Hamas & safety in Israel

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Jan 31st, 2006, 09:49 AM
  #1
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Hamas & safety in Israel

My college son is thinking about doing the brithright trip to Israel (10 day guided tour for 18-26 y.o.). With the recent election and change in Palestinian leadership, am I thinking too much like a mother and worrying that safety will be a bigger issue than before?
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Jan 31st, 2006, 10:26 AM
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As I keep saying, you son is more likely to get mugged, assaulted or murdered in somewhere like Washington DC.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 10:52 AM
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There are no guarantees but I would think the political environment may improve security, at least in the short run (energies directed elsewhere than cross-border terrorism.)

Most guided tours give wide berth to areas where security and safety issues are a concern. As a mother it's in your DNA to be worried, but IMO your son is old enough to weigh the risks and work with you to ease any fears you might have.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 12:55 PM
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thank you for your encouragement and kind replies. I really hope my son does this, and I will see how many bottles of wine it takes to keep me calm. my teenage trip to Israel (I wont reveal how long ago) was memorable and life altering. I wish the same experiences for my kids.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 01:32 PM
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My daughter went to Israel last summer on a youth trip. We were told that these trips are use extreme safety precautions- and I know that she felt safe and loved her experience in Israel. (There was a bombing in Netanya when she was there- and she was in a town not too far when it happened.) We are planning to send her back this summer and my husband and I are also planning our first trip to Israel this summer. I was quite concerned with the elections but part of me feels that the situation may be no different than it was before the elections...Hamas was always present-now they are right out there and they are now in the international spotlight and must deal as government leaders. Nonetheless, we'll see how things pan out. Always hoping and praying for peace.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 08:40 PM
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aby
 
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Rachel
Road accidents r Israeli's nightmare !
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Feb 1st, 2006, 08:30 AM
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I am flying out on March 8 and not scared. Purim parades, here I come! Who should I warn to bake another batch of hamentashen?

I will post my report as soon as I'm able (due to jetlag which usually hits me hard) after March 20.
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Feb 1st, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Birthright and tour groups stay well away from dangerous areas and are well guarded at all times, although most of the participants are unaware of the fact that they are being guarded...

Don't deny your son the emotional impact and identification with his homeland that you yourself found so rewarding...
 
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #9
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thank you all for your support. now that the passports have arrived, i feel secure and now to convince my son that Israel is a better option to joining his firneds for an end of semester trip to disneyworld, where one has an internship and they all can visit cheaply as "family & friends". Israel with strangers/Disneyworld with your best buddies. Oh how things change quickly in the life of a college student. I guess he'll change his mind about 6 more times before the end of the month. sort of like changing your major.
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:04 PM
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I have traveled in Israel the past 2 summers, and plan to return this summer.To echo an opinion already expressed on this thread, I indeed felt safer there than in Washington D.C. (or NYC, Miami, Philadelphia etc) Any increase in safety concerns as a result of the election will be met with increased vigilance by the Army, police etc.
Cell phone rental is very inexpensive-I would encourage you to rent him one so that you know you can reach him.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 06:23 AM
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G-d is shining on me. My son came home last night and said he ran into the Hillel director at the student union and that he will be going to the birthright meeting next week to apply. Thank you all for listening to my fears and rambles. Also, thanks for the cel phone idea. I'm not a frequent contributor on this forum, but you are a kind and considerate crew.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 09:51 AM
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As I prepare for my Israel trip next week, taking 4 volunteers from my program, the safety issue came up. I know that tour groups go back and forth to Israel from every city and many synagogues, not to mention summer camps, youth groups and Birthright every year. You never hear about a problem. It feels very safe IN Israel because they know not to bring tourists to unsafe areas. And most buses of tourists have extra protection .he will love his birthright trip, I"m sure.
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Rachel,

My daughter went on Birthright last May. I was very worried like you, but I thought it would be a special experience. Don't worry!! These trips are well-planned, well-guarded (I think every bus has soldiers/emt who blend in with the kids most of the time). Of course, I could send my daughter or take her to Israel, but nothing could be like the experience your daughter will have. She only shows up at the airrport with her passport and suitcase. Your only worry is to get application in on time, so she gets a spot.

Bonnie
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Mar 4th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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I am planning to visit relatives in Jerusalem in May and they tell me that if you use common sense you will be very safe.

By the way...for future reference...can anyone tell me about the guides that the BIRTHRIGHT program uses? Are they well-informed? interesting? Are they close in age to the tour participants?

Thanks.
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Mar 4th, 2006, 09:56 PM
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...To go back to the original subject... And if I amy deal with POLITICS for a few seconds....

The fact Hamas is now no more in the opposition, is actually making things just a bit safer... Now they have to start behaving like statesmen, try hard not show their terroists' side... That's one reason they themselves got so nervous when they found out they won...

...Bottom line is, Hamas winning does not necessarilly mean Hamas suicide bombers start blowing themselves up on the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem... On the contrary.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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Hi Rachel,

I know as a mother you worry about your son going to Israel (my grandmother won't stop worrying until I come home in July!) but I have been in Israel since September and I feel nothing but safe here.

This is my second time in Israel (my first being for a 6 week trip in '98) and you never ever feel like you're in CNN's version of Israel. I'm actually living in one of the poorest areas of Tel Aviv (where I'm volunteering for the year) and compared to low income areas in Canada and the States this is paradise.

Your son will see the "best" of Israel on a birthright trip and he'll be in the company of like-minded individuals, a prepared staff and Israeli security. They won't take them to any places that are considered "dangerous" and from what I hear (from my friends who have done the program) they don't get very much time on their own to wander around. It is a very structured program to introduce them to the wonders of Israel.

I hope your son enjoys it enough to come back and experience all different aspects of this incredible country!
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Mar 26th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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I just came back from Israel, and the only "threat" I felt is the threat of overeating, the food is so great!

The country is subdivided, and the Jews are not allowed to go to the Palestinian territories, according to our local tour guide, so a guided tour will be absolutely safe.
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Mar 26th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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Faina....Can't wait to hear about your trip.
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