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My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
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My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes –

Time: March 2001

Place: The Central Park Zoo

Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no.  I was thrilled.

Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?

Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.

I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”

Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.

Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by Tom,  the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.

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My Benjamin Netanyahu Story April 2, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Links, Photography, Politics, Religion, Videos, Zoos.
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bibiandmeMy friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes –

Time: March 2001

Place: The Central Park Zoo

Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no.  I was thrilled.

Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?

Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.

I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”

Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.

Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.

I also have stories about my meeting Keith Olbermann at the Zoo and others.  But that is for another day.

Read more about the present situation and the possiblility of Israel’s  grab for peace. ‘Benjamin Netanyahu was the perfect candidate for a comeback in Israel’s worried political landscape. Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran’s nuclear designs and Israel’s economic ills contributed to a mood of pessimism that provided grist Netanyahu needed to double his right-wing Likud’s parliamentary representation in a February election. Netanyahu, returning as prime minister a decade after he was voted out of the post, may still go by his childhood nickname, Bibi, but the U.S.-raised MIT graduate has never been accused of taking anything but a sombre view of Israel’s world.A former military commando, Netanyahu is a self-styled terrorism expert, writing books and forming a think-tank after his elder brother Yoni was killed leading the raid to release Israeli hostages held at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976. He and his third wife, Sara, have two teenage sons. He has a daughter from a previous marriage’.

–  Benjamin Netanyahu begins his official term as Israel’s Prime Minister after an official changeover ceremony in Jerusalem.

April Fool’s Jokes? April 1, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife.
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unicornThe origins of this silly day are up for debate. The one most people refer to has to do with that Gregorian Calendar take over in the 1500s. Those who forgot to change from Julian to Gregorian were teased as fools. Check out some myths at Snopes.

–  This is no joke. A Minnesota court might finally be closing the lid on the debacle known as the second Senate seat in that dear, put upon state in the battle known as Coleman V Franken. A three judge panel has ordered that up 400 absentee ballots that were rejected by election workers be opened and reviewed – far fewer than the 1,300 Coleman argued should be counted. The ballots will be reviewed and many of them may be counted by Tuesday, April 7th – or not.  Nearly five months after Election Day, Franken holds a 225-vote lead after an official recount.  Stay tuned.

–  Also no joke: In a holy cow moment, the special election that was held yesterday to fill Senator Gillibrand’s Congressional seat in upstate NY is too close to call. In an overwhelmingly Republican district, the Democrat, Scott Murphy is leading Jim Tedesco by a slim margin. Bring in those thousands of absentee ballots and let’s wait. Stay tuned. The Repugnants were counting on this race as a needed transfusion for their party. Oh well.

–  The above photo of a unicorn is from the hilarious website called, Fuck You, Penguin. I check it every day for a chuckle or two.

–  Check out the Museum of Hoaxes site for the top ten April Fool’s jokes, including The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest and  Alabama Changes the Value of Pi.

–  If you have not seen this one minute of fun, check out the site of Olivia Gentile, wife of the very funny Andy Borowitz.

– March 31, 2009: The Day in 100 Seconds

–  This is also not a joke: Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he is ready to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, at a parliamentary session to confirm him and his cabinet. My own Netanyahu story tomorrow.

–  This just made me laugh.