Newsletter 40: Where are the tourists?
Dear friends and family, shalom,
Nothing much has happened in Israel since the war ended, so, this being a no news bulletin, I should have had lot's to write about. This is one bulletin that cannot use the excuse that there just was no news so I didn't write.
I'm sorry it's taken me more than two months (the war ended on the 14th August) to realize that the war and the demonstrations afterwards have roused the consternation of our friends overseas so badly that they've stopped visiting Israel.
The main purpose of this, long overdue bulletin is to tell you that in spite of everything; complaints and demonstrations against military errors in the recent war, Olmert reshuffling his government etc Israel is as strong and as stabile as ever, even stronger. Despite the impression the demonstrators want to create our enemies have truly been laid low.
Israel continues to be beautiful, happy and peaceful, as always despite all the efforts of our enemies and some of my misguided countrymen who want to give a different impression.
Our friends and many Israelis have allowed the war and the demonstrations about who bears the guilt for our failure in that war to overshadow the shining beauty and peaceful atmosphere of this land.
We also didn't fail in the war, but I've discussed that already and the subject is so fraught with emotion that I'm not going to arouse the sentiments of some of my countrymen by raising it again. After all I forgive everyone their mistaken judgments because we are all simple folk and easily lead astray.
Yom Kippur gives us an opportunity to rue our mistaken judgments. Now we should come together in rejoicing that we were wrong and we should dance and sing together, like the Torah meant us to do on Simhat Torah, because we have something to rejoice about. Our enemies have fallen. We didn't make a big demonstration of our joy, like Nasrallah, who had nothing to rejoice about. Instead we rejoice in our hearts and in the Succah.
Whether we observed Torah knowingly or subconsciously I don't know but we observed the, long forgotten, mizvah of not rejoicing when our enemy falls.(Proverbs 24:17).
The lack of rejoicing at Nasrallah's defeat makes people think that Israel was defeated and is weak and unstable and that the continuation of war is imminent.
Our friends saw what appeared to be travail and were mislead into a fear of anticipating that there's something worse to come. This has been a more effective deterrent to visitors than any war we've ever fought. Our friends look with consternation at every minor local bit of unrest of the Arabs as a spark that will ignite the war again. People shake in fear at the sight of every Arab kid with half a stone in his hand.
This impression is false and isn't doing tourism any good. It's like people are waiting for the war to carry on. They don't even ask themselves whether the war will or won't carry on.
It's true that we have demonstrations, thank God, that's part of our democratic system but please don't be mislead into thinking that's weakness because it's in fact strength.
Wishing you a great no news day.