Israel Ltd.

Mor Loushy, Israel, 2009, color, video, 52'

In recent years, Israel's public relations has left much to be desired. Objections to the Zionist homeland have increased among the Jewish Diaspora all over the world. Israel Ltd. follows three young Jews joining the Israel Experience, a journey to the promised land that around 30,000 non-Israeli Jews took last year. William from Boston is fascinated by the art of warfare, the Israeli flag hangs above the bed of Ilana from New Jersey, while Jack from Toronto is less than enthusiastic about leaving home. These modern-day pilgrims journey by bus past contested borders, through Druze villages, over the Golan Heights, and on to Mount Herzel Cemetery and the Wailing Wall. Military guides describe the sacrifices made and heroic deeds done for the one true fatherland: the Yom Kippur War, the struggle against Hezbollah, and the cultivation of fertile trees in desert soil. These are things every Jew can be proud of, Israeli or not. At the big closing party, the vacationers are encouraged to behave like "true ambassadors" of the state of Israel when they get home. William and Ilana are enthusiastic; Jack, the most circumspect of the three, thinks that countries would be better off with weak armies, because then they are more inclined to make friends. Yet as the time goes by, he becomes more and more overwhelmed with the tour guides war stories -- and in the end becomes the most militaristic Zionist of the three.


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