Wednesday 18 November 2009

The Attraction of Israel

Israel is like a drug to those who know it. It is the quintessential melting point of all ages, all religions and people from all walks of life. It never fails to make an impression on those who have the opportunity to visit.

I have lived in Israel for the past 11 years, and each and every days leaves me with a new impression. Sometimes the impressions are less positive, driven by the extremes of people, their behaviours and the clash of different cultures. Mostly, however, the impressions are positive arising from people responding to total strangers as if they are family members or the quirky style of interacting with each other.

Although Israel offers the richest lesson in history and religion that anybody could hope to experience, my Israel is more about the people than the place. It is true to say that without the Holy city of Jerusalem and all that it represents to the three monotheistic religions, Israel would not be the place that it is. Along with many religious and historical locations around Israel, there are also cities like Tel Aviv and Eilat which are not as historical nor particularly religious. And there are all the other interesting places in between. It is exactly this which draws the strangest mix of people together in a way that no other country can boast.

My Israel, the people in Israel, the extremes in Israel, represents the Israel that I love. It is what makes it different and fascinating. It is what creates the addictive nature of the society which forces people to keep returning, or never to leave.

Flights to Tel Aviv are available frequently from major destinations.

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