Birthright Israel is considering cancelling all camel rides during visits to Israel. Many of the programme’s participants feel that that riding on the camels is animal abuse.
However, many Israelis feel that these visits are, of themselves, an abuse of their country.
While we are happy to welcome olim, new immigrants, we do not need a bunch of rich young Americans, making a one-time visit, most of whom will never be seen again.
It is not cheap to send these Americans here. It costs as much as $4,500 per person. As some 50,000 come every year, over $225 million is wasted giving them a free holiday. There is no shortage of Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, who could find a better use for this money.
The days when Israel desperately needed immigrants are long over. While there is still plenty of room in the Negev, and the Golan is not too crowded, the center of the country is a mass of high-rise apartments and longer and longer traffic jams.
And Israel has a rapidly decreasing number of camels. At the last count there were between 2,500 and 3,000 camels. In the early 1990s, there were around 20,000 camels in Israel.
We should be grateful to the camel. While nearly all camels are dromedary camels with just one hump, the few Bactrian camels have two humps. But both, with their humps, have enriched the English language.
* The car hit a hump in the road.
* He humped something heavy, carrying it with great difficulty.
In the old days, British Overseas Airways Corporation, BOAC, was known as Better On A Camel. But they wised up and now call themselves British Airways.
I could go on but perhaps this blog has said enough. I’ve just got to jump to the website and pump it in to lump it with older blogs before it ends up in the sump.