Just 12 days after the bloodshed in Tel Aviv comes this plea from City Councilmember Yaniv Waizman: Please come visit.
It’s an interesting strategy to pop up in the aftermath of such tragedy. But arguably, it’s a smart one. Tel Aviv didn’t just suffer a major loss to its community, but its brand as a gay tourist destination just took a hit. Should gay foreigners feel safe in a city where its own gays get gunned down?
Tel Aviv and Israel’s tourism board are wise to immediately launch a proactive PR effort to remind everyone how gay-friendly Tel Aviv is, despite the recent isolated violence.
Reads an email from Waizman: “The enormous support that our community has loudly and unequivocally received from President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister of Education Gidon Sa’ar and other government officials is groundbreaking. We hope and pray that from the pain, some major achievements will be attained in promoting our ongoing struggle for equal rights. During the last few years we’ve been working non stop to build Tel Aviv’s image as a Mediterranean capital of Gay tourism. The people, the bars, the parties, the restaurants, the white sandy beaches, the sense of absolute freedom – these are the components that justify this image. Especially now, especially today, I’m calling you to choose Tel Aviv as your next holiday destination.”
If you’ve got the cash and the time, is Tel Aviv still on your holiday destination list?