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At home and abroad, Israelis ignore the rest of the world

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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:14 PM
Original message
At home and abroad, Israelis ignore the rest of the world
You might expect such a tourism-loving people to open its eyes and ears to what can be seen and heard around the globe. Instead, we keep walling ourselves in against what the world thinks and feels.

By Gideon Levy


More than 300,000 people are on their way home now. They once again traveled and vacationed abroad. The traveling nation is visible, very much so, but blind. Youll see and hear them in all four corners of the earth, but theyll come home without seeing much and understanding even less.

Some 20,000 will come from the Sinai without seeing Egypt, thousands of students come home from Poland every year without exchanging a word with a Pole, and tens of thousands come back from Goa or the Tierra del Fuego without listening to what the Indians of South America or the Indians of India have to say. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have done America and Europe, east and west, and they will come home as oblivious and closed in as they were when they left.

No one seems to travel as much as the wandering Israeli, and no other nation turns it back as much on the rest of the world. You might expect such a tourism-loving people to open its eyes and ears to what can be seen and heard around the globe; instead, we keep walling ourselves in against what the world thinks and feels.

Every journey begins with a national scare campaign, a barrage of terror threats and travel warnings, which almost never materialize and which we dont listen to anyway. The latest one, over the weekend, was that another global terror attack was on its way. And what are we supposed to do? Be extra careful? How exactly? Not travel? Not take cabs? Countless more Israelis have died in terror attacks inside Israel than abroad, without any travel warnings.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/at-home-an...
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Now that is one of the most clueless Gideon Levy articles I have ever read
And believe me, that is saying a lot.

I've met numerous visitors from Israel to the United States and have found the exact opposite of what he is describing to be true.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. It's not one of his best, but it's not too bad...
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:38 AM by Violet_Crumble
Actually, on rereading it it's not too bad at all. I hope you understand that Mr Levy, unlike you, is an Israeli, and when it comes to what he observes as an Israeli, and yr anecdotal story about people you may or may not have encountered, Mr Levy wins hands down in the credibility stakes. I find there's a tendency amongst some Americans to put Israel and Israeli up on a pedestal and behave as though they're flawless, unlike other nations and nationalities. See, I read that article and thought to myself that's not all that different than how some other nationalities behave.

Tell you what. When there's an article posted about how American tourists behave, I'll have a listen to yr concerns about it. And when there's an article about how Australian tourists behave, I'd like to think I've got an advantage there and would snicker at some American coming along and telling me that I'm clueless. So when it comes to Israeli tourists, I think Mr Levy would have a bit more inside knowledge than you do :)
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm glad you agree
You should see his article about bicycles in Tel Aviv - I'm surprised you didn't post that one as well!
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I didn't agree with you. In fact, I clearly disagreed...
btw, give me a link to the article yr talking about and I'll post it if for whatever reason yr incapable of doing so yrself...
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King_David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. What a load of rubbish.


I must agree with Oberliner ''one of the most clueless Gideon Levy articles I have ever read''.

I too meet Israelis every day and they are definitely interested in 'exploring'.

I think Gideon Levy woke up and had writers block that morning and 'created' this nonsense.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. May be true. But you could substitute 'British', 'Americans', or any other group and the same would
be true.

It's not a national issue; it's more a general characteristic of tourists. Obviously with many exceptions, people travel for their holidays, to 'get away from it all', to relax in a pleasant environment -hotter and sunnier if they're British, cooler if they're Israeli; and in the case of more serious travellers, to 'see the sights' - not to learn more about other cultures. 'If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium.' Many British people go to Spain every year, and sun themselves on the beach in a tourist-dominated area, without learning more than a few words of Spanish.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. According to Obie and 'King David', it's NOT TRUE AT ALL!!!!
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:44 AM by Violet_Crumble
Goodness knows why, when as you point out it's a similar characteristic to many other tourists, and I'm thinking Americans in particular. I find it ridiculous that some Americans and Canadians think they know better than an Israeli what Israelis are like, and attack that Israeli rather than admit to themselves that they wouldn't blink an eyelid if it was said about any other country but Israel...
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. There are two types of Israeli backpacker...
the ones you encounter in India are young, have generally just spent two years firing rubber bullets at Arabs in the Occupied Territories, tend to travel in tight-knit groups, are interested mainly in getting baked on drugs, and are fairly obnoxious as a whole.

However, once you get away from India, you tend to encounter mainly more mature people. When I went to New Zealand I met several Israeli backpackers, and they were all quite nice. One of them refused to speak to me after I told him I had spent the previous summer in Syria (he asked me where I had just come from and I told him), but by and large they represent their country much better than those you find in India.

It is the same with any other nation I suppose. Go no further than Bali and you would assume that all Australians delight in drinking themselves to death and behaving as boorishly as possible.

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