Israel in a day – Chapter 1

In the Sabra way  (The Sabra way – around the world in just a week, and Israel in a day)

Moti the Naughty and freinds

Moti the Naughty and freinds

by Moti Barness a true Sabra 

A Tour Guide and Tour Car operator

Chapter 1 – Driving out of Tel Aviv

Good morning Mr. Sam, I’m Moti your guide for today, I’m waiting at the reception, ready whenever you are ready. Those are my first words each day when I’m coming to pickup my clients for a tour, normally from a hotel on Tel Aviv shore line.

I like to start early, the traffic from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is bad and the 60 km can take 2 hours! So I like to start early, as early as possible and 7 am is perfect time.

We’ll be down in 10 minutes, is the normal answer and I know that now it is the time to visit the bathroom, or maybe a quick espresso and staring to the Mediterranean horizon, few minutes that are all mine. It takes me about 1½ hour driving to the hotel from my home at Mevaseret Zion at the outskirt of Jerusalem, during this time I do all the planning necessary for the day.

Tel Jaffa

Tel Jaffa – the best observation on Tel Aviv shore line.

My clients are  2 parents in their sixties and their 35 years old daughter recently divorced and her son 11 years old. When I know the ages and the gender it is very easy for me to spot them when they come outh, though because I send my picture to my clients they know exactly how I look and some time they see me first.

Shalom Moti I’m Sam Cohen and this is my grandson Jack, the ladies will come down in few minutes, you know ladies always need few more minutes, no problem! This is my routine answer. I’m going to bring the car to the front and I’ll wait in the car.  In few minutes we are all in the car and the day start.

Shalom I’m Moti your driver and guide for the day, known by all as “Moti the naughty”. It is me that added the title naughty to myself, for many reasons which you are going to discover during the day.  At first sight nobody think I’m qualify to the title “naughty” with my roundish figure, glasses, nerd look, brown side parting hair, uniform dress light blue shirt with a roller Parker pen in the shirt pocket, and safari style khaki trousers with many big pockets full with too much stuff, and finally my big canvas Australian Barmah  hat which in Israel is almost an ID for a tour guide, but really the best hat for a sunny country like Israel.

Immediately I start doing my job as a story teller and a driver while we drive along side Tel Aviv golden beaches.

Today we are going to cross the country from west to east, but do not worry, it is only 100 km ride from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea  or 85km by air, the size of Israel like New Jersey only 20 square kilometers about 8,000 sq miles.

Today I’m going to tell you 2 main stories the first along our way to Jerusalem is about the miracle call Israel and the second is the ancient history of the Israelites and the founding of monotheistic religions.

Now in our way to Jerusalem we start with the rebirth of Israel or the miracle called Israel. Israel was born thank to a vision of 1 man name Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement. What is Zionism all about?

But before I continue please look at the beautiful sandy beaches of Tel Aviv, did you knew that all those golden grain of sand comes from central Africa thousands of kilometers away. The tropical rain erodes the African mountains and washes it into the Nile River which carries it all the way to the Mediterranean, to the delta of Alexandria, and then the sea currents carry the sand to the eastern beaches of the Mediterranean where the waves and the wind wash it on the land. Since the Egyptians build the Aswan Dam only very little of new sand is still coming. Because of that Tel Aviv beaches where ruins and washed to the see till Tel Aviv build special break waters to protect the beaches. Today there are plans to build an airport on an Island in the Sea and maybe in our life we are going to see it.

Herzl was no doubt a Jew and from a very young age his Jewish identity and the conflict with local Christians in his neighborhood made him to think about a solution to the Jewish problem.  Herzl figured that Zionism is a solution to the Jewish problem!

What is Zionism?! First you have to accept that there was a Jewish problem, and we need to find a solution and the solution is to bring the Jews to their homeland, the Holly land!

But before I continue, please have you been to the Hall of Independence and did you visit old Jaffa? No! Ok we are going to that now along our way thank god we started early.

Hassan Bek Mosque

Hassan Bek Mosque

We are now just next to  Hassan Back Mosque build to stop the growing of Tel Aviv 1916 by the Automaton military commander, we are leaving  the shore line into the financial district of Tel Aviv, and I need to run with my story.

The top of the minaret of this mosque became a sharpshooter position immediately after the Arabs refused 29 November 1947 UN special resolution to split Palestine into 3 major sections – more then half to the Arabs to build Palestine, less then half to the Jews to build Israel and Jerusalem and Bethlehem to become international.

The Jews in Tel Aviv and in all Palestine suffer a lot from the Arab attacks on civilian, on the roads, markets anywhere. That was the civil war which ended 14 May 1948 when the British Mandate came to its end and Ben Gurion did the Declaration of independence.

1908 the founders of Tel Aviv split the land between themselves

1908 the founders of Tel Aviv split the land between themselves


It was Friday 4pm 14 May 1948  when Ben Gurion use the Art Museum of Tel Aviv as the assembly hall for the Declaration of Independence, as Jerusalem was under siege and no body could commute out of Jerusalem.

I’m driving under a new “sky scraper” which was build on the first boulevard of Tel Aviv and we all come out next to a small building once was Meier Dizingof, first mayor  of Tel Aviv personal house, he inherit the house to his city as he had no children and the city turn it to an Art Gallery.

Just to let you understand how barren was this area look at the 50 founders of Tel Aviv when they share the empty dune to be their houses, not long ago – 1909.

The "Irgun" Museum,  The underground National Israeli military organisation who released Jaffa from the British and the Arabs.

The “Irgun” Museum, The underground National Israeli military organisation who released Jaffa from the British and the Arabs.

From here short drive to Old Jaffa which is one of the oldest ports in the world, we have archaeological findings from the Pharaohs time almost 4 thousands years ago and on an ancient Egyptian clay document it was mentioned that Jaffa means beautiful.

We climb to the Tel and use this beautiful observation for some pictures.

We climb down to the car, early morning no parking problems and we drive out of Tel Aviv.