Israel mission day 6 summary

Startup Catalyst’s purpose is cultural transformation – that means taking people to other startup hotspots to immerse them in the local culture to the extent that the participants view of the world is changed. So it was fitting that on the last full day of our mission (a Friday) we had a complete cultural and historical experience. We boarded a bus and headed to Jerusalem on a guide tour.

Although not officially part of the mission schedule – due to the security risk – almost all the participants agreed that we simply had to visit Jerusalem regardless of the risk.

Our first stop was the Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre. It was an incredibly 2.5 hour guided-tour experience. Photos are not allowed inside the centre, but you really must visit and experience it.

After the Holocaust centre, we boarded the bus and headed into Jerusalem for a guided walking tour of the Old City, entering through the Zion Gate, which is still visibly covered in numerous bullet holes from the Israeli assault in May 1948 during the independence war to help to break off the siege of the Jewish quarter.

The Wailing Wall

At the Wailing Wall it was particularly interesting to see almost a hundred riot police stationed there specifically for the period of Friday afternoon prayer. This was because only a few weeks prior (on 14 July) three Arab-Israeli men left the Temple Mount (also known as the Noble Sanctuary), and opened fire on Israeli border police officers stationed near to the Lions’ Gate. Two Israeli border police officers were killed and two more were injured in the attack.

Our crew at the Jaffa Gate. You can see the bullet holes at the top right of the gate.

After our tour and lunch, we boarded the bus for the return trip to Tel Aviv. After a quick break we met up with Omri (the Australian Landing Pad Manager) before heading out to dinner in the historic Old Jaffa.

That wrapped up our last night in Israel after an incredible week.  We will write and share more of the insights and reflections over the coming days.

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