The state of Israel’s unique role as the Jewish homeland brought tremendous humanitarian responsibility, and few resources, in the vast displacement caused by World War II and the Holocaust. With evidence of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim heritage throughout its borders, however, Israel’s existence soon evoked, and continues to elicit, questions of identity. Potent historical, religious, and political associations have remained at the center of both recurring military conflict and burgeoning tourism. The government cites visiting family and friends, pilgrimages, and vacationing or sightseeing as the top reasons for travel to Israel. This entry traces Israel’s tourism industry from indifference to international infrastructure, and discusses external support and regional conflict as strong influences.

History and Culture

In English, the verb “to go” engenders routine movements, short trips, and ...

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