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Tim Boxer

Boxer Shorts

Gil Tamary and Bruce Lilker
Gil Tamary and Bruce Lilker

Douglas C. Mass of Cosentini Associates and Leonard Koven of AKF Group
Douglas C. Mass of Cosentini Associates and
Leonard Koven of AKF Group

Good News, Bad News

IL TAMARI, Washington bureau chief of Israel’s Channel 10 TV network, related a story his father once told him that resonates today.

At an Israel Bonds luncheon honoring consulting engineer Bruce Lilker at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, Tamari said that God warned the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Israel that he will terminate the world in three weeks.

The U.S. president announced, "My fellow Americans, I have good news and bad news. Good news is God exists; bad news is He will destroy the world in three weeks."

The Soviet president told his people: "Comrades, I have bad news and bad news. First, God exists. Second, He will destroy the world in three weeks."

Israel’s prime minister, smiling from cheek to cheek, announced, "Listen guys, I have good news and good news. First good news is God exists. He even speaks with my accent. Second good news is there will never be a Palestinian state."

Three years ago, Tamari said, he got a strange call instructing him to come to a private aviation terminal in New Jersey. Never one to miss a story, he left Washington and came to the terminal. He had no information. The receptionist said, "You see that small plane? Those two pilots are waiting for you."

"Let’s take a ride," the pilot said.

"Where are we going?"

"I can’t tell you."

"You can’t tell me? I’m not flying with you."

Not being one to miss a story, Tamari got on. He peered out the window all the time. "Thank God I didn’t see an ocean. So it wasn’t Hezbollah that’s kidnapping me."

When he landed he found a car waiting.

"Welcome to Omaha, Nebraska," the driver said.

He drove to the Quest Center, the big arena in town, where he was greeted by—Warren Buffet!

Haim Shkedi (left), general manager of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, greets U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates upon arrival for peace negotiations with Palestinian Authority. Photo by Oren Cohen.
"Sorry about all the secrecy," Buffet said. "We couldn’t tell you anything this morning because Wall Street was still open."

Buffet looked at his watch and said, "Now that Wall Street is closed, I can tell you. In 15 minutes I’ll announce to my Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that we are going to make our largest investment outside the United States. We’re buying Iscar for $4 billion. It’s a company in the Galilee that manufactures precision metal-cutting tools."

"You know the situation Israel is in," Tamari said. "Neighbors seek its destruction. Why risk your shareholders’ money to invest in Israel?"

"After 9/11," Buffet replied, "there is the same risk in America as in Israel."

Tamari told the luncheon guests, "Last year Buffet lost one billion dollars in the U.S. and lost not one penny in Israel. That means Israel Bonds is a safe investment."

Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett
Small But Stood Tall

HERE was a time when Farrah Fawcett, who succumbed to cancer at age 62 on June 25, fell in love with a part of Israel. It was October 1979 when Faberge chief George Barrie, having decided to bring his suds to the Middle East, took Farrah on a promotional junket to Egypt and Israel.

He was promoting a new shampoo named after the iconic sex symbol that he believed would go over well there, especially in Israel.

"We’ll be a new type of peace ambassador," Barrie said. "We’ll be meeting with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin and their wives. We’ll wash our heads together.

"What’s wrong with that being a new way to clean up the whole situation?" And clean up the shampoo market as well!

Farrah, newly separated from Lee Majors, discovered that the best part of Israel was — her handsome young bodyguard. Her dazzling smile and golden tresses could win over anyone anywhere.

When the Faberge group returned to New York Barrie immediately quashed gossip of a passionate affair.

The House Wit
Economic Forecast:
There will be little change in men’s pockets this year.

"Farrah did not have a romance in Tel Aviv," he declared. Barrie denied a rumor that Farrah asked him to give her Israeli bodyguard a job so he could come to the U.S."

Two months later the top poster girl of the ‘70s appeared at the Woolworth offices in downtown Manhattan to push her shampoo sales. I took pictures as she autographed her glossies for the executives and buyers.

"My goodness, you’re so small," a surprised secretary said as Farrah shook everybody’s hands. "On television you look so big."

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