The “Muscles from Brussels” may call California home these days, but this week Jean Claude Van Damme is taking in some sun in Tel Aviv.The action-movie star and martial artist is visiting Israel as part of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle’s hi-tech delegation of leaders from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The group visited businesses and start-ups around Israel, including Check Point, a cybersecurity company that is one of Israel’s largest tech corporations.“He was very nice, he asked a lot of questions, he took pictures with everyone – he seems like he’s really interested in cyber,” said a Check Point spokesman on Wednesday.
The group also paid visits to a variety of other businesses in the fields of innovation, emerging technologies and artificial intelligence. Before heading out on his trip, Van Damme posted an old photo of himself in the Holy Land on social media, writing: “I’ll be going to Tel Aviv soon – ready to explore the Start- Up Nation & Innovation Eco-system as part of the Business Circle’s TechFusion Delegation led by the Hon.Warwick Smith AM.”The action star met Smith during a recent trip to Australia and decided to join the delegation to explore Israeli business opportunities.I am honored to be leading the Circle’s visit to Israel over the coming week and delighted that, following a meeting with Jean-Claude in Australia, he is joining our prestigious group of business leaders on this most interesting visit to Israel,” Smith wrote in a statement. “There is no doubt that Israel is one of the most – if not the most – exciting innovation hubs in the world.”Van Damme was most recently in Israel in 2016 on a private vacation, visiting sites around the country. At one point he uploaded a photo of himself outside the walls of the Old City, captioning it “Shalom from Jerusalem, Israel!!” After hundreds of angry comments, the movie star changed the caption to merely read “Hello from Jerusalem!In 2000, Van Damme was in Jerusalem filming The Order, a straight-to-DVD movie about an archeologist whose father goes missing in Israel.The film also starred Charlton Heston and Israel’s Sasson Gabai.