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Israel: Where to Go & Safety

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I have a couple of questions, one of which is unfortunately probably going to stir up some hype. I get completely mixed reviews as to whether it is safe to travel around Israel right now. I asked the US State Department and they said that they ‘discourage traveling to Israel right now’. Of course, I do not expect chaos on the streets, but is it best to avoid travel there now until things stabilize a bit or could I travel extensively around the popular destinations and not have to worry more than visiting anywhere else.

My second question pertains to ‘where to go’. The problem is that these guides recommend WAY too many places rather than considering tourists’ realistic time and budgets. Anyway, I know Jerusalem and Nazareth are said to be very pretty (and spiritual, of course), but what about Tel Aviv, Akko, Haifa, Tsfat and Bethlehem? Which of these towns and cities would you say are a ‘must see’ versus ‘just an ordinary but pleasant’ place?

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