A message from the Israeli tourist board

I can't resist interjecting some facts for prospective tourists for Israel who are lured by this video that's lately been aired in the US:

Actually, if you visit Israel, there is a good chance that YOU WILL DIE.

It's not just the suicide bombings, stray rockets, crazed bulldozer operators and various types of assassins. It's also the head-fucked IDF soldiers, rabidly anti-gentile Jewish fundamentalists, settlers and crazy Russian mob types. Even if they don't kill you, they are generally rather unpleasant: just look at the customer service at those electronics stores in New York City. You know this is the place where Armageddon Hill is located, and where the Messiah is set to fight the undead armies of the Anti-Christ. Why take the chance when the Bahamas are sunnier, France has better food and Morocco more oriental exotica than you could possibly ever need?

And on top of it there's a chance you'll be given a full-body cavity search at the airport. No really, that does happen. Frequently. That doesn’t happen in Mayorca, does it? Or Buenos Aires.

"No one belongs here more than you" they say at the end of the ad. Well, why not let millions of ethnically cleansed Palestinians have a go first, and come back when they've sorted that out.

P.S. I remember the old ad, "Have a ball... in Israel" was a much better jingle, especially to the tune of "Hava Nagila". Great song, that.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.