Archive for Israel

Documentary Film

Posted in Communication, Israel, Travel with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by Haakon Sengsvoll

Main character Arthur with tefillin
During the winter and spring I am occupied with making a documentary film. The main character of the film, Arthur, is a young Jew who fled together with his family from war in Tajikistan to safety in the USA. Because his family had lived under Soviet Union’s atheistic rule for many years, it resulted in a rather secularized way of life. The film is an investigation of how this young Jew connects with his historical roots and traditions, as he in January this year, traveled to Israel for the very first time in his life. I followed him for this 10-days trip to Israel to document his experiences. The trip was in the Birthright Israel-program or Taglit, which is the Hebrew name for it. The experiences the main character had during this trip profoundly changed his perception of being a Jew, the state of Israel and the concept of Zionism. Continue reading



Posted in Israel, Travel with tags , , , , on June 11, 2008 by Haakon Sengsvoll

The word Sabra in Israel has at least three meanings. It is the name of the cactus on the photos, a tank, and native born Israeli Jews. According to Wikipedia, we have that the word is derived from the Hebrew name for the prickly pear cactus, i.e. “tzabar”. The allusion to the native born Israelis is to a tenacious, thorny desert plant with a thick hide that conceals a sweet, softer interior, i.e., rough and masculine on the outside, but delicate and sensitive on the inside. Continue reading

Tzeva Adom!

Posted in Israel, Terrorism with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2008 by Haakon Sengsvoll


When I was in Israel recently, I experienced several Tzeva Adoms or Red Alerts. For me it was kind of a surrealistic experience to hear the loudspeaker voice announce Tzeva Adom! The first time it happened I was on May 29, at the Sderot Communitty Center, where my colleague Jostein Skevik and I were meeting with its director, Avi Sulimany. As people were running for the safe rooms inside, I was more concerned about having my video camera recording. We gathered in the new auditorium and waited for about a minute, but we could not hear any boom, so we went back to the meeting room. Continue reading

Healthy Israeli food

Posted in Israel, Travel with tags , , , , on June 8, 2008 by Haakon Sengsvoll

Yotvata logoIn Israel it is so easy to eat healthy food as there are so many restaurants that serve delicious salads. Not only is the food looking good, but the fruits and vegetables taste so much better as compared to vegetables bought in Norway. I guess that is because the vegetables are allowed to get ripe before the produce is harvested, compared to the imported fruits and vegetables up North in Norway and Scandinavia. Here, the imported produce is harvested before it is ripe, a practice which I believe reduces the richness of taste. Continue reading

Embarrassing position

Posted in Israel, Politics with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2008 by Haakon Sengsvoll

Sometimes I am really embarrassed by the Norwegian Government. This time it was because the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, ran the errand of the Palestinians in last OECD-meeting in Paris.

In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it says that: Continue reading

In Sderot

Posted in Israel with tags , , , , on May 31, 2008 by Haakon Sengsvoll

Right now I am in Israel, visiting Sderot, the city that has experienced 7 years of Palestinian terror attacks by kassam rockets. More than 7000 rockets have fallen into this city, sometimes as much as 40 a day. Many of the children have grown up with the constant presence of the kassam attacks. Continue reading

The al-Dura hoax

Posted in Communication, Islam, Israel, Persecution, Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by Haakon Sengsvoll

France 2The news pictures of the alleged death of Mohammad al-Dura have triggered horrible bloodshed from Palestinians. Philippe Karsenty who have raised his voice against the use of the footage and questioned its authenticity has been subject for persecution in court after he openly criticized the French television station France 2 for broadcasting a lie. Continue reading