Don't miss




'No free press in Arab world': Washington Post publishes Khashoggi's last column

Read more


Gay couple speak out on surrogacy: 'It's not about exploiting someone'

Read more


Global competitiveness report ranks African countries

Read more


Brexit: 'The end isn't nigh'

Read more


Where do you draw the line? Brexit deadline summit stumbles over Irish border

Read more


Uighurs and Kazakhs held in re-education camps in China

Read more


Salim Saab: Showcasing the women of the Arab art world

Read more


Irish border remains stumbling block in Brexit talks

Read more


Film show: Capernaum - powerful social drama or poverty porn?

Read more


An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2018-05-18

Beyond the conflict: Reporter's notebook in modern-day Israel

© France 24

Israel regularly makes headlines, but there is more to the country than the conflict with the Palestinians. FRANCE 24 reports from a young but highly developed nation, a holy land for three religions, a country where the most archaic traditions exist alongside the latest trends. As Israel marks its 70th anniversary, Antoine Mariotti and Yoray Liberman bring you this reporter's notebook.

Israel is a small country, geographically speaking. It can be crossed by car in just a few hours. But its landscapes are incredibly diverse -- from the Negev desert, which the Israelis have managed to turn into fertile land despite its climate, to the magnificent panoramas of the north near the Lebanese border.

The first leg of our trip takes us to the Arava, a region located in the Negev desert. In this dusty land, littered with rocks as far as the eye can see, the temperature can reach 50°C. But along the roadside, greenhouses appear. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding prime minister, wanted to make the desert bloom. The first Israelis had to work the land to occupy it and keep it, but also to feed themselves, as Jews arrived from around the world to their promised land. But today, after decades of growth, Israeli agriculture is struggling. Research and development centres have been set up across the country to address the problem. What to grow, and how? In what season? With how much water? These R&D centres test the most outlandish ideas to allow farmers to adapt at the lowest possible cost and face increasingly tough competition from other exporting countries.

The heterogeneous Jewish community

After a three-hour drive, we reach Jerusalem, a historic and obviously religious city. Although Jews and Muslims disagree over the control of holy sites, other divisions exist, even within the Jewish community. Secular and religious Jews do not go to the same schools, but sometimes meet on a football pitch, although they don’t necessarily talk to each other. They are a world apart. NGOs like Tzav Pius are working to bring them together through leisure activities.

>> On Four communities vie for territory in Jerusalem’s Old City

We then head west towards the coast. In less than an hour, pious Jerusalem gives way to festive Tel Aviv. It’s a city that never sleeps, where young people from all over Europe come to have fun. Tel Aviv has also become an internationally recognised hub for start-ups. The young and festive atmosphere feeds into this innovation.

An old-fashioned kibbutz

The fourth stage on our journey is Jisr az-Zarqa, 80 kilometres further north. It’s the only remaining all-Arab city on the coast since the 1948 war. The population is poor and neglected by the authorities. Geneviève, a French woman who made Aliyah to Israel a few years ago, is doing her best to reduce these inequalities. Although Israeli Arabs live much better than Palestinians in the West Bank and of course in Gaza, 50% of them live below the poverty line, far more than the rest of the population.

Our journey ends in the far north of the country. Sasa is a kibbutz that is still run in the old-fashioned way. Most of the other 300 kibbutzes in the country have been privatised and are kibbutzes in name only. In Sasa, people still have dinner together, everyone gives their whole salary to the community, and a company CEO eats the same meal as a gardener. It’s another world that still lives according to radical Socialist ideals, while the country is run by the most right-wing government in its history.

>> On Stateless in Palestine



2018-10-12 Reporters

Reporters: No way home for the Rohingya

Since August 2017, nearly a million Rohingya Muslims have fled a brutal crackdown by the Burmese army. Today, they live in the world’s largest refugee camp in neighbouring...

Read more

2018-10-05 Reporters

Reporters: Living in fear of the militias in Rio

In Rio de Janeiro, dozens of neighbourhoods and favelas are under the control of militias. All of them use terror to control locals and businesses, and resisting them can be...

Read more

2018-02-09 Reporters

Reporters: The ‘missing’ that China keeps silent

Chinese authorities go to great lengths to control society, with forced disappearances becoming the norm. Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, political opponents...

Read more

2018-09-28 Reporters

Reporters: Kailash Satyarthi is on a mission to end child slavery in India

A child disappears every eight minutes in India. In the capital New Delhi, six out of 10 children who go missing are never found. They are called the "lost generation": More than...

Read more

2018-09-21 Reporters

Colombia: Cursed by coca in Catatumbo

While the United Nations on Wednesday announced that Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer, our reporters visited the northeastern region of Catatumbo - one of...

Read more