Come on, Tim

November 24, 2016 23:02

Sky's Tim Marshall is a frequent visitor to Israel and as he points out here, it knows how to make enemies and alienate people.

That night I went for dinner in Ramallah in the West Bank and was idly leafing through my passport when I noticed, 19 pages in from where it says - 'Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty allow the bearer to pass freely and without let or hindrance' - was a stamp bearing the legend 'Ben Gurion Border Control. 14 07-2011. Visa Permit 3 months'. William Hague himself wanted me to to pass without hindrance, and despite specifically being asked not to stamp my passport - they had, thus rendering it virtually useless for work purposes. I have another, but that's hardly the point.
There are many points: Imagine the level of politeness directed at Palestinians at hot, dusty check points in the West Bank from young army men and women who are simultaneously bored and nervous.
We all know Israel has a negative image in many parts of the world for reasons you can argue are wrong or right. Israeli society is rough and ready, brusque and brash. It is also friendly, full of charity, creativity, and intelligence. It is the product of 4 thousand years of history and 100 years of building a modern country out of the swamps of the coastal areas and the scrubland of much of the rest. Deep down many Israelis are hurt by the the image they know they have. At Ben Gurion they should remember - first impressions count.

November 24, 2016 23:02

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive