by Kimberly Troup
Director, US Office
If you watch even a small amount of television, you will see images of violence and terrorism taking place in the Middle East. Which begs the question, “Is it safe to go to Israel?”
The short answer is yes. Safety is our number one priority and concern every time we bring people into the country. So we make sure to follow the rules and our guide and driver are totally up to date on any security restrictions that may apply. If a situation arises that threatens the safety of our group, then we change our plans and avoid the threatening situation.
I do know that I’ve never felt safer than when I am in Israel. Because it truly is the Holy Land and because I am right where God wants me to be, there is an incredible sense of peace as you walk the land. I have walked the streets of Jerusalem at midnight or later, and have never felt unsafe. There are neighborhoods in Denver or Colorado Springs that I avoid because they are not safe; so too, there are places in Israel where it would not be wise to go. We know those places in Israel and we just don’t go there.
Thank God, today, it is very quiet in Israel, and there are relatively very few terror attacks, and almost no suicide bombings. I remember being in Israel in 2000 and 2003, at the height of the Second Intifada, when there were suicide bombings and terror attacks weekly. And yet, there was still a sense of peace, just being in the land. What stood out to me so sharply though, was the news coverage! In those years, there were several terror attacks that took place while I was in Israel. I never was close to any of them and they never affected me personally; however, when I turned on the international news broadcasts in English, the news replayed 10 seconds of video in a continuous loop that made it look like there were terror attacks happening on every street corner, that not a single bus, café or street was safe to visit.
I remember feeling a little bit afraid at that moment, until I analyzed what I was seeing and realized that it was ONE incident that was being taken out of context and made to look far more terrible than it really was. That isn’t to minimize or trivialize any one of the hundreds of innocent people who have lost their lives, or had their lives radically altered due to a terror attack. Terrorism is a horrific monster that has threatened the Middle East for decades. It is a sad reality in the Middle East.
But let’s keep it all in perspective. I always ask myself, “Who knows what tomorrow brings for any one of us?” We have no guarantee that we won’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time tomorrow. Regardless of what country we live in. Accidents are called accidents for a reason. They are not planned disruptions to our lives that we put on the calendar and wait for them to happen! God, who knows the very hairs on your head, knows the number of your days. If He is putting a desire to visit Israel into your heart, please don’t let fear of the unknown steal that incredible experience God has waiting for you.
There is definitely wisdom and some precautions to take, some rules to follow that help keep us safe. But fear of being killed in Israel shouldn’t prevent you from following your dream and fulfilling that desire to see the land where the Bible was lived!
I encourage you to talk to people who’ve been to Israel, ask them about their experiences in the Land. Hear what they have to say — don’t just take my word for it. I can assure you that you will come home with some of the same stories and the same sense of peace while being in the Land. I have a few seats available on my March 2020 trip to Israel, you save $200 if you register before November 1, 2019! This is going to be an amazing trip, with a wonderful group of people. You’ll be so glad that you came with me on what will surely be the trip of a lifetime!
If you have questions about the tour, or about traveling to Israel, just give me a call at 800-647-3344 or +719-683-2041 or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to talk with you and answer any of your questions. I look forward to seeing you in Israel!