Tag Archives: Israel

Long time no post…

So it really has been a long time since I posted here.  But as I’m back in Israel, I thought it was a good time to update.

This time I’m here for two reasons.

One – my brother made Aliyah late last year, I’ve come out to see him and his very nice new flat in Rishon Le Zion.  It seems he’s settling in nicely, just needs a good job to keep him in the style we’d all like to become accustomed to!  His Ivrit will take time, but it seems to be coming along nicely, and he was very appreciative of the care package brought from home, even if I had brought the wrong type of tea bags!  In my defence, I did buy the brand on special offer in the supermarket!

Two – my cousin gets married on Thursday (only he would set a date that clashes with the England vs Italy match in the Euros).  There are lots of family and friends here to help celebrate the occasion.

So far, well a few days in Tel Aviv being tourists, doing the Carmel Market and Nachalat Binyamin with some shopping thrown in, and pool time as well.  We’ve moved over to Jerusalem now, and plan to do more tourist type things, like the Tunnel Tour at the Wall!

More updates to come soon!

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The last day…

So it came at last, the end… It seemed so far away to start with, but then I actually got here, and things went so fast.

The day started with a trip to see disputed areas of Jerusalem – we saw from a lookout point the palestinian cities of Beit Jallah and Beit Lehem (Bethlehem), and could clearly see the security fence, which is not a wall for the whole length despite what people say. There are stretches that are just a fence, and some that are a wall – most of it is a fence. Then down to the checkpoint at Bethlehem, and then onto Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzaddik, an areadeemed to be Israel, but mostly arabs living there until recently when Jews started to move in. There was no sign of guards about, and to my eyes at least it looked a normal, if a little run down area of the city.

We also went to the Tayelet (Promenade) in Talpiot which gave a panoramic view of the city, and to the Kottel (Western Wall) where I think most of us took the chance to go and leave a note there, it is a holy place and there were clearly people of other faiths praying there and leaving notes, as well as many Bar Mitzvah celebrations taking place.

Lunch was back at the MFA, then we had a closing session, where certificates were presented, and photos taken. We ended with singing the Hatikvah, then it really was time to say goodbye.

Since then, well I went back to the hotel and dropped my stuff off, then walked to Ben Yehuda street to do some last minute shopping. Now, i have a sherut ordered for 3am, so time to repack my bags, then shower and crash out for a bit. See you again at home.

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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


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A second go

A second post in one day!

Just come back from dinner at Canela restaurant. As the final dinner, we had some speeches, and this time I stuck firmly to white wine and coca cola – not getting into the red like last night. As a group we had got a present for our hosts, Irit and Ami – we had a group photo taken of ourselves outside the Menorah by the Knesset, which we had enlarged and framed. One for each of them and a third for our wonderful bus driver Yaacov who has entertained us with his ukelele all week. He didn’t drtive us this evening, so we’ll get that to him tomorrow.

It was a good job we had a private room – the impromptu karaoke session was rather loud, but lots of fun. Freddie – I’m sorry, we murdered your songs, but they gave us a lot of fun, especially Bohemian Rhapsody with our intrepid international choir hailing from Venezuela, Turkey, Mexico, Uruguay, Italy, Georgia, Australia, Romania, USA, Israel, and the UK. If I missed anyone I’m sorry!

Tomorrow we are touring disputed parts of Jerusalem, then we have a closing ceremony. I hope to get some shopping done afterwards, still have a few presents left to buy.

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Tough Questions…. And how to answer them

I guess so far I can sum up today with the above title. Short version was that it was media briefings, and media training. Now those of you who do actually know me will know that talking one to one is fine, but a huge group – gives me the creeps. Oh well, not like public speaking is that high on the agenda at this precise moment in time!

Out for a final dinner later, so I may catch up later.

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Breaking the Law…

Okay – not literally, but after a trip to the Supreme Court I couldn’t resist it as a title!

Today we had some talks about the Middle East, in particular the issues surrounding the ‘Arab Spring’ and that old chestnut – Iran (well there has been civilisation there for 5000+ years so I think that counts as old). The speakers explained the issues and concerns, in particular the potential nuclear capability of Iran, which is pretty scary when you think about it.

There was also a talk on the maritime law issues surrounding the flotilla last year, which explained that the naval blockade was legal under international law and that Israel had followed the actions it was supposed to take in dealing with the ships. Of course, the one thing to point out is that even if they had got through – there is no commercial dock in Gaza that they could have used.

Then we went to the Supreme Court – a very impressive building, less impressive was having to leave all our bags outside while we were in there, and I mean outside. I ended up taking all the things I couldn’t stand to lose in my pockets (money, passport etc). Odd thing was that phones and cameras were perfectly acceptable! We were given a talk about the Israeli legal system – most of it did go right over ny head as while I do work for a law firm, I’m not a lawyer and the technicalities were a bit much. One thing I did pick up on is that the courts and legal system are based on the British model, magistrates courts, then district courts, then the supreme court at the top of the tree. Apparently anyone, Israeli citizen or not can petition the supreme court if they feel they have been wronged by a government decision.

Tommorrow it’s off to Tel Aviv via Lod. And at long last comes some well deserved free time, in which I may have to gently toast myself by the pool!


Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Israel at last!

I made it!

So, took forever to get through passport control, think I Picked the wrong queue, or the man in the booth was being very thorough! Anyway – got myself an Israeli sim card in Steimatzky and a taxi to the hotel.

Last night se all met up for an Indian in the hotel restaurant. Chicken Tikka Masala – yum. Then a few of us walked for what seemed like forever to Ben Yehuda for a beer.

So that was yesterday – well today we were out for 8:30, and walked to the Ministry buildings to have a few(!) meetings with people. As always, some speakers were better than others, I can recommend the incoming Israeli Ambassador to the UK (if not his choice of football team – Manchester City for those who care).

Lunch – well after a typically huge Israeli breakfast, then came – wait for it – the chicken schintzel! It wasn’t alone though, there were salads, and hummous too. And meatballs, and more chicken! So not going to lose any weight with this!

Right – have to go as we are going out soon for dinner.


Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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