Day 12 - Tel Aviv

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Students spent the majority of the day working on their stories, traveling across the country to get final interviews. But we started the day with a common nickname for Israel: Start-up Nation.

Start-Up Nation Central is a non-profit in Tel Aviv that works to connect multinational companies with Israeli startups. Intel, Oracle, Microsoft, Facebook and Google are some of the companies that have decided what small Israeli firms are producing is worth buying.

Rinat Korbet , macro analyst at Start-Up National Central, talks to Newhouse students about entrepreneurship in Israel.

Rinat Korbet, macro analyst at Start-Up National Central, talks to Newhouse students about entrepreneurship in Israel.

The fact that Israel has no natural resources and the fact we have to defend our lives here and the immigration ... all that together creates something that’s very unique.
— Rinat Korbet, of Start-Up National Central, explaining why entrepreneurship takes off in Israel
 
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassination memorial in downtown Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassination memorial in downtown Tel Aviv.

This photo is a great example of how complicated politics and peace can be in Israel. The memorial marks the spot where former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995. He was pushing ahead with a peace plan with the Palestinians when he died. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think a person from the other side of the negotiating table committed the murder. After all, it’s only with your enemies that you try to broker peace. But it wasn’t. Instead, an Israeli, who believed Rabin was giving away too much to the Palestinians, pulled the trigger and put an end to Rabin’s peace efforts.

People live out on the streets in Tel Aviv. Not only at the beach, but also in town. Fun markets pop up a few days a week. Here’s some of the good food you can get at the Nachalat Binyamin market.

Jerusalem Press Club leader Tal Bouhnik, center, reviews the 10 days in Israel with students.

Jerusalem Press Club leader Tal Bouhnik, center, reviews the 10 days in Israel with students.

We wrapped up the working part of the trip with a discussion on what went well and what could have gone better. The students all wished they’d had more time to work on their stories. Our jam-packed schedule made it difficult to set up and complete interviews. After all, people have jobs to do. Still, the students were hard pressed to think of anything they’d eliminate from the itinerary to make more time for reporting. Moreover, several students said their stories would not have been as good without the perspective they achieved by visiting so many people and places. The conundrum: how to make more time without giving any up.

Newhouse students make it happen. Cameras on the plane, without the camera cases.

Newhouse students make it happen. Cameras on the plane, without the camera cases.

So then it was off to the airport for the crazy flight home:

  • Depart TLV at 0100

  • Arrive IST at 0420

  • Depart IST at 0815

  • Arrive JFK at 1245

And while our flight here was uneventful, the capriciousness of Turkish Airlines (all airlines, really) in enforcing the rules made our trip back more complicated.

For some reason, this time the Turkish Airlines folks decided our camera cases were too big and could not be carried onto the plane. The cameras simply cannot leave our possession, so we pulled them out and carried them on by themselves.

Then Murphy’s Law kicked in. The telescoping handle of one student’s suitcase wouldn’t collapse. The bag wasn’t allowed on the plane unless it did. So the group did its best to try to shove the handle back into the suitcase. In the end, Professor Joel Kaplan figured out a better way: just break the darn thing off. Sure, the suitcase is much more difficult to pull along now, but it got on the plane.

Professor Joel Kaplan holds up the remains of the student suitcase he “fixed.”

Professor Joel Kaplan holds up the remains of the student suitcase he “fixed.”

Some other photos from the day:

Video camera ready for action.

Video camera ready for action.

Looking out at Jaffa, the old part of Tel Aviv. This view resembles Coit Tower in San Francisco.

Looking out at Jaffa, the old part of Tel Aviv. This view resembles Coit Tower in San Francisco.

One last one, before we leave:

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