Young Israeli tourists have a reputation abroad, and it’s not a good one. To generalise, they are arrogant, pushy, rude and downright obnoxious. They have an attitude that the world belongs to them and they can behave in any manner they wish to, in other words, they are being Israeli.

I recall an incident that occurred about twenty years ago when I was traveling in New York, I was on line, waiting my turn in an electrical shop in downtown Manhattan. There was a woman in front of me in the que. When we reached the counter she had a question about a telephone she wanted to buy but she could not speak English, only Hebrew. I helped her and translated for the sales clerk. When it was my turn, he asked me if I was from her country. When I responded that I was, he said “but you are civilised”! That said it all about the reputation I spoke of a moment ago.

THIS post from the archives THE UNHOLINESS OF THE HOLY LAND says allot about the goings on of the young people in question, nothing that the state of Israel could be proud of if it was to worry about its image abroad. (Be sure to click on the links in the post to get a complete picture). But, in true Israeli style they narrowed in on one particular aspect to make an issue of, it is dealt with in the report below.

Instead of concerning itself with trying to end the illegal occupation of Palestine, the illegal settlements, the wall of apartheid, the list is endless …. they are embarrassed by the illegal carts set up in malls throughout the country….

Foreign Ministry: Mall carts an embarrassment

Dozens of Israelis arrested every year in malls worldwide for working in sales illegally. As holiday season approaches, Foreign Ministry urges young Israelis, ‘Don’t break the law, we won’t be able to help’

The Foreign Ministry has declared a war on mall carts: The Christian holiday season, including Christmas and the New Year, is known as a record breaking period for local consumer sales. Many Israelis, mostly in their twenties, take advantage of shopping season madness in order to travel and make a killing in the local malls, often working in the country illegally.

The Foreign Ministry which is usually asked to intervene when they get into trouble is making it clear in advance this year: We won’t be able to help Israeli detainees.

A memo distributed by the head of the department of consular services for Israelis abroad Amnon Kalmar, called on consular representatives in North America and Western Europe to take steps to minimize the phenomenon of illegal mall carts during the holiday season.

Carts damage image abroad (Photo: Getty Images Bank)

According to Kalmar: “Every year many young Israelis go abroad to try their luck. They are tempted by the adventure and by the promise of fast and easy money, but the adventure usually ends with them being arrested and even deported from the country.” Talking to Ynet, Kalmar estimated that dozens of Israelis are arrested abroad every year.

“We mostly get to meet them when they are arrested for working or staying in the country illegally, and then we are asked to help them and get them out of the situation they find themselves in,” he said.

“The main problem with the whole story is expectations gap between them and us – they are convinced that we can save them and solve their problems, but in fact, we can’t intervene in any legal proceedings against them outside of Israel. The families urge us to act for their early release, but the issue isn’t even in our hands. We can’t speed up legal proceedings with a local judge,” explained Kalmar.

Kalmar said that every year the Foreign Ministry offers detainees consular, logistical and humanitarian assistance and makes sure, among other things that the detainees are held in reasonable conditions and receive kosher food and telephone calls.

Yet Kalmar stresses that these arrests are unnecessary and are harmful to Israel‘s image: “First and foremost we would like to appeal to the young Israelis who hear stories from their friends, go out to work and aren’t always aware of the destination country’s laws. After they are arrested, they can’t handle being in detention facilities and prisons and they turn to us”.

He noted that some of the detainees are forced to remain in prison for over a month. “The people involved are usually good people, who have just completed their IDF service, and it is important that they understand what they are heading for, If you work illegally you could end up in prison, deportation and a situation which leaves you unable to return to the country for a very long time, if at all.

“Our message is clear: Going abroad? Respect local laws and avoid staying and working in the country illegally.”

Reminder: No free lunches

“Dead Sea products belong on the shelves of the finest US department stores, not illegal mall carts” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Ynet. He joined those condemning the mall cart phenomenon and told of the damages caused by the young Israelis’ behavior: “Israel invests a lot of effort in marketing and PR and any Illegal Israeli behavior is improper and hurtful to those efforts.”
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman for domestic media, Yossi Levi explained that “when an Israeli citizen breaks the law in a foreign country, he is also hurting Israel’s reputation and the reputation of other Israelis who may have to pay the price for his actions – for example in Israel’s entry visa “credit rating”.
“Breaking the law is indecent, immoral and deserves to be punished in any country; we stress again and again, remember that and act with extreme care.
“We would like to remind Israelis that there is no such thing as a free lunch, with the possible exception of the meager breakfast served in a moldy detention cell somewhere.”



  1. November 23, 2010 at 15:09

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Net News Global and CONTRACOMA, Kelly. Kelly said: ISRAEL WORRIED ABOUT ITS IMAGE ABROAD: Young Israeli tourists have a reputation abroad, and it… #flotilla #israel […]

  2. Luath said,

    November 23, 2010 at 15:53

    I’m sorry, I just couldn’t pass this one by. Both embarrassing and titillating at the same time…… reminds me of the image of the well-deserved epithet “ugly american” always expecting everyone to speak English, yelling loudly as if they are deaf, when the blank, but polite uncomprehending stare is returned. Who speaks Hebrew???????? I mean really, the language is spoken only in Israel, had been dead for centuries, was resurrected simply to give imposters that smug, special feeling that its “our” language (Didin’t Khazaria have its own language?)
    About the the “poor, hapless” tourists who find themselves afoul of the local laws of said nation….think Palestinians. think Gaza. Concerned about their image in the world, are they? I find that hard to believe, as they dont seem too worried about the many photographs of IDF soldiers killing Gazans. Yet they are concerned about how the world will perceive them as tourists, and they call home to be rescued as they break foriegn laws. I get this image in my head of Talmudic Khazarians, desperate to be seen as the real deal, speaking only Hebrew, SHOCKED! to discover that yes, indeed, the local laws apply to you as well. So they call home demanding to be seen as “unique” “special” “what! the talmud says I can do whatever I please because I am a “jew”, heh, heh, so get me out of here!, and so forth. The shock that results from being informed that sorry charlie, that talmudic specialness only applies to Israel, in Israel (well, the usa, too)….that image just makes my day.

  3. bintal3aasifeh said,

    November 23, 2010 at 21:53

    “We would like to remind Israelis that there is no such thing as a free lunch…”

    Really? I wonder when the US government is going to get this message and pass it on to Israel via stopping monetary and military aid a.k.a. my hard earned tax dollars being spent on something I would rather them not be spent.

  4. LT said,

    November 24, 2010 at 01:53

    “Young Israeli tourists have a reputation abroad…they are arrogant, pushy, rude and downright obnoxious. They have an attitude that the world belongs to them and they can behave in any manner they wish to…”

    Not long ago this would have been said of Americans, but as of lately they have been bitch slapped into reality and forcefully humbled by events not of their control. Eventually these Israelis will also run out of juice just like their American counterparts.

  5. katz said,

    November 24, 2010 at 05:28

    the worst part of the dead sea product is that is it stolen, and it is radioactive, thereby extremely bad for your skin…..unless you like cancer.

    other than that, the Israelis running the mall stands are really, really obnoxious. even if they are legal, they suck, bc they assault shoppers, speak loudly, are short, and pushy.

  6. katz said,

    November 24, 2010 at 05:29

    oh yeah, and their stuff is overpriced. it’s not a decent product, on so many levels, but the saleswomen/men are truly the most stupid.

  7. katz said,

    November 24, 2010 at 05:31

    that’s what happens when you have mall rats chasing cheese……the mall management likes them, too….I wonder why???

  8. William Freeman said,

    November 24, 2010 at 07:14

    “Young Israeli tourists have a reputation abroad…they are arrogant, pushy, rude and downright obnoxious. They have an attitude that the world belongs to them and they can behave in any manner they wish to…”

    Yeah, I’ve witnessed them on holiday in India, Greece and Turkey. The word obnoxious hits the nail right on the head. I have never seen anyone so dirty in the soul. I don’t know where they get their arrogance from, as most of them are quite ugly and unbecomming, but maybe that is the inborn demeanour when you’re full of hate.
    I just ignore them when they approach, which tends to rile them more than if I tell them what I think of them.

  9. popsie said,

    November 24, 2010 at 22:24

    Agree with the previous comments ,pushy arrogant etc AND they are everywhere. Seacret at Brookside shopping mall Brisbane Australia.

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