Representatives of Israel's Tourism Ministry handed out flowers to people arriving in Ben Gurion International Airport Thursday evening, as promised earlier by Minister Stats Misezhnikov.
Incoming passengers mainly appeared bewildered by the gesture, some telling the representatives they hoped it would be repeated throughout the summer months and not just on that night, ahead of a pro-Palestinian fly-in scheduled to take place over the weekend.
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"This is a hopeful act and it raises a smile but I can't help but relate it to today's circumstances," one new arrival said.
"I can't remember ever receiving flowers upon landing in a foreign country," a Russian tourist said. "I hope they save some flowers for the activists who come here over the weekend, to show them that Israel is not just scary. In any case it’s a gesture that I hope will bear fruit."
'Flowers related to circumstances' (Photo: Ohad Zoigenberg)
The gesture did succeed in attracting news coverage, at least. Journalists awaiting any possible occurrence at the airport flocked to the representatives, photographing them as well as the flowers' recipients from all possible angles.
Earlier Misezhnikov explained the gesture. "Ben Gurion Airport must maintain its daily routine and send a message to both tourists and the global media that Israel is a safe and advanced country and an attractive tourism destination," he said.
"The confrontation with pro-Palestinian activists which will no doubt be accomplished in a professional manner by the security forces does not need to break the routine at Ben Gurion Airport."
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