Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Gilad Shalit is one of the most sensitive topics in the Israeli discussion. It is the one thing we all agree on, but also one of the many things we have a disagreement on. The only problem is, it is very hard to disagree on such a delicate issue.
The moment he was taken, there wasn't a single soul who didn't want him back home. Everyone agreed that a person who serves his country and is taken away should be brought back home. This is just how things work in Israel- you commit to the country when joining the IDF, and the country commits to you. The split in the opinions of the public began when the matter of the "price" was brought to the discussion table. All of a sudden, the conversation shifted from "Gilad should be brought back home" to "Gilad should be brought back home, but at what cost?" Everyone wanted him back home, but some thought there is a limit to how many prisoners with blood on their hands should be released to continue their "job" in return of one Israeli soldier. Amongst those people were families of Israelis who were murdered by those prisoners. This disagreement became harder and harder as the massive campaign for Gilad's release did not let us forget he is not "one soldier," but a person with a name, "the son of us all." Soon, it was almost impossible to disagree with a release at any cost. I, for instance, felt very uncomfortable saying, or even thinking, there is a price for him that could be too high. When I recruited, the disagreement was even harder. People felt bad thinking negative thoughts regarding his release, and those who weren't afraid to speak suffered from rough criticism by the public.
When he made his first step on Israeli soil, everything changed. The disagreement was no longer heard, and everyone came to an agreement once again: it is good to have our son back home. Everyone shed a tear that day, and since then, Gilad Shalit was untouchable. Not a single bad word, no criticism, just massive support and one big hug. The newspapers captured his every move, and followed his process of returning to a regular life. Soon, he became a celebrity. He shook hands, took pictures with "fans", and was invited to be an honorary guest in many events. Later on, he even started writing sports interpretations for one of the national papers. In one of his columns, he wrote a few sentences of his captivity, describing how sports helped him get by. But with all the joy of his homecoming, a new discussion took place: when would he talk about his captivity? Once again, the public opinion was split. Some thought we must give him space and let him do it on his own time, and some thought that if he feels comfortable enough appearing at public events and writing columns, he should take a moment and give a full interview. Once again, there was a general agreement on the "what": he is the son of us all, the public had a major part in his release, and we want to hear what he was going through while we banged on Netanyau's table. The part on which we disagreed was the timing of that interview.
When channel 10 announced there would be an interview, all eyes were on the television screen. We were all eager to hear what he has to say on what he had been through. We wanted to know everything on those five years: what was he doing, how did they treat him? What went thought his mind? Everything. I'm sure you've read the translated interview by now, so you know that as touching as it was, something was missing…It felt like the sensitivity revolving around the "Gilad Shalit" topic kicked in, and the interviewer abstained from asking many expected, yet rough questions. We wanted to know if he was tortured, if he remained at the same place or was on the move from one hiding place to another. Some of us also expected to know what he thinks of the "cost" of his release- 1027 terrorists. Once again, we were stuck, because Gilad is someone we all want to be safe, and "rough" questions might have been placing him in an uncomfortable place. However, we all were eager to hear him speak for so long, and were disappointed with the lack of complicated questions. This time, the sensitivity went a little numb. Many television critics sharpened their pencils and Facebook users roamed their keyboards. "The interview was more of a "touchy" drama than a high quality documentary," many said. But once again, the opposite voice rose: "who cares as long as he's home and well." At first, I wasn’t sure what to think, but when I translated the interview, and read every word twice, I could see what the critics were saying. The interview didn't really reveal anything new, and said what we wanted to hear. It just presented us with Gilad, a year later, telling us everything and at the same time, saying nothing.
It wasn't until I read your comments and saw your Facebook "shares" of the interview where I realized what really matters. A year later, Gilad is healthy, not as skinny, smiling, making jokes, and happy. This interview was not meant to reveal any secrets or knowing the truth about his own personal nightmare. This interview was really meant to present us with Gilad Shalit, the one for whom we all united in the effort of bringing home. At this point, I realized what I was so eager to know about him was not whether or not he believes 1027 terrorists are too much, or whether or not he celebrated any holidays. What I really wanted to know, and I'm sure everyone (including the critics) will agree with me- is if the soldier who has been through the worst has recovered from his wounds, physical and mental. I wanted to know if the son of us all can smile and mean it.
Maybe some day he will be able to tell us everything. I sure hope so. Until then, we will continue to complain and support at the same time, because that's how we, Israelis, roll. There is not a single Israeli who has no sympathy for Gilad. Even the toughest person shed a tear while watching him speak last Wednesday. But here, where we all feel so close to one another, and where everyone worked together in an effort to bring Gilad back home, we wanted to know more, and were disappointed when we didn't. Sometimes it takes a person from the outside to help those inside get perspective. I thank you for doing this for me. You didn't feel like something was missing, you were just happy that he spoke. Now, so am I.
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October 22, 2012 | 10:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
* Israeli President, Shimon Peres, welcomed the new Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors in Israel earlier this week. The Egyptian ambassador, Atef Salem, is the first ambassador sent by the new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi. At his welcoming meeting with Peres, Salem announced he bears with him a message of peace, and shares great respect for Israel. The Jordanian ambassador, Walid Obeidat, was sent by Jordan after over two years of no Jordanian representation in Israel. President Peres welcomed the new ambassadors to Israel and expressed his hope for peace in the Middle East.
* The end to the not-so-great Israeli service-awareness reputation? The prestigious Vatel International Business School of Hospitality Management opened an Israeli branch last weekend. The school, originated in France, opened its Israeli branch in Tel-Aviv, and has already started operating a couple of classes. Studies in Vatel take three years, and include theoretical studies as well as training at hotels in Israel. In the course of studying, the students will learn how to perform all hotel jobs: from waitressing through reception to management roles. The alumni are expected to rank high in management jobs in Israeli hotels. The Vatel school is known for the tools it provides to a better service awareness, hospitality and management in hotels worldwide.
* Not only Israelis. New research reveals Americans also fell in love with Tel-Aviv, the non-formal Israeli capital, and one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world. BAV Consulting recently published its quarterly survey, presenting what people feel about various brands. According to the survey, filled out by 13,000 Americans, the brand Tel-Aviv is more attractive then Audi, or Prada, and as attractive as Twitter, Apple and You Tube. The company also checked the statuses of different countries in the public eye, and Israel was ranked 6th of 33 countries participating in the survey. Always good news.
* A first of its kind atlas of the human brain, created by a team of researchers worldwide, was unveiled last week. This atlas, detailing and mapping the microstructure of the living brain, is considered a large contribution to future research of the brain. The researchers who are behind this grand project come from 12 universities worldwide and were led by Prof. Yanic Assaf, chair of the neurobiology department at Tel Aviv University's Sagol School of Neurobiology. Within the framework of the research, the team assembled a comprehensive collection of maps characterizing the components of the living brain. Before the completion of this project (named: CONNECT), brain maps were graphed by dissecting the organ of a cadaver and subjecting it to microscopic analysis. Using an MRI to track the flow of water in the brain, a bio-physical model was constructed. The objective was to examine the movement of water molecules, as presented in 3-D images, to have a better understanding of the structure of the brain.
* If you happened to watch Homeland's season opening a couple of weeks ago, you couldn't miss Carrie and Saul walking down the streets of Beirut, Lebanon. But this "Beirut" is not what you think it is. Yes, my friends, the new star of the Emmy award winning series is no other than beautiful Yafo. The news about Homeland filming in Israel is kind of old, and the fans of the show probably already know of this little "secret". But if you take a closer look, you could see some hints revealing the true nature of city. In a few shots, Israeli traffic signs appear in the background. Hebrew letters also appear on stores and on walls, which is something I doubt you'll see in the real Beirut...It wasn't he appearing of Hebrew letters, however, that caused a commotion around the season opening. What really bothered officials in Lebanon was the presentation of Beirut as a city roaming with terrorists. Lebanon's minister of tourism, Fady Abboud, announced he is considering taking legal action and sue the Emmy award winning series.
October 20, 2012 | 11:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
The award winning 2008 film, Hakol Mathil BaYam (It all Begins at Sea), tells the story of the Goldsteins, an Israeli Family coping with various life experiences friendship, love, sex and death. These experiences all involve a longing for expanding their family, along with the realization that they are destined to remain a threesome: Father, Mother and Son.
Their bitter-sweet story is told in three parts: The first episode takes place at the seaside. The second unfolds in the Ashkelon National Park, among the ancient statues, trees, and tall stone fortifications. The third takes us into the Goldsteins new home, where they moved to prepare for the birth of their baby girl, the new upcoming addition to the family. While getting to know this special family, the viewer encounters some unique characters that surround them and take various parts in their lives. Another character in this movie is fate, which plays tricks with the Goldsteins, making them unsure of whether they are blessed or cursed.
This dramatic comedy is not of a distinct Israeli nature. It could have taken place anywhere else in the world. But still, there is something very Israeli about those characters, and about the scenery that surrounds them. I admit: I first watched it because my brother plays a part there, but later on I watched it three more times. This movie touched me in many ways, and not because it is Israeli, but because it's real.
October 18, 2012 | 1:34 pm
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
A year after his return home, Gilad Shalit gave his very first full interview about his time in captivity and the emotional return home. The documentary film: Gilad Shalit- In front of the camera, was created by Tal Goren and Tamar Pross, and was aired on the Israeli Channel 10, on October 17th, 2012.
Thanks to the gracious help of Channel 10, I got the full transcript of the interview, and translated it all to English, so you can also get a hint of what the child of us all was going through for more than five years under Hamas' captivity.
*Notes in brackets made by me*
Gilad Shalit, do you remember the last time you saw your family before being captured?
Yes. I remember my mother drove me in the morning to the bus station. I saw my father the night before. I went to bed and that was the last time I saw him. It was a Thursday, three days before I was taken, and we didn't get the chance to speak during those three days. I tried calling them on Saturday, but either they missed the call or I didn't complete the call because it was noon and I didn't want to interrupt. I don't remember. Then we went to the boarder.
Were you afraid of being kidnapped?
I remember when I was on the border of Lebanon. Then I was afraid of Hezbolla because I assumed they were more trained and had more abilities. I couldn't believe that Hamas could perform an operation on such a scale and in such a perfect way. I had no idea what they were capable of. I was also inside of a tank, which is known as an immune tool, something no one can get into. This perception applied especially to me. As someone who was right inside the tank, I felt like it was protecting me. I never imagined that someone could get inside and take me. I thought I was safe.
Have you had any idea it would last for such a long time? Yes. I remember I thought at first it would last several years. I knew the negotiation process could last for years. So, yes, I had an idea of such. I said it might take a few years and with time, both sides would get "softer". After what happened to Ron Arad (Another Israeli POW who was captured in 1986. His whereabouts and physical situation is unknown), I hoped this would end differently. In his case, the negotiation has gotten irrelevant with time. There is no one to talk to and negotiate with. No one knows where he is. I was afraid the same thing would happen to me. That people would forget me and there would be no one to talk to.
Were you afraid you would be forgotten? Yes. I was afraid that my takers would make me disappear, so that no one would know where I was. At moments like this, I tried to be optimistic. Maybe, if there's even the slightest chance, than I still have a reason to keep living. To grasp the smallest good things I still had there. To try and enjoy what I have, because things can always get worse.
What are those small things?
Everything that they allowed: television, radio, proper food. Also the fact they did not abuse me so much. Stuff like that.
What did you do to keep your sanity?
The secret is to maintain a constant schedule, a daily itinerary, activities. Being active, and not lay in bed all day and do nothing. I was really trying to avoid that, but it took me some time. At first, while I was still adjusting, I had a rough time. Besides that, I was constantly active. I would get up and go to bed at the same time every day, and do the same things almost every day.
Did you get much sleep? I didn't sleep well. There were noises and things that bothered me, and I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night. The sleep wasn't that good, but I slept. And even if I didn't I would catch up with my sleep during the day, even though I didn't like sleeping during daytime.
Because then I wasn't tired at night, and I wanted to maintain the order of my daily routine. It's very easy to do nothing and then go to sleep during the day, but you must have a pre- set routine and maintain it. Besides, I had fewer options at night, fewer things I could do. Right from the beginning I started following the days, the dates. I always knew what day it was, always knew what the date was. Soon, I also learned how to recognize the time of the day, what hour it was.
How did you recognize the hours of the day?
I tracked the sunrise and sunset, and also according to their prayer times.
So you also knew when the holidays are?
The holidays were harder to recognize because they occur on Hebrew dates, but I tried calculating them as well. I wasn't always accurate, but yes.
Did you celebrate any holidays?
No. I had no one to celebrate with and no way to celebrate.
While you were there, did you know what's going on here?
Not at first. I had almost zero exposure to what happens in Israel or in the world. At some point, they let me watch the news in Arabic on television, so I knew what was going on in the area. At some point I also got a radio, so I could hear the news in Israel.
Before that, you listened only to Arabic? Yes.
And did you understand? Not at first, but with time I began to understand a little Arabic. There was also some sort of a communication that was created with my captors. There were moments when an emotion of some sort was created, like laughter or something. There were times when we watched a sports game on television, or a movie. One time we happened to watch a soccer match between HaPoe'l Tel-Aviv and Lion. It was one of HaPoe'l's best matches. There was a famous goal by Zehavi, and I remember the guards' reactions. They were in shock with this goal, and were amazed of how good an Israeli team is. It was one of the things that helped me maintain my sanity there, I think. As a sports fan, I drew so much of my strength from it. Sport is an international language and it helped create a better atmosphere with the captors. It was something I could talk with them about. And sport is something that projects hope. Even when you're behind, you can always get out of your mess, go back out there, and win. There is always hope. During the day I would play games with my captors, games such as Chess, Dominos…And I also playwd games with myself, all types of strange games.
Sport related games, mostly. Games with a ball. I would make a ball out of socks or a shirt, and throw it to the trash can, for instance. I would make stuff up, and also write things, playing Eretz-Ir (a common game in Israel, involving a pen and paper).
Did you keep a journal? No. I had some lists, things I've done to help me remember things. I would follow sports events, or draw sketches. I would draw the map of Israel, the map of Mitzpe Hila (Shalit's home town), all of the houses. I did that so I can remember, visualize the places, stuff like that. I started doing that at the beginning, so that if I forget something, it won't be it.
Did you hang your sketches on the wall? No, no. I would hide it sometimes. Some of them didn't like it, they thought I was collecting information.
Do you remember the day they filmed your tape that was sent to Israel? Yes. There were an audio tape and a video tape. There were also more stuff they filmed, but didn't send them to Israel. On the day of the video tape, a group of people I haven't seen in a long time arrived. They wrote what I needed to say, and asked me to add a personal story, so that my family would be able to recognize me. A story only I can tell.
Did you want to add a little something of your own while filming? Have you thought about it?
No. I knew they would double-check everything I say, and I was also very nervous.
Have you thought the whole thing would come to an end while they made those tapes? That your release is near?
Yes, at first. But later I started to get used to being filmed and that it was yet another procedure. I knew it might make my release closer, but I also knew it didn't help before. I knew that most probably nothing would happen.
How did you handle the disappointment?
It's rough. There were times when there was optimism, but then it faded. With time, you learn how to deal with it, how to recover. With time, I learned not to get easily optimistic every time something happens, every time the media reports on a progress or a nearing release deal or any other false reports over the years.
How were you informed on your release?
I found out the same time with everyone else, when it was reported over the media a week before the release.
Did you cry?
No. After being burned before, I said that you can never know what might go wrong along the way.
Did the time passed from the announcement on your release and the moment you went out seem to last forever? That week felt like forever. It passed very slowly. In the last couple of days I didn't sleep. I don't remember me sleeping. Maybe one hour-tops.
What happened on the day of your release? They brought me shoes. White Puma shoes. A pair of jeans. The first pair they brought me wasn't my size, so they had to bring me something smaller. Same goes for the belt, they had to punch more holes in it to make it smaller. They also brought me the famous shirt, the non-trendy shirt, whatever you call it. If I would tell them it was ugly, I guess they would have brought me something else to wear. But I really didn't care what I was going to wear on the day of my return. It was the last thing on my mind.
What was on your mind the minute you got out? It was a strange feeling, being outside, looking up to the sky, seeing the sun. It wasn't too hard for me, even though people were asking why I was wearing sunglasses.
It's quite unbelievable not seeing the sky for five almost and a half years, isn't it?
Yes, it is. Though I have seen the sky on television, and you can also use your imagination.
What did you feel at that time?
During the drive to Gaza's border, I was nervous. I didn't know if something would happen, if someone would try and hurt us, or if something would go wrong the last minute. The second I went out of the car and moved to Egypt, I felt relieved. Suddenly, I saw dozens of people in front of me, maybe hundreds, after not seeing more than a few people at a time during all those years. There was such a fuss there, and I was a bit in shock. Then we entered a room, I was recognized and then was the interview (with an Egyptian journalist. This interview got many negative reviews and the reporter was accused of being insensitive.)
What was in that interview? Did the reporter hug you when she saw you?
No. She shook my hand. She was the first woman I saw after more than five years.
What was it like? Seeing a woman, hearing her voice?
Her? Of all women? I'm joking…It felt different, but wasn't such a shock for me as I thought it would be. However, my blood pressure was low, and I started to feel bad. You can also see it during the interview.
And when you arrived to Israel?
This was the moment when I felt this was it. That this entire experience is coming to an end. This pit I was locked up in- that's it, I'm out. I was relieved and realized that something huge is revolving around me. Everything that happened there, the media coverage, the enthusiasm…I knew it would take me some time to recover from it. I couldn't just go outside right away and meet everybody. I needed some time, taking it slow. I was thrilled and happy. But on the other hand, couldn't contain everything, all the people, the enthusiasm. I was also shut down. I didn't talk much. What I'm saying to you now, this conversation, is more than everything I said in those five years.
Yes. The amount of words I am saying now is just about what I was saying in a year.
How did it feel to sleep in your own bed for the first time? Did you sleep well on your first night?
Yes. I was really tired, so I slept well. I went to sleep at around nine-nine thirty. But at 2AM I woke up and started walking around the house. I was wandering around, looking through the windows. I saw guards, IDF soldiers, walking around.
Was your house like you remembered?
No. It was different, because it was renovated. So I just peeked in some places, looked around. The house was packed with food, presents. There were so many things I wanted to do that day, like using the computer, surfing the web, walking outside, riding a bike- this was one of the first things I did. I also wanted to catch up with my friends, and with everything I missed on television.
What was changed about you while being held captive?
I think that what is changed is the way people treat me, like I am someone else. Of course, there are things I took from that time which made me stronger and more confident. It is also a process. It takes time. With time, I'm adjusting, getting to know more people. At first, I was all about thinking, remembering and reminiscing, processing everything. I was also questioned and met with a shrink. Now I am less occupied with thoughts.
Do you feel good now?
I definitely feel better after everything I've been through the last five years. How can I not feel good? I always try to be optimistic, even when I run into some sort of a problem. All problems are nothing compared to what I've been thought…
Will you send your children to the army?
It won't be easy, but the bottom line is the state released me. The deal was made and the state paid the price, so I have no doubt my children would recruit. I hope that until then, recruitment won't be a necessity, but I believe it would be.
*Follow Israelife on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jewishjournalisraelife
October 17, 2012 | 10:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
I've wanted to tell you about my military service for a while now, but I never knew exactly what I want to say. However, since foreign media take a very negative, false approach towards the IDF, and more and more false accusations pop up every day, I feel I can't wait any longer and will tell you what the IDF is really like through my personal story.
I think I'll begin at the end: a couple of months after my release from the IDF (after a two years long service), I went to a summer camp in Georgia, US, as an Israeli delegate of the Jewish Agency. While mostly having fun and telling exciting stories about Israel to the young campers, my fellow Israelis and I had to also deal with some tough questions asked by our American co-counselors. Most of their questions involved the IDF and its actions, and were based on information they got from the media. Some stood behind what they heard and read, and accused us with some terrible accusations, involving murder and intentions of killing innocent people for kicks. Those people were mostly adamant in their beliefs. They believed they already knew everything about the IDF, even better than we, and were positive of every part-truth they heard over the news. They had no intention of hearing us out, and mainly wanted to give us a piece of their minds for all the evil we've done.
As hard as dealing with this was, the other type of questions was much harder to deal with. Those questions were asked by Israel fans who heard all those things over the news, and weren't sure how to handle it. They were torn between their support of Israel and the horror stories the news handed them on a daily basis. Their questions weren't easy to deal with, because unlike the former group, this one was eager to hear what we had to say, and waited for a straight forward, decisive answer. My replies to them started with the sentence: "what you hear on the news is not entirely incorrect, but the world is not black and white." Then, I started explaining how the IDF's purpose is strictly defending Israel and its people, and never attacking or conquering. I told them that when they read a story of a school in Gaza being attacked by the IDF, it is usually what really happened, and then I explained how our enemies do a very good job in making us look bad by hiding wanted terrorists inside schools and hospitals and by doing that, making the IDF attack those places, which later does not look god in the eyes on the media. Questions like that are very hard to answer, especially when the person asking those questions expects a somewhat different answer. Later in the day, things got much easier when I would sit with my eight-year-old campers and tell them, decisively, how heroic the IDF soldiers are. No complications and in a black and white perspective.
Things are never simple, and there is always far more than the eye can see. Nothing and nobody is perfect and people always make mistakes, but there is no question in whether the foreign media supports the IDF. I am not going to try and explain to you every single move the IDF makes, but I can say that throughout my military service, I never questioned my commander, not once, and neither did my friends, some of them in Combat units. What I do want to tell you, that is if you belong to the second group and are open to hear what I have to say, is that besides special missions and heroic battles, there is so much more in the Israeli military service.
October 15, 2012 | 10:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
* A group of Pro-Palestinians protested during a concert in Berlin, while the Israeli singing group, the Givatron, performed. The Israeli folk group was performing at a Jewish National Fund and Israeli House fundraiser when 10 protesters disrupted the show immediately after the first song, causing a riot and crying: "Free Palestine". The protesters included Palestinians residing in Germany, Iranians, a Spanish activist and two Israelis. They hurled JNF boxes and Givatron CDs and knocked over signs. But the performers did not let the provocateurs confuse them, and continued their performance to the applause of the audience.
* Yad Vashem Chairman, Avner Shalev was appointed by the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, to be a Vice Chairman of the International Council of the Auschwitz- Birkenau State Museum. The council was founded in the year of 2000, and was tasked with advising the Polish government on the preservation of the memorial sites at former Nazi death-camps in Poland. The Council includes 21 members from Poland, the United States, Britain, France and Germany.
* Nowadays, somewhere after Sukkot, is the time of the year when the weather goes crazy. In the natural order of the world, the summer is coming to an end by the end of August (give or take a week), and make room for fall and then winter. But our small Israel, has always refused to play by the rules. Each year during the months of September and Ocboter, no one really knows what to expect. In the past week we've had two storms that took us all by surprise, both followed by scalding hot sun. I believe there wasn't a single Israeli left dry when the sky opened up in the middle of the day, while everyone was wearing shorts and sandals, hanging out in the beach or the park…
* An archeological excavation conducted by the Israeli Antiquities Authority exposed prehistoric finds. The excavation, which was conducted on behalf of the National Roads Company prior the widening of Highway 79, encompassed an area of about half a mile on both sides of the road and lasted this past year. While digging, the archeologists found Prehistoric settlement remains that range in date from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (c. 10,000 years ago) to the Early Bronze Age (c. 5,000 years ago). The findings include a string of colored beads in a bowl, images of ostriches carved on a stone plaque and more, and are now presented in Ein Zippori site near the Sea of Galilee.
* A Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) aircraft landed at Ben-Gurion Airport for the first time this past Tuesday, with a commercial Ethiopian Airlines' flight from Addis Ababa. This progressed and highly developed aircraft originally intended to land in Israel on October 16th, but due to operational reasons, it made its first landing Tuesday morning. A special ceremony will be held next week. The spokesperson of Ethiopian Airlines said they chose to bring the plane to Israel as a gesture to their Israeli passengers who have faith in the company. The modern plane is built from composite materials and was built with a "green" vision, allowing for significant lower air pollution than other aircraft. /An Israeli family has recently founded an aid organization called "Israel for Africa", which purpose is to get Israeli and Jewish backpackers who travel in Africa to help around where needed. Voluntarily, of course. The Milo family, who founded this private organization, also donated the money to help it get started.
October 12, 2012 | 11:19 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Mashina is The Rolling Stones of Israel. They are considered Israel's most influential rock band, as they stand behind many of the music milestones in Israel. They have taken over the playlists in 1983, and have been making hits ever since (except of a break they took from 1995 to 2003). Their songs are all rock, moving on the scale from soft ballads to hard-rock, and I love almost every single one of their songs. The members of the band, which are considered very respectable musicians, are: Yuval Banai, Shlomi Bracha, Iggy Dayan, Avner Hodorov and Michael Benson.
I really love all of their songs, but here are my favorite two:
Ein Makom Acher (there's no other place)- Every time I listen to this song I start jumping around
Ba'Rechovot Shelanu (in our streets)
October 10, 2012 | 10:21 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
After spending eight days in Israel, as a part of the Once in a Lifetime program of the Stand With Us Fellowship organization, ten influential Instagram users from all over the world returned to their homes, carrying memories of an unforgetable trip from north to south (including a meeting with the President). In those eight days, the ten Instagramers captured every aspect of Israel, and shared their best creations with their total of three million followers. Two of the talented modern cameramen, Carli Liene (@inkedfingers), a 28 year old from Austin, Texas; and Dave Temple (@kewiki), a 36 year old from Chicago, Indiana, agreed to share some of their best work with Israelife readers. They collected what they thought captured Israel in the best way, through their eyes, for you to enjoy.
Dave, a first-timer in our beautiful Israel, sure won't forget his visit: "My time in Israel was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The history, food, architecture, and most importantly the people, make this place one of the most incredible places I've ever visited. It is a photographer's paradise and I definitely will be back! I thank Israel for being such a wonderful host and helping me to understand more about the country. The Once in a Lifetime HD group should also be commended for acting as excellent ambassadors for Israel and showing our group that Israel is full of life and love."
The full photo albums of all ten Instagramers are presented on their pages.