Inside Israel

Tourism in Israel Rises Post-pandemic

The Temple Mount is a popular tourist destination in Israel (Source: Dylan Shaw/Unsplash)

By the end of 2022, Israel’s Tourism Ministry expects more than two-and-a-half million tourists to have visited Israel, indicating a strong post-COVID recovery. Still, this number pales in comparison to those of previous years. In 2019, Israel’s best year yet for tourism, the country welcomed four-and-a-half million tourists.

Signs show Israel will rebound, having just lifted most travel restrictions for foreigners in March, 2022. Israel highly depends on tourism for its economic stability. Israelis working in hospitality also hope to expand the industry in the coming years. Currently, Israel is planning to build more hotels with the goal of seeing ten million annual visitors by 2030.

Please pray many will visit Israel to discover the land of the Bible and its rich history!

Read more at The Times of Israel. . .

Israel Rated Fifth Safest Country for Tourists

Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (Source: Joseph Barrientos/Unsplash)

A United States insurance website named The Swiftest recently conducted a survey on the safest countries to visit. They declared Israel the fifth safest country, following Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Singapore. Rankings of other major countries include the United States, thirtieth; Canada, twenty-first; Australia, eighteenth; France, fifteenth; and the United Kingdom, tenth.

What makes Israel rank so high, despite threats of war, rockets, and problems at checkpoints? The results are based on reports from the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the World Risk Report. Researchers created a travel safety index to cover each country’s rate of murders (including terrorist attacks), road deaths, deaths from poor hygiene, spread of diseases, personal injuries, and the risk of natural disasters. Israel ranks as very safe, especially in areas like good hygiene, road safety, low number of murders per 100,000 people, and low risk of natural disasters. South Africa and India ranked the most dangerous, mainly because of the rate of homicide, poor hygiene, and natural disasters.

Please pray for Israel’s continued safety and high standards to make the country a welcoming place to live and visit.

Fifteen Rare Coins Found in a Judean Cave

Archaeologists recently found a box of silver coins in a cave in the Judean wilderness. They were minted between 176 and 171 bce by Ptolemy VI, who was Cleopatra’s son. During this time, the Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his forces were in control of Israel (175–164 bce). This box was probably hidden by one of the Israelites revolting against this Hellenistic king and his decrees against the Jewish religion. The Maccabee family lead a revolt against the Hellenistic way of life Antiochus imposed on them. This box contained lot of money—around two months’ salary.

The person who hid it probably intended to come back for it but most likely died in battle. The Maccabees and their supporters used caves and the desert to regroup for battle and find refuge for their families. This successful revolt is the story of Hanukkah. Though Antiochus plundered the Temple, the Maccabees were able to reclaim it and clean it, making it holy again for worship to the Lord.

Praise God for the amazing archeological finds, cementing history and our Bible.

Hanukkah in Israel

A hanukkiah, or Hanukkah menorah (Source: RJA1988/Pixabay)

As Hanukkah begins, our Israeli staff want to wish you Happy Hanukkah! May His light shine brightly in your lives and may your light shine before others. We praise God for this special time of year when, though it is the darkest, we know a great Light has shone, which the darkness cannot snuff out. There is so much to be thankful for—and this week stands out. Throughout the week, we will have different gatherings of people, young and old, to celebrate Hanukkah together. Through these events, we can proclaim Jesus’s love and salvation.

Please pray with us for these different events and parties. This is a special time of year for many—and we pray they hear His life, truth, and love!