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Wednesday 4 October 2023

Fancy a holiday in an apartheid state?

I can't think of anywhere I would less like to have a holiday than Israel, where minorities are oppressed and fringe religious groups impose their weirdness on society at large.

I went once - and vowed that was enough.

But should visiting an apartheid state be on your travel bucket list then Israel is ready to welcome you.

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism this week rolled out a new ad campaign, ‘Anywhere’, aiming to entice northern hemisphere residents to enjoy winter holidays in Israel.

You may come across the $4.4 million campaign - a digital-only initiative.

The Israelis are hoping to capture travellers seeking a spontaneous holiday, initially without a specific destination in mind, Travel Mole reports.

Different versions of the campaign will appear according to the target audience using the “holiday anywhere” search keywords.

Some will focus on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with others marketing Israel as a whole.

“The new campaign speaks the language of the tourist and illustrates the power of the tourist experience in Israel, while generating a sense of FOMO,” says Minister of Tourism Haim Katz.

The campaign has launched across England, France, Italy, Spain and in the US through targeted ads on YouTube and smart TVs.

The Australian Government's SmartTraveller app advises visitors to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to exercise "a high degree of caution" "due to civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack, rocket fire and military confrontation".

They are urged to reconsider their need to travel to  to the West Bank, including Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah, to all parts of Golan Heights east of Route 98 and areas near the border with Gaza.

You have been warned.

And for those who object to the term "apartheid state", it is not my choice of words, but that of Amnesty International, which says: "Israeli authorities must be held accountable for committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians."

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