Bourekas 'banned' from Israeli cabinet

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 6, 2010
Fried foods like cheese bourekas are banned from Israeli cabinet meetings

Fried foods like cheese bourekas are banned from Israeli cabinet meetings

Israeli ministers arriving for the weekly government meeting on Sunday morning were surprised to find sliced vegetables and fresh fruit on the cabinet table, instead of the normal lavish repast.

The change of menu is the initiative of Cabinet Secretary, Tzvi Hauser, who decided to end the age-old custom where ministers enjoyed bourekas, ruggelach and sandwiches during their meeting.

"I reached the conclusion that the ministers have to eat healthy food, it's time to say enough to the dough and oil," said Mr Hauser.

"Unlike its predecessors, this government will serve a full term of four years and I want the ministers to still be capable of standing on their feet."

Not all the ministers and their advisers who sit in on the meetings were pleased. One adviser said that "the ministers spend five hours in the meeting, sometimes more, they need energy and this has become a kind of weekly government brunch.

“Fruit and vegetables are all very well but they need more than that to help them concentrate."

This is not the only planned change in the ministers' schedule. The Cabinet Secretariat is now planning a special refresher course in Hebrew grammar and spelling for ministers and other senior officials.

The idea this time originated with Deputy Premier Silvan Shalom, who has repeatedly complained about the linguistic mistakes common among the highest echelons of government.

He showed at a recent cabinet meeting a letter, riddled with mistakes, sent from the office of a director general of a government department.

The government is now planning a special express course to be run by the Academy of the Hebrew Language at the Hebrew University.

Last updated: 2:17pm, January 6 2010