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Gay Tel Aviv

Azrieli Center:

One of the best views in Tel Aviv is from the iconic Azrieli Center. Since its opening in 1999, the unique complex with its three geometrical skyscrapers has become a city symbol and a definite center of urban life. There’s great shopping in the mall on the lower levels, as well as several movie theatres. The observation deck on the 49th floor offers unparalleled views of the city. The promoters say that on a clear day you can see to Haifa. There’s also a very chi-chi restaurant on the top floor with 360 degree views.


Tel Aviv boasts some of Israel’s best beaches and the scene is bustling with sun seekers, thumping Brazilian drums, and merchants hawking tasty bites. Gays converge on Hilton Beach overlooked by the Hilton Hotel, or at the distant Ga’ash nude beach. Ga’ash is just about the only nude beach in Israel and purposely secluded. It’s about 22 miles north of Tel Aviv – you’ll have to rent a car or take a taxi to reach it but it’s worth the trip for that all-over tan (yours or someone else’s).

Kobi Israel:

"The thin line between homo-social and homo-erotic in army life can be so confusing and torturous for a gay soldier. Soldiers hug and kiss each other, say "I love you brother" to each other, sleep together - sometimes lean on each others' chests, sometimes share a tiny mattress, have communal showers where they play "boy games" like throwing water and soap on each other, sometimes share a hot shower, sometimes masturbate together."



My work is autobiographical and references the self and identity. I use the medium of photography as a way of recording experiences, capturing moments from my everyday life to draw on physical, mental and emotional levels. I use these fragments as a self reflective diary; a way of archiving my own identity and my environment.

In my first series of photographs, I recreated scenes from my days as a soldier in the Israeli army. This series entitled ‘Views’ addresses the fine line that divides the homo-social and the homo-erotic aspects of lives of soldiers in the army. These images depict soldiers living their lives in their brotherly proximity to each other and hinted at the tensions and desires that may have existed between these young men, as they had for me during my youth in the army.

Another series from this period is entitled ‘Fragments of Life’, a series of staged images where I lead the viewer into a world of memory, conflict and trapped emotion which I experienced as an adolescent growing up in a deeply conservative and religious society.

- Kobi Israel from his website
Old Jaffa:

The old city of Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world. The city played a central role in the ancient world and persists in the mythology of the region. It’s from the port of Jaffa that Jonah set sail before being devoured by a big fish and it’s also where Andromeda was to be sacrificed to a sea monster before Perseus rescued her (you can visit the rock she’s supposed to have been tied to). The entire area is brimming with history. Highlights include: Wishing Bridge, where legend says if you touch your zodiac sign and face the sea, your wish will come true; Clock Square, built in 1906 to honor Sultan Abdul Hamid II; and the 3500-year-old Egyptian gates and other archaeological finds at Jaffa Hill.

Rabin Square:

This vibrant public square, the largest in Israel, is a hot spot for public demonstrations. The 1982 and 1995 peace support demonstrations were held here and it was in the square that pro-peace Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli radical. The square was renamed from Kings of Israel square in his honor and there’s a small memorial to him on the spot where he was slain. Graffiti that was painted by mourners has been preserved on one of the walls.

White City:
Pin 2Bauhaus Center (Dizengoff 99)

Tel Aviv was honored with a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2003 for its White City, a collection of more than 4000 Bauhaus/International style buildings dating to the 1930s, more than any other city in the world. The buildings were designed and built by German Jewish architects who came to Tel Aviv to escape the rise of the Nazis, right at the time that the major settlement of Tel Aviv was taking place. Fans of Bauhaus architecture will notice that the style has been adapted to meet local needs: Buildings are painted white to reflect the heat (hence the name), windows are smaller to let in less sunlight and heat, buildings are raised on pillars to give children a play area underneath, and garden patches run near each building to give residents an opportunity to plant their own vegetables.
You can learn more about the White City at the Bauhaus Center, a museum that also offers tours of the White City.