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.

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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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

That’s because I see it as more or less self evident. If you don’t believe it would make a difference that’s up to you.

Definitely B I’m afraid

I mean though I feel it is self evident a place like Jerusalem, away from the tech industry, lives off the service sector and religious tourism. In doing so it causes the growth of the town, and helps legitimise the Israeli policy of buying Palestinian land and increase occupation. Also it encourages businesses to open there, it encourages a state of affairs where ethics is blurred by the market.

Oh you don’t know the half of it, I can barely be bothered with anything. Just interested to see what other people thought, I’ve been honest about my opinions but they’re just that.

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“Banksy’s latest project is the Walled Off Hotel, a fully functioning art hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. With windows overlooking the wall separating the Palestinian territory from Israel, Banksy is billing it as “the hotel with the worst view in the world.” In addition to a gallery curated by Dr. Housni Alkhateeb Shehada and a museum curated in association with Dr. Gavin Grindon of Essex University, the guesthouse features nine available rooms and a colonial-themed piano bar with an automated player piano featuring original scores from Massive Attack’s 3D, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea, Hans Zimmer, and more. A different pre-recorded “concert” will play every night at 9PM. The hotel officially opens for business on 3/11, and rooms start at $30 per night (plus a $1000 safety deposit to protect the artwork).”

So close yet so far