When you tell your family and friends that you are going to Israel, they often start asking questions: “How do you dare go there?”, “Don’t you know there is a war going on there?”, “Aren’t you afraid of suicide bombers?”, etc. The answer to all of these questions is that it is not more dangerous to go to Israel than to any other country in the world.
The risk of terror attacks is obviously present in Israel, but that is also the case in England, Spain, the U.S., Indonesia and other countries, as we have experienced in the last few years. The only difference is that in Israel they know how to fight terrorism and police forces from all over the world come to Israel to learn from their Israeli colleagues. Because of this, a tourist should be less worried in Israel than in other countries and not the opposite.
In Israel you have to get used to showing your bags and going through metal detectors when you enter restaurants or shopping centers. However, you ought to understand that it is for your own security. After a while in Israel you also get used to seeing young armed soldiers in the streets and on buses. When you realize that most of them are not on duty, but rather on their way home to hug their mother, it is easy to feel safe in their presence.
You can also feel secure when you see how the Israelis live. They go to cafés and restaurants, shop in malls and at the open-air markets, travel by buses and trains, do not avoid crowds, etc. In short, they live a normal life. They do not let terrorists spoil their daily routine and they probably also have in mind that many more Israelis die in car accidents than in terror attacks.
In Israel there is a very widespread optimism for the future. New skyscrapers, houses, factories, etc. are built all over the country and everyone is sure that “it will be all right”. The inhabitants also know that Israel is not a developing country, such as Indonesia and Ethiopia. Nor is Israel a dictatorship, like Cuba or Iran. On the contrary, Israel is a modern democracy and a developed country, just like the countries in Europe and North America, for example.
You should remember this, when you hear about Israel in the news or when you are planning your next vacation. Do not forget that Israel is not more dangerous than any other country.