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Political

Violence and its


Consequences for Tourism in
Israel

Bachelor Thesis for Obtaining the Degree

Bachelor of Business Administration

Tourism and Hospitality Management

Submitted to Mag. Karin Glaser

Nina Nawara

0811553

Vienna 06 April 2011







Declaration of Authorship
I declare that this dissertation is my own unaided work. I have not included any
material or data from other authors or sources, which are not acknowledged and
identified in the prescribed manner. I have read the section in the exam regulations
on plagiarism and understand that such offences may lead the Examinations Board
to withhold or withdraw the award of Bachelor of Business Administration.

Date Signature

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Abstract

Within this thesis the researcher wants to find out how Israel is influenced by
political violence and what kind of consequences this threat brings to the tourism
industry of the state. The definition of terrorism will be clarified and
additionally its different effects on tourism. Additionally to a short introduction
to the history of Israel the different terror organizations that represent a threat
to the state will be verified. The political issues that Israel's destination
management has to deal with will be analyzed as well as the city branding
of Israel. Furthermore the researcher will focus on Counter Terrorism tactics of
the state's own government and correlate local tourism to individual target
groups. It is of interest to the researcher which target groups are mostly
deterred by terrorist attacks.

Acknowledgements

I would like to show my gratitude to my supervising teacher Mag. Karin Glaser


whose guidance and support from the initial to the final level enabled me to realize
my ideas and concept. Also, I am grateful to all friends and family members who
supported me during the development of this research paper.

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Table of Contents

Declaration of Authorship 2

1 Introduction 7

2 Facts about Israel 10


2.1 Israel Demographics 10
2.2 Tourism in Israel 11
2.3 Market Profile and Demand 13

3 Israel Then and Now 14


3.1 Zionism and Independence of State 14
3.2 Conflicts & Wars 16
3.3 The Second Intifada 17
3.4 Conflicts after the Second Intifada 20

4 Political Violence and its Consequences 21


4.1 Overcoming Terrorism 23
4.2 Consequences of Terrorism for Tourism in Israel 24
4.2.1 The Arab-Israeli Conflict and Tourism 28
4.2.2 Changes in Demand 29

5 Destination Management and Crisis Management 33


5.1 City Branding 33
5.2 Freedom and Tourism 35

6 Conclusion 37

7 Bibliography 39


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List of Tables and Figures


Chart 1: Terrorist Attack Rate in West Bank and Gaza Strip 1996 2002 26

Chart 2: Terrorist Attack Rate in West Bank and Gaza Strip 2002 2007 27

Diagram 1: Israel Tourism Statistics and Estimates 30

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1 Introduction
The Middle East Conflict is and has been for decades the most critical war situation
in the world. Two peoples are fighting for their rights, both for good reasons and
their natural right of a homeland. The states surrounding Israel have fought with
and for either Palestinians or Israeli. Israel as the Holy Land of the three world
religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam and its geographical location inbetween
Africa and Asia gives the small state big importance. Balke (2009: 134) defines the
state of Israel as an immigration country with the raison d'etre of the right of every
jew in the world to obtain Israeli citizenship. Looking back history proves that Israeli
people have suffered from indescribable human crimes during the holocaust and the
few survivors were not only homeless but stateless. Over the years the state was
confronted with numerous hostilities and albeit there have been tragic conflicts
between Israel and other Middle Eastern states, it is the conflict between Israeli and
Palestinians that represents the most pervading enmity. Israeli and Palestinian
people do not live in peace next to another but even today constantly have to
fear attacks.

By fact that this cultural conflict also manifests itself in terrorist attacks, it is of great
interest to the researcher to give a definition of terrorism and the consequences
on tourism in Israel that these acts of violence entail. Terrorism is presented as the
biggest public threat in the media these times but how and why do terrorists
attack? When do tourists become legitimate targets in the eyes of terrorists?

As tourism is a critical source of revenue generation and in the case of Israel also
strongly bonds with religion the researcher would like to find out what happens
when negative conditions exist, such as political violence. How does the tenuous
situation within Israel influence local tourism? For this purpose it would be
effective to give a short and comprehensive overview of the political history of
Israel but mainly focus on current events. Since Israel attracts religious tourists
that are in search of biblical sights and furthermore those people of Jewish
background who want to visit their families the probable outcome of the research
will be that Jewish tourists might not be as deterred by political violence as leisure
tourists.

This bachelor thesis will include secondary data which will be collected by the
researcher. Journals, newspaper articles and literature will be used as a
foundation for the research and with the conducted information the research
questions will be answered and the hypothesis will be declared as either true or
false. With the help of graphs the reduction of Israeli tourism after terror attacks
will be exemplified.

The first theme that will be examined is the country profile of Israel, exemplifying
Israel Demographics, Market Profile and Tourism in Israel. It is of special interest
what kind of tourism Israel offers and which target groups are attracted to the
various choices.

In the third chapter Israel Then and Now the researcher will illustrate the
history of Israel, from the beginnings of the state and the formation of Zionism to
the different conflicts the young state had yet to face. The researcher will place an
emphasis on the consequences the Second Intifada entailed and additionally Arab
terrorist movements will be explained in detail.

The fourth chapter, namely Political Violence and its Consequences, will include a
definition of terrorism and exemplify its effects on the economy in Israel. The
question which economic industries are mostly damaged by media coverage of
terrorism will be answered. Furthermore a line will be drawn from overcoming
terrorism to the consequences of terrorism for tourism in Israel. Within this chapter
the research question will be answered and the employed hypothesis will be tested.
After the determination that terrorism certainly does have an effect on local
tourism the researcher will elaborate on the intercultural challenge of Arab-Israeli
tourism. The theory will emerge that even after years of conflicts between the two
cultures there is a need for exchange and an interest for the respective other. To
conclude this main chapter, changes in demand of Israel tourism will be explained
with the help of statistics.

Within Destination Management and Crisis Management, which represents the


fifth chapter of this research paper, City Branding of Israel will be examined and

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thereby marketing strategies to work against terrorism associations will be
exemplified. Before coming to a conclusion the subchapter of Freedom and
Tourism will contain a philosophical approach to tourism. The researcher will focus
on the definition of travelling in times of globalization and the need for an
intercultural communication.

Concluding this research paper the main themes will be revised, the research
question answered and the hypothesis declared as either true or false. The
conclusion will additionally contain subjective thoughts of the researcher and the
need for an acceptance between cultures will be explicated.

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2 Facts about Israel
The state of Israel, located in between Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and the Gaza
Strip, is a country that entangles traditions, history and political conflicts all at once.
It is known for not only beautiful landscapes and interesting biblical artefacts but
unfortunately also for decades of intercultural conflicts. Only the American state of
Washington and the Russian Moscow have more accredited journalists on-site than
Israel (Balke 2009). The precarious political situation is the reason why Israel
constantly finds itself in the eyes of the media but in this respect it is oftentimes also
to the countrys mischief. Nevertheless, the state is a melting pot for different
cultures and has much to offer for its visitors.

2.1 Israel Demographics

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (2011) the state population
consisting of approximately 7684000 inhabitants is subdivided into 75,4% of Jewish
decent and 20,4% of Arab decent. The remaining 4,3% are represented by so-called
Others who are either not registered Jews, non-Arab Christian, non-Arab Muslims
or inhabitants that are not religiously classified. As stated on the website of the
Jewish Federation of the North Shore, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing
nation in the world whereby immigrants come in search of democracy, religious
freedom and economic opportunity (JFNS 2011).

The official Israel Tourism Website (2005) states that Jewish residents are divided
into religious and secular inhabitants whereas the Arab community consists of
Moslems, Christians and Druze. The website furthermore describes Israel as a rapidly
growing state, especially due to a high immigration rate of Jews from all over the
world. The median age is 28,3 years, which means that Israeli population is very
young, but the life expectancy with 78,7 years is doubtlessly quite high.

Additionally it is indicated that the majority of Israeli population are native-born


Israelis with a percentage of 65% (Israel Tourism Website 2005). Only few live in one
of the four major cities Jersualem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Rishon le-Tsiyon but 91% of all
inhabitants reside in urban settlements as has been noted in the official Israel
Tourism Website (2005).

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2.2 Tourism in Israel

Tourism is a profitable industry for the economy of Israel and serves as an important
income generator. In 2010 alone an estimated 3.45 million tourists visited the small state
which is 26% higher than the arrival numbers in 2009 (Herald Sun 2010). Within the
newspaper article it is also stated that those sites of religious importance were the ones
most appealing to visitors. In the year of 2010, 77% of all guests visited the Western Wall
which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem (Herald Sun 2010). Vibrant and modern cities
like Tel Aviv or ancient places with biblical history like Nazareth attract many tourists each
year. Health tourism booms especially in regions like the Dead Sea region which is a
globally known therapeutic resort (Israel Tourism Website 2005). Visitors coming to Israel
can discover archeological artefacts, national parks and can choose from a broad variety
of museums, as Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world (JFNS
2011).

By example of these various tourist attractions it is of no surprise that people from all
cultural backgrounds want to explore Israel and spend their pastime in this prosperous
country. However, it is a specific kind of tourism that draws most people to Israel, namely
the religious one.

Religious tourism or Pilgrimage exists in all the main religions in the world, be it
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism or Christianity. It is defined as A journey resulting
form religious causes, externally to a holy site, and internally for spiritual purposes and
internal understanding(Barber, 1993:1 cited Collins-Kreiner et al. 2006). But a pilgrim is
much more than just a religious traveler as a traveler of such a purpose usually is more
open to encounter strangers, experience and hear new things and especially question his
or her own views. Pilgrims go to foreign destinations not only to be close to a site of a
miraculous religious event but they intend to fulfill a commandment of the religion
(Collins-Kreiner et al. 2006).

According to Smith (1989 cited Collins-Kreiner et al. 2006) tourism is based on the three
main elements: discretionary income, leisure time and social sanctions permissive of
travel. By reason that Pilgrimage requires these basics too, Turner and Turner suggest
that a tourist is half a pilgrim if a pilgrim is half a tourist (1978 cited Collins-Kreiner et al.
2006).

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The term pilgrimage implies a religious journey and its Latin origin allows broader
interpretations including foreigner, wanderer, exile and traveler. A pilgrimage is therefore
a physical journey combined with a spiritual search. Collins-Kreiner et al. (2006) define
three types of pilgrims namely the Existential Pilgrims (Orthodox Catholics) who will
experience the pilgrimage only once and their visits will rarely include recreational
activities, the Experiential Existential Pilgrims (Religious Protestants) who long for
authentic experiences and are more keen to experience the unknown, and the Tourist
Pilgrims who are interested in getting to know the Holy Land but still want to participate
in secular tourism activities.

The sites of a pilgrimage are tied to Jesus life cycle and each station is not only a place of
theoretical information for pilgrims but also includes praying and meditating. Usually the
group is led by a spiritual leader who is responsible for prayers and religious rituals and a
tour leader who is the authority when it comes to logistics and welfare of each group
member.

Israel offers many sites sacred to the three monotheistic religions, however there is a
fairly large amount of holy sites situated on a relatively small area of land. From 1995
2000 there were annually around 2 million tourists coming to Israel (Israel, Ministry of
Tourism, 2001) and estimated 25 percent of these tourists were Christian pilgrims.
(Fleischer 2000, cited Collins-Kreiner et al.). According to Collins-Kreiner et al. (2006)
another 40 percent were Christians with other motivations who still paid visits to the
Christian holy sites.

As the Holy Land is a rather small area it imposes problems for pilgrims and pilgrimage
organizers have to face logistical issues. Leading a group of pilgrims through different
zones of possible danger but ensuring their safety while visiting sacred sites certainly
involves menaces. For many pilgrims the trip is a once in a lifetime experience because
they have saved money years beforehand. If they are not able to visit all promised sites
the pilgrimage will leave them disappointed.

Yet there is an advantage to make a pilgrimage during insecure times since most sites are
not visited by too many people and as Gertel (1.09.2003 cited Collins-Kreiner et al.)
reports, many pilgrims interviewed liked the fact that they had a whole site for
themselves when traveling during uncertain times.

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Addionally numerous pilgrims stated that they were curious about safety regulations and
even tragic occurrences, such as bombings. They wanted to tell these stories of dramatic
reality to their friends and family back at home to be viewed as heroes themselves.

But not only the unstable political situation is a threat for pilgrims, their own expectations
are sources of distortion. Many pilgrims might see the Holy Land as a sacred terrain that
bears images of desire and utopian nostalgia. Israel and Palestine are countries torn by
war and dissension and are therefore also oversaturated with secular tourism and
commercial entertainment. Religious tourism will always represent a significant part of
Israels tourism industry even if its cities become more and more modern. Israel is already
a highly developed state and the birthplace to many innovators. But in the same regard
Israeli people preserve and cherish their rich history, retaining ancient sites and
monuments of biblical significance.

2.3 Market Profile and Demand

The domestic market accounts for a big part of Israeli tourism because many incoming
guests are visiting friends and family. Pilgrimage related tourism represented 7% of
international visitors in 2002 but increased by 100% in 2004 because the safety within the
country improved (Travel and Tourism Forecast 2005).

The Travel and Tourism Forecast (2005) explains that the Israel airline industry is
dominated by national carrier El Al, which was privatized in 2003 and is also controlled by
Arkia Holdings, which owns a controlling stake of 40%. This flagship carrier has its
headquarters at Ben Gurion International Airport, which is the most important airport in
the country.

By fact that Israel attracts various tourist groups and offers a wide range of not only
important historical and religious sights but also vibrant metropolises, it is of interest to
the researcher which target groups the state of Israel intends to attract. If one visits the
official Israel Tourism Website (http://www.tourism.gov.il), the potential tourist is asked
to choose between one of the three main interest divisions, being Christian interest,
Jewish interest and General interest. Based on this decision the website then shows
specific attractions that the visitor might be curious about. Naturally tourists that incline

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to focus on the religious aspects of Israel, be it Jewish or Christian, are presented with
pictures of important religious sites, whereas tourists that visit the state for recreational
reasons will see impressions of historical sites or wellness facilities. The latter are also
targeted to experience Health Tourism in Israel by reason that many therapeutic resorts
are located close to the Dead Sea, which is famous for health treatments. The Israel
Tourism Website furthermore describes the state as one where visitors can experience
four bio-geographical zones, namely Mediterranean, Steppe, Desert and African. It
additionally gives an alphabetical overview of sites that are attractive to Jewish and
Christian travellers. But this Middle Eastern state does not only entice foreigners to come
and experience the land, it also represents an important destination for relatives of local
inhabitants. Many of the Israeli visitors are merely intending to meet their families and in
fact stay at their relatives homes.

The cities Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eilat are the destinations of biggest interest to tourists
and as the Travel and Tourism Forecast additionally notes, it is the Dead Sea that attracts
most health tourists. As already stated, the Israel Hotel Association had to decrease prices
and of the 15 million bed nights ascertained in 2003, 78% were domestic tourists. The
largest travel agency in Israel is ISSTA which contains 48 branches and there are 730
travel agencies in total operating in Israel.

3 Israel Then and Now

3.1 Zionism and Independence of State

The man who brought Zionism into being and formed the first thoughts of an
independent jewish state was Theodor Herzl, a Viennese journalist and writer. Herzl
was the one who wanted jews to debate over a collective political future and
therefore invited many aqquaintances to join him in the 1897 congress in the swiss
Basel. He and his combatants founded the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kajemet
LeIsrael) and the Palestine Land Development Company whose function was and as
of today still is the collection of money for the acquisition of land (Balke 2009). In the
years before the Alijah, the first big wave of immigration, there were only around
10000 to 20000 orthodox jews living in Palestine.

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In the year of 1917 the Foreign Secretary of England, Lord Arthur James Balfour,
declared his courtesy towards the foundation of an independent jewish state to Lord
Lionel Walter Rothschild who was a leading proponent of the Zionist movement
(Steininger 2009). This formal statement, namely the Balfour Declaration,
revealed: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best
endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood
that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of
existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status
enjoyed by Jews in any other country" (Steininger, 2009: 73). This declaration
represents a milestone in the history of the zionistic movement and the jewish
independent statehood.

According to Steininger (2009) Great Britain and France agreed that they would
seperate their different interests in the Middle East after the First World War. In the
year of 1922 Transjordan was seperated from Palestine by the British government.
At the same time they demanded the establishment of a so-called Jewish Agency
that served as the pre-state Jewish authority and was supposed to co-operate with
the British administration.

Balke (2009) notes that Palestine became more and more attractive for Jewish
people as 37000 immigrated during the third Alijah between the years of 1919 and
1923. Furthermore the British mandate administration invested large amounts of
money into the infrastructure of Palestine and as a result of the national socialist
movements in Europe there were even more immigrants coming to the Arab state
beginning with the year of 1933. Balke (2009) specifies that a separation of Palestine
was planned by the British government that ensured land for Jewish immigrants but
many Palestinians revolted against the British army and defended their own land.

Balke (2009) also states that as a consequence of the Arab uprisings the British
Colonial Secretary Malcom MacDonald published white papers in the year of 1939
that implied a newly interpreted Balfour Declaration and terminated the
construction of a national Jewish homeland. The two Zionist leaders David Ben
Gurion, who became the first Prime Minister of Israel in 1948, and Chaim Weizmann,
who was elected the first President of the State of Israel in the same year, decided

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to invoke their Jewish followers to ignore the white papers and act as if they
already were a state in Palestine until they actually were a state in Israel
(Steininger, 2009:25). After years of illegal immigration and unauthorized
constructions of housing settlements there came a big turning point for the Jewish
settlers when Great Britain declared their retraction and ended their mandate
adminstration. As a result the United Nations summoned a UN General Assembly
whereby all member states were invited to vote for a possible separation of
Palestine and the formation of Israel (Steininger 2009). Steininger (2009)
furthermore asserts that on May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion announced
independence and as the speaker of the Jewish Agency named the state Israel.

3.2 Conflicts & Wars


One day after the declaration of Independence of Israel the first Arab-Israeli war had
begun and the states Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq sent out army troups to
attack the newly born state. The armed forces of Israel were quantitatively far
beyond those of their enemies but since the Arab leaders distrusted their alleged
confederates and were not able to coordinate strategic approaches, Israel won its
war of independence (Balke 2009). There were multiple wars and conflicts between
the state of Israel and its Arab neighbour states such as the Suez Crisis in 1948, the
Six-Day War in 1967 or the Yom Kippur War in 1973, whereby the coalition of Egypt
and Syria surprised Israel with a joint attack on the holiest day in Judaism, the Yom
Kippur (Flug and Schuble 2009). Balke (2009) states that despite the fact that the
Yom Kippur War was a military defeat for Egypt it represented a political victory
because the Israeli secret service had not been able to foresee the attacks and
therefore their bereavements were immense. However, Egypt and Syria were not
able to suppress Israel from their 1967 conquered territories. Israel and Egypt signed
a peace treaty after thirteen days of negotiations at Camp David witnessed by the
former US President Jimmy Carter in the year of 1978. Trying to overcome all the
conflicts with their neighbour states Israel still had to face Palestinian uprisings and
saw itself confronted with a Palestinian National Movement that stood opposite to
Zionism (Steininger 2009).

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According to Balke (2009) the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) with its leader
Yassir Arafat was recognized as the administrative authority by the Palestinian
people in 1974. Israel got involved with Lebanon in the year of 1984 with the
objective of suppressing the PLO and the creation of Israel-friendly government.
Balke (2009) also mentions that Yassir Arafat finally agreed to evacuate his army
forces to Tunis after Beirut was constantly under attack for two months. The
lebanese militant group Hezbollah then committed deadly massacres in the
Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila whereby over 3000 people got killed.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation office at the UNO in Washington was closed
and confronted with all of this despair, the Palestinian people started to revolt
(Steininger 2009). In 1987 Palestinians initiated what came to be known as the First
Intifada, an uprising against the Israeli enmeshment. Their actions consisted of
violent acts, nonviolent civil disobedience and resistance movements. The Intifada
became the biggest political challenge Israel had yet to face. Steininger (2009)
describes that during this revolt the radical Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas
was founded to release Palestine from Israeli involvement and build an Islamic state.

Balke (2009) indicates that an agreement between the Israel government and the
Palestinian Liberation Organization came to be in the year of 1994 with the so-called
Oslo Accords. Yasser Arafat then officially recognized Israel as its own state and in
return the Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin recognized the PLO. After mutual
recognition both Arafat and Rabin were invited to Washington for a celebratory
ceremony of the Oslo Accords and at the ceremony both shook hands which at that
point seemed to symbolize the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

3.3 The Second Intifada

In the summer of 2000 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat were cordially invited to Camp David by US President Bill
Clinton to finalize the Middle East peace treaties (Flug and Schuble 2009). However,
both authorities did not come to a mutual consent as the Israeli still thought they
could bargain for territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip even though
Palestinians were of the opinion that the recognition of the state Israel and its

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borders in 1967 had already been their final compromise. Flug and Schuble (2009)
furthermore report that while both countries could not come to an agreement it was
the visit of Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon at the Temple Mount in the same
year that activated the Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

The mosque Al-Aqsa at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem represents
a holy site in both Judaism and Islam, therefore Israeli authorities as well as
Palestinian ones claim sovereignty over this spiritual monument. This visit had the
aim of demonstrating Israeli control over the Temple Mount but was perceived as
deliberate provocation to the Palestinian opponent and its leader Yasser Arafat
(Balke 2009). As a consequence violent street battles broke loose and moreover
numerous suicide attacks were commited. Armed Israeli forces were attacked by
Palestinians and vice versa, the Palestinian media invoked people to fight a so-called
Holy War and people of both religious backgrounds were killed, Flug and Schuble
(2009) note.

Other Arab countries like Egypt, Syria and Jordan called for Israel to be convicted in
an UN War Crimes Tribunal and supported the Palestinians. The Second Intifada
consisted not only of violent revolts but also of mass protests and general strikes
likewise to the First Intifada. Since Israeli and Palestinian people blame each other
for the failure of the Oslo Accords neither one wants to retreat in the conflict. Flug
and Schuble (2009) observe that there is no official ending to the Second Intifada
but with the death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat in 2004 and internal conflicts
between the two Palestinian fractions Hamas and Fatah, the ending of the armed
conflict was near. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Ariel
Sharon declared the ending of violence in the Sharm El-Sheikh Summit in the year of
2005.

The brutal conflict of the Second Intifada claimed the lives of 1000 Israeli and 3300
Palestinians (Jaeger and Paserman, 2006). Even though political leaders oftentimes come
to a mutual agreement of terminating violence, the hatred between those two cultures
cannot be ended with a written statement of a political spokesperson. Palestinians and
Israeli fight for their right of homeland and do so by attacking and dislodging the
opponent. By reason that they do not share the same religion, many terrorist groups
want to fight a Holy War. They view deadly attacks as righteous acts for what they

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believe in. Suicide bombers do not see their deaths as suicides but rather as a sacrifice for
God and as Balke (2009) observes, human bombs are not a punishment for political or
social injustice but rather an effect of mostly Islamic imprinting and its wrongful
illustration of the afterlife.

The Palestinian Islamist political party Hamas was initiated during the First Intifada and
according to Balke (2009) soon became considerably more dangerous than the PLO as
they openly stated the extermination of Israel as their main goal. Their guidelines
additionally invoke followers to murder Jewish people as every Jew represents a settler
that has to be eliminated. Furthermore the Hamas pamphlet implies that Jews had been
the initiators of both World Wars and their aspirations to acquire world supremacy have
to be detained (Baumgarten 2006).

The organization of Hamas contains three subgroups, namely the social, the political and
the military wing. In the year of 2006 Hamas won elections in the Palestinian autonomy
areas but the coalition government system that was then formed with PLO chairman and
Fatah president Mahmoud Abbas, did not last long. Members of Fatah were hunted and
executed and to this end Hamas and Fatah terminated their coalition in 2007.

The Fatah represents the largest fraction of the Palestine Liberation Organization and
even though terrorist groups have also claimed to be members of Fatah in the past, this
political party is not considered to be a terrorist movement anymore in contrary to
Hamas (Flug and Schuble 2009).

Another radical Islamist party is represented by the Hezbollah which was founded by
Iranian revolutionary guards after Israeli troups were invading Lebanon in 1982. Flug and
Schuble (2009) note that this organization gained momentum when they sent out
suicide bombers to kill American, French and Israeli army forces during the civil war in
Lebanon. Hezbollah became a political party in 1985 and similar to the Hamas it is their
target to exterminate the state of Israel and free Jerusalem. They own seats in the
Lebanese government and train their own military forces.

Both Hezbollah and Hamas have been at war with Israel and the actual victims of these
conflicts have always been civilians. The fundamentalist organizations do not take the
security of their members or the security of civilians into consideration during violent

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attacks. By reason that members of these radical unions oftentimes hide in public places
and institutions the military forces also attack civilian venues like schools. Israeli civilians
had to suffer not only during the Second Intifada but also afterwards, being confronted
with numerous terror attacks and violent turmoils.

3.4 Conflicts after the Second Intifada

To protect Israeli civilians from ongoing terror attacks and with the aim of physically
separating Palestinian territory from Israeli territory, the Israeli government started
to build a long barrier in the year of 2002 (Balke 2009). While some parts of the
Israeli West Bank Barrier consist of solid concrete walls, most of it consists of a
barbed wired fence of 670 kilometres length along the West Bank area (BBC 2005).
According to Balke (2009) another separation of Israel and Palestinian areas was
initiated in the summer of 2005 as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Scharon instructed the
demolition of all Israeli housing settlements within the Gaza Strip. Furthermore the
author notes that despite this concession of Israeli government many missiles were
fired from the Gaza Strip to close-to-border Israeli towns. As mentioned in the
previous chapter the organization of Hamas won elections in the year of 2006
against PLO fraction Fatah consequently caused violent riots between the two
opponents in the area of the Gaza Strip. After radical Palestinians attacked a military
sentinel on Israeli territory, Israel got involved in the Gaza Strip turmoils and tried to
disempower terroristic infrastructure (Balke 2009). According to the BBC database
(2007) in that same year Lebanese Hezbollah caused an assault whereby Israeli
soldiers were kidnapped and killed. The situation escalated after Israel tried to cut
traffic routes in Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah from further abduction of the soldiers
to either Syria or Iran. This incident deployed what came to be known as the
Lebanon War, which lasted for 34 days and claimed many victims on both sides (BBC
2007). The military conflict between Lebanon and Israel then ended but the conflict
between Hamas and Israel did not entirely dissolve during that time. Interruptions
only transpired because of strategic tactics and the Hamas did not stop to fire
missiles. Israel responded with military operations and because members of the
Hamas intended to hide at public places like schools and universities, parts of the
infrastructure in the Gaza Strip were damaged during this collision (Balke 2009).

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Up until today the situation remains unresolved and in March 2011 ceasefires once
more broke out whereby Israeli and Palestinian civilians got wounded and killed
(APA 2011). In conclusion the sad truth is that because of decades of intercultural
conflicts, Israel will always be confronted with terror to some extent and within the
next chapters the researcher will focus on the consequences of political violence
within the country.

4 Political Violence and its Consequences


Terrorism is not a phenomenon of modern times by fact that there have been uprisings
against political governments since ancient times. Enders & Sandler (2002, p.145-146
cited Arendell & Paraskevas 2007) describe terrorism as a premiditated use or threat of
use of extranormal violence or brutality by subnationals groups to obtain a political,
religious or ideological objective through intimidation of a huge audience, usually not
directly involved with the policy making that terrorists seek to influence.

Terrorism remains a threat to many countries and people all over the world might find
themselves targets as terror attacks are mostly of a random kind.

There are lots of different reasons why terrorists want to attack, it might not be deep
religious, ethnic and ideological conflicts but they might want to agitate against political
or economic systems (Capper 2010). With regard to Israel it can be said that terrorist
organizations that attack the country definitely base their hatred on ideological conflicts,
as for instance the organization of Hamas has never recognized the right of Israel to be its
own state. With their terroristic acts they want to disturb the functioning political and
economic situation in Israel and send out alarming messages.

Terrorist attacks are forms of outcries against social or political circumstances and they
work as a communication channel. A terrorist wants to send a message to an audience
and in these times the media plays an important role in delivering this message. The

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audience is people who watch the daily news on television, listen to the radio or use the
internet for information purposes. Consequently the feedback of the recipient is the final
step in this communication process (Karbour 1971 cited Capper 2010). Therefore the
media is responsible of delivering information but at the same time creates a picture of a
certain event in the recipients mind. The media is able to exaggerate terrorist attacks and
according to Pizam (2000 cited Capper 2010, p.16) also exaggerate the actual
possibilities of travellers being targeted by terrorist attacks. Hence, many destinations
that have been places affected by terrorist attacks now complain about exorbitant and
exaggerated media coverage. They are stigmatized with a particular picture of possible
threat that has a negative effect on the countrys image. The media sends out a distorted
picture of a countrys political situation and this bias can cause economical harm.

An industry that can especially suffer from untruthful or exaggerated media coverage is
the tourism industry. In some cases these extensive reports of relatively minor incidents
can have a considerable impact on the whole tourism and hospitality industry of a
destination. According to Buckley and Klemm (1993 cited Capper 2010) the problem with
civil unrest is that frightening images are carried across the world and even if an area
does not pose imminent threat people will be less encouraged to visit the affected place.

Tourism is affected by terrorism not only by the creation of an image of lack of safety but
also by actual damage of tourist facilities. Terrorists can choose places that have a lot of
visitors and a high visibility to the international media because that gives them the chance
to publicise their message globally (Seekings 1993 cited Capper 2010).

Richter (1983 cited Capper 2010) points out that tourism stands for Western culture, be it
political culture or ideological values, as tourists oftentimes are from wealthier countries
of Western Europe or North America. For this reason tourism represents the capitalistic
way of life and a tourist is the personification of a capitalist. Terror organizations that are
against the Western lifestyle and its puppets seek to harm tourists of this heritage and
see attacks against them as valid.

Tourism is a shifting demand and depends on not only the picture a tourism
destination creates for itself but also on factors that cannot be controlled. Crises and
changes in culture, economy, politics or nature have an essential influence on
potential tourists. Travelers might not want to visit certain countries due to their

22






political instability or prospective threats. But how do tourists react to potential
terrorist threats and what kind of target group is least deterred by these risks? Do
leisure tourists that plan to spend their vacation in Israel consider their own safety
when booking the trip? Would travelers who intend to visit their family in Israel
cancel their plans because of political instability in the country? Before answering
these research questions it is of interest to the researcher how nations cope with
terrorism.

4.1 Overcoming Terrorism

Pedahzur et al. (2005) claim that policy makers of democratic states nowadays
understand that when dealing with terrorism it is of utter importance to set a high
value on performing defensive measures rather than focusing only on offensive
measures. Furthermore they investigate that offensive methods against terrorism
are mostly employed by national authorities whereas defensive methods are
practiced by regional or district authorities. Offensive measures against terror imply
direct impairment of terrorist organizations, defensive measures on the other hand
incorporate the alliviation of secondary consequences of terrorism such as social,
psychological or political effects (Pedahzur et al. 2005).

According to Pedahzur et al. (2005) there are three stages of coping with a terror
attack, namely the Prevention and Deterrence, the Event Management and the
Rehabilitation. The first stage of prevention of course contains minimizing the
probability that an actual terror attack occurs, but if so limiting the consequences.
The management of the actual occurrence of such an event represents the second
stage of the model and its aim is to provide fast and efficient help for the victims.
Within this stage it is crucial to analyze the scene and prevent further attacks.
Pedahzur et al. (2005) describe the rehabilitation stage as the last one whereby
treatment is offered to the victims and their families, be it medical, psychological,
functional or economic. In this part of the model local welfare agencies play a
significant role as well as National Insurance by reason that they are able to support
victims financially.

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Even though this model offers practical strategies to cope with terrorism and terror
attacks it is the actual event that has its very own consequences on each responsible
helper in need. The structure and clearly defined responsibility of each rescue
service defines the outcome of a terror attack. If delayed or no communication
between the rescue forces takes place, the effects of a violent terrorism act will
increase (Perry 2003 cited Pedahzur et al. 2005).

4.2 Consequences of Terrorism for Tourism in Israel

Israel has had to deal with terrorism since the formation of the state and as its
government must not only try to ensure the safety of the states own inhabitants, it
also has to focus on counterterrorism tactics and the safety of foreigners in Israel. As
listed before the state tries to fight terrorism and terror attacks with certain
strategies and emergency policies but how is the danger of terrorism presented in
the context of tourism?

The official Israel Tourism Website (2005) states that Israel is an extremely safe
country to visit and to tour. In 2008, three million tourists came to Israel, an all-time
record, and all three million went back home safe and sound. We would not
encourage tourists to come if we felt they would be in the slightest danger. It can
be concluded that the omnipresent threat of terrorism in Israel is not represented as
a highly dangerous one and the government encourages tourists to come to the
country. According to Tucker (2009) General Meir Dagan, head of the Bureau for
Counterterrorism in the Israeli Ministry, believes that fighting terrorism is like
boxing, you usually win by points, meaning that fighting terrorism can only be done
when new counterterrorism strategies are developed after every attack according to
the changing terrorism tactics. Tucker (2009) additionally describes the Israeli
domestic and foreign intelligence as well-structured and connected whereby the
Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) is under the authority of the Israeli Prime
Minister and responsible for the prevention of terror attacks. The Shin Bet has its
own Arab Affairs Division which executes the surveillance of potential terrorists. This
security agency works together with the foreign intelligence agency (Mossad) and
the military intelligence service (Aman). Collectively they prepare an annual

24






terrorism threat assessment that serves the Prime Minister to evaluate and judge
current strategies. Fact is, Israel spends a vast amount of money on counter
terrorism measures and the first stage of the stage model of Pedahzur et al. (2005),
namely Prevention and Deterrence is applied with strict measures.

According to Tucker (2009) the Israeli National Airlines El Al have an estimated


security budget of $80million, which also covers every airline carrier and the Ben
Gurion International Airport. Furthermore it is indicated that passengers have to go
through strict security systems when arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport and
armed guards scan the crowds both inside and outside the airport. Tucker (2009)
also states that whereas the security system of the United States airports focuses
mainly on screening peoples baggage, the safety guard of Ben Gurion airport
concentrates on observing the travelers and doing so with psychological profiling
techniques. Before passengers enter the baggage screening they are divided into
groups of different heritages, be it Jewish Israeli, Arab Israeli, Palestinian or other
foreigners. According to these measures the travelers are examined and assessed
and law-enforcement databases are used to identify travelers with criminal records
(Tucker 2009). It therefore can be concluded that Israel places a high emphasis on
security controls.

Israeli government additionally attempts to overcome the psychological impacts of


terrorism by vitalizing civilians coping skills as they send out terrorism experts to
schools and other educational institutions to offer support and information about
terrorism. Boaz Ganor, the General Director of the International Policy Institute for
Counter-Terrorism in Israel explains that Education directed towards familiarity
with the phenomenon of terrorism, in all its aspects, will lower the level of anxiety
and foil one of the terrorists principal aims: to instill fear and undermine the
personal security of civilians (1998).

Counterterrorism forces have not always been as effective as they are today and
Israeli authorities had to learn from past failures in order to improve their
approaches. As Pedahzur et al. (2005) report during the first suicide attacks there
were no ways of determining that an attack was actually over and most of the times
medical care intervened before the scene was secured. They take a terror attack
from the winter of 2001 as an example whereby two suicide bombers committed

25






attacks in a shopping mall in Jerusalem and thirty minutes after the medical care
teams arrived, another bomb exploded only fifty meters from the original place of
violence. Israel had to improve its second stage of coping with terrorism, the Event
Management had to be revised and only after this crucial event it was decided that
merely a minimum amount of emergency helpers should enter the scene of a terror
attack.

Israel intends to overcome terrorism and its violent consequences by separating the
Palestinian areas from Israel and does so, as mentioned in a previous chapter, by
constructing the West Bank Barrier. But did the erection of this fence actually improve
the safety of Israel people? With the help of the following generated graphs (Global
Terrorism Database 2010) the researcher wants to illustrate that the West Bank Barrier
did actually influence the security situation.

Chart 1: Terrorist Attack Rate in West Bank & Gaza Strip 1996-2002

26





Chart 2: Terrorist Attack Rate in West Bank & Gaza Strip 2002-2008

Chart 1 and Chart 2 show the amount of terrorism incidents that took place in the region
of West Bank and Gaza before the construction of the West Bank Barrier and afterwards.
Comparing the charts it can be concluded that shortly before the erection of the border in
2002 the rate of terrorist attacks was on its peak and only lately there has been an
increase again. In the years after the construction the rate dropped significantly and only
rose again after the Palestinian conflicts between Hamas and Fatah occurred in 2006. It
can be concluded that the construction of the fence served its purpose and turns out to
be an effective method to minimize terrorism incidents. It can be concluded that
terrorism does have a big impact on Israel since local government authorities
constantly try to maximize security provisions. Evidently it is not only tourists that
come to Israel who suffer from a potential threat of terrorism but also Israels own
inhabitants. Even though the official Israel Tourism Website assures tourists of their
definite safety in the country, it can never be guaranteed that violent riots will not
occur.

In the beginning of this research paper the proposed hypothesis was stated and
implied that tourists of Jewish heritage who were visiting their families in Israel
would be less deterred by terrorist attacks than leisure tourists that come to Israel
for their pastime.

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Fielding and Shortland (2008) also deploy the hypothesis that Jewish tourists might
be less deterred by violent terrorist attacks because of their family bonds or their
religious dedication. Countries with a high Jewish population therefore might display
no crucial decline in tourism to Israel. They moreover assume that inhabitants of
countries with a high violent crime rate will not be discouraged by potential terror
threats as they are used to living with those risks. Thus it can be expected that
decrease in tourism also result from the economical and social traits of a tourists
country of origin. Travelers from countries with a low economical development will
not be as affected by potential terrorism threats as travelers from economically rich
countries.

To test these hypotheses Fielding and Shortland (2008) created an equation and
concluded that travelers that come from countries with high average incomes and
low violence rates can be connected with a larger decrease in tourist arrivals when
violence occurs. Therefore tourists of less developed countries are not as sensitive to
terrorist attacks as tourists of countries with a highly developed economy. They
found out that the rate of regression in tourism over a period of time is
approximately 40% lower if the quota of Jewish in a population is one percentage
point higher. Thus it is possible that Jewish tourists are less sensitive to contingent
violence than merely leisure tourists that have no family ties in Israel.

4.2.1 The Arab-Israeli Conflict and Tourism

Fact is, terrorism and intercultural conflicts do influence tourism. But even in between
two conflicting cultures there is a need of exchanging values and experiencing the
opposite. There has always been Jewish tourism in Palestine and vice versa. Before the
First Intifada broke loose many Jewish travellers were visiting Palestinian territories to
enjoy their pastime and visit historical sites. How has the intercultural conflict then
influenced the intercultural tourism between Arabs and Israeli? As Stein (2008: 11)
illustrates, Jews flocked to East Jerusalems Old City for its culinary offerings, to the Sinai
coast for natural beauty and Bedouin culture, and to markets and restaurants of
Bethlehem and Ramallah for inexpensive shopping on Friday afternoons. These travels
came to an abrupt ending with the beginning of the first Palestinian uprising.

28






But after the Oslo Accords in 1993, Stein (2008) also observes, that there was a change in
peoples minds of both Arab and Israeli heritage due to the fact that they co-existed for
the first time. Arabs had always been part of the Israeli state but at that point they finally
became a part of the culture. The shift of perceptions led to transformations in the
tourism industry as many tourist agencies incorporated Palestinian culture and sights in
their proposed tours and even Jewish tourists wanted to experience the cultural
differences (Stein 2008). The Palestinians were suddenly invited to participate actively in
the Israeli tourist market and show their ethnicity. Whenever Jewish Israeli tourists came
to visit Palestinian places or people, they were looking for authentic Arab culture and
certain Arab trademarks were even built into merchandising (Stein 2008).

Another important shift was that of the perception of space. After the Oslo Accords
there were less formal entry barriers and people started to recognize the proximity of
interesting places behind borders. Stein (2008) reports that in the year of 1995 even the
Israeli Ministry of Tourism announced that Israel was welcoming tourists of Arab and
Muslim decent, but these statements were soon revised as a spokesperson of the
ministry then clarified that Muslim tourism to Jerusalem would not be endorsed.

It seems that even though both cultures do want to share values and are interested in the
respective other, intercultural tourism is not endorsed by the governments. At times of
perceived political stability the curiosity for the neighbors increases, as Stein (2008)
mentions. She states a painful truth with the example that in times of peace Jewish
tourists can enjoy Arab places as purely Arab but during political conflicts these places
suddenly become Palestinian.

4.2.2 Changes in Demand

Elaborating on the effects of terrorism in Israel it is now of interest to find out how
political unrest has influenced tourist arrival numbers in Israel. According to the Travel
and Tourism Forecast (2005) the tourism sector accounted for 3-4% of the generated
GDP before the outburst of the Second Intifada in Israel. In the following years tourism
demand declined due to riots and violent attacks but after the political situation calmed
down and the frequency of terrorist acts decreased, tourism recovered too.

29






2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

International
Tourism, 2,417 1,196 862 1,063 1,506 1,927 2,219 2,429 2,620
Arrivals

International
Tourism, 3,530 3,561 3,273 3,299 3,614 3,918 4,171 4,392 4,627
Departures

International
Tourism,
2,804 2,945 2,543 2,550 2,796 2,929 3,254 3,530 3,784
Expenditure
(US$ m)

International
Tourism,
4,152 2,564 2,039 2,039 2,383 3,078 3,469 3,832 4,099
Receipts
(US$ m)

Consumer
Expenditure,
Hotels and 2,035 1,913 2,125 2,247 2,337 2,536 2,781 3,031 3,262
Restaurants
(US$ m)

Diagram 1: Israel Tourism Statistics and Estimates, Travel and Tourism Forecast 2005

As can be concluded from the Travel and Tourism Forecast Diagram 1 the number of
visitors increased by 27% in the year 2005 compared to the year of 2004. Furthermore it
is stated that in the year of 2000 incoming tourists were mostly visiting relatives in Israel
and were not as deterred by the political violence as leisure tourists who were more likely
to cancel their bookings because of the uprisings. The Travel and Tourism Forecast of
2005 also added that it was domestic tourism that did not decrease drastically during
these times of unrest and therefore was an important aspect of Israel tourism. The
hospitality industry had to offer major discounts in order to attract tourists to come to
Israel.

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It can additionally be derived from Diagram 1 that the visitor arrival numbers dropped
from 50,2% in 2001 to 27,9% in 2002 which can be directly correlated to the unrests. But
after the Palestinian ceasefire in 2003 the numbers of foreign tourists rose to 1,1million,
which represented an increase of 23,3% (Travel and Tourism Forecast 2005). As time
went by people who were initially scared of potential violence and riots, started to think
about visiting the country again and then delayed trips were ultimately booked. Within
the research it is furthermore stated that tourist overnight stays increased by 45% in 2004
and pilgrimage sites like Nazareth were showing increasing visitor numbers too. Most
international incoming tourists are of American descent, as for instance it was travelers
from the United States that accounted for 25,2% of all international arrivals in 2004
(Travel and Tourism Forecast 2005). According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism 44% of all
arrivals in 2004 were visiting Israel in order to meet relatives and friends and only 15%
were coming to enjoy leisure holidays.

Another sector of tourism that was drastically affected by the political instability
beginning in 2001 was the international conferences sector, by fact that the number of
international conferences held in Israel declined to 26 in 2002 from 119 in 2000 (Travel
and Tourism Forecast 2005: 180).

With the example of the previous statistics it can be concluded that terrorism
definitely has consequences on tourism and the negative effects a terrorist attack
entails can be tremendous. Fleischer and Pizam (2002) refer to the terrorism act
from September 11, 2001 to illustrate the drastic domino effects a violent act can
entail. Tour operators, airlines, hotel companies and other destination operators
notified drastic losses as many tourists cancelled their reservations due to the fear of
yet another attack. In the same year the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
announced that annualized over the next twelve months, the decrease of travel
and tourism demand is currently expected to total 10-20% in the United States and
less in the rest of the world, including Europe and Asia and they furthermore
predicted a decrease of 1.7% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the world
economy and the loss of 8.8 million jobs (Fleischer and Pizam 2002: 373). Indeed,
tourists from all over the world were horrified of an airplane capturing and did not
dare to travel to other countries. Not only leisure travelers cancelled their existing

31






bookings but also business travelers rather stayed in their home countries because
of the worldwide panic. The September 11 attacks were of drastic impact and the
fact that this act of violence occurred in the United States, representing a global
power and an allegedly safe destination, showed people of all cultural backgrounds
that there is no absolute security. Undoubtedly this terror attack was of such an
enormous and devastating extent that it had to have a similar extent of negative
effects. Does violence in a country like Israel, where terrorist attacks happen more
frequently but on a smaller scale, have the same impact on tourism demand?
According to Enders et al. (1992 cited Fleischer and Pizam 2002) the effects of
terrorism on tourism demand can transpire up to three months after the actual
attack and last for six to nine months. Fleischer and Pizam (2002: 374) additionally
investigate that the impacts of terrorism also depend on parameters like the
severity of an event and the frequency of occurrence. This implies that violent acts
that cause massive destruction and many victims stipulate a bigger decline in
tourism demand than acts that cause contrarily fewer losses of life. Moreover they
point out that the frequency of violent acts also influences tourists as they will be
more deterred by criminal acts that happen in frequent intervals than in infrequent
ones. Fleischer and Pizam (2002) then construct the hypothesis that the frequency
of terrorist acts have a bigger impact on tourism demand in Israel than the severity
of these acts. They create a model whereby tourist arrival numbers from 1991 to
2001 are used as the dependent variables and the two coefficients frequency of
act and severity of event are compared. This period of time depicts many acts of
political violence and therefore serves as a practical paradigm.

The hypothesis emerges to be true by reason that during the timespan of 1991 to
2001 it indeed was the frequency of terrorist acts that influenced tourist arrivals. To
this end it can be verified that tourists who come to Israel are deterred by violence
in the country and even more so if it occurs on a frequent scale. The Second Intifada
with its many violent and political turmoils as well as the current state of Israels
politics does affect tourism demand.

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5 Destination Management and Crisis Management
Israel is a country that on the one hand offers many ancient sights, historical settings
and vibrant modern cities that attract people from various cultures, but on the other
hand it is a state that has suffered from political instability and violence since its
beginnings. There will always be people coming to this country because they take
great interest in the religious or historical aspects of Israel, people who want to
meet their relatives and learn about their own culture. This is of course a reason why
Israel will always be an attractive travelers destination, as it represents the home to
a travelling culture, namely the Jewish one.

As it has been concluded that Jewish tourists that visit their families in Israel are not
as frightened by terrorism as leisure tourists are, this certain kind of traveler will
come to the country even in times of violence. Even though these tourists represent
one of the target groups Israel wants to attract, it still is the leisure traveler that
plays an important role for Israeli Tourism. With the goal of reaching 5 million
tourists (Israel Tourism Website 2005) the country also has to focus on enticing
foreigners without family bonds to come to Israel. The Israel Tourism Website shows
various ways how to spend a holiday in Israel, but it mainly emphasizes tours. The
potential tourist has to choose between a cluster of different itineraries, be it for
instance the Food and Wine Itinerary, the Ethnic Communities in Israel Itinerary, the
Family Itinerary and many more, whereby each itinerary component is subdivided
into a 10 Day Tour, a 7 Day Tour and a 4 Day Tour. The visitor then has to decide
which tour length would be of interest and finally is presented with details and
pictures of sights. Cultural differences are emphasized on the website even though it
is the conflict of cultures that has always been the ultimate cause of war in the
Middle East. In the end a tourism organization has the responsibility of making a
destination attractive to potential visitors and therefore the degree of actual
instability in a country would never be described elaborately on a tourism website.

5.1 City Branding

When thinking about Israel as a country, it is political instability, terrorism and


violent conflicts that come to mind. When thinking about Israel as a tourism
destination, it is historical artifacts and religious sites that come to mind.

33






As every other place in the world the state of Israel evokes certain associations in
peoples minds and whether these associations are based on news coverage of
violent riots, little knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or merely memories
of the biblical history, it is these associations that shape perceptions. The image of
Israel one bears in mind is a distorted one by fact that it is only a small percentage of
people that really know about the history of the country or have actually been there.
The question arises, how does Israel then attract tourists and how does the country
shape its image? As of 2008 Israel wanted to rebrand itself to target a modern and
younger group of people, striving to create a cultured and fun image of the city Tel
Aviv (Economist 2008).

Within this newspaper article it is stated that people associate Israel with conflict,
desert and religious extremism. But Israeli destination management authorities
intend to change that picture and want people to know about the technical
innovations that are invented and developed in Israel, the flourishing sceneries and
the pulsating modern cities such as Tel Aviv. Many Israeli diplomats try to create an
Israel city brand that particularly incorporates science, music and archaeology. The
Israeli foreign minister of 2008, Tzipi Livni, invested in a renewed marketing strategy
and hired a British company to design a new brand, including slogans and logos
(Economist 2008). Additionally it is stated that the company engaged in researching
the Israelis own perception of their home country with the outcome that most
inhabitants connected Israel with three major themes, namely ingenuity,
passion and fusion. Israels own citizens see the country as a melting pot of
various cultures and branding marketers tried to embrace this thought in order to
depress the omnipresent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their strategy was it to contain
cultural differences and maybe even minor conflicts, as one comes with the other,
but to mainly focus on the advantages of a diverse society.

City Branding is an important component of destination marketing but at the same


time changing perceptions is not an easy task to achieve. The brand has to be
incorporated in marketing campaigns and additionally has to be acted out by the
destination. If a destination like Israel promises to offer science, archeology and
music, various events, festivities and institutions have to be marketed as well.

34






Merely advertising cultural attractions will not be sufficient as the destination has to
live by its promises.

5.2 Freedom and Tourism

Tourism can also be defined as freedom, meaning economic and political freedom of
travelling and freedom of experiencing foreign cultures (Bianchi 2006). Travelling is a
privilege that not everybody can afford, be it because of financial, societal or
political constraints. But in our modern society tourism is also perceived as natural
and necessary, people have to experience other cultures in order to be successful
within their careers. Especially in times of globalization it is intercultural connections
that play an important role and leaders of tomorrow have to have an understanding
for different civilizations. Tourism is also consumerism as travelers see themselves as
limitless and want to observe but not participate. Tourists like to hear about
conflicts and the history of countries but rather stay at home when actual riots occur
and history is written. As long as their own safety is ensured, they joyfully engage in
other cultures. Also, travelers from Western civilizations oftentimes believe they can
see everything and travel everywhere as long as they have enough money to do so.

Many tourists know no boundaries of consumption and therefore the need to


improve hospitality conditions in host countries will overshadow the real conditions
in these countries that might need to be improved. Oftentimes it is of more concern
to build luxurious hotel resorts to boost economies than actually helping the local
communities that suffer from poverty and hunger. Israel tries to attract health
tourists to come to the country, but it is a contradiction that a state that is built on
so much conflict and riot claims to be a tranquil health and wellness oasis for
tourists.

Bianchi (2006: 66) states that the association of freedom solely with the
unencumbered right to consume (peoples, places and their cultures), and to use and
dispose of productive assets (including labour), negates the need to comprehend the
positive, or rather, capacity freedoms which are regulated by the prevailing
distribution of resources and power in any given social context and cites Levine
(1988:22), Capacity-freedom presupposes liberty. But liberty does not presuppose
capacity-freedom.

35






Where does capacity-freedom end and why do travelers believe that they have an
absolute freedom to consume? Bach (2003 cited by Bianchi 2006) marks that it is
usually in times of crisis that a country closes its borders to stop people from moving
inwards or outwards. Therefore the common believe of a right to travel is also
constituted by governments because in times of well-being each person owns this
right, whereas in times of crisis this right can also be withdrawn from governmental
authorities. The right of freedom therefore implies the right of mobility, mobility
then becomes a human right.

A tourist is by definition always innocent of the implications of geopolitics, phrases


Phipps (1999 cited by Bianchi 2006: 69) and one has to question the very meaning of
this statement. Tourists cannot claim innocence because tourism does its part of
repression and maybe even perverse observation. A tourist does not come to a
destination to help people in need, but comes to observe. Another reason why
tourists are not innocent of geopolitical instabilities is that they become targets in
the eyes of terrorists. When terrorists attack tourists they intend to send a global
message, could it consequently be concluded that tourism invokes terrorism?
Bianchi (2006:69) describes that when the innocence of tourism is presumed
without further questioning, tourism itself becomes a phenomenon suspended
above or external to the machinations of state power and geopolitics.

What can definitely be concluded is that tourists do not intend to attract terrorism,
just as inhabitants of tourist destinations do not want tourists to be harmed during
their stays. The Second Intifada in the Middle East did not only have negative effects
on tourism in Israel but also in Palestinian areas and both cultures were equally
affected. Hotels closed down and not only the tourism industry was damaged, but
also the local archaeological and cultural heritage (Chamberlain 2005 cited Bianchi
2006). Even though both cultures were at war with each other the inhabitants did
not intend to harm foreigners, let alone their own heritages. People who live in
countries where political violence is a continuous threat do not encourage harmful
violent attacks on visitors especially because they are the ones who are exposed to it
constantly.

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6 Conclusion
Israel is a country that had to face many intercultural conflicts and since its earliest
days the state was a focal point for wars and violent outbursts. Not only Palestinians
and Israeli fought with each other in cold blood but all of Middle East represents an
area that has a rich history of intercultural conflicts.

Not only is Israel a melting pot of religions, representing the Holy Land for the
three monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but it is also constantly
in the eyes of the media. Newspapers and television news coverage oftentimes
portray the country as a divided nation that is permanently in a state of emergency.
Outsiders associate Israel with religious extremism, political instability and fatal
uprisings. Israel indeed is a country where cultures clash and based on a long violent
history with their Palestinian neighbours, this conflict will not be resolved within the
next few years.

However, the independent state of Israel is also a place where many technological
innovations are developed, rich biblical history can be explored, vibrant young cities
can be experienced and beautiful scenery can be viewed.

Israel is also a country of a travelling culture and of many immigrants. Because every
Jew in the world has the right to obtain Israeli citizenship, Israel will grow further
and further.

It is a young state that impresses visitors because of its tremendous scientific,


economic and cultural aspects. Israel definitely has a lot to offer and even though it
might be perceived as a dangerous place to explore, many people take interest in
travelling to this destination. Religious pilgrims, people of Jewish heritage or merely
foreigners who want to see and experience the country come to Israel.

This Middle Eastern state tries to create a new picture of itself in the minds of
foreigners, namely one that leaves bloody conflicts and terrorism behind. But as a
matter of fact, there still is terrorism in Israel and cultural conflicts exist up to this
day. Fundamentalist terrorists do not see innocent citizens as victims of terror
attacks, but rather believe that they die a martyrs death. And as long as people

37






follow religions that endorse innocent deaths, terrorism will be a part of
intercultural wars.

The Israeli government is keen on ensuring the safety of Israeli inhabitants as well as
the safety of visitors from foreign countries. Tight security systems have been
implemented and the authorities place a great emphasis on profiling techniques,
whereby thorough observation is performed. The country has always had strict
counterterrorism measures and over the years authorities also improved these
security provisions.

The Israel tourism sector has suffered immensely from the Second Intifada beginning
in the year of 2000. Even though the years following have showed increased
numbers in tourist arrivals, the overall decline is still tremendous. The environment
of perpetual insecurity and the exaggerated climate of fear has had the worst effects
on the Israel tourism sector.

However, Israel is on its way of recovery and busy improving the negative
perceptions foreigners have. Rebranding the country plays an important role in the
marketing strategy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

The hypothesis that has been stated at the beginning of this research paper,
implying that tourists of Jewish descent would be less deterred by violent acts in
Israel, turns out to be true. Mere leisure tourists who do not come to Israel to visit
their family and friends will rather cancel their travel plans when terrorist attacks
occur.

Israeli and Palestinians are involved in a century long conflict, but the people living in
Israel and its surrounding areas are not keen on fighting or engaging in wars.
Furthermore they do not want tourists to be harmed. As the International Institute
for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) formulates: Tourism is a force for peace and
intercultural understanding (Bianchi 2006: 68). By showing tourists the mixture of
cultures in Israel, the cultures themselves can learn from each other and try to
accept each other.

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7 Bibliography
Arendell, B. and Paraskevas, A., 2007. A strategic framework for terrorism
prevention and mitigation in tourism destinations. Tourism Management, 28,
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