June 17, 2002

How I Spent My Israeli

How I Spent My Israeli Vacation

I honestly can't fathom how the Israeli population can face each new day with the ever-present specter of being atomized by a peeved Palestinian detonating a belt of TNT. How can you go about your daily routine knowing that the person next to you buying a Snickers and a bottle of Gatorade may be a suicide bomber enjoying his or her last meal? Therefore, I find it amazing that people continue to tour the Holy land despite the threat. Which brings me to today's odd news snippet.

Apparently, Israeli tourism has been sluggish since people started exploding in crowded marketplaces, dropping their yearly tourist revenue from $4 billion to $2 billion. It seems some wimpy people out there actually fear for their lives or something. How odd. Anyway, according to a Reuters report coming out of Jerusalem, Israel is trying to woo tourists back to the holiest of holy lands using, and I swear this is not made up, stickers, flowers and certificates.

A Tourism Ministry spokeswoman said Monday it had launched a "thank you" campaign in which tourists receive a sticker reading "Israel loves you" and a red rose when they arrive and a certificate of appreciation when they depart.

Honestly, why didn't they consult me for some truly brilliant tourism marketing ideas. How about tee-shirts that say, "I was nearly torn asunder by flying shrapnel from a suicide bomber during my trip to Israel, and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt." Granted, that may not fit on a single tee-shirt, so maybe they could give away nice coffee mugs that say "Tanks For Coming."

But seriously, a sticker that says "Israel Loves You" simply wouldn't tilt my scales in favor of an Israeli vacation. "Hmmmmm, I could go to Hawaii, but I hear Israel has nice stickers and flowers this time of year."

"We wanted to thank every tourist who comes here to support us, as not everyone comes these days," the spokeswoman said.

No shit. Still, I love the line "as not everyone comes these days," because it sounds like a grandmother in a nursing home wondering why the kids don't visit any more. "My daughter has kind of avoided the home since the orderlies started firing random rounds down the halls. Ingrates!"

Posted by Ryan at June 17, 2002 12:35 PM
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