I’m not one to enjoy controversy and I shy away from arguments like a turtle retreating into their shell – so it has come as a surprise to some of my readers that I have chosen to visit Israel and for peace of mind, feel I should explain my decision to be here as I do not wish to offend anyone by doing so. For those who aren’t aware or haven’t been educated, the controversy comes as the modern state of Israel has not always been Israel. It was in 1948 when Israel came to being, after a war with the Palestinians over the land that is now modern day Israel, with Palestinian Territories in the West Bank and Gaza.
That’s a very short history so if you’re interested in reading more about it, I urge you to seek further history online.
Why I Chose to Visit Israel
I’m aware my decision to travel here is not accepted by all, however being that I am a travel blogger I can assure you I am not here in any political capacity, but to see and experience The Holy Land. As a Christian, I have always wanted to visit the cities and places referenced in the bible – from Nazareth (Jesus’ childhood city) to Jerusalem and everywhere in between. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit such places and for that reason and that reason alone, I am in Israel.
According to the media headlines, Israel is a scary place. Even during times of peace it is portrayed in an alternative light and leads people to think they can not travel here because of the ongoing tensions. For 1500 years Christians, Jews and Muslims have struggled over this land known as the Holy Land (with sites also in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, western Jordan and south-western Syria).
None of the issues you read about in the media are new. Invasion and political turmoil have been ongoing for thousands of years. However it is not the answer to fight hate with hate, and tourists (myself included) visiting Israel are not to blame here.
I am here to see the Biblical ruins, sites and cities I have always dreamed of visiting. I am here to float in the dead sea. I am here to learn about and educate myself on all religions – not just my own. I am here to appreciate the beautiful nature of the Middle East. I am here to visit sacred sites, museums, jewish quarters AND Arab markets.
When people say “educate yourself”, this is my answer – to travel. I will not know what it is like in Israel until I am here to see it for myself. To ask questions and to question answers. I am here to learn without prejudice and I am here to share my experience in the Holy Land with those considering travelling here who might be concerned about safety given the ongoing unrest.
I urge you to not believe everything you hear in the media and avoid jumping to conclusions before asking someone why they chose to do something.