Wednesday, August 23, 2006

FW: Well, it's over for now

Dear friends,
A month ago, I wrote a letter "Plan your next vacation", saying
.....Meantime, there are practical things that you can do to help.  First, pray for us and for the brave soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces.  Then plan your next vacation. Now. As soon as this war is over, get on a plane and help the tourist industry of northern Israel recover. Rent a car, take a room in a small bed & breakfast, a meal here, a souvineer there. Drive around the Galilee and the Golan Heights.  Buy a sandwich or a felafel for lunch. Take in a movie after a visit to the Baha'i gardens and the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa.  Nothing fancy. Let the people of the north know that just as they can rely on the IDF to get the job done, they can rely on their friends around the world.  Call now, and book a room for "as soon as it's over". 
Well, now it's over. Rochelle and I went out for dinner in Netanya. A favourite summer vacation spot French Jews, the place was hopping late ino the evening.  Boisterous, noisy and fun.  The restaurants on the promenade were full. A street fair in full swing.  Jumping castles and tramplines for the kids. Holiday happiness and laughter in the air.
Friends touring in the north report that things are much quieter there. The northern economy took a much larger knock.  But slowly things are returning to normal. The artist colony and judaica shops of Safed have re-opened.  The "Zimmerim" in the Gallillee are once again providing accomodation with their special family hospitality. The boats are once again taking tourists out on the Kineret.  And my future son-in-law recovered most of his clothes from his bombed-out Nahariya laundromat.  But the tourists have not yet arrived in the numbers that are needed to support recovery of that important industry.

So - wherever you are in the world, book your tickets.  Come and visit;  Jerusalem, Eilat, Tel Aviv, Safed, Haifa, Kiriyat Shmona, the Golan Heights ... wherever you go in Israel will provide a treasure of memories.  And for my many Israeli readers - even a day trip up North before the summer vacation ends will recharge you batteries - and stimulate the economy.


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