Tel Aviv / Jerusalem



Anyone been? Might be going next year


My friend just came back. Took lots of photos of graffitti. Not a single Banksy!


'Er indoors went to Jerusalem, apparently the food is excellent and the airport is terrifying. Also if you’ve been to anywhere else in the Middle East there’s a chance they won’t let you in.


yep, but over 20 years ago.

I did end up causing a security alert in Ben Gurion airport though.

Airport security (trying to be reassuring, but not speaking good English):

‘For all we know, you may have bomb in your bag!’

Me, not understanding properly: ‘I have a bomb in my bag???’

Other security guy: ‘YOU HAVE A BOMB IN YOUR BAG???’

guns pointed towards me, RE teacher has to step in to defuse the situation


Boycott Israel, obviously.


I had a similar experience at Sharm el Sheikh when yer man on security thought my car key was a flip knife, although I didn’t quite get a gun shoved in my face


Been Turkey and Egypt. Assume these don’t qualify as ‘Middle East’…?


Best check with their embassy. Someone I lived with at uni wasn’t allowed in because he’d been to Lebanon (which might have just been something they made up because he was a massive twat).


Have gone a few times with work.

Herziliya beach and the beach part of Tel Aviv is amazing. Airport is scary, and don’t go to the old market by yourself, but for the most part it’s fine. Don’t go in midsummer unless you like being somewhere so hot you can’t go outside.


The beach was definitely on the agenda. Looking likely to be May so temperatures should be good. Mind you, I’ve been to Egypt and Cyprus in August before now so the heat doesn’t bother me too much


Serious question though do you have any qualms whatsoever about supporting a country’s tourism industry that’s very strategically organised to legitimise their questionable acts as a State and continued human rights abuses?
I’m not saying we have the same responsibilities as something as public as say, a band that’s been asked to play there, but it’s certainly not ethical.


Kinda depends why someone’s going and what they take from it… are Jewish people who go to visit family automatically in the wrong? What about other oppressive regimes around the world? Bet loads of you go on holiday to Morocco without giving a moment’s thought to the Sahwari people. just not sure the decision about whether or not to go on holiday to Israel is really sufficient to place someone politically in relation the occupation/apartheid.


Yeah I think they would be unfortunately. Also yeah I agree there are other places it wouldn’t be ethical to go because it directly funds State terrorism, but also Israel is unique in its internationalism and using tourism as a tool to try and gain legitimacy for its actions. I think it does tbh.
No intention of going to Morocco tbf.


What are individual Israeli citizens supposed to do in your opinion to be ‘ethical’? Leave and make themselves stateless?

Not even a hypothetical question here – I have an Israeli friend who risked prison by refusing to do national service. Should I not visit her?


Direct action to help Palestine, live where you want but fight (not necessarily with violence but certainly politically) against the State - sounds like your friend’s doing that. No you probably shouldn’t though?


I don’t really understand why though… like cause it’s funding the occupation? I just don’t really see the problem with going there, finding out a bit what life is actually like, talking to people living through it etc. if you’re still actively engaged against the Israeli state? Surely that’s better than doing absolutely nothing?


Because Israel’s main industry is tourism, it’s the lifeblood of the place… so yes it’s funding the human rights abuses, and it’s also key to their continued campaign to gain legitimacy. They’re able to say well such and such people came here last year, so we can’t be that bad!
I don’t think we’re really that starved for accounts of life in Israel tbh, I certainly wouldn’t say it legitimises going. In doing so I’d say going there actually is worse than doing nothing, yeah. But obviously helping to campaign here as well would be best.


I’m just not really sure boycotting Israel’s ‘tourism industry’ is going to inflict that much harm economically when they have other very important sectors. I’m pretty sure tourism is only the largest sector in the real economy anyway.

From an article last year quoting their tourism minister:

“Unfortunately, over the years tourism wasn’t something that Israel invested in or put its efforts in, unlike what we did in the high-tech industry,” Yariv Levin, Israel’s tourism minister, told the Financial Times this week. “For most people in the world, Israel is not a tourist site that is even crossing their minds.”
which seems to contradict what you’re saying a bit.

I still don’t see how someone who is openly critical of Israel is legitimising it just by going there.


By helping pay for its human rights abuses and giving them geopolitical legitimacy.
That quote by the minister is laughable considering their historical/religious/culturally significant sites but I suppose he’s not exactly a legitimate source.


you just keep saying the same thing…

helping pay for: I’m saying I’m just not seeing any evidence or research that revenue from tourism actually makes the difference in funds that would change their policies. It’s not like they’re gonna be short of cash if people stop going there on holidays. Is there actual research or economic analysis done on any of this? It’s quite a strong empirical claim to make.

giving them geopolitical legitimacy: again, you’re just saying it legitimises them without explaining how.

quote by the minister is laughable: I quoted him because you made a claim about what the Israeli government’s lines on tourism are – whether those are bullshit or not – and his statement seems almost the opposite of what you said it would be.