How Safe is Israel?

How Safe is Israel?   Travel Hot-Spot

Sarah Stierch  CC BY 2.0Israel Ben Gurion Airport

Sarah Stierch  CC BY 2.0
Israel Ben Gurion Airport

Israel is one of the world’s oldest travel destinations, steeped in ancient history, culture, and tradition. While the appeal of its ancient and holy past may be obvious enough, many new arrivals are surprised to see that it’s much more than a lesson in history. Israel is a travel hot-spot where beach life, arts, architecture, and coffee culture prevails.

Tel Aviv, the country’s seafront capital of culture, was voted one of the top cites in the world by Lonely Planet, included in the top three middle eastern cities by the prestigious Travel & Leisure Magazine and included in the Louis Vuitton 2010 European Cities Guide.  The reassurance that Israel is a world class destination is just the beginning; thousands safely visit and enjoy this small country each year.

In 2011, 3.3 million visitors flocked to Israel, with cultural, agricultural, and other seasonal festivals keeping the energies high all year round. The airport is the first stop in experiencing innovative techniques and technology, designed to keep the airport and not just the airplanes safe.  Israel’s airline passenger profiling is known as the most effective worldwide. When passing through security measures anywhere in Israel, patience and a tolerant attitude toward security forces goes a long way to ensuring entries and exits will be as smooth as possible.  Like traveling to any destination, common sense, preparation and information will help make the trip enjoyable and worry free.

Robert Scoble  CC BY 2.0Israeli Bedouin

Robert Scoble  CC BY 2.0
Israeli Bedouin

Culture of Israel

Israel is a small country rich in culture, with a diversity of communities living across the land: Jews, Bedouin, Druze, Circassians, Muslims, and Baha’i –  from the desert south, to the hills of the Galilee.  Tourists are welcomed by all faiths.  Planning your trip to taste the different Israeli cultures provides an opportunity to experience the life of locals. Licensed tour guides are available to provide extensive information that will greatly enhance your knowledge and appreciation of both the land and people and allow you to rely on their expertise for a safe and enjoyable trip.

Learn about cooking in a Bedouin home, and dine with Bedouins in the Negev Desert on a culinary tour that explores how the lifestyle of these traditionally nomadic people is changing in the modern world.

Juatndev  CC BY-SA 3.0Haifa Bahá'í gardens

Juatndev  CC BY-SA 3.0
Haifa Bahá’í gardens

Experience the Abu-Gosh Music Festival, performed twice a year in two churches in Abu-Gosh, just outside of Jerusalem, for three to five days at a time.  A perfect opportunity to experience music delights.

The Shrine of the Bab, located in Haifa, is a magnet attracting some five million adherents of the Baha’i faith, and the 19 breathtaking terraces that rise from the foot of the Carmel Mountain to the tomb have recently been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

Israeli Army – IDF History

George Gelb  All rights reservedSwearing-In Ceremony of Israeli Soldiers, Western Wall, Jerusalem

George Gelb  All rights reserved
Swearing-In Ceremony of Israeli Soldiers, Western Wall, Jerusalem

For a better understanding of the history of Israel security, why not visit The Collection House (Museum of the History of the IDF) at the old railway station in Jaffa: and learn through films, maps, photos, and exhibitions about the first days of the state. While on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv, the Hagana Museum, traces the history of the formation of the Hagana and Israel’s defense history from 1878. Or, take a trip to Avihayal (near Natanya) where the Jewish Legion Museum (Beit Hagdudim), established by the veterans of the Jewish battalions in the British Army from World War I, takes visitors back in time to pre-state days.   {media-495}

Gush Etzion

According to the British Foreign Commonwealth Office, relatively large numbers of international tourists and businessmen visit the area annually.  Gush Etzion has something to offer everyone including trips to Yatir Forest, the largest planted forest in Israel bordering the Negev desert and the one and half hour hike on “Way of the Patriarchs” (Derech Ha’Avot), a road between Hevron and Jerusalem. This is King David’s route on his way to Jerusalem to a make it the capital and here Avraham and Yitzchak traveled on their way to Mount Moriah.

Gush Etzion Tourism Authority Jeep Tour to Gush Etzion Springs

Gush Etzion Tourism Authority 
Jeep Tour to Gush Etzion Springs

A 2000 year old Mikvah is located at the T junction, a place for Jews to purify themselves on their way to the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. View the Khirbet Susiya Synagogue Mosaic, dating from the 4th century, located in the southern hills of Mt. Hebron.   You can further explore Jewish and Bedouin towns, the wine route vineyards, orchards, unique restaurants such as Gavna, artists shops, attractions and archeological findings including Herodium National Park.  For more information contact (02) 993-3863.

DID YOU KNOW?

Druze

Little is known of the history of the Druze prior to the Ottoman conquest of Syria in 1516 as their religion is notoriously secretive. Take a guided tour, wander through the small streets of a Druze village, visit local traders, speak to local families, visit its holy sites, and taste the traditional food,  immersing yourself to gain insight into their roots and strong sense of community.