Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lop Sided Enjoyment

For some time now, I have enjoyed certain shows on TV. As my pictures show, I do love food. Also, I love traveling. So when I found shows like Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and Andrew Zimmern's "Bizzare Food" it was as if I had found some kindred spirits in these two areas. I mean, who wouldn't want to go around the world and taste foods that people usually only hear about!?

I then realized something that led me on a fact finding mission. Neither one of these shows, and a lot of other Travel Channel shows, have not been to Israel. Zimmer, who is Jewish, even went to Syria before he went to Israel. Bourdain has been to Beirut twice (once happened to take place during the 2nd Lebanon War), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Istanbul, and Dubai.

While I am not advocating that these types of shows and channels are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, which I believe they are not nor will they be, I do believe two things (1) The perception of Israel outside of Israel is poor. Poor enough to not want to showcase the beauty of the country. (2) The Hasbara (Political PR) for Israel is even worse.

Outside of Israel, regular people see Israel as a wasteland, filled with hate and fighting and violence. Why the heck would anyone want to visit there? Also, since Israel is the oppressor, they shouldn't support such a fascist and murderous country. It boggles my mind that this is actually believed in the world.

I don't blame them though. I can't. You cannot be angry at a child fro being a child. These people aren't fully to blame. The group that is to blame the most is Israel itself. Where are the positive pictures and informational ads? Where is the push for ambassadors of travel like Bourdain and Zimmern to come and experience the side of Israel people don't even know about?

For example, in Travel and Leisure Magazine, Jerusalem was ranked 17th in the World's Best Cities. 17th! That is a high number considering how many big named cities are out there in the world. Why hasn't Israel's governmental bodies embraced that distinction and used it as a positive PR ad campaign? Sometimes you have to help yourself guys! Another article from Travel and Leisure Magazine extols the virtues of the Negev desert.

What I am saying is this: In the war of teaching that Israel is a good place, a fun place, a safe place, Israel itself does little to boost others non-political opinions. It takes websites like Supporting Our Israel, United With Israel, Stand With Israel and so many others to show what Israel REALLY is.I hope that this gets through to the right people and they do the right things.

On a Side Note: Mr. Bourdain, when you had the viewer contest to choose where you would be going with the contestant, it was brilliant! And I, reluctantly, of course, will come to Israel with you and show you what Israel is about. From the North to the South. I mean, I do it because I must. In all seriousness...go to Israel. You too Mr. Zimmern. Go check it out, your perceptions will change and I promise you will have a good time!


  1. What an ignorant little twit I was! I went to Israel for the first time only two years ago and fell so in love with the country that since then I have looked for every excuse to go back.
    moving to israel

  2. Good for you. They need more non Muslims .