Articles

Media Coverage UNESCO Ambassadors

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

UNESCO-ambassadors-US-senators-tour-Jerusalems-City-of-David-484785

Amalia Negreponti (’07): “It Is Easy To Be Golden Dawn”

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Amalia Negreponti (Greek journalists, 2007) is an editor and columnist for the leading Greek newspaper “Proto Thema.” To Proto Thema (Greek: Πρώτο Θέμα English: The Lead Story) is a Greek newspaper, published every Sunday.
_________________

“It Is Easy To Be Golden Dawn”

Proto Thema *
5/12/2013

A lot of noise is being generated about the Prime Minister’s imminent trip to China. Meetings convened, counselors summoned, endless articles of striking profoundness, and such passionate hope and anticipation that even a cynic would be moved.
Or so we Greeks hope. Like the British, Italians and French have hoped before, and the Germans before anyone else. Yet with invariably the same outcome each time: in the end there is neither no emotion nor ‘movement’ in any area other than that of straightforward interest, meaning the Chinese get exactly and exclusively what they want from each, without making any long term commitments. They do business deals, sure; they just don’t do relationships. They take what they want that moment then move on. This after all is the core of capitalism after you take away all the touch feely rhetoric about “building communal and national bonds,” “fostering bonds of every nature” and “investing in the future of the country”. The influence of this currently dominant mentality has become strikingly apparent even in daily life and interpersonal relationships.
Besides, returning to geopolitics, even we Europeans don’t care about each others’ countries, why should the Chinese? They shouldn’t, they don’t. Even so we persist in acting like we believe that there is something more there, the potential of emotion, like a seedling that may be fertilized by common interest and purpose.

It becomes apparent therefore, that one, when in search and dire need of development, support, hope, and that elusive and so vital possibility of being loved, should take it from where it may be forthcoming. In Greece’s case this partner is Israel–a neighboring small country, powerful yet vulnerable like no other, threatened by every kind of extremism, as well as by extreme and misplaced progressiveness, and also probably the only country in the Eurasian region that has not attempted to invade or otherwise possess, loot, destroy Greece! That both countries share a common sea-basin recently discovered to be chock-full of natural gas (Greece, Cyprus, Israel) and oil (Greece) is an added bonus. As is the fact that despite the new Obama administration’s strenuous efforts to have Israel reconcile with Turkey, neither Greece nor Israel trust or feel we have any common ground or shared emotional bond and traditions with Turkey and its worldly yet profoundly Islamic Erdogan governance.

It is no laughing matter in this era of our paucity and defense-spending cuts to have Israeli fighter planes chase away Turkish ones invading our airspace. And it is also no small matter for the PM of Greece who has ineffectively been trying to wrangle an invitation to the US for many months now, to now be coming as a “star” to DC, the heart of the US establishment, to be honored on the 1st of June as central speaker of the Jewish American Committee’s annual congress. Our friends are those who stick up for us when we are weakest and they have nothing to gain.

One would have thought that even Golden Dawn could see this. Even so they recently published an article illustrated by a vulgar and hateful comic strip accusing PM Samaras of “sucking up” to American Jews and Israel because of his imminent visit to the AJC’s congress.

I suppose that when hatred and its constant (re)generation is a purpose, everything and anything can be distorted, and national interest can go to hell (and it does, as a direct result). Therefore, were the Greek PM to address a select group of German industrialists and mover-shakers in an effort to sway them in favor of Greece, or Swiss bankers seeking investment opportunities, the PM would be accused of engaging with the invading aggressors (Nazis or even way back, Crusaders!) or those entities that played speculative games on Greece’s fate, often betting against its survival. And in the strictly historical sense, his accusers would be right–even though to conduct foreign policy along such lies would be nothing short of utopian, isolationist and plain silly.

Yet what exactly does Golden Dawn and its supporters have to say about Israel, Jewishness, and Jewish-Americans? That they have been hounded, exterminated and are still facing existential threat and prejudice from even within the heart of Europe? That they are renown(sic) for their close family ties and their mothers over-meddling in their lives? That their vacation of choice would not be in Germany or Poland? Well all of that sounds totally Greek to me!

Therefore I suppose even the instigators of hate that have found refuge in Golden Dawn’s ranks (because at least in Greece there is absolutely no refuge or tolerance of these people anywhere else) can see this. Then why are they propagating this strange hatred?

Probably, to my mind because unlike what the quote touted on the bottom of the new Will Smith movie claims, fear is not an option. Neither is prejudice. Instead, both traits and emotions belong to the murky underbelly of the psyche, always latently present even when we believe they are dispelled for good.

On the opposite side of the spectrum lies freedom. Freedom from fear, freedom from prejudice, ignorance and indifference freedom from the darkness we have sprung from and that toward which we are headed, freedom from both the constraints as well as the abyss that lies within, in wait for a moment when our guards are lowered. This freedom is indeed a choice, the most deliberate outcome of a lifelong struggle that often seems to bear an inordinately heavy cost. That is why it is easy to be a coward, spending your life cowering behind barriers of the heart and mind that lead to various manifestations of smallness, from the innocuous to the dangerous and harmful–hatred, prejudice, profaneness and stupidity. It is easy to feel safe, surrounded by like-minded cowards. It is easy to be Golden Dawn.

U.S. Energy Expert Participant Blogs and Articles

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Editor’s note: Participants  have blogged and written articles about their experiences during our U.S. Energy Experts Seminar (June 16-24, 2012). The views expressed in these pieces are those of the participant and do not necessarily reflect those of Project Interchange.

Mark Brownstein
Postcard from Tel Aviv Israel
Postcard from Sderot, Israel
Postcard from the Negev Desert
Postcard from Ramallah, Palestinian Territory
Op-Ed: Israel and Energy: Like there’s no tomorrow

Scott Paul
The Palestinian Question: It’s Complicated

Steven Walz
A Day in the Desert with Renewable Energy Technologies

Tom Wolf
Energy from a Different Perspective

PI Alumnus Wins Silver Prize in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2011 Book Competition

Friday, June 8th, 2012

PI alumnus Michael J. Totten (’09) won the Silver Prize in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s 2011 book competition for his book The Road to Fatima. Read the Washington Jewish Week article here.

PI Alumnus Article in “Tablet Magazine”

Friday, June 8th, 2012

PI alumnus Sadanand Dhume (’09) writes about Indian and Israeli/Jewish commonalities and the Israeli-Indian relationship in an article in Tablet Magazine. Please read it here.

Article by Sean McGuire

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Editor’s Note: Sean McGuire was a member of the California Student Leaders delegation that visited Israel in January 2012. Shared below is an article he wrote on his experiences.

***

12:16p.m. Monday, January 2, 2012
Sderot, Israel-near the Gaza border

It’s the air conditioning unit that does it.

We’re about two kilometers from Gaza. I am standing in the asphalt parking lot behind the police station, a dozen or so other American college students around me, listening with rapt attention to the measured Hebrew of a hardened Israeli. Kobi Harush is the Coordinator of Security for the city of Sderot, as well as the Israeli Defense Forces liaison to the Palestinian National Authority. He is, as our info booklet puts it, “involved in all rescue and identification activities following Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot.” With our guide translating, Mr. Harush tells us that such attacks are a daily occurrence here-and have been for the past eleven years.

Under an overcast sky and scattered drizzle, he describes with professional efficiency the various types of rockets thatland here and the terrorist groups that fire them. Some belong to Hamas, some to lesser-known groups. The terrorist organizations actually go to great lengths to differentiate their rockets, he says, to ensure the Israeli media attributes the attack to the right organization-they compete for recognition, and get jealous of one another if someone else gets the credit for one’s attack. To our right, the burnt-out tubes of dozens of rockets lie on steel racks as chilling testament to this macabre reality.

I am in Sdreot with a group of students from all across America to see firsthand how life can continue under such immense psychological strain.  All children ten years of age and up and have grown up with the attacks as a part of daily life, and a vast majority of children under thirteen simply do not remember life before the rockets. Fear of a possible attack renders it impossible to play outside, and many children are afraid of leaving their houses to go to school. The Jewish National Fund recently raised enough money to build a reinforced recreation center for Sderot, giving the children a place to play and socialize in relative safety, but these are hardly ideal conditions in which to raise a family.

Despite the harrowing circumstances, the city is not completely defenseless. A network of detection systems can give authorities precious time to alert the public. “From the moment the match is lit,” Mr. Harush says, “we have sixty seconds before the rocket detonates.” Sixty seconds in which the network of radar stations and military computers must detect the missile, compile its type, trajectory, and probable flight time, determine where it will land, and then activate the appropriate city’s air-raid sirens. Sderot, being the closest population center to the Gaza Strip, is a regular target.

Sderot’s sirens go off nightly, and from the moment they sound, the people here generally have fifteen seconds left to get into an air-raid shelter, twenty seconds on a good day. Last night a lone Kassam rocket, fired from under two kilometers away, detonated in Sderot. The sirens only gave seven seconds of warning.

The rockets can come at any time, land in any location, singly or in groups, multiple times per day or none for several days in a row. They can land in open fields, or on apartment complexes, or police stations, or in the playgrounds of kindergartens. The people who fire them do not aim. They kill indiscriminately; perhaps your rocket will come while you’re cooking dinner, or driving to the post office, or in line at a store, or waiting for Mother to pick you up from school, or standing in the asphalt parking lot behind the police station at noon on a drizzly January day.

There is a sudden, muffled roar, and we students all jump. The air conditioning unit on the building behind us has sputtered to life; but in this moment, I catch a glimpse of what it must be like to live in constant trepidation of every noise, wondering if the next sound you hear might be your last.

I study international relations at the University of Southern California, and after traveling to Israel, I want to make the peace process the focus of my academics and of my career.  I want to facilitate discussion, not just between the governments, but among those who vote for them. I am pro-Israel; I am also pro-Palestine. Both populations need their own state. Compromise is the only realistic solution; extremism in any form, or anything that prevents rational discussion, obstructs peace.

In the Western world, everything we hear of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is usually filtered through the media into digestible fifteen-second sound bites; the difficulties, complexities, layers of meaning and degrees of truth are boiled away, leaving behind the “hard facts” of a story without much context. Whichever side of the story we hear, it’s a simple one, with clear protagonists and antagonists. But traveling to Israel personally allowed me to see just how complex the issues really are.

Both sides of this conflict, as in any conflict, have genuinely good people who want peace and compromise, and a minority of extremists who want to continue fighting for complete victory. Both sides of this conflict, as in any conflict, have a narrative that they believe to be genuine and incontrovertible. We hear of the roadblocks, the settlements, and the infamous “Wall” between Israel and the West Bank, but how many Americans know that, before Israel built a sectioned concrete barrier, Palestinian snipers would lie on rooftops in Bethlehem and shoot at Israeli cars traveling on the road between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion? We hear of “radical Islamic fundamentalists” who will stop at nothing to ensure the destruction of Israel, but how many Americans are aware that a majority of ethnic Arabs living in the region believe a two-state solution is the best answer?

Shortly after returning from Israel-it was January 12, according to my journal-I attended a panel discussion at USC on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The posters advertised the event as an evening of dialogue with Palestinian activists who campaign for human rights in Israel. The discussion would compare contemporary Israel and apartheid South Africa, examining the similarities and identifying the differences. In reality, though, the point of the discussion was to show Israel as the racist overlord and the Palestinians as the ruthlessly oppressed minority. At one point, a panelist-who shall remain anonymous-showed pictures of a wall, and it was a wall I recognized: it runs along the aforementioned road between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion, and was built to block sniper fire from Bethlehem’s rooftops. We had driven along that same road when we visited an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The wall I had driven past, though, was not a proper wall: it had large gaps in it, as if independent concrete barriers had sprung up out of the ground at random. It was built in sections, not as one continuous piece, to prevent the various vantage points in Bethlehem from seeing the road. It is intended to stop bullets, not people. In fact, from what I saw, walking around the pieces would be simple.

This speaker, however, had carefully selected her photographs to make it appear as if the wall was continuous, as if various West Bank cities really were encircled with concrete and barbed wire in a style reminiscent of the Holocaust-era Warsaw ghetto. And with these images as backdrop, she angrily denounced the racist practices of the evil Zionist state for “keeping Palestinians locked in the largest prison in the world-the West Bank!” The audience, the vast majority of whom were not students, savagely shouted its agreement. Another speaker said those who supported the Israeli military occupation of Gaza were one hundred percent racist, because hatred of the Palestinians is the only reason to support the occupation. When it was time for questions, one student stood up to challenge this.

“Accusing all who supported the Gaza occupation as racist does not make sense,” he said, trying to be heard over the audience’s disapproving shouts. “It is the same as accusing all who supported the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to capture bin Laden after 9/11 as also racist.”

“Yes!” audience members shouted. “Exactly!” They apparently saw no problem with that logic. Supporting the war in Afghanistan, or the occupation of Gaza, made you a racist, regardless of your reasons.

This paralyzing dialogue is the real problem. It is very dangerous to simplify this entire conflict into two possible sides, two possible opinions. I traveled to Israel because I wanted to see for myself what the situation is really like. I was only there for eight days, but those eight days gave me an academic focus. As soon as I left, I wanted, more than anything, to go back.

The only way I would be able to return to Israel is through a study abroad program, and unfortunately, I do not meet USC’s two-semester Hebrew language requirement. I emailed our study abroad office anyway, and explained my academic reasons for wanting to go to Israel, my prior experience in the country, and my desire to work, in some capacity, on diplomacy and the peace process.

I received a response to that email four days ago. USC has changed its institutional mind; because of the reasons for my interest in the program, they are permitting me to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School with only one semester of Hebrew under my belt.

This would not have been possible without my Project Interchange seminar in Israel. I am very lucky to have had this opportunity, and it is not an exaggeration at all to say my academic and professional career has been profoundly shaped by it. I will be living in Israel for six months, beginning in January of 2013. In that time, I hope to greatly expand the depth of my understanding of the conflict and the range of opinions and issues that surround it.

I may not be Jewish, but I couldn’t be more genuine in my enthusiasm and anticipation when I quite literally say: to next year, in Jerusalem.

Campus Media Blog Post: Day Five

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Editors Note:  Jon Schweitzer,  AJC’s Assistant Director of the Chicago Regional Office is currently in Israel this week with a delegation of student campus media leaders from universities across the country.  He is blogging the experience for us here.

Seven Seconds

At first glance, the southern Israeli town of Sderot looks like any other town in Israel, complete with trees, houses and roundabouts.  But a closer look reveals a town under siege.

Bus stops are fortified concrete shelters.  Similar bulges of concrete shelters abut each house in this small town of approximately 15,000.  Kids play in a steel reinforced inside playground.  These shelters are meant to be utilized in the event of a “code red” - the warning system that alerts residents of this town to the impending explosion of a rocket fired from the Gaza strip.  In most cases, people have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter.

On the night before the Campus Media Editors group visited what is the most heavily bombed town in the world, two rockets struck Sderot.  Instead of the usual 15 seconds, residents had just 7 seconds of warning.

Thankfully the rockets landed in an open field, resulting in no casualties.  However, a consistent theme emerged during the group’s tour of the town: the unseen, mental casualties of a town where bomb sirens are heard more often than children playing outside.  According to our host, 75 percent of the town’s residents, including kids, suffer from mental trauma from the constant attacks.

The visit, and the rocket attack just hours earlier put the students on edge a bit.  This was evident during their visit to a Sderot police station.  In the parking lot of the station, the students had a chance to look at some of the rockets the police salvaged from previous attacks.  During a briefing about which terrorist organizations make which rockets, a loud noise startled the students, some of whom looked to the sky.  Fortunately, the noise was only that of a nearby heating/cooling unit turning on.

The visit allowed the students to see up close the real impact of a sustained policy of denying Israel’s right to exist.

Previous Entry Next Entry

Campus Media Blog Post: Days Three and Four

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Editors Note:  Jon Schweitzer,  AJC’s Assistant Director of the Chicago Regional Office is currently in Israel this week with a delegation of student campus media leaders from universities across the country.  He is blogging the experience for us here.

January 1st, 2012

“You have no idea”

Ever since our session with Israeli venture capitalist Jon Medved I can’t shake that phrase.  He must have repeated it, in his bravado/animated speaking style at least four or five times.  He was trying to show how surprising Israel is.  Mainly he spoke about Israel’s amazing economic and technological advances, but the more I watch as the college media participants discover Israel, the more I think that phrase has a wider meaning than just stats like Israel being third in the world in NYSE exchange companies (after the U.S. and China) or the fact that the State of Israel, in just over 63 years of existence, has produced 10 Nobel Prize Winners.

I thought of the phrase today, when the participants learned that Israel currently hosts over 2,000 foreign journalists (Israel’s neighbors are not exactly known for their warm embrace of a free media).

I thought of the phrase yesterday when the Palestinian correspondent for the Jerusalem Post told the aspiring journalists that he was disappointed in the coverage of most foreign media outlets that come to Israel because they start with the bias that the Palestinians are good and the Israelis are bad.

“You have no idea,” was also an apropos theme during a discussion with an official at an Israeli settlement.  He defied our preconceived notions by lamenting the fear and lack of rights that his Palestinian neighbors have to endure from the Palestinian government.  Even a simple soccer match between the neighbor’s kids is forbidden by the Palestinian government.

I thought of the phrase again when a participant from California told me that yesterday was the best day of her life…and it was only 4 PM with a New Year’s Eve celebration yet to go! What did she do? She toured and shopped in the Old City of Jerusalem, floated in the Dead Sea, rode a Camel and forged a strong friendship with a fellow participant.  Oh, and the party? One of those typical New Year’s Eve celebrations in a heated cave in northern Israel complete with delicious food and dancing (and drum playing) to Middle Eastern music.  (The lead singer of the band, a long-bearded Israeli, slipped into a Tom Waits voice - and I thought to myself, “Wow, I really have no idea either!)

Other “You have no idea” (YHNI) moments:

The Israeli protests over housing this past summer put the 99 percent protests in the U.S. to shame :  400,000 Israelis protested in Tel Aviv, roughly 5 percent of the country at one single rally.  From Jon Medved

After the War of Independence, in which Israel was attacked by Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon and Egypt, Syria didn’t want to integrate Palestinian refugees into their society and only let them do manual labor. From Daniel Reisner

One of the leading voices of moderation among Palestinians is Dr. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, who told emotional stories about why he became moderate.  The Israelis tried to save the lives of his asthmatic mother and cancer-stricken father.

To be a Palestinian leader, it is much more important if you graduate from an Israeli prison than a university, Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian journalist told us.  He also said he had not heard about boycotts against Israel until he traveled to southern California a few years ago.

Other Californian participants noted that the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh looks exactly like La Joya, California.  “It’s like I’m looking out my dorm room window,” said a participant in bewilderment.

The participants are starting to get an idea of what Israel is all about, but I’m sure there will be more YHNI moments from tomorrow’s visit to Sderot, a city under constant rocket attacks with over 8000 rockets aimed at civilians to date, and a meeting with doctors and patients at a hospital that provides free open heart surgeries, including from the West Bank in Gaza.

Oh, and here’s my own YHNI for today that really puts the dichotomy of the region in perspective.  At one point today, while in the north of Israel,  I was less than 10 miles away from Syria, a country that, according to news reports, continues to murder its own citizens. What did I do today?   I dined at an restaurant owned by an Arab-Israeli and watched some of the Green Bay Packers game via satellite from a Tel Aviv pub. I’m not sure such a stark difference in freedoms exists in such close proximity anywhere else in the world.

Previous Entry Next Entry

Campus Media Blog Post: Days One and Two

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Editors Note:  Jon Schweitzer,  AJC’s Assistant Director of the Chicago Regional Office is currently in Israel this week with a delegation of student campus media leaders from universities across the country.  He is blogging the experience for us here.

It is 11:45 PM in Jerusalem and I’m just a tiny bit worried that many of the participants of the Campus Media group are out on the sidewalks of Jerusalem, taking in a sleepy night in the Holy city.  Truth is, I’m more impressed than worried.  You see, ever since we landed in Israel on Wednesday evening (last night, though it feels like a week ago), the college kids have been going pretty much non-stop with only the aid of some post “El-el redeye sleep” to sustain them.

As always, Project Interchange’s group of student leaders in media is top notch.  Some have already had bylines appear in papers like the New York Times, or production credits on Good Morning America.  The students are from well-known universities like Yale, Penn, Georgetown and Wisconsin and smaller schools on the west coast where the BDS (Boycott Divestments and Sanctions) anti Israel movement is active.

It’s way too easy to list the speakers they met.  It would take more than the 1.5 days that we’ve been here to properly recap.  Since it is 11:45 PM and I’m just now returning to my hotel room (aka the only silence I’ve known since I arrived in Israel), I’ll give you some highlights, while at the same time keeping an eye on my cell phone just in case navigation is something the students might need at some point tonight.

(After reading this next part, you will surely ask why so many amazing speakers and heavy topics were packed into the first 1.5 days.  The answer is that all seven days of this experience are equally packed - a testament to the program’s creators at Project Interchange.)

Einat Wilf, a member of the Knesset who is the chair of a new party,  the Independence Party, gave the students an up close look at the myriad of issues that Israeli politics grapples with on a daily basis.  And, as one of the first speakers to our group, she provided an overview of Zionism.  The dialogue touched on, among other items, the UN’s resolution equating Zionism with racism.  This gave MK Wilf the opportunity to not only point out that the resolution was repealed (and I might also add, the only UN resolution to ever befall such a fate) but also introduce the students to a concept that has so far been prevalent in many other discussions, the ganging-up on Israel at the UN.

Bright and early the next morning, I awoke and noticed that my room had a balcony.  Curious as to what view of Jerusalem was waiting for me, I pulled back the curtains to see an almost-unimpeded view of the Old City, basking in 6 a.m. sunlight - a pretty nice way to start your day.

As much as I enjoyed my balcony view, I’m pretty sure that the student journalists enjoyed meeting Ethan Bronner, the New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief, even more.  The anecdotes and media-focused topics, like how do you keep sources in such a delicate reporting environment, with the man who holds what some describe as the toughest job in journalism put the students back into “press mode” for the rest of the day’s meetings.  More than a couple upperclassmen hinted to Bronner that they would be graduating in the Spring, …just in case he was in need of some extra help this summer (or permanently!)

Next up, one of my favorite AJCer’s and certainly one of my most distinguished colleagues, Rabbi David Rosen, addressed the group in a spirited, breathless and thought-provoking presentation about interfaith relations in Israel.  Students were surprised to find out that there is more interfaith dialogue in Israel than anywhere else in world.  Partway through the presentation, Rabbi Rosen gave an impromptu briefing of the various kinds of Judaism, which the students found very helpful, having not known about half of the kinds prior to the talk.

Additional briefings included a foreign relations and peace process briefing by Jonathan Spyer from the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzlyia; a talk on the Holocaust’s effect on Israel by Paul Liptz of the International Education Center of the World Union for Progressive Judaism; a conversation with Nadav Tamir, a policy advisor to Israeli President Shimon Peres; and a dinner with Shula Mola, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews.

During the foreign relations talk, the students were focused on the Arab Spring and regional powers.  Dr. Spyer pointed out that in the Middle East, the three most powerful countries are not Arabic: Israel, Turkey and Iran.

The journalists queried Dr. Liptz about the media’s role, or lack-thereof, during World War II, while Tamir, a former Consul General in Boston, took questions on the strategic defense partnership, founded in shared values, that Israel has with the U.S.  Mola shared her family’s story about leaving Ethiopia and being welcomed by Israel.

Engaging dialogue and unique experiences have been the norm so far here in Israel - and we’re just getting started!

Next Entry

Georgia State Elected Officials Blog: Post Script

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Editors Note:  Itai Tsur, AJC’s Assistant Director of the Atlanta Regional Office is currently in Israel this week with a delegation of elected officials from Georgia.  He is blogging the experience for us here.

Post-script (December 18)

Biking through Tel Aviv. After escorting our delegates through airport security and ensuring their safe departure from Israel, I am lucky to be able to spend two extra days in Tel Aviv to visit with my relatives here.

I wanted to share this post-script about Tel Aviv; it continues to evolve into a most incredible city.  I discovered the new “green bike” share system:  you rent a bike for a mere 14 shekels a day, ride it all over town on bike paths (including along the beach promenade, or Tayelet), and drop it off at one of dozens of stations throughout the city.  I toured all over the city, including Jaffa, in a short period of time and saved huge in transportation costs.  I highly recommend that all visitors try this fun and economical urban biking experience.

How I wish that all cities would adopt a similar approach to cut back on fuel consumption, traffic and pollution.

See you all stateside!

Day Seven Day One