Holy Land Trips?

Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by scubablt, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. scubablt

    scubablt
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    Greetings. I have led church groups (where I was pastoring at the time) to Israel three times (1992, 1997, 1999). :D The last time I was going to go (2000), the trip was canceled due to escalating violence! I was wondering: has anyone been lately? Is it again safe to go? Do you feel comfortable taking groups with you again as a trip leader? I am very adventurous, and personally I would go back tomorrow! But, it is HARD to recruit others to go with you when they are fearful or their families say "Don't go!"

    So, what do you all think? from what you hear these days, is it safe to go? Are people/pastors you know going back in large numbers, yet? :rolleyes:

    If so, what tour group operators or travel agencies do you recommend?

    ~I do know the cut back in Christians going to Israel really killed the tourist industry there in the Holy Land! It dropped down by over 80 to 90%. Many people there lost their jobs, many businesses were closed, and it is still hurting their economy in a big-time way. :( Christians need to do all we can to support Israel and help build them back up again. [​IMG]
    God Bless,
    BLT
    Hosuton, TX [​IMG]
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    I have a friend who goes to Israel every two years to visit her family. She says it is safe to go there (even though she does have her will all updated before she leaves) as long as you know where to go, what to look for, etc...

    Then again, she probably has an advantage over us as she grew up there. Is it safe to go out and play now? Probably not. But, danger is everywhere in the world today. Who knows?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I've led a number of tours from 1980-2000. We've canceled in 2000 and not rescheduled. It is impossible to get enough lay people, when they see the Pizza places on King David Street (where we like to go shop) get blown up.

    I've gone back to Greece/Turkey but it is NOT Israel and NOT the draw for the average lay person. Ephesus is the Disneyland of archaeology but it still doesn't hold an emotional candle to Bethlehem or the Via Dolorosa.

    We are going to plan another trip as soon as the Iraq/Afghan/Paestinian fighting settles. Probably plan to go right after Christmas NEXT year (2005). That is the down season for hotels and flights and, though the days are short for sightseeing, there is a LOT to do (cheaply!)
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    I think right now, it would be good to wait a year or two to see what is going to happen with the new leadership of the Palestinians. Right now, I would consider Israel to be a very dangerous place and very unstable with the death of Arafat, no clear leaders to take over afterwards, and Hamas and Al Aqsa threatening to cause problems if new moderate leaders tryo to push for peace. Progress has certainly been made with the death of Arafat, but it is still a long hard road to peace.

    Joseph Botwinick
     

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