Wednesday 30 December 2009

Blog-log Day 1 - the beach at Tel-Aviv

At first glance this could be any holiday snap taken anywhere - beach, inclement weather, historical features, art galleries, meals out - but somehow its not just anywhere: it's Israel.

The beach is stunning - fine sand, lovely depth, surfers, animal lovers, swimmers and families - all the usual components.

But being Israel there's a significant hesitation in people's voices when they ask 'why holiday there?'

But as you can see a beach is a beach is a beach.

But of course, as we all know it's not quite that simple - Tel Aviv is only 100 years old this year and Israel as a modern state was only founded in 1948. That first year was no simple delcaration of independence - in the days immediately after Israel found itself at war for it's very survival. This monument, on the beach at Tel Aviv, speaks of the role of the Altalena ship.

My short hand version is that the Israeli Government shelled the ship, which was carrying arms and ammunition for Israeli paramilitaries and it was the show of force between the Government (establishing itself) and the paramilitaries not yet incorporated into the mainstream army.

It's all pretty heady stuff and part of the rich tapestry that comes about at the formation of states, however controversial...

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