Showing posts with label North. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North. Show all posts

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Haifa, an alternative to Tel Aviv?


Standup Surfing in Bat Galim beach Haifa. Slower lifestyle, quieter residential neighborhoods and affordable housing is luring Tel Avivians to north Israel. Haifa is one of the preferred destination © 2016 D-A Vider

Lifestyle and cost of living in Tel Aviv are compared to many European cities. Israel's central district (Gush Dan) has been on a growth spurt the last fifteen years. Most visitors who were here just a decade ago are amazed by the developments. But many Israelis are not happy. Housing prices are climbing steadily much faster than salaries. City centers (both Tel Aviv and surrounding suburbs) are crowded and noisy. The quaint Mediterranean beach cities, small communities hidden in sandy dunes, towns built in historical biblical locations and small agricultural settlements are gone. Simply put the last thirty years has turned central Israel from a quiet semi-rural land to a developed suburban sprawl. This is the lifestyle cost Israelis are paying for world leading economic success. When Israelis tell people about one of the most successful economies in the whole last century. Essentially creating a country from ideas and sand dunes. From colonial rule and antiquated laws to a modern fully functioning democratic republic - the personal cost is rarely mentioned. Yet this is the life in Israel.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Northern Israel: Now its quiet and peaceful

Landscape in Northern Israel: Brown in summer and green in winter | (c) Ami Vider 2011
Life in politics and technology changes fast here in Israel. When attacks were coming from Lebanon up north, nobody wanted to go there. This was just before Iron Dome defense system protected the large rockets. This was even before a multitude of drones and cameras were used to detect launching of rockets and disable them after the first launch. Since them the northern border has been quiet. It is mostly due to the changes in politics in Lebanon, some of it the influence of the war in Syria. Strange how political winds change and so does everyday life. It is still quiet in northern Israel. The politicians were hoping for economic growth and tourism. That is not the way it looks today (mid 2014) while the war in Gaza is going on. But like anything else, time will change politics, and war memories will fade into the history books. Still, even a beautiful place does not feel happy when worries of security is in the back of our minds. Enjoy the pictures. 
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quiet North: What the media doe not report

Haifa, Bahai Temple and port from above (c) 2012 Ami Vider
There is lots of talk on Israeli Radio and in the social media pages about Arab (Muslim) loyalty to Israel. Now that the Palestinian question is back on the front pages. Some relatively small groups like the Druze bring up their loyalty to the Israeli state and their service in the IDF. Some bring up the small number of Arab Muslim protesters during the war in Gaza as a sign of tacit approval with the state's policies. Yet what we don't see is the slow and steady decline in the tourist and regular activity in the north. If you haven't heard, tourism traffic to Israel is just about zero. Even evangelical Christians, ones that sometime on purpose come to Israel to support the economy in hard times are delaying their trips. Both local Jewish and Arab residents are also traveling less inside the state. The tourism department is taking out advertisements to support local tourism. But in general, this small step by the state is not helping. Some tourist destinations from hotels to restaurants and cultural sites (museums, parks, archaeological sites) are also offering discounts through advertisments. This comes at a time when the north needs as much support as possible. We just need to stay aware and see where this Gaza war takes us. 
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