Monday, 19 December 2011

Israel's Story~Apples of Gold

This award winning film recounts the history and struggles of the Jewish people beginning with the early Zionist movement.

You will see how politics, finance and oil have played a part in isolating the only sliver of democracy in the middle east. Nothing has changed

We are pleased to present you with this 74 minute film in nine parts. 

Do take the time to watch this amazing story~it is as valid now, as the day it was made. History provides us with a great learning opportunity.

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable
must Man be of learning from experience...George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Apples of Gold~Part 1

Apples of Gold~Part 2

Apples of Gold~Part 3

Apples of Gold~Part 4

Apples of Gold~Part 5

Apples of Gold~Part 6

Apples of Gold~Part 7

Apples of Gold~Part 8

Apples of Gold~Part 9

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jerusalem Flash Mob at Mamilla Mall with Hora Jerusalem !

This past weekend David's wife, Adi Gordon Rawlings was asked by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to choreograph a "Flash Mob" in the Mamilla Mall

With her inevitable style, she gathered approximately two hundred Israeli Dancers from Hora Jerusalem ranging in ages from ten to fifty years young. Together they created this amazing performance. The song they are dancing to is called Pitom Kam Adam (At Once Man~Israel~Rises).

Join David and his children as they travel to the Mall and introduce you to Adi just before the fun starts. Finally, watch as these amazing young dancers surprise shoppers in the cafe's, in the square and on the steps. The location is the bottom of the steps, coming down from Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

This is the real Israel~up close and personal. Enjoy...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Remembering The Past~Shaping The Future

Last year, Israel Vision created this short film. Yad Vashem is well known for it's meticulous preservation of history. 

What you may not know, is that in 2006, CFYV (Christian Friends of Yad Vashem was established to help raise awareness about the Holocaust...We must never forget...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Help Bring Gilad Shalit Home~Now!

This clip is being used by supporters of Gilad Shalit world wide. Please~Share it with everyone you know.

We Must Bring Gilad Shalit Home~Now!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Video from the Gaza Border~Bring Gilad Shalit Home!

On the 28th of August 2011, David and Daniel traveled to Keren Shalom on the Gaza Border to film an event held to mark Gilad Shalit's 25th birthday.

It has been 1,890 days (more than five years) since he has received even the tiniest communication or sign from his family~and it has been more than two years since his family has received any sign of life from Gilad.

Just ten days ago, the supporters of Gilad Shalit staged a peaceful Hi-jacking of a bus of Gazans returning from a visit to Hamas prisoners in Israel jail.

Trucks of Goods Crossing into Gaza

Standing at the border crossing one sees the trucks arriving from within Israel to provide the citizens of Gaza with food and basic commodities, children's games and electrical goods and more. On this day there were truck loads of cement as well.

Gilad Shalit does not enjoy even the basic conditions demanded for any captive, in accordance with the Geneva Convention. He receives no visits, letters and no contact whatsoever with the outside world.

Hamas Prisoners in Israeli Jail
Gilad Shalit is held captive in inhuman conditions, while his family lives without any knowledge of his physical or emotional state. In stark contrast the State of Israel allows Palestinian/Hamas prisoners to receive visitors, letters, study for degrees and many other benefits. The picture to the left was posted from an Israeli jail by Hamas terror prisoners~to Facebook!.  

Need We Say More?

The purpose of this protest is to ask for reciprocation between the treatment of Gilad Shalit and that enjoyed by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

*It Should be Noted:
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by terrorists who infiltrated into Israel, killed two soldiers and wounded four others. Gilad was Not a criminal, whereas the prisoners held in Israeli jails have been convicted of terror attacks and murder of Israeli citizens.

Statement to the Citizens of Gaza:   (Hebrew and English follow the video)
As citizens of Israel we strive to live in peace with you. Even at this time when the region is far from quiet, we are hopeful that, one day, peace will arrive and we will be able to live side by side with you, as good neighbors, in mutual respect that will lead to mutual prosperity in our region.

We call on you, the residents of Gaza, to do the right, and human thing, and to work to correct this terrible injustice and to help return Gilad Shalit to his parents.

Bring Galid Shalit Home !

Letter To People of Gaza in Arabic and Hebrew

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Tentifada in Israel~Is this a Jewish Summer?

The Protest Tour (A to E)
The week before the attacks on southern Israel, my brother Daniel and I decided to visit the various protest sites around the country. We left Jerusalem (A), early in the morning. Our first stop was in Be'er Sheva (B), located on the northern edge of the Negev desert, 115 kilometres south-east of Tel Aviv and 120 kilometres south-west of Jerusalem

Be'er Sheva Tents
Initially, there was a local population of refugees forced to flee from the Arab countries. The town grew when the Russian immigrants came to Israel. Finally, In 1982, when Israel airlifted a large part of the Ethiopian community to Israel, many were settled in Be'er Sheva. Add to this an assortment of native Israelis and immigrants from around the world and you have the general population that today, numbers about 195,000.

The protesters in Be'er Sheva, like the rest of the country have real concerns about being able to afford a basic existence. For some, the thought of buying an apartment will never be an option, while for others the concern is whether they could afford any kind of a roof over their heads at all. Make no mistake, their issues are very real, as is their desire to have meaningful dialogue towards finding a solution to these problems.

After speaking to some of the tent city residents, we headed off to the bustling city of Tel Aviv (C).

With a population of about 404,000 Tel Aviv is second only to Jerusalem in size. Located on the sea,  and boasting high-rises, big business and hi-tech, Tel Aviv tends to attract the secular section of the population, and is considered (by some) to be the New York of the Middle-East.

Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv
The protesters chose one of the poshest areas in the city center~the elite,  Rothschild Boulevard. This is where the protests began and surely where the largest number of tents are to be found anywhere in Israel.

It is no surprise that the residents, who are living in some of Israel's most expensive real estate, were less than enthusiastic to see a "tent city" spring up in their front yard, complete with kitchens and porta-potties!

Just like in Be'er Sheva, the people the people I spoke with  had varied, yet similar reasons for their "tent city". 

One man mused that people had become "bored with life"...You are born~you die~and unless you are a genius there is nothing in between.

In the Streets of Tel Aviv
The people who came out to protest and live in the tents, varied in age. Many were young adults who were struggling to find their way through the education system in hopes of building a future.

High university fees and sky rocketing rents, combined with an almost complete lack of available housing is their main concern. Add to that a wage system that has remained stagnant while  prices continue to rise, and you have the problem.

But, it is not only the young who are out in force! 

Everyone is Participating!
Those who are well past middle age see little hope of ever retiring~even with the most modest lifestyle.

For years salaries have stayed unreasonably low, while the cost of living has risen at a frightening pace. This combination means that many are forced to work well into their seventies (or until they die), with no chance of a reprieve~They cannot afford to stop working!

This is not a sudden phenomenon, rather, it has been brewing for years, until finally, the  middle class citizens of Israel decided to take to the streets. Some claim that the Arab Spring spreading throughout the middle east was a catalyst, but there is a big difference between Israel and the Arab protests. Israel is a peaceful, democratic state, whose citizens are free to select their government via voting. Israel's protesters want a peaceful dialogue that will bring about a reasonable solution. They only ask that the government fulfill promises made over the years.

Kiryat Shmona
From Tel Aviv, our next stop was the northern town of Kiryat Shmona (D), named for the "eight" men who died defending the area during the 1920 Arab revolt. The population is  about 23,100~of which one third are under the age of nineteen.

One young girl told us that she was a student and worked two jobs~yet she had nothing. She reiterated that she was "fine" but only existing. She worried that future children would question why nobody acted to change things for the better.

After a rest stop in the Galilee (E), it was time to head for home and try to digest what was taking place across our country.

Simply put, Israeli wages are abnormally low, and prices unusually high~with the gap widening. The average citizens across the country, work long hours, to barely put food on the table and  have a roof over their heads. Anything more, any future hope, is slim~and for the most, almost impossible.

People need salaries that are in line with the cost of living. The (almost) total lack of affordable living space means that up to 80% of one's earnings  will only pay for a tiny room. There is no hope in this situation!

Yes, there are those with hidden agendas, and some who want a free ride, but the majority of Israelis ask only for a fair wage for an honest days work and the chance to build a future.
It's time...Hopefully the Israeli government is listening.

Protests in Israel~Part 1

Protests in Israel~Part 2

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Elvis Remains King~In Israel...

Here I am With The King!
Take the the Neve Ilan exit off the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv , and there, situated between the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, and the Christian moshav of Yad Hashmona,  is a very unique place. 

That place is The Elvis Inn. You can't miss it because in front of it stands a five meter tall golden statue of the King, that was erected in 1997. This is in addition to the 1989 statue that, at the time, was the worlds tallest at four meters.

Recently I took my brother, Daniel  to pay a visit to this unique cafe. In addition to the video below, we sampled a good old fashioned Elvis Burger.

As a point of interest,  our (other) brother Joshua, helped make the feet of Elvis!

1,728 Picture of The King Cover Every Surface
    I was able to sit down with Amir, son of the owner, Yuri Yoeli to learn more about the beginnings of the Elvis Inn.

Together with his brother Amnon, Yuri purchased what was then a truck stop called the Mountain Inn (Pundak Haharim) in 1974.

Uri Yoeli had always been an Elvis Presley fan. However, when he married, he found his wife did not share his love for the King!

There were two Elvis portraits in his house and his wife declared she would not have them and they must go. Uri took his pictures to his cafe and mounted them by the cash register.

As the story goes, when Uri was in Tel Aviv one day he overheard two cab drivers planning to  meet up at "Elvis". Curious he asked for the location and was surprised to find it was his own cafe they were talking about! 

You Can Sit With Elvis at His Table
From that point on, the cafe became known as the Elvis Inn and the transformation back to the days of rock-n-roll began in earnest.

When you enter the restaurant it is like being transported to the 50's.  Four life-sized Elvis statues are scattered around the premises in various poses, sitting at a table, strumming a guitar, and, in general watching over the place.

The juke box plays non-stop Elvis tunes and as one gazes about you see approximately 1,728 pictures mounted on every available surface~more than half of the photos are gifts from fans and friends around the world.

The food is a mixture of Israeli and American with something for everyone.

Everything in the place is Elvis~from the menus to the souvenirs that you can buy on the way out.

Sugar Packets boast the profile of the Great One~it is very hard to deface one by opening it!
Life Size!
 Even the coffee mugs have a picture guessed it! To this day if you order a hot drink you keep the mug.

...And we made sure to get ours!

The Elvis Inn is a pilgrimage site for many people including some very famous names.

The list of past visitors includes the American 6th fleet, Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Joe Cocker, Sting and of course, a host of Elvis impersonators. 

Elvis Watching Over the Booths
On the anniversary of his birthday (08 January 1935) and his yahrzeit (16 August 1977) Elvis lovers and impersonators from across Israel and abroad, make a pilgrimage to the Elvis Inn to celebrate.

The Inn receives more than 5,000 letters and queries a year from around the world and there are traditions and legends galore!

One such tradition tells of the massive fire of 03 July 1995. When the flames raged through the Jerusalem Corridor, destroying everything in its path,  the Elvis Inn was spared~many fans considered this to be a miracle.

Yes, He Even Monitors the WC!

It has become a tradition for many newlyweds to come to the Elvis Inn to be photographed standing (or sitting) next to the King, 

Rumour even has it that Elvis was a "Shabbos Goy" for his Jewish neighbours when he was young man. He was supportive of Israel, and it is said that his ties remained strong throughout his life.

Next time you are in the area, be sure to drop in for a burger and a bit of nostalgia!

For your pleasure, here is the video from our visit to the Elvis Inn and the story of this amazing landmark and it's humble beginnings, as told to me by Amir Yoeli...Enjoy!