Israel 2015:- Tel Afek (Antipatris)…

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Eileen and I recently visited Yarkon and Tel Afek National Park. The park is about a half hour drive from where we live in Herzliya and is located east of Tel Aviv.

The Ottoman Fortress, Binar Bashi, was built in 1571 on the top of the ancient mound of Tel Afek. A “Tel” is actually a specific archaeological feature which is very common in Israel, a place that has been inhabited by people for thousands and thousands of years. Basically a “Tel” is a mound underneath which lay the ruins of previous settlements that once stood on the same spot.

On the eastern slope of the Tel is the British Mandate pumping station, from which water from the Yarkon spring was once channeled to Jerusalem.

Inside the pumping station in Tel Afek...

Inside the pumping station in Tel Afek…

On our way out of the park we drove past a parking lot outside the Rosh H’Yam railroad station and found this interesting scene…

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Israel continues to surprise me in oh so many ways!

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Israel 2015:- A Surprise Wedding in Yarkon Park…

The wedding party poses for a picture...

The wedding party poses for a picture…

Eileen and I took advantage of a beautiful Shabbat and went for a walk in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. We had walked maybe 200 yards when we came upon this colorful and rare scene in Israel, an Eritrean wedding.

Eritrea is a small country located in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea_(Africa_orthographic_projection).svgIllegal immigration from Africa to Israel which is often also referred to as infiltration by the Israeli media and by Israeli government organizations, refers to the act of African nationals entering Israel in violation of Israeli law. Sound familiar? This illegal immigration began in the second half of the 2000, when a large number of immigrants from Africa entered Israel, mainly through the fenced border between Israel and Egypt. According to the data of the Israeli Interior Ministry, the number of these illegal immigrants amounted to 26,635 people to July 2010,  and over 55,000 in January 2012.  Most of the African immigrants come from Eritrea and the Sudan. They work as laborers, cleaners, and all the other menial jobs that Israelis don’t like to do. They are mostly Christian and Muslim. (In fact, there is only one Jew still living in Eritrea). Currently, the Israeli government is attempting to deport them.

As for the wedding, Eileen has been living in Israel since 1971 and has NEVER seen anything like this. Their clothing and jewelry were beautiful and obviously expensive and Eritreans in Israel are poor, poor, and even poorer. So, these folks must have been special. We tried to find out more details but could not.

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When the photo session ended, they headed to their chartered bus and limo to points unknown. But, before getting on the bus they broke into a spontaneous dance on the bike path. You can see part of the dancing at:

What a nice day to be in Israel!

 

Israel 2015:- The Shuk in Netanya…

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Eileen and I visit the city of Netanya regularly. We like to walk on the beach of the Mediterranean or on the promenades and walking paths that traverse the top of the cliffs over looking the sea.

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A friend of ours recommended a Tripoliton  restaurant in the city and said it was located outside the shuk (market). Eileen did not know about the shuk and I certainly didn’t, so we returned to Netanya earlier this week to try the food and stroll the market.

The Netanya Market opened in 1957 by Jewish immigrants from North Africa and today it offers fruits, vegetables and meat, all kinds of customers and especially a pleasant and free atmosphere. Beyond these, the Netanya Market includes quite a few stands and stores that offer spices, as well as lovely delis that specialize in everything which the Netanya Market costumers could want: North African, Russian or French delicatessen. Along with the North African population (many from Tripoli), there is a large Russian and Jewish population.

Below are some random images of some the scenes in the market and on the surrounding streets.

(Reminder: click on any image for full screen viewing…)