Bog standard (almost)

Charles Dickens's fecund imagination allowed Pip's benefactor Magwitch to return to England  from transportation to an Australian penal colony, albeit at risk of judicial execution. By all accounts, thanks to the triple-knot of location, location, location, escape for  real-life transportees wasn't all that simple. What the desperate convicts of the nineteenth century needed was the…

Ain’t no Bonanza

Jay Leno once went walkabout in New York asking innocent passers-by if they could name a country beginning with the letter 'U'. Apart from the usual camera induced deer-in-the-headlights non-responses, a few bright sparks came up with Uganda and Uruguay. At the close of the piece, as the camera faded out, Leno was heard asking:…

Embrace the Model Treaty

When wheelchair bound 'Ironside' star Raymond Burr walked confidently down the aircraft steps at Lod Airport in 1974, the reaction of the Israeli public was something akin to the second coming. Still caught in the long shadow of the Yom Kippur War, Israelis were far closer to Tom Brokaw's 'Greatest Generation' than  consumerist 1970s Western…

Keep Calm and Carry On

The British have always been a supremely pragmatic people. It was thanks to a fickle king that they knocked religious hegemony on the head early on, and thanks to another misguided monarch that they got their revolution out of the way before the Rousseaus, Marxes and Engels of the world could fill the vacuum with…

It could have been 1984

A career in tax really does necessitate a command of numbers. You never know when they are going to unexpectedly turn up and try to bend your mind. Many years ago, I was asked if I could assist an independent contractor with a spot of number bother with the Israeli tax authorities. I couldn't. An…

Telling it like it isn’t

A rabbi, a priest and the secretary-general of the OECD walk into a bar... Not heard that one before? Read on. Last Wednesday, January 2nd, as the 20th Knesset breathed its last before flatlining in the run-up to a General Election, the Finance Committee approved regulations paving the way for the introduction of the international…

Wakey-wakey!

It is the morning of the Maths exam that will decide which, if any, university awaits the candidate. He/she suddenly realizes that he/she hasn't even started learning the syllabus. How many of us have periodically woken in a cold sweat from that nightmare in the course of our adult lives? I sometimes feel that, especially…

Before our very eyes!

When it comes to aphorisms, 'Oldie but Goodie' is high on my list of suspect examples. Generally quoted by the generation above mine to fill the void of laughter following a particularly hackneyed joke,  it only  rolls happily off the tongue when served with lashings of irony. Such was my reaction to a ruling published…

The taxman takes his cut

Initially dubbed 'the war to end all wars', the act of carnage that ended a hundred years ago this week had to later suffer the ignominy of having 'First' stuck at the front of its name. While recognizing the sacrifice of the combatants and the tragedy of 20 million dead, subsequent generations have suggested the…

Nowhere to hide

Tax Break has just had its longest break since its inception in 2011 due to the difficult period Israel has been going through. The post below is more sober than usual (in fact, for some people, it might be downright depressing). Please do not adjust your computers - normal service will be resumed as soon…