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  1. The Mary Sue Interview: Writer/Director Talya Lavie On Her International Hit Comedy Zero Motivation

    For a first feature film, Talya Lavie scored big points with the dark comedy Zero Motivation, about 18 to 20 year old girls serving their mandatory military time in a human resource office. Lavie won Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Israeli Film Academy, and Zero Motivation won three other awards out of the eleven for which the film was nominated. But the film's international success has been an even bigger surprise.

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  2. Review: Female-Focused Israeli Film Zero Motivation is the Funniest Military Comedy Since Stripes

    A wonderfully absurd dark comedy about the two years of required service.

    If Stripes mated with Office Space and had a girl baby, you might have something pretty close to Zero Motivation, the nicest surprise to come from the Israeli film market in a long time. Yes, it's a dark comedy about the two years when young men and women are forced to move away from their families and serve in the military, regardless of their enthusiasm or skills. As we know from experience with our own draft, when people are obligated to service, they may not be motivated to do their best.

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  3. Bathrooms Around the World Pretty Much Under Attack by Wild Animals

    When Animals Attack is making a comeback, probably to a bathroom near you.

    The one room in the home that most people can count on for a little privacy has in recent weeks become a nightmare place. Animal attacks, once one of many good reasons to avoid going outside, have moved into bathrooms around the world. In Israel, the latest attack saw a man minding his own business at a toilet rudely interrupted when a snake bit his penis, which might be the only situation to occur in a men's room that is more awkward than that guy who tries to start a conversation while you're both taking a leak.

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  4. Playboy Launches Hebrew Language Edition So Israelis Can Claim to Read for the Articles

    This morning saw Playboy launch it's long-awaited (by some people, probably) Hebrew-language edition in Israel, allowing men around the world to pretend they're reading a Chuck Palahniuk story while they leaf through their favorite skin mag in yet another language. Truly, we live in an age of wonders.

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  5. Israel Announces Military Campaign on Twitter, Even Uses Hashtags

    Israel is conducting what appears to be a large-scale military operation inside the Gaza Strip, but that's nothing terribly new. Israel fighting with other folks happens fairly frequently. What is new, however, is the fact that they announced their campaign on Twitter before any kind of press conference was held. Suddenly, the traditional social media gossip seems even more irrelevant.

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  6. Israeli Highway Comes to a Standstill for Holocaust Remembrance Day [Video]

    Last week, Israelis honored the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust today with a moment of silence marked by sirens across the country. The two-minute sirens blared in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a nationwide day of commemoration. As can be seen in the video above, even drivers on one of the country's busiest highways came to a standstill. While poignant in its own right, an Israeli Reddit commenter added to the remarkable sight his own thoughts, saying:

    yea, i guess it does seem weird for an outsider. im an arab israeli. i do stand up in respect of those who fell (not just the 6 million, but every victim of WWII). you dedicate just a minute to remember them. and when its over, its over. there is no reason to linger. i actually always liked that. remember the dead, but life.. life carries on
    (via Reddit)

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  7. Israeli Vulture Accused of Espionage by Saudi Arabia

    Not a geopolitical allegory, but a thing that actually happened: The government of Saudi Arabia has reportedly "detained" a griffon vulture tagged by an Israeli university with a GPS device on accusations that it was "part of a Zionist plot" to spy on the country. The BBC reports:

    Israeli officials told Ma'ariv they were "stunned" by the allegations and concerned that the bird could meet a horrible punishment in the notoriously severe Saudi justice system. "The device does nothing more than receive and store basic data about the bird's whereabouts, and about his altitude and speed," a bird specialist at Israel's Park and Nature Authority told the newspaper.
    (BBC via Boing Boing. title pic via Wikipedia)

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  8. Akamai Employee Arrested: Accused by Feds of Offering to Spy for a Foreign Country

    Elliot Doxer, an employee of web content delivery company Akamai Technologies, Inc., has been arrested by federal authorities on the accusation that he offered to spy on behalf of a foreign country in exchange for money. According to Reuters, Doxer was charged with one count of wire fraud for providing "customers lists, contract details and employee information," and he asked for $3000 in return. Per the Jerusalem Post, court papers show that Doxer tried to contact a foreign consulate in Boston to offer his spying assistance in 2006: He allegedly wrote that he was a Jewish American, and wanted "to help our homeland and our war against our enemies."

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  9. Sacrilege! Israel Shutting Down Many Online Services on Holy Days

    Israel is apparently greatly angering its secular citizens with a new push, led by the ultra-Orthodox minority parties, to prevent many public services from being delivered online during holy days and on the Jewish Sabbath. While the parties in power argue that this Internet blackout merely extends the current practice of closing down government offices on the Sabbath, the blanket restriction on online payments to many government agencies that it imposes represents a major change from the 24/7 availability that preceded it.

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