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Now is the time to visit Israel!

(Courtesy of author)
(Courtesy of author)

Before October 7th, tourism to Israel was booming (wrong word?). Tourists from around the world wanted to see all of the elements that made up the Startup Nation, with startups from the last 4,000 years, including (and in no particular order):

  • Monotheism
  • Waze
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Christianity
  • Computer Chips
  • Rummicub
  • Instant Messaging
  • Desert Agriculture
  • Wastewater Renewal

The list goes on. And on.

In a tiny country – the size of New Jersey, one could:

  • Say a prayer at the Western Wall
  • Say a prayer at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • Visit the Dome of the Rock
  • Recall one of the most dramatic stories in Jewish history on Masada
  • Ski on the Hermon Mountain
  • Enjoy the breathtaking, northern-most coral reef in the world in Red Sea
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Surf in the Med Sea
  • Eat the delightful, varied, unique, mouth-watering food at the Shuk (either Machane Yehuda, or Carmel, or Lewinsky, or Jaffa, or Nazareth, or Ramle, or…you get the point)
  • Meet the locals who make up the Jewish people: those who have lived here for generations upon generations, those who came from Yemen and Ethiopia and North America and North Africa and Eastern Europe and Iran and the Middle East and…you get the point again
  • Meet the locals who make up the Israeli people: the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze, Bahai, Bedouin…you get the point again again
  • See the views from the Golan of Northern Israel and Syria, or the views overlooking one of the five geological “machteshim” (craters) unique to Israel, or of the Mediterranean Sea from your hotel room, or …you get the point
  • Walk in the footsteps of King David in Jerusalem, or King Herod in Caesarea, or King Richard the Lionheart in Akko

Well guess what!  You can still do (almost) all of those things in Israel today! While you may think – from watching foreign media that Israel is a war zone, in reality, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Israel was at war by the bustling streets, cafes, concerts, etc. of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem or Caesarea or Zichron Yaakov, etc.

People have been coming to Israel to volunteer, to support, to bear witness to what happened here on October 7th, just as they have come to remember the Holocaust at Yad Vashem.

But Israel is okay.  And the events of October 7th will be on visit-Israel programs for the next 50 year. Now is the time to support Israel and yourselves by seeing the sites, connecting to its spirituality, falling in love again with the land and the people.

Touring companies and tour guides will not put your lives at risk.

(Courtesy of author)
(Courtesy of author)
(Courtesy of author)

Israel still has so much to offer. Now is the time to start planning your next trip, to show your family how important Israel is to you and how important you are to Israel.

About the Author
Geoff has been living in Israel for over 30 years. He is the Programs Director at Keshet Educational Journeys and is a licensed tour guide through the Ministry of Tourism. Previously, Geoff was a founding staff member of the Keshet (no relation) Democratic School for secular and religious students in his home town of Zichron Yaakov and before that an educator at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. He is a husband and father of five.
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