peace-oriented tour/guide of Israel

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Oct 5th, 2014, 03:57 PM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2004
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peace-oriented tour/guide of Israel

We have had a trip booked for Israel this Dec/Jan since long before this summer's troubles—after thinking we would cancel (really, divert ourselves to western Turkey/Greece), we are now thinking we will go. But we would like to find a tour company or tour guide that would give us a peace-oriented perspective, acknowledging political complexities, as we go around. Maybe such a thing is impossible—but we'd like to make sure we have at least a left-leaning guide. We are Jewish and practicing but sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, to all the suffering parties in this bloody mess. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you! Oh, by the way, we are two adults and two children, aged 11 and 9.
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Oct 5th, 2014, 07:15 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Good grief ! Why do you want your children to suffer through endless political lectures ? You are the ones that will suffer if your kids are terminally bored. Haven't you learned yet that with children of that age the vacations must be planned around them ? You should place your priority on sites and activities that are suitable for children !!!

Please post more information: the length of your stay. Interests (other than politics). Will you rent a car ? There is no problem touring on your own and you don't need a guide for most sites.

Good luck.
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Oct 6th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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That seems a bit extreme! All I'm saying is that we don't want a whitewashed story to go with the historical sites, and contemporary sights, we will be seeing. We want a balanced perspective, that is all. Our kids have traveled lots of places and spent lots of time with art/archaeology/architecture. I'm not saying that's all they like, but it's hardly boring to them. And I didn't mean that I want politics to be the chief subject, just that it's a reality and they hear so much about it on the news that we can't ignore it while we're there. Meanwhile, you didn't say anything about where you're coming from as an advice giver. Are you an Israeli?
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Oct 6th, 2014, 02:18 PM
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While I can't offer a specific guide or company, know there are plenty of Israelis and Palestinians who want this mess over and some agreement that both can agree. Agree being the magic word!!!

Suggest you contact a few travel agents that specialize in this area and be specific with your wishes; see what they offer as there must be more than a few who can meet your wishes. With a few names, contact the guides directly with what it is you're seeking.

There are quite a number of names of guides listed here on Fodor's, and if you can locate a few... contact them direct with your needs. You can also check Trip Advisor, www.tripadvisor.com/forums (select Israel) - see what luck you have there with guide names.
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Oct 6th, 2014, 09:54 PM
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I apologize if my previous post sounded too extreme. I didn't take any political point-of-view - I only wanted to emphasize the point that if you look for politics in Israel (left or right) then you will be swamped by it. That is not what your children experienced in other countries and excessive politics will likely bore them. What can be worse for a parent on vacation than a bored child ? Tour guides in Israel generally do not focus their tours on political issues unless requested, but if you decide to hire one, you should definitely make sure in advance that his politics are not so extreme as to make you uncomfortable when he/she answers your questions or makes offhand comments.

Back to tour advice: If you go to the "TripAdvisor" Israel forum, search for a contributor named "anmejoshme" and send her a private message (click on her name) and ask her to send you a list of sites & activities suitable for children that she has compiled.

Some ideas:
- "Dig for a Day" - archaeology dig at Bet Guvrin:
http://www.archesem.com/dig.asp

- Haifa Science Museum:
http://www.madatech.org.il/Pages/Index.aspx

- Holon Childrens Museum:
http://www.childrensmuseum.org.il/template/?pid=55

- Jerusalem Biblical Zoo:
http://www.jerusalemzoo.org.il/len/

Many of the National Parks are very interesting for children, e.g. Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Nimrod Castle, the Stalactite Cave, etc:
http://tinyurl.com/mnevevl
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Oct 12th, 2014, 11:09 AM
  #6
 
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I would like to suggest you contact Yonatan Penn - [email protected]. He is a licensed tour guide and guides many Birthright trips and youth and student groups. He sounds just like what you are looking for and has been sent as a representative to campuses in the USA. Full disclosure - he is my son...
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:29 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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In your initial question you write, " but we'd like to make sure we have at least a left-leaning guide. ". Then in response to mbgg you say," All I'm saying is that we don't want a whitewashed story to go with the historical sites, and contemporary sights, we will be seeing."

Those two statements are totally contradictory. The left can "whitewash" as much as the right. If you really do not want a political tour than you need to keep politics ( from BOTH POVs) out of it. A professional guide will do just that unless asked. AND a real professional will be able to give you both points of view. The minute you ask for someone with a particular "slant" you have opened yourself for "whitewashing"
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Oct 13th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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Forgot to write in the above. Both the left and the right want peace. The problem is a huge disagreement on what it takes to achieve this.
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