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It Is Not A Good Idea
To Act As If You Can Not Accomplish
What You Were Elected To Do


Friday, September 01, 2017

Over 100,000 Muslims visit Israel every year

Reuters reports:

On any given day, Muslim pilgrims arrive at a Middle East airport on a journey to one of Islam's holiest sites.

At Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, they rub shoulders with larger groups of visitors – diaspora Jews and Christian tourists – many of them headed for the same destination, a 45-minute drive away: the sacred city of Jerusalem.

The Muslims are only a small part of the Holy Land's religious tourism market. But both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank are vying for their business.

They come mainly to pray at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, in a compound that is one of the world's most contested and volatile holy sites. Al-Aqsa is the most important shrine in Islam after Saudi Arabia's Mecca and Medina, but less of a draw for foreign Muslims, many of whose countries spurn Israel or its claim of sovereignty over the eastern sector of Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 war.

Israel's Tourism Ministry recorded 115,000 Muslim tourists in 2016 – 3 percent of the 3.8 million foreigners who arrived at its airports or land borders it controls with Jordan and Egypt.

Half of these Muslim tourists identified as pilgrims, the ministry said. Most of them – around 100,000 – came from Turkey, which recognizes Israel. But there were also some from Indonesia and Malaysia, which do not, and whose citizens Israel admits under special provisions for pilgrims.

Each Muslim tourist spends an average of $1,133 on the trip, the Israeli ministry said. Palestinians fret that too much of that goes to Israel and want the tourists to opt for alternative Palestinian venues in Jerusalem or the West Bank.
.. Israel has no counter-campaign aimed at attracting Muslim pilgrims. The Israeli Tourism Ministry said its marketing budget is allocated to countries in North and South America, Europe and the Far East and Russia, and does not include Turkey.

At the height of tensions in Jerusalem last month over Israeli controls on access to Al-Aqsa, Turkey's Islamist-rooted president, Tayyip Erdogan, urged his compatriots to flock there in solidarity with the Palestinians.

The general manager of Turkish Airlines followed up with an ad offering $159 round-trip flights to "Jerusalem" – though in fact the planes land at Ben Gurion. Israel's envoy to Ankara, Eitan Na'eh, tweeted in turn: "We will always be glad to warmly welcome Turkish tourists to Israel and our capital Jerusalem."
Notice the contradiction within the article: it says that Israel is 'vying" for these Muslim tourists but later it says that Israel doesn't spend a dime on marketing itself to Muslim countries.

But somehow 115,000 Muslims manage to visit Israel every year without fear. And Israel even works to accommodate Muslims from countries that don't recognize Israel so they can visit Al Aqsa.

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posted by Elder of Ziyon at permanent link#


Blogger Pastorius said...

Hey, it's good to see you. Thanks. for this.

As per usual, the media does not want to credit Israel with just being decent. They want to make it look like it's about money.

Friday, September 01, 2017 1:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel is a great place to visit! The whole county is an attraction and probably, on the whole, safer than much of Europe where you can't even eat bacon in public.

Friday, September 01, 2017 4:02:00 pm  

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