Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted Hollywood action star Chuck Norris in Jerusalem on Wednesday, warmly embracing the 1980s actor and cracking jokes.
"Israel is strong, but it's indestructible now," Netanyahu told a laughing Norris in a filmed meeting.
After the "Walker, Texas Ranger" actor, now 76, introduced the PM to his wife, Gena O'Kelley, Netanyahu unleashed another joke, saying, "I think we can tell our security people to leave, we don't need them anymore."
"Thanks for all that support," Netanyahu told Norris in reference to the actor's appeal two years ago, ahead of the 2015 Israeli national elections, to vote for Netanyahu. Norris had also made an appeal two years prior to that, for the same reasons.
"Oh, believe me, you'll always have my support," responded Norris.
After a bit more banter and introductions to Norris's friends, Netanyahu went in for his third joke, turning to a person off camera and saying, "So we can get rid of everyone, tell them to clear the building, they can go."
Norris and O'Kelley visited the Western Wall on Sunday.
On Saturday, Norris had dinner with former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold at a restaurant in Herzliya.
U.S. label Mill Creek Entertainment has revealed that it is planning to add two new titles to its Blu-ray catalog: Phillip Noyce's action thriller Blind Fury (1989), starring Rutger Hauer, Terry O'Quinn, and Brandon Call, and Michael Miller's action film Silent Rage (1982), starring Chuck Norris, Ron Silver, and Steven Keats. The two releases are expected to arrive on the market later this year.
"Do you know about Chuck Norris jokes?" Gena Norris asks as she greets a visitor to the Norrises' Navasota ranch. "I have one: When Chuck Norris stares at the ground, water surrenders."
Except it's almost - almost - not a joke. Chuck, the star, of course, of "Walker, Texas Ranger," famed martial artist and action-movie actor, and wife Gena are launching their own line of bottled water, called CForce, from water they discovered under their 1,000-acre working cattle ranch.
Some people would call finding the water luck, but the Norrises, who are committed Christians, see the hand of God.
It all started during the last drought. To grow hay to feed their cattle, the ranch needed more water. So they needed a new well. The third hole they drilled hit the water equivalent of Spindletop - 168,000 gallons a day.
"It flooded our property and our neighbor's property," Gena says. "We had to divert it to the Navasota River and have it capped."
A couple of years earlier, the Norrises had hired a marketing firm to explore brand extensions that could help fund their charity, Kickstart Kids. "Lo and behold, water was No. 2," she says.
And here was the water. They prayed on it.
They also hired a hydrogeologist to test the water. He told them the water filtered through rock and clay from the last Ice Age. "It was some of the smoothest water he had ever seen," says Gena, who runs the company while Chuck calls himself a cheerleader. She manages to be businesslike and utterly charming at the same time.
Pretty soon, they'd bought land across the road from the ranch to build a bottling plant and figured out how to lay 7,000 feet of pipe from the ranch to the plant so they can say it's bottled at the source.
"When I saw we were going to start bottling and build a plant, I was thinking 5,000 or 6,000 square feet," Chuck says.
Turned out they needed 43,500 square feet. "Yup, this is a plant, all right," Chuck says.
The company, which now has 15 employees, is a community and family affair. They tapped local contractors to erect the building. The ranch foreman figured out how to put together the assembly lines. The marketing vice president is Tyler Norris, Chuck's nephew. "Nepotism runs in the family," Gena says.
Everybody pitches in. Robert Martinez, the director of fulfillment and customer service, has, of course, a degree in business administration. "I remind myself of that when I'm driving the forklift," he says.
As president of the company, they hired Jeff Parker, a 29-year coach and English teacher from Millsap, who had his own water company. He says he was impressed by the company's values: transparency and honesty.
Gena even bought the office furniture from another woman-owned firm in College Station.
The way the Norrises see it, God keeps putting remarkable situations in their path. Like the water itself, for one thing. It's naturally alkaline - a big deal these days - and naturally super-clear. It's also self-renewing: The industry term of art is "recharging."
"It's completely God," Gena says.
One day their pastor called. He had been awakened from the same dream two nights in a row, about the Bible verses of John 7:37-38: "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
In the way In-N-Out Burger incorporates a tiny John 3:16 on its packaging, Gena is thinking of eventually doing the same with these verses, tucking a mention on the label somewhere.
As soon as the plant was built, CForce was able to begin separately bottling for another line of water, Alkaline 88, an arrangement called a "co-pack," giving the company an immediate revenue stream.
One of the ways of keeping costs down is that CForce makes its own bottles. "That cuts the cost in half," Gena says. The assembly line, which can make, fill and label the bottles, looks like something from an OK Go video.
Chuck - Gena calls him Carlos, his real name - and Gena have owned the ranch for many years and have lived full-time in Navasota for six years, along with their 15 1/2-year-old twins, Dakota and Danilee. Like their dad, the twins are martial artists, about to become third-degree black belts.
Kickstart Kids, whose motto is "Character through karate," is dear to Chuck's heart. "We're always looking for avenues for funds for the foundation," he says.
After 15 years as a martial arts teacher, he says, he saw kids transformed both physically and mentally by the discipline. "But what about the millions of kids who can't afford lessons?" he asked.
With a nudge from President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, the program began teaching martial arts to at-risk students in public schools. The first was Houston's M.C. Williams School in 1990. At present, the program is in 56 schools in Texas and has trained 90,000 middle-school-age kids. Now, Chuck says, graduates are circling back to teach in the program.
CForce water already is in convenience stores, and it's scheduled to be in stores such as Randall's and Brookshire Brothers next month, and in HEB in April.
At some point, a Chuck Norris museum will be on the plant property as well.
But the Norrises say their focus is on being responsible corporate citizens and good neighbors, and build close community relations.
The model is just one town away, Gena says. "We want to be to Navasota and Anderson what Blue Bell is to Brenham."