Photo: Reuters
Vietnam. Destination to be conquered
Photo: Reuters

Our reputation – our fault

Israelis' violent, vulgar behavior abroad is root of growing hatred towards us that has nothing to do with anti-Semitism

Sa-pa is a beautiful place in northern Vietnam. A peaceful market town nestled between green mountains, streams and rice terraces. Colorful birds fly around in the misty air, and several pigs and a stubborn water buffalo can be spotted in the distance.


For the Israeli tourist, the place hosts another animal – the local women of the Hmong tribe, dressed in black, who have learned to recite a children's song in Hebrew, and sing it repeatedly in the hope that the visiting overlord might agree to buy a handicraft from them for several pennies.


If you continue the trek a little further, you can encounter the women of the Dao tribe, who have learned to say "Come and fuck me" in Hebrew. Yes, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was right – these women's teachers were asses. No, actually why insult the asses? Their teachers were plain Israelis like me and you.


The global traveling season is now at its peak. Hordes of tourists are storming Thailand and Laos, South America and Kenya. And the battle has already been decided. The Israeli, any Israeli, has become an icon of evilness, ugliness, corruption and exploitation. There is no use searching for ways to change the behavior of Israelis abroad. This is a lost cause.


Worsening reputation  

Travel Independent ( is the online Mecca for tourists worldwide. The website offers accurate, concise and helpful reviews on any destination in the world.


And this is what the site has to say about us in its summary on India: "Aside from Indians you will find travels from all over Europe, USA and Australia/NZ, including as in Nepal/Thailand and South America, a large number of Israelis many of whom are fresh out of the army and seem to do everything they can to further worsen their reputation with locals and foreigners alike."


Travel Independent isn't anti-Semitic. As a travel destination, it gives Israel very warm recommendations. The Hmong women aren't anti-Semitic as well, and neither are the people of Japan, Peru or Tanzania, or most of the western travelers who witness this humiliation.


A new form of hatred towards Israelis is developing among people who don't even have a clue where the country is. An "anti-Semitism" that has nothing to do with God or Judaism.


Years of cultural corruption

For his part, the Israeli traveler goes out of his way not to be identified as an Israeli, not due to security concerns but simply for fear he will not be welcome. And he makes great efforts not to go where other Israelis go, not for the sake of exclusiveness, but simply because he knows that his countrymen will be the first ones to screw him over.


The Israeli pig is the product of years-long and ongoing cultural corruption. He will force the locals to watch episodes from the reality show "the Big Brother" and give them Israeli nick-names just for laughs.


His language is poor, and he is utterly uninterested in broadening his horizons. He is hostile towards Arabs and hostile towards foreigners in general and feels obligated to cheat them whenever he can (empty the open buffet; sneak six people into a double room at night so as not to come out "a sucker.") He takes over drug and women trafficking hubs just for the sense of power and bullying.


And this image can no longer be altered. Look at them and see us: a violent horde that treats the world as yet another policing mission, a destination that needs to be conquered and subdued.


No wonder that in Hebrew the verb "to do" refers both to the act of sexual conquest and to the completion of the Israeli traveler's tough, military-style trip abroad: "I did Bolivia."


פרסום ראשון: 12.06.08, 07:16
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