23 June 2009

Tourist-Shooting Range

I saw this advertisement for "Tourist Shooting" at a kibbutz about half an hour north of Karmiel. Now, I do know what they mean. Its just that, well, that grin on the fellow's face did leave me with a moment's hesitation in the matter. Those loud, cheery, bright spun-rayon clad knockabouts have almost been the victims of open season shooting in many a once-quiet, now-popular tourist destination.

Hostility to tourists, or at least making fun of them above and beyond normal inter-cultural play, was pronounced when I was in the Kingdom of Hawaii years ago. They were, and still are, under occupation after being seized illegally by the United States because it needed a mid-Pacific coaling station back then a hundred and something years ago. The plantations added a little sugar to the deal, needless to say. I started out mildly against Hawaiian independence, but ended up being very much in agreement with the independence movement. Except that it is probably too late for that, which is too bad, though the real problem is not political sovereignty so much as losing your identity in an agressive onslaught carried out by people who just don't care that much about such things.

But of course in Israel why would we object to the two millions who visit here? Standard international tourist survey polls show a high degree of satisfaction by tourists to Israel. Not because we know how to run hotels like the best in Europe (overrated unless you are in the truly wealthy category), or because we have low prices. Of course if you are an Israeli hiking around the Galilee, and you ever chance upon a tour bus full of Lutherans being taught by their pastor/tour leader at the Mount of Beatitudes how they are the New Israel, and how the Israel of today is a mean, secular entity unconnected to any Israel mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, and without rights to the land of "Arab Palestine," you might rethink that advert above.

Lock 'n Load!


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דוד נתנאל סיגל said...

O silly automaton! Dumb brute!