The last few days I have been driving around the North and the Golan. I met a young person at the hostel in Haifa and invited him to see Megiddo and Beit-She’an; two places that are difficult to visit independently like most of the sites here in Israel.
We discussed and agreed that Israel is not set up to cater to the independent traveler. It will take a person all day to reach the sites by riding the bus. In addition, once you’re dropped off there is no convenient transportation to the site; the walk can be up to thirty to forty five minutes. All the other countries that I have traveled, there was always a domlus or a micro van that a person could ride and the driver was more than happy to help. In Israel the bus drivers (most of them) are moody and don’t want to help. We also agreed concerning the awful customer service—it is cold without any smiles and welcomes and the worst I have experienced, if there is a smile it is standoffish.
The last two hostels I stayed at are in the network of Hostelling International. Nice modern hostels, although there is no way a person can reach these places independently. These hostels cater to groups and locals. I have not met any independent travelers at these hostels. What is strange every place such as a hostel or settlement are surrounded by fences, gates and alarms. I cannot help from asking—who are the Israelis fearful of? Why are they building fences, gates, and surveillance cameras, around settlements, houses, and hostels? In the cities, walls and bars are viewed in many residential neighborhoods. It is evident that the Israelis do not even trust one another; this is manifested by their cold approach toward strangers. Another strange arrangement is that at the hostels, everything costs extra, the locker, Internet including wireless—I have experienced the hospitality cold on a public level. Domestically, people are very nice once you get to know them, although, there is some strange inner emotional baggage that I continually sense.
The process of renting a car is more complicated than any place else. It took an hour in a half to figure out the details concerning in the insurance here in Israel. Even if a person purchases the damage waver, there is still a $500 deductible, you need to purchase additional insurance to be fully covered. The complicated details within a subject combined with fear, defensiveness, timid, and paranoia that the populace displays—I am happy I don’t live in Israel.
People view this country as holy; however, it is far from holy. A combination of the religious arrogance, the wicked intention toward the Palestinians in the West Bank, the racism among both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, and all the bloodshed from the prophets to our current year—this land is polluted with wickedness and bloodshed. There is nothing “holy” about this land of Israel. Indeed, karma resulting because of the failure of the Israelites has always affected this cultural entity. I am referring to the intentions of the government, religious ideology of Zionism, and the automatic behaviors that stems from the cultural entity. I am not referring to the common Israeli or Jewish person.