It’s been a while since I first wrote about how safe it is to visit Israel. And despite some serious incidents over the last 2 or 3 years (including the briefly scary November 2012 action which subsequently frightened off many visitors to Israel for quite a few weeks), things are still pretty much the same, safety-wise. The real deal out on the streets of Israel is that…yes, things are actually VERY safe out there.
Yes, despite what you might have been reading in your newspaper, or following on CNN or the BBC, Israel is pretty darned safe to visit! As always, international media does its best to paint a dramatic, war-torn picture, but the reality, although far from perfect, is a little different.
Does CNN show those beautiful sandy Tel Aviv beaches? Or the must see tourist sites in Israel, currently teeming with tourists? Do they heck. Believe it or not (and you’d find it hard to believe if your news source was CNN or the BBC) Israel had a record year for tourism in 2012 - despite the end of year crisis. Which is a good thing, right? It must mean that the hordes of tourists coming to visit the Holy Land don’t take what they see on the news as gospel and have the intelligence to check things out for themselves in regards to how safe Israel really is…
And then there are the tourists who come to Israel for a holiday and are amazed at how safe Israel is compared to their own country. I personally know tourists who visit Israel regularly from South Africa and, in contrast to life there which basically ends at 7:30 every evening, they are always amazed at how cities like Tel Aviv keep on keeping on late into the night, every night. They are always gushing on about just how much living you can squeeze into a normal day in Israel.
My parents are actually coming over in a few weeks – they usually get a grilling at airport security for being non-Israelis (this is their third visit to Israel) but apart from that they usually have the time of their lives here…sun, amazing tourist spots, great food, beautiful people…and they feel remarkably safe here compared to back home in England. Believe it or not. OK, OK, no chavs, but Israel does have plenty of arsim.
Of course, these days the threat of terrorism isn’t limited to Israel. It can rear its ugly head at any moment, of course, something that you should clearly be aware of on any visit to Israel…or London, or Madrid…you get the picture. But in Israel you’re very unlikely to experience something nasty, especially if you’re going to keep to the well-worn tourist track and follow local advice on where to go…or not to go. This is the Middle East, so things do change quickly, just be aware…
Yes! It might just seem a little intimidating at first what with all those soldiers (including cute 18-20 year old girls with huge M16s slung over their shoulders) and flashing blue lights on police cars everywhere (just so you know, if a police unit is on duty it has to have those lights flashing, just to scare off any would-be terrorists or homeboy criminals, regardless of whether or not there are any bad elements in the near vicinity!). But you soon get used to it. In fact, you might even find it reassuring after a bit!
So with all this security, there really is no need to fear coming to Israel because of safety reasons or security concerns. The media plays it role in hyping up everything and overdoing things…but that’s why this site exists in a way, to give you the real deal on Israel.
Don’t forget…have an amazing trip to the Holy Land!
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