Rabbinical authorities try and silence gospel message on Israeli TV

Walla HQ in Tel Aviv – pray for more courage for journalists & bosses there

Ultra orthodox Jewish Rabbinic authority groups try to silence the gospel from being talked about on secular Israeli television and media channel Walla.co.il

http://oneforisrael.org/blog/421-one-for-israel-s-statement-messianic-jews-on-walla-news

Maybe from trying to keep this information away from the general Israeli public, this will only cause people to be curious and cause what’s known in the media world as a Streissand effect

Please, don’t use this announcement to hate the Ultra Orthodox, as they are loved by the Lord but blinded by artificial religious structure.  For believers in Jesus/Yeshua we have non-earthly tools at our disposal to petition the Lord to get the gospel message to be unavoidable in Israel and everywhere else.  Pray!!

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Support Jews and Arabs in Israel, buy Coca cola!!

One of the common announcements by the BDS Crowd (thats Boycott, Divestment and Sanction)   is to rally around to get people to cease doing business with Israel to ‘stop the occupation’

Its funny that the word ‘occupation’ seeing as Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria for thousands of years, places like Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, Shiloh, etc have Hebrew names and and well known in the bible and real history books.

One of the favourite targets for the BDS movement is Coca Cola being ‘Zionist company’  Some more interesting hoaxes against the Coca Cola company http://www.coca-colacompany.com/contact-us/coca-cola-rumors-facts

This is an interesting idea, and actually not buying Coca Cola actually hurts Arab people and Palestinian people, here’s why:

P1060640I went to the Arab convenience store near my house here in the southern most tip of Jerusalem.   Here is what I bought:-

This Can of Coke is in Hebrew, and its made in Benei Barak, a Jewish city outside of Tel Aviv that has a mostly Ultra Orthodox community.  Its certified Kosher too.  Coca Cola also make soda in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.   However I couldn’t buy this from this shop, but there are other Arabic labeled products from other Palestinian cities.    A company called United Beverage company in Ramallah are licenced to make Coke for Arabic speaking people in this region.

Here’s their official web site of the National Beverage Company who are licenced to sell Coca Cola for Arabic speaking customers:- http://www.nbc-pal.com/

Here below is the Hebrew canning operation of the Coca Cola factory which is on the side of a big motorway, rather use my own photos, I nicked this off of google.

P1060642-001

This can of Pepsi is in Arabic and marked as for sale to the West Bank and Gaza market, – but – its made in Greece!!

Coke and Pepsi seem to often alternate between using 330ml cans in the tall skinny type or fatter traditional ones.  I’m not quite sure why.

These boycott lists of so called ways to help Palestinian people are always unfair and inaccurate, and often use any kind layoff from the financial changes in the last year as a so call ‘win’ for the BDS movement.   The BDS movement’s goals are based on malice towards Israel and not towards positive ways to help Arab people anywhere.  A better way to help Palestinian people would be to maybe manufacture and market the popular Arabic drink Sahalab to UK and western nations, particularly maybe sell it in Arab and Asian restaurants in Europe.

 

Microsoft Next event in Tel Aviv

Work has been super busy lately, have had to deal with numerous server and database crashes, and have got worn out from extra hours, stress and personal troubles as well.

At the beginning of November I went to Tel Aviv to a Microsoft Next event in Tel Aviv.   I missed out going to this last time as I had the choice of this or an event at church.   I wanted to do both, but I ended up going to a worship event.

Anyway getting a bus to Tel Aviv, I actually got dropped off in a different bus station than the usual gigantic one which reminds me of David Bowie’s Labyrinth movie.   This one I think was intended for students at the nearby university.

Actually, don’t think I have ever seen IT products on Jerusalem bus shelters, but these Microsoft ads in Tel Aviv seemed well timed for this particular event it seemed.

Fearing I had left too late and wasted the morning, I was pleasantly surprised to be very early actually.    Too early in fact, so I got breakfast at a coffee shop for 36 Shekels, sat in ear shot of some American IT people chatting about plans for their own corporate network.

The emphasis of this event was on the new Windows 8 operating system as well as Windows RT and Surface which are touch driven tablet computers.

Tablet computers I find hard to excited about, even though they are buzzword at the moment.   I need to have a bit more play with the spare iPad at my work, but generally I find iPads and all tablets unappealing, the screen always tilts the wrong direction, and having it propped up with a special leather case always looks a tad ridiculous, as well as their higher cost than a low end Windows laptop with small amount of physical computing power and local storage.  The iPad has no SD slot or USB ports, so editing camera photos isn’t possible on the move, and is reliant on iTunes to communicate with a grown-up computer, not manageable in a large business environment.

The other thing they seem extremely unergonomic to work with.   The screen is highly reflective, and many people in Israel like to use their computers outside which is hard with bright sunlight without a way to pivot the display to the right angle, and seems like a way to easily get neck, back or wrist pain when using them in any kind of posture for a length of time.

Yes, I’m old fashioned for preferring a more established model of computing (desktop or laptop) and I need to stop being a dinosaur and get with the social media luvvie types who rave about tablet computers, and how a tablet interface should control everything even your toaster.    Tweet this piece of bread to Stephen Fry anyone?

After getting in this tent before you can go in the big boat house which is Tel Aviv’s coast, I realised to my horror you were supposed to be prebooked, the web site didn’t make it clear this event needed prior registration, which I never did and closed a week before the event started.

Drat.   Bummer.   Rats.

Windows 8.   I had a brief play with this, as well as I have Windows Server 2012 on my HP Microserver.   That Metro interface which Microsoft tries to keep the name more discreet thinking it got a bad reputation.

Trying to control your computer without start is highly confusing for both experienced IT professionals and people who only use computers domestically.   Even find shutdown is darn impossible without looking at documentation or a a Google search.    Other things like invoking a ‘Run’ command to do a DOS command, and many basic features, feel completely alien and unnatural.

Nevertheless, many people are claiming, “just embrace it and get used to it and you will like it!” to switching from icons and start button layout that’s been around between Windows 95 and 7.   I would like to see tiles of my browser favourites rather a text list at some point soon.

In my job I have to give users training of how to use the computers as tools to do their jobs, and can’t really see big companies taking this seriously.

Small, medium and large businesses want some degree of familiarity for users without too much retraining, and I just can’t see regular office workers wanting to work in this style.    I would be in favour of replacing the mouse with a larger touch pad, which Apple brought out for desktop Macs but doesn’t seem that popular so far.    Hey Belkin and Logitech, why haven’t you brought a product like this for both Windows and Mac?

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platforms still seems dwarfed by iPhone, Android and Blackberry, and with their lack of recent success it hard to see Windows 8 as a desktop environment and its  current Windows Phone counterpart appears to have never reached Israel, seeing as iPhone arrived much later but now is extremely successful even considering it may be as much as 200-300 shekels a month for 2-3 year commitment.

I need to roll out at least another 12 new PCs to replace flakey and old equipment at my work over the next 12 months, so I will be sticking with Windows 7 which is just fine thanks.

6. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Odd ball shops

Interesting shops in Tel Aviv.

Yes this is Pork!!

And prawns!

Some things are kosher though

A humous restaurant is pretending to be a synagogue!

Vintage gear.

Although Yaffo down the road is a bit different:

These are Jaffa’s famous second hand markets.  I like trawling through car boot sales but there was nothing interesting here that day.   Although they forgot to bring stuff in, and several TVs were left out in the rain.

1. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – coastal city of oranges

2. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Graffiti and wall art

3. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Whales and hovering trees

4. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Independence day and a concrete stable

5. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Rabin

6. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Odd ball shops

5. Jaffa/Tel Aviv Yitzhak Rabin

This is the place where Yitzak Rabin was murdered in 1995,

I didn’t realise it was right outside the government offices in Tel Aviv.

This monument looks like a pond without water.

Grafitti seem to be from people sharing their feelings from the tragic loss of leader seventeen years ago.

1. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – coastal city of oranges

2. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Graffiti and wall art

3. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Whales and hovering trees

4. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Independence day and a concrete stable

5. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Rabin

6. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Odd ball shops

 

Flight purchase blues

Ordering flights online isnt usually too bad of an experience, just this week its be fraught with gremlins 😦

I am trying to get some plane tickets to go home and see family, lately I have been disappointed at airline web sites.  I avoided using Easyjet this time make a quick journey back to my house rather than go to Luton, I am using them to go back as I need to visit Wales on the way back to Israel.

First is Jetairway an airline I am not familiar with but wrote about their new route between Liege, Belgium and Tel Aviv, I bought my ticket, then Google Chrome came up with an odd error message towards at the end of the purchase that some parts of the web site are missing and asked if I want to display the non-secure parts.   I clicked yes.   It then took me back to the first stage all over again!!    Thinking I had not had my payment go through, I did it all over again and then realised I had bought two tickets.   I regret not hitting ‘printscreen’ and getting a shot of this error now to prove this issue.

My fears were confirmed by this message I had a short while later,

Later I called up and was told nothing could be done by phone and I would need to email back, responding back to this specifically, which I thought was an automated generic response.

I got this message.

Ok, I got my funds back, but “contrary to your claim”???? the tone of the email lacks any kind of empathy or customer service and forces me that its my fault and not a technical issue with the site 😦     It doesn’t make me think about using this airline again afraid.    Wouldn’t of hurt to have a spell checker as well!!

As they have my name and title, its normally common courtesy to refer to me to as “Dear Mr Hayward” I think, and give the name of the person dealing with the complaint, you know, those usual business type traditions that show respect.

I looked at another airline Flybe to get the 2nd leg of my journey, to go from Brussels to Southampton.   I wasnt sure if this combination was possible.   Rather than a simple message why, when clicking on this link….

I was choosing different options between using Eurostar between Belgium and the UK, or flying.

So when ordering a ticket to go from Brussels to Southampton, I got this this rather oversized blue screen which means I have to scroll down to see Belgian airports that is inconsistent and vague to the user’s simple request to find out if he can go that combination of cities to fly is possible.

So why is it asking me to go flippin’ Dubrovnik?? (which is in Croatia)

Its most annoying that airlines don’t provide a simple method of seeing which combination of cities are possible, and this blue window has the bottom cut off, as the web seems poorly thought out.

Eastern Airlines could take me from Brussels to Southampton but at nearly £200.  Hmm.

I looked at one of the ‘best price’ type sites called ‘cheap flights’, with some odd results:

In other words, you have to use a German site, even I am using this on a computer in my flat in Israel!!    I guess the web site made a guess at my IP address and tried to give a page better for my location but got it totally wrong!

So next trying Eurostar….

Heres the ticket I wanted…..

Payment declined, oh man…

I called my bank who told me theres nothing wrong with the payment method, I called Eurostar to be told I could buy the leg of the trip that goes from Brussels to London, but not the bit for going home, I got on the phone to Eurostar’s customer support, with a nice friendly chap called Peter said it was simple to get Brussels to London bit booked.   I was told ring someone called ‘Bob’ who could give me an explanation for the rest of of the journey, which was largely unknown why this part wasn’t possible to order online or on the phone (engineering works or something maybe)

Later I got this email….

This below also seems like a poor job of doing the emails out to customers as it seems some part of the formatting or any logos and branding are all messed up.  Might be Gmail sometimes screws this up a bit, something that ought to be tested given how popular Gmail is.

Should say “we¿re sorry for these grammatical problems as well!”

I don’t want to put people off booking journeys online as it still is the best form of commerce the internet does best at, but I hope these odd problems could get notice but the airline and railway PR people maybe.

Does anyone want to hire me to test usability on your airline’s retail system from a customer perspective?   Whether you offer a free flight or a financial payment, I could do with something like this to help me with the big costs associated with travelling for the volunteer work I do.   Feel free to contact me on jp.hayward A T gmail.com


Jaffa/Tel Aviv – 4. Independence day and a concrete stable

Whats this building?

Looks like something dull like a tax office or something, but actually this unassuming building in Tel Aviv is where Israel was declared a nation 64 years ago today!   I was here in February when it was cold and windy though.

 

Apart from closely looking at these plaques on the walls, you probably wouldn’t know.

The bible gives a prophecy about plans for the founding of the 1948 modern day state of Israel, about ~1,878 years after the Jewish people were spread to all corners of the world.

Isaiah 66: 8 Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this?
Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.
9 Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD.
“Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.

Its odd than this concrete looking place with tiny windows was a meeting place for the government of a fledgling nation, but then again our Lord Jesus was born in stable,  so from utilitarian places, great things can be developed.  I didn’t see what this building’s current purpose is now or if you can visit.

1. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – coastal city of oranges

2. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Graffiti and wall art

3. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Whales and hovering trees

4. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Independence day and a concrete stable

5. Jaffa/Tel Aviv – Yitzhak Rabin

 

Jaffa – 2. Tel Aviv and Jaffa graffiti and wall art

My youth hostel I stayed at has this amazing view from the roof, it has middle east charm in its main lounge, with the added bonus of a kitchen on the roof which you can just wander out onto and see all around both the sea and the odd mix of where Jaffa meets Tel Aviv.

You often tend to see a lot of graffiti in Israel, in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Russian, often meaningless, sometimes about the obvious political challenges, and a few not so well known ones.

Often there is a big sense of irony in some of these, and to be honest the only way to stop it is to make a wall a canvas for a legit idea before someone else does from a criminal point of view.

Some of these street art designs are pretty huge efforts!

Not always limited to public places, this tree outside someone’s house, and a torah scroll held up by some hands coming out of the wall, and a garage door with what’s behind it painted on is a neat touch.

This mural brightens up this Arab district of Jaffa very nicely.

This is the weirdest I think, an outdoor project by someone, this is another mock of the Last Supper next to the sea front, with a pile of broken TVs and a Land Rover.   The Hebrew pink writing I can read as Dod Morr (Uncle Morr)   Im sure some arty person will tell me its not bad taste but meant to be ironic or something… hmmmm

These Japanese style cartoon imagery gives this old factory a bit of an interesting twist.

Next: tributes to Jonah and strange levitating plants…

1. Jaffa – coastal city of oranges

2. Jaffa – Tel Aviv & Jaffa graffiti and wall art

3. Jaffa – Whales and hovering trees

 

Premium priced motorway lanes between Jerusalem and Tel aviv?

I was helping out at a robotics event in Tel Aviv that encourages youth in learning technology and engineering.

Leaving the house early, we took this motorway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, I spotted something odd on this highway I have not seen this before.

It’s a little hard to make it out maybe, but it would appear you have to pay extra to use this fast lane, just in case owning and running a car isn’t hurting your pocket enough.  There are already toll roads in some parts of Israel too.

When you take a trip on a train or get a flight, you have the option of paying a bit (actually quite a lot) more to get a better seat, or nicer food, etc, it seems that this business model is now planned for motorists as well maybe?

Back in the UK, I remember the government did an experimental idea to make certain lanes only usable for cars with two or more passengers, this would be a better idea to keep traffic down and get people to share cars, rather than have premium prices lanes I think.

British rock stars tour in Israel, this time its Peter Hook of New Order

Hat tip to IGoogledIsrael blog: Darn it!! Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order/Monaco fame did a gig in Tel Aviv, I am annoyed I didn’t know about this earlier!

http://igoogledisrael.com/2011/11/peter-hook-live-in-tel-aviv/

I saw Hooky play in ‘Monaco‘ at the Wedgewood Rooms in my home city of Portsmouth in 1996 🙂

Its good thats hes back playing again, the last I heard after playing in different turns in both New Order and Monaco was that hes started a new venture called Freebass, a band with three bass players, I guess this didn’t work out and now he has a different band again.   Respect to him to dodge any political pressures from Israel-haters which are all over the internet.   I think need to scour Amazon for cheap used CDs to fill the gaps in my collection now.

Respect to Ashley (British chap) who runs IGoogledIsrael for his great mostly political-free site to music, entertainment and fun stuff that Israel has to offer.

Would of liked to go this gig.   Oh well.   I am going to see Hebrew/French speaking violinist reggae artist Michael Greilsammer play at the Yellow Sub in Jerusalem on Saturday with my good friend and fellow blogger Teddy Chadwick, I can’t wait 🙂