Yup, I’m a Christian Zionist. As such I grow weary of all the hate-propaganda spewed against Israel and Jews. It’s high time you get a glimpse of the great things that are in Israel that seems overlapped by the hate-Israel crowd.
Ari Bussel takes us on a tour trip of Israel that should make Christians and Jews yearn to visit the Holy Land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (and not the land of Ishmael or religion-hating Marxists). Since I am more Gentile than Zionist, I added some links that brought me up to date on understanding. Enjoy the read.
Ari included a huge amount of photos in this submission of which I will post some (sorry – not all) at the end of the tour of Israel.
Around the World without ever leaving Zion Jerusalem
By Ari Bussel
Sent October 4, 2017 11:07 PM
Every time a foreign journalist arrives Israel, he or she ascends to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, to get the official Press ID Card.
For an entire decade, upon my arrival to Israel, I would do exactly that. I never wandered a bit farther than my destination. I particularly avoided the shopping center next to the Government Press Office building, a clear “destination” for locals.
And yet, just around the hill (for Jerusalem is a City on the Hills), is a world unto its own, an oasis “hidden” in the valley, nestled among the hills.
There the world is gathered, and the Bible comes alive.
Much like in Noah’s time that the animals gathered in twos, entire species so they do not get extinct, so nowadays in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
And so it is told in Genesis 7:
Visitors to Israel
The best kept secret of the State of Israel is likely not its nuclear arsenal, as this is always reported by “foreign sources.” Nor is it the ingenuity, creativity and innovation of the Jewish mind, for Israel has long been known as “Startup Nation.” There are other well-kept-secrets, but these are all publicly discussed and the global rumor mill around them works non-stop.
Christian pilgrims arrive in droves to Israel to Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus.
Jews arrive here to celebrate a Bar/Bat-Mitzva (reaching adulthood ceremony for boys/girls), to visit family and friends and to witness the miracle of their homeland. The holiest place in Judaism is the Temple Mount and its visible Western Wall.
Young Jews come here on Birthright-Taglit [Blog Editor: Apparently anti-Zionists (aka Leftists & Muslim Apologists) hate the concept of Birthright Taglit] visit for approximately ten days, to get to know their ancestral home and have fun during this process of discovery.
Europeans come here to bask in the sun.
Anarchists and other “human rights” activists come here to demonstrate against the only true Democracy in the entire region, and they are not interested in trying to help the Syrians, Yazidis, Coptic Egyptians, Kurds, those who oppose the Mullahs in Iran and other persecuted and oppressed minorities throughout the Middle East and Africa. Only against Israel they come to fight; nothing else angers or even concerns them.
There are many who come here to get medical treatment (“medical and dental tourism”) for it is relatively inexpensive.
And many academicians and professionals come here for conferences, on cyber security and water, agriculture and emergency medicine, investment opportunities and commerce.
Perceptions of Israel vs. Reality
Those who arrive and have never been to Israel often think of an ultra-orthodox country like Afghanistan, a military country like North Korea, a desert with camels as the main form of transportation or an Apartheid state like South Africa of yesteryears. We often hear of a “Separation Wall” and other non-sense accusations, which add to one’s wrong perceptions of Israel.
Upon arrival, a miracle is discovered, evolving in front of one’s very eyes. A modern country that breathes history. People of all skin-colors. People of various faiths. Freedoms the likes of which one can find no where else in the world. A skyline resembling (almost) that of New York or Hong Kong. Construction springing upwards everywhere. The most magnificent wonders of nature and a man-made oasis in a region otherwise known for suffering from little or no water, very harsh conditions and very few natural resources.
Modernity, art, culture, history, archeology, fun, sun and water, music, travel – all mix into one amazing experience, with honking (a form of speech / conversation in Israel), little patience, no respect to lines or generally to order or orderly behavior added to spice up the mix. It is never boring in Israel; is it a country that kicks, breathes and acts 24/7.
Unlike many of the Arab countries that stretch over enormous portions of land with black gold underneath, where some of the most wondrous construction projects take place, Israel is different.
Here one finds creativity and innovation, where almost every kid and every senior and everyone in-between is engaged in a startup of some sort. And the “exits” one hears about went from hundreds of millions to $15b (the most recent). The imagination is on fire, everyone dreams of the next big exit.
Beyond putting its fantastic minds to practical uses, Israel is the world being pregnant and having its children running and jumping up and down all around. It is the most amazing picture to see and experience, for children here are safe, they are raised on the value of the sanctity of life and being a light unto the nations, of doing good, of not recognizing evil.
Children here are color-blind. They do not differentiate one from the other based on one’s skin color, ethnicity or cultural background. After two thousand years of forced absence, Israelis laugh at the so-called “differences” indicating countries of origin (Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Poland, Hungary, …). They are all one – indistinguishable family – Israelis!
And children here, out of necessity, all go into the military, where rich and poor alike are treated equally, these and other differences stripped away and just the person remaining, with traits and values (either already acquired or needed to be learned and implemented). They learn to serve and protect, and they become productive members of society.
It is only here in Israel that bad and evil (constant terrorism attacks and the threat of annihilation) is turned into something else, that out of grief and sorrow new branches sprout with ever-growing intensity and strength of being.
It is the home of the Jewish people, the only country in the world that is truly theirs. Here, in the Land of Israel.
Every year, hundreds of millions of (estimates are at half a billion) birds migrate via Israel’s skies. They do so twice a year, in the Fall to escape the cold in Europe and Asia as they migrate south to Africa, and then in the Spring, as they return northward to their countries of origin.
Many just fly overhead on their way. Others stop for a rest and recharge. Some will stay here several months, either during the winter or during the summer, they like the accommodations so much they actually come back!
In short, Israel is the hub for bird migration, a phenomenon so unique in the world there is only one other place like it – Panama. In Israel three continents meet, Asia, Europe and Africa, whereas in Panama the two Americas.
Flocks traveling together may number in the thousands or even tens of thousands (actually observed), and they add up to convoys numbering hundreds of thousands.
Several years ago, the Ministry of Tourism had invited foreign journalists stationed in Israel to view the migration of the cranes and the Hula Valley “Agamon” tourism park, a world-famous bird-watching site.
Israel is indeed famous for bird-watching and the twice-annual migration of birds, but yet, we are about to discover a secret only few know.
The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
So imagine my surprise when I discovered the members of the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem. I did not expect to meet male Asian elephants (a gift from Thailand), Asiatic lions, Syrian brown bears, red pandas, chimpanzees, entire types of monkeys, penguins, giraffes, zebras, hippopotamuses, parrots, birds of prey, deer and tigers, cheetahs, ostriches, Nile crocodile, and so many more animals.
One can see them in their natural “habitats.” One can see them being fed, or just read the menu of what they eat each day. One can take the trolley (warning: no space, there are so many kids), or just walk around. The hustle and bustle of the city around disappear, and one journeys to Africa or “Down Under,” to the Amazons or to the Sahara desert. In fact, I realized that I can now “travel” to Africa and still continue to donate blood (it is otherwise prohibited, but not if one never leaves Israel!).
The place is so enormous yet manageable. There is so much to see and experience, that one remains breathless. As if the entire world has come here, to Noah’s Ark, to the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, to say “Welcome! Cherish Us! Celebrate with Us! Protect Us!”
Indeed, only in Zion Jerusalem.
So during your next trip, come see Lemur Land, Australian or South American Yard, the West Side Story Exhibit or the Bible Land Wildlife Preserve. You will need a ticket (approximately $12), and you will not regret it. Or, you may want to make a very special repeat, or a first ever, trip to Israel, just for this purpose!
Facts and Figures
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo was originally established in 1940 by Zoology Prof. Aharon Shulov of the Hebrew University. It has since moved several times until it opened in 1993 in its current location.
The Zoo is home to more than 2,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and fish belonging to some 250 species.
The animals at the zoo are native to the land of Israel that are mention in the Bible, many of which have become extinct in the wild, alongside species from all over the world, many of which are endangered.
The zoo is spread over 250 dunks (roughly 62 acres). The route inside is about two kilometers (1.25 miles) long. It is shaded, comfortable and wheelchair-accessible. Benches and water fountains are aplenty.
The zoo is opened seven days a week (although the Zoo Train does not operate on Jewish holidays and Saturdays).
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is administered as a non-profit organization and works in partnership with many conservation groups. It is a partner in global conservation efforts to save endangered species.
Saybrex International, Inc.
345 N. Maple Dr., Suite 277
Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
Ari’s own personal tour guide – Ofir!
Edited by John R. Houk
Links as well as text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
Ari Bussel Bio via Saybrex International
Ari Bussel is Vice President of Operations at Saybrex International, a privately held family business specializing in the distribution of fine wines and spirits. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and has held various positions in the company since 1993.
Prior to joining Saybrex, Mr. Bussel served as First Lieutenant in the Center for Systems Analysis at General Headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces, where he led the implementation of the Logistics War Doctrine in the Computerized Wargame Program.
Mr. Bussel is involved in a variety of philanthropic and civic activities. Mr. Bussel completed the Team Beverly Hills Leadership Program and served on the Environmental Sustainability Topic Committee of the City of Beverly Hills. He was a member of the Steering Committees of former Beverly Hills Mayor MeraLee Goldman and the current Beverly Hills City Treasurer, the Hon. Eliot Finkel. Mr. Bussel also completed and participated in the Community Emergency Response Training Program of the City of Beverly Hills as well as the Crisis Response Team of the Maple Counseling Center.
Mr. Bussel was among the founding members and served on the boards of Gen. Shimon Erem’s Israel Christian Nexus, the Western Region of Friends of Israel Firefighters and the Israel Institute for Alternative Energy Advancement. He completed the Salvin Leadership Program of the Anti-Defamation League.
Mr. Bussel writes regularly. For the past decade, his weekly columns appeared in print in Israel Jewish Life, Shalom LA, Muslim World Today and Israeli Week. Mr. Bussel’s articles appear on numerous websites, including Canada Free Press, Free Republic, NewsBlaze, SlantRight and OpEdNews. He is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club.
Mr. Bussel received a Master of Science in Operations Research from Stanford … READ THE REST