The great towel heist
Danny Sadeh
Published: 12.08.09, 21:43
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23 Talkbacks for this article
Lawrence ,   Safed Israel   (08.12.09)
I suffer from Irritable TOWEL Syndrome.I threw the Towel in long ago.
2. What A Big Shame ... !!!
Abdel Karim Salim ,   Jerusalem - ISRAEL   (08.12.09)
This article is a bad reflection on Israelis who do not feel any compunction by robbing each other.Yet I congratulate you for publishing it in accordance with guidlines of free and objective press. I as an Arab would never ever even bother to think of snatching anything that does not belong to me even if I were amongst my bitter enemies. This should prove again that personal ethics have nothing to do with religion since I am an avowed secular and non believer !
3. embarrasment
Lisa   (08.12.09)
this is an embarrassing article, to say the least. Very disappointing- I wonder how hotels in foreign countries are dealing with it....
4. And those of us who aren't thieves pay for those who are.
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, USA   (08.12.09)
One wonders where Israelis learned such behavior. Is the Commandment against theft overridden by the maxim not to be a "sucker"? I wouldn't put too much stock into tagging. Those inclined to steal will come up with a way of shielding their stash. Perhaps as an alternative, guests could be handed a price list of room contents which, if missing after checkout, will be charged to their accounts. I, for one, don't want to pay for another's theft.
5. To #2
Eitan ,   Chicago, USA   (08.13.09)
Mr. Salim, you're entitled to a positive image of yourself, but how should we understand your comment? Are you arguing that personal ethics have nothing to do with religion, but a lot to do with ethnicity? Outside of that, I agree with you that towel-snatching reflects poorly on Israelis and everyone else that does it. According to the "world's worst tourist" rankings, the French and Indians need to learn manners, and the Germans should stop stealing from tip jars.
6. #4
Minnie ,   USA   (08.13.09)
I thought it was against the rules(according to the talblum) for a jew to steal from another jew. Am I right??
7. hotels
Marissa ,   Tel Aviv   (08.13.09)
My parents recently stayed in a Tel Aviv hotel and were shocked by the amount of food one (non-Israeli) couple took out of the dining room. However the hotel does nothing to reduce costs, everyday they replaced the little bar of soap in the bathroom even though it wasalmost as good as new. Such a waste!
8. Hotel towels should not be reused anyway
Doron ,   Israel   (08.13.09)
Bed sheets is okay to reuse, but not towels. Yes, all sorts of body fluids can end up on a bed sheet, but you don't rub bed sheets against your genitals, as you would with a towel. Yes, both towels and sheets are washed, but still... Reuse of towels is far more disgusting than reuse of bed sheets. The hotel owners should be more ashamed about whining about their reused towels being stolen, than the guests who keep them.
9. A different approach
Meira ,   Israel   (08.13.09)
There are always people who "lift" hotel and restaurant property. This is not exclusive to some badly educated Israelis. I suggest that the Hotels launch a strong public service campaign, including polite notices in all rooms and public areas advising guests that towels etc are for their convenience but need to be reused to the convenience of future guests
10. #8 Doron- in favor?
Lisa   (08.13.09)
so you think it is ok to steal towels, because in your mind they should not be reused? Where on earth are you living? If you can afford to throw your towels out after a one night use- good for you---- How about replacing the mattress too? There could be fleas and lice and other awful things in there.. And the dishes? Very disgusting, Cutlery- totally gross... ever heard of laundry? better wash your hands after you have been on your PC- keyboard is filthy with disgusting and unkosher things... I feel sorry for hotel owners who have to deal with guests the likes of you....
11. #9 Meira- nice thought
Lisa   (08.13.09)
Meira- I have traveled allover the world for 40 years- I have never seen a sign like this- and I get the impression it has not been necessary. A guest might lift one towel or two.. some soap for all I know- but to walk out with 60 towels etc... and half the TBs cheering them and making excuses- this is a BIG PROBLEM right should not BE NECESSARY to post signs- 'you shall not steal' is a Jewish as well as a Christian commandment- so what is the excuse?
12. Start TALKING ON TVabout this ugly behaviour
Imma omeret   (08.13.09)
In schools too, maybe especially is schools. Kids should be taught that greed is NOT the norm, and is unacceptable in all its ugly manifestations. Ignoring it and pretending it doesn't exist is part of the illness. Kids should be brainwashed on this subject. Maybe a more decent generation will emerge. 'GNAYVAH? ZEH MAG'IL OTTI!"' Let's see THAT on TV. 'ABBA IMMA LO GONVIM MIBET MALON'. Try that throughout the year before chagim shabbatot (hakol kallul, lol), long gesher weekends and of course school holidays. Channel 10/2 newsreaders who are allergic to saying Shabbat Shalom on Thursday evenings, could maybe say this instead. (They may ask for more money tho' lol) Have a nice theft free hoiday chevreh. Oh... and Shabbat Shalom.
13. Avoid them
Jack.d ,   Israel   (08.13.09)
I am lucky when I travel with dual citizenship that I do not declare that I am Israeli. We have continually observed and experienced the unruly, abusive and aggressive behaviour of Israeli tourists and avoid where possible travelling together with them. .
14. #10 - Another post full of assumptions
Doron ,   Israel   (08.13.09)
What a moron you are. I mean really. It seems you're stalking me with personal attacks and weak arguments. Where in my post did I say that stealing is okay? If you had a little bit of more intelligence and reading comprehension, you would draw the opposite conclusion from my post. If I am disgusted by used towels, why would I ever want to steal one? Think again.... if you can!!
15. Towels
Dennis Greenstein ,   Marlton, NJ USA   (08.13.09)
I spend years (70's and 80's) in Israel as a Hotel Comptroller. This phenomenon is very old. Actually, we had put vute signs in rooms advising guests that if they liked our towles so much, they were available for sale. I think we sold 2 or 3.... Got to the point that we gave cheaper towels, as we couldnt keep them in stock whenever we had israeli groups or individuals. Ture, it weas part of our cost structure that everyone paid for. The towels in Israel, nowadays, are not even worth taking, but it must be for the "sport". The Friar syndrome....
16. Learned from my mother
Jacob Erickson ,   Tel Aviv, Israel   (08.14.09)
Whenever I'd go to a hotel growing up, my mother would take every soap, shampoo, and other one time use thing she could get her hands on. We would always come home from vacation with a few baggies of that kind of stuff. And I do it myself even now. But what we do with them might surprise most people. We donate them. Back in the US, my mom was incharge of our synagogue's homeless meal, and would give out all those little things there. Here in Israel, I'll just donate them to a charity. I always bring my own soaps and shampoos on vacation, I just take all the stuff they give out daily and take it home with me.
17. #10 Get off your high horse, Lisa
Cynthia ,   USA   (08.14.09)
You have your share of thieves in Switzerland. Hotel theft is an international problem that costs the industry a bundle. You name it, people steal it. Room keys, towels, bathrobes, ashtrays, plates etc. This is just an extreme case.
18. Towels
Marilyn ,   Usa   (08.14.09)
I have heard several rationalizations, like for example everyone is doing it (and some much more creative ones-leading me to wonder if this is something deeply ingrained in Israeli consciousness).
19. #17 Cynthia
Lisa   (08.14.09)
yes, we have lots of thieves in 'our' hotels in Switzerland- they are our international guests.... I know it is an international problem- my uncle was working at the Peninsula Hotel in Hongkong xxxx years ago- the worst 'collectors' were the rich Americans, LOL who walked out with anything that was not bolted down.... The problem here is some TBs actually taking sides with the thieves- not the fact that hotels are robbed- read my lips.... and DORON: you think because towels not sanitary they should be thrown out after one use- ia-therefore it is ok to steal them- where is the difference?
20. #6 trying to be funny????
Miri   (08.14.09)
Minnie, are you trying to be funny? It is ok to steal from a non-Jew- but stealing from a Jew is not allowed? I always thought it was STEALING IS NOT ALLOWED- from anybody, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, ... wow- if I had known-----
21. #19 - Lisa
Doron ,   Israel   (08.14.09)
To answer your question: yes, towels should not be reused in hotels. Maybe hostels or cheap hotels, but not a 4 or 5 star hotel. And that the only other option is to throw the used towels, reflects your own limited imagination, not mine -- as if there wasn't any other solution what to do with used towels. And it's the 2nd time you ask me if it's okay to steal and this will be the 2nd time I say no. You want to ask me a 3rd time? Let me asko you instead if you think it's okay to moralize over others, put yourself high up on a pedestal, judge and demonize strangers and be as opinionated as you are? I think I respect a simple towel thief more than I respect your personality disorder and lack of charm.
22. #17 Lisa
Cynthia ,   USA   (08.15.09)
Crime reports from Switzerland indicate you have a problem with pickpockets and muggers who prey upon tourists. But you've exposed yourself Lisa. You seek out any opportunity to find fault with Israelis and Americans. No one actually took sides with the towel thieves and Doron made a good point. A more hygienic solution would be disposable towels, particularly in light of the present danger of infectious disease.
carol ,   Eilat   (08.27.09)
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