The Real Israel

When I lived in Oklahoma in the 1980s and talked about visiting Israel, the people I knew would urge me to be careful when I was in Beirut. I would explain to them that Beirut was in Lebanon, a country that I had no plans to visit. They would respond with something like, “Well, you need to be careful anyway” as if they didn’t buy a word of what I was saying.

Recently I met with people who were visiting Israel for the first time. They were surprised at how modern and Western it is. They talked about the friendly people and the clean rest room facilities and water that can be drunk and modern hotels and skyscrapers and delicious foods of all ethnic varieties. They had expected the ancient ruins and the historical monuments, and of course, the breathtaking vistas, but they were stunned with the modernity and the cosmopolitan feeling that pervades.

So it didn’t surprise me when another family we met recently reported hearing from someone in their Midwest American city the following about Israel, “We’re talking sand. We’re talking camels. We’re talking burkas.”

All I can say to that is come and visit our little piece of paradise. See it for yourself! From the mountains of the Hermon, covered with snow in the winter to the sparkling gulf at Eilat to the wooded trails of the Galilee to calm waters of the Kinneret to the bustle of Tel Aviv to the breathtakingly beautiful city of Jerusalem—Israel will wow you! And come and see our hi-tech industries, setting world standards. Enjoy sitting in a sidewalk café. And most of all, enjoy our most precious products—the bright-eyed, smiling children. Israel will lift your heart and your soul.