Sunday, March 02, 2008

Only in Israel: The Highway 6 Toll-Free Baby

Here's a true "Only in Israel" story that appears in Israel's financial webzine and paper, "Globes" (for the time being, the link is in Hebrew only, so I'll translate it for you...)

Cross Israel [Highway] Baby: Woman gives birth on Highway 6 shoulder, baby receives lifetime "toll free" highway access.

One of the myths that we all know from birth, and it's unsure whether it's an urban legend or truth, is that someone born on an airplane is entitled to lifetime free flights on that airline, or in the country where the person was born.

This way or that, a baby born last week in Israel affirmed the myth -- even if only partially. Yediot Achronot reports that a woman from Kiryat Malachi gave birth last week to a baby on on the shoulder of Highway 6 (Cross Israel Highway) on her way to the "Assaf Harofeh" Hospital in Tzrifin; the baby was give lifetime "toll free" highway access.

The husband delivered the baby in the backseat of their car, receiving instructions from Magen David Adom by mobile phone. Afterwards, the baby and mothered were taken a nursery [Jameel: I assume at the hospital].

Yehuda Wilk, CEO of "Derech Eretz" which operates Highway 6, announced to the new parents about their new economic benefit when he learned of the birth. However, the parents will need to wait patiently till their son receives his driver's license, as only he [the baby] is entitled to the benefit.


While it sounds like a great gimmick, the "Derech Eretz" company is only the operator of Highway 6 for an additional 20 years from. After that, the ownership reverts back to the State of Israel, who most probably will not honor the special benefit...

Snopes has the full story on free flights for babies born on planes (and it is a myth)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

7 comments:

tafka pp said...

Stupid Kvish 6 folks: They could at least have given the parents a free bleepy thing for a year- G-d knows they take enough of my money to hand out some freebies!

BTW- I know a French guy born on an El Al plane. He's had free air travel with them his entire life...

Fern said...

Is anyone else amused that the company operating the highway is called "derech eretz?"

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Fern: yes, whenever I see road rage on highway 6, that's one of the first things to come to mind...

Jack said...

You ought to set up shop at the Toll Booth- pay for a pass and get a free waffle.

jd clampett said...

Fern, hi

I used to work for them. Yep, I wonder. :-) Tafka pp, even we employees didn't get a beepy thing for free! Nor do even the contractors who use the highway to clean up and do landscaping or anything!

Actually the story behind the name is that the company is a consortium owned in part by Lev Leviev - an orthodox Jewish businessman. I think he picked the name for the company. It's nice, no?

Jack, no toll booths. The beepy thing is a transponder that records your use and sends you a bill each month. Cool, huh? Waffles would be nice, though.

Jack said...

Jameel's waffles are better than nice.

mother in israel said...

My daughter was on a school trip when the bus got pulled over because the company owed thousands of shekalim in tolls to Highway 6. It took an hour before it got straightened out.

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