Machon Ayalon also known as the "Bullet Factory," which produced 2.1 million bullets in pre-state Israel (aka Mandate Palestine) in the time period between 1945-1948.
Following the mantra of "hiding in plain sight," the plant operated only a few hundred meters from a British army camp.
They utilized a sophisticated web of deception, misniformation, and organizational alignment to keep it clandestine and make it work for 3 years.
It was an inspiring look at a key part of early Israeli history.
As I watched the movie, I was struck by a feeling that I suspect was there but was dormant. One of true admiration at people's abilities to live (and be willing to die) for a cause truly greater than themselves.
The people of Tzophim Aleph who were 18-20 years of age were idealists and were willing to put that belief on the line in the most serious of ways.
In some respects, I think this is the seed of the modern Israeli mentality of being able to cope with the challenges of life...and maintaining that going forward, as the founder generation (see Shimon Peres) dies out and the country continues to grow and prosper.
The tour was intensified in its value by a world-class guide, Sagi, who deserves a major shout-out (will cross post this to their FB page).
A number of people recommended this activity to us very highly and I can see why.
Not only is it exciting and interesting, but it gives you an authentic glimpse into the essence of modern Zionism and the can-do spirit of the pioneers.
I think seeing that...no matter what your purpose is...is inspirational.
I did feel a twinge of pain as I thought about the recent IDF raids on Palestinian gun manufacturing plants, as I am confident there are many who would draw parallels and moral equivalency.
Ah...the complexity of today's Middle East.
Still, a nice additional puzzle piece to our journey through Jewish history.
And a final note....Dinner at the vegetarian paradise in Jerusalem...the Village Green. Pricey, but recommended.