Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, February 25, 2007
If it happened once I’d write it off, but when it happens repeatedly, you begin to suspect there’s something else going on.

How many of you, when visiting Israel, or when having visitors from Israel have asked or heard the question, “Is that for security reasons?”

I’m not talking about them asking about the guard at the front of the mall, I mean when they visit your house and ask if the trissim (external window shades) are there for security reasons (to stops bullets). Or people listening intently to the news every hour on the hour (listening for the top secret IDF call-up message). Or the wall around Jerusalem (to stop terrorists). Or not letting you go into the movie theater with food bought from outside (might have a bomb in the family-sized bottle of coke you’re sneaking in).

What does this fence have to do with security?

I ask this, because I have been seriously asked about all the above (and others).
I mean seriously, is that really how Americans see Israel?

Do they really see Israel as such a dangerous and security conscious country that even the everyday and mundane become symbols of fortification and defense in the eyes of the otherwise intelligent tourist?

OK, I admit, I understand their reactions when they see the off-duty, yet armed soldiers hanging around Ben-Yehuda, I understand that even seeing me walking around with a gun can be off-putting. And I know that seeing all the guns around probably puts them into a slightly different frame of mind (but by the way, has there ever been a movie that came out showing Israel with all the civilians walking around with guns?).

But seriously, window shades, news addicts, and political white elephants?!

Anyone have any questions you asked or were asked?

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