A lesson on taking video in Tel Aviv

Now for my not-so-fun moment Thursday morning:

I was shooting some “B-roll” filler footage to use in the Fundermentalist videos that will hopefully be up within the next week.

I stood on the promenade next to Tel Aviv’s beach, shooting the ocean, walkers and bikers, to eventually use to give the videos some setting. Along with those shots, I stood on the side of the road next to the promenade, shooting Tel Aviv traffic for three minutes.

As I put my camera back in my bag, an Israeli Secret Service agent stopped me and asked for my passport – and asked what I was videoing. After he made several phone calls, another Secret Service agent showed up.

The two proceeded to interrogate me on the street for a half hour. In my shoddy Hebrew I explained to them the history of JTA, the Fundermentalist, my family’s roots, the UJC, the Lion of Judah, where I was staying, where I was heading, and even made an attempt at explaining “B-roll.” And for every question, they made another phone call back to headquarters, relaying the information. (Yes. I am pretty sure I even heard one of them trying to explain B-roll.)

I later discovered that I was inadvertently shooting video across the street from the U.S. Embassy (so, in other words, if either President Clinton or President Bush had delivered on their promises to move the embassy to Jerualem, this whole mess could have been avoided.

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