on an ice float in the Arctic where they can hone their own independent republic. Their travel industry could prove to be a goldmine by attracting hardy tourists tired of the same old Caribbean sun.

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Clean-cut Comic Plumbed Life’s
Absurdities To Extract Laughs

was honored at an Israel Bonds dinner in 1992 in New York where he told of growing up in a tough changing neighborhood in Philadelphia. Whenever he went jogging he’d run into someone’s fist.

His grandfather was an Orthodox rabbi who went to shul (synagogue) accompanied by his sons carrying bats to protect him from the bigots.

Three of his uncles became rabbis and three became gangsters. David’s father, Louis Yehuda Brenner, was a vaudevillian comedian and later a cigar burning, whiskey guzzling bookie. He went to shul every morning.

David inherited a penchant for comedy from his father. So it was easy for him to deflect the antisemites on the mean streets of his hometown by breaking them up with a barrage of funny lines.

Antisemitism in South Philly and the Holocaust overseas forged his identity and made him an ardent Zionist and champion of Israel. His father would say, "If it ever happens here we have a place to go."

Brenner, who died of cancer on March 15 at age 78 at his home in Manhattan, was well respected in the comedy trade for his keen insight on the human dilemma. He never relied on shock, insult or raunchy jokes to get laughs. He was concerned with family, society, the economy, and his material was brilliant. Tell him to have a nice day and he’ll suggest, "Why one nice day? How about a weekend? Why not a nice life?"

He was a regular on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, having made his debut on Jan. 8, 1971. He logged more than 150 appearances, as artist and substitute host.

People asked him where he gets his material, and he answered, "All you have to do is look and listen." He developed what he called "observational humor." People magazine in 1986 praised it as "a nice-Jewish-guy style of humor."

For example a sign in a restaurant that said "For bathroom use staircase" cracked him up. This sign in the bus was really dumb: "ILLITERATE? Call 1-800…" And the sign in the lavatory on the plane, "For used razor blades," was classic. Who’s going to shave with a razor blade on a flying jet?

I saw him at Kutsher’s Country Club in the Catskills where he talked about smoking cigarets. People warned him to stop, that his lungs will turn black. "So what?" he said. "They’re inside."

He went to an acupuncturist. A man came in with a set of needles, and starts knitting him. For two days he didn’t smoke. On the third day he craved a cigarette. "I lit one up and smoke came out of 50 holes."

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Pat FarmerRUN FOR PEACE Pat Farmer took three weeks to complete his Middle East peace run of 900 miles through Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel. Dan Hotels vice president Rafi Baeri (right) and King David Hotel manager Dror Danino welcomed the 52-year-old Australian ultra-marathon runner with a reception at the world renowned hotel in Jerusalem, hosted by Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma. Danny Hakim, the founding chairman of Budo for Peace, who managed the bureaucracy in crossing borders, remarked, "Imagine how it feels, running 80 kilometres a day, knowing that you’re going to end up in a Dan Hotel." (Budo for Peace teaches martial arts to help young people in conflict areas.)

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Blair UnderwoodSHAKESPEARE BOUND Blair Underwood recently checked into the Dan Tel Aviv and enjoyed his stay in a super luxury suite overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. No doubt he was preparing for his part at the opening of the Old Globe Summer Shakespeare Festival in Balboa Park in San Diego. He’ll have the title role in Othello starting June 22.

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Tommy HilfigerSHOPPING AROUND On his first visit to Israel Tommy Hilfiger got the royal treatment at the Dan Tel Aviv. General manager Etai Eliaz escorted the American designer straight to the luxury hotel’s plush Royal Suite. Hilfiger came for the grand opening of his shop in Tel Aviv’s restored Sarona district. He was so impressed with the Royal Suite, he said he could stay for weeks. He used two pages of the guestbook to express his delight.


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