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Talk:Israel

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First of all, about politics...[edit]

Hey all.. Just a little note about politics and the discussion thereof: There are lots and lots of forums on the internet for the discussion of politics. This isn't one of them. Sure, one of the reasons that we travellers are travellers is to learn as much as possible about a place and it's people and their problems, but here at Wikitravel the idea is to build a travel guide. That means we want a little background, but mainly we're interested in how to get around, where and what to eat, how to keep out of trouble, and where to sleep.

Of course your political discussions are not going to get deleted from the talk pages, and even if they are "deleted" from the actual article they are still there in the history, so nobody's getting censored here. Still political stuff will likely get deleted from the article regardless of how true or false or fair or unfair.

Basically we're on a mission here, and the crosstalk makes it hard to get anything done. Keep it down a bit! -- Mark 02:51, 4 May 2006 (EDT)

First takes[edit]

Bring some details and/or link to http://www.photo.net/israel/ --Baruch Even

"all 3 monotheistic religions" implies that there are exactly 3 monotheistic religions, which is false. Should this be changed to "all 3 Abrahamic religions"? -phma 15:04, 13 Jun 2004 (EDT)

How about "Christianity, Islam and Judaism"? It's about the same length as "all three monotheistic religions" and is more accurate. (Note: in English alphabetical order.) --Evan 16:13, 13 Jun 2004 (EDT)

What's with the idiot who changed the order of the religions? What does it matter whether Jews are listed before Christians and Muslims, or after? This sort of behaviour makes me sick. Sorry, but I had to mouth off. -- Nils

The latest fixes seem to have resolved most conflicts about this page. Now we just have to figure out what to do about Jerusalem, since that page also states that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, without qualification. Also, it might be problematic that it lists Jerusalem's location as in Israel without qualification, since that's not at all noncontroversial. -- Joakim Ziegler

HOW ABOUT SOME INFO ABOUT THE WEATHER AND CLIMATE?

disputed[edit]

I changed the (disputed) link on the capital name to just plain text. I don't think we should defer to Wikipedia to explain that situation. --Evan 17:39, 28 Sep 2004 (EDT)

That's fine by me - in incorporating a NPOV reference I was just trying to placate those (above) who saw the listing of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as being controversial and thereby forestall any heated arguments..... I'm sure you'd agree, the potential for these is there! Rather than make recourse to Wikipedia (you're absolutely right on this Evan!), I'll try to find time over the next few days to write up our own NPOV assessment of Jerusalem's status and place it somewhere in the Understand section..... People would then be free to edit that and debate the issues on this page if necessary. Would that be OK? Pjamescowie 18:16, 28 Sep 2004 (EDT)

How is the capital disputed?? --68.49.112.3 22:00, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

Well, for one, the US still has its Embassy in Tel Aviv [1]

Hey all. I just noticed that a non-logged in user made some potentially divisive edits this afternoon (Europe time). Can somebody with a better understanding of regional sensitivities have a look? I would plunge forward, but I'm afraid that my tendency toward irreverence could lead to unintended nastiness in this situation. Thanks. =-- Mark 14:09, 23 February 2006 (EST)

Monit Sherut[edit]

Somebody can find this info usefull It is similar to shuttle services provided in some countries but on larger scale. This service is available in all major cities, but in many cases is not bound by any scheduler. Usually you can ask the driver to stop at any point of the route. In many places the service is available on Shabbat. The price is indeed lower than bus, but after 10PM and weekends/holydays they charge more. In Haifa - to my best knowledge this is the only such place in Israel - Egged operates on Shabbat

The price isn't always lower. For example, prices within Tel Aviv are lower (6 NIS shuttle vs. 6.40 NIS bus), but most prices are higher (e.g. 20 NIS shuttle and 33 NIS night shuttle to Jerusalem, vs. 18 NIS bus). --Ilya 07:07, 8 April 2012 (EDT)

Cellular phone[edit]

(there was change in the dialing system recently) GSM enabled cellular phones from Europe always work in Israel.

  • I believe CDMA phones can also roam in Israel. My Samsung Instinct on sprint worked in Israel (at least data) and to the best of my knowledge, sprint and thus the Instinct are CDMA. 12.171.88.10 13:09, 14 February 2011 (EST)

Cities[edit]

In 2010, Knight Frank's world city survey ranked it 34th globally.[153] Tel Aviv has been named the third "hottest city for 2011" (behind only New York City and Tangier) by Lonely Planet, third-best in the Middle East and Africa by Travel + Leisure magazine (behind only Cape Town and Jerusalem), and the ninth-best beach city in the world by National Geographic.[154][155][156] Tel Aviv is consistently ranked as one of the top LGBT destinations in the world. Tel Aviv is an international hub of highly active and diverse nightlife with bars, dance bars and nightclubs staying open well past midnight.

Ashdod - incredible sea shore.

Netaniyya - 40 minutes from Tel Aviv, train to the Tel Aviv center, bus to Tel Aviv every 10-15 minutes, shuttle to Tel Aviv every 5-10 minutes. Good beach, reasonable hotel prices.

Politics[edit]

Many edits to this article get reverted due to the political situation in Israel and the Middle East. The reason for these reversions is that anytime someone expresses an opinion on one side (example: "The United Nations Security Council has decided on numerous occasions that in these territories Israel is the "Occupying Power" and is bound by the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.") someone else comes along and changes it to the other side. According to Wikitravel:Neutral point of view and Wikitravel:The traveller comes first, the official policy is that we try to keep articles neutral and relevant for travelers, and political edit wars accomplish neither.

Note that this does not mean that editors here are endorsing either side, nor does it mean that those who edit this site feel the debate is unimportant, it simply means that the primary goal is to produce a guide useful for travelers. Links are provided to Wikipedia and elsewhere where travelers may learn more about the political situation. As always, if you disagree with the policies feel free to discuss on the relevant talk pages. -- Wrh2 15:34, 10 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Electricity[edit]

I haven't seen it in other travel guides so I was hesitant to add the information, but isn't it useful to provide information regarding the voltage/frequency used in all places (and including here in Israel)? Also, socket types. I find it interesting that one of (not so many) socket standards is type-H, uniquely Israeli, although it is also compatible with European type-C. Just wondering if I should add that information.

Yes, you should. One row in the Country template plus (if needed) more explanation in Cope would be great. Jpatokal 12:31, 11 Dec 2005 (EST)


I just wanted the author to know, that it was because of this section on electricity in Israel that I discovered the WikiTravel site for the first time! I did a Google search for Israel electricity and WikiTravel showed up and answered all my questions! I think it might be a good idea to add a blurb about electricty to most of the other national articles since that really is a big question for many people who are traveling. Elipongo 01:59, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)


Type H is barely used here on osrael, its and old plug that can be found in old houses, i dont think you can buy any device with type H plug. We use here type C or type C with grounding holes--109.67.246.2 23:09, 1 October 2012 (EDT)

Capitol[edit]

Since the Palestinian Territories page has Jerusalem listed as "disputed" capitol and Ramallah as "defacto" capitol, it's only fair to make this page consistant with that. And you can't argue that it's disputed. The international community does not recognise Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and it's claim of Jerusalem as its capitol. Embassies are in Tel-Aviv specifically because of this (some consulates are in Jerusalem, but embassies are the places that the embassador's are based in). - Asa

Does the Palestinian Authority actually operate its executive, judicial, and parliamentary branches in Jerusalem? Because it really doesn't matter what the International Community thinks, what matters is what does the traveller encounter? For example, there is no serious recognition of Transnistria, but we carry an article about it anyway because it exists in reality to a traveller visiting the area. If a traveller needs to meet with some portion of the government for whatever reason, where do they go? Where they go is the captial as far as the traveller is concerned. In Israel, despite the wishes of the international community, the capital is in Jerusalem as far as the traveller is concerned. Where is it for the PA? -- Colin 21:13, 28 February 2006 (EST)
"From a legal standpoint, East Jerusalem remains occupied territory, and the de facto capital of the Palestinian people." This doesn't make sense. There was never a state called Palestine and there hasn't been a country (other than Israel) that has called Jerusalem its capital for hundreds of years. So what 'legal standpoint' does this refer to? Please don't misunderstand me, I am personally quite anti-Zionist and I do not oppose the Palestinian right to have a state and I do oppose the settler movement, but this is just a plan lie. There is no 'legal standpoint' that says that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Daniel575 26 March 2006
"the de facto capital of the Palestinian people" - de facto the capital is Ramallah. Regardless of theoretical rights or wishes, the parliament is in ramallah, not jerusalem, where the PA has no physical official representation.

I know this stuff is important to some people, but seriously can we please check our politics at the door? I think in general if contributors simply can't do that then perhaps they should consider contributing to articles about countries which are not involved in their particular pet crisis. It's a big world after all. -- Mark 08:54, 27 April 2006 (EDT)

Language concerns[edit]

How far can I go speaking just English in Israel? (Well, I've been studying Hebrew but I don't think I can get by with it alone just yet.) you'll do great ,many here speak english. we learn it in school from the 4th grade up.

English is a mandatory language in Israeli schools, and children start learning it as early as the 2nd grade. You have to learn it throughout high-school, and pass a test as one of the requirements for a high-school diploma. This means most young people, as well as adults, should have a fair grasp of English. Your knowledge of Hebrew will probably come in handy as well, because Engrew is not uncommon among people who can't find the words to express themselves completely in English. Alternatively, some people may find a bilingual dialog (they speak Hebrew, you speak English), as awkward as it may sound. Just apply common sense. Start with simple language (of-course, it isn't supposed to sound degradingly dumbed-down as if you're talking to an imbecile, just genuinely simple) and adjust your manner of speaking if you according to the oter person's level. You're better off speaking good English than not-as-good Hebrew. --User:Ramsobol

Getting there by boat[edit]

I read on several websites that ferry services to Haifa from Cyprus and Greece have been discontinued. Are there other places where you can take a ferry to Israel? MaartenVidal 10:56, 8 April 2006 (EDT)

As far as I know, the answer is no. I investigated this fairly extensively back in 2003 and had to fly from Israel to Cyprus for lack of better options, and I doubt things are any better now. Jpatokal 11:45, 8 April 2006 (EDT)

The Salamis Line running a cargo ferry from Cyprus to Haifa and back that will take passengers called RO/TO. They appear to be in business with the Rosenfeld line from Haifa. Contacting either company can get the details. It's a couple days a week and the times aren't very fixed. 69.138.19.110 16:04, 20 February 2008 (EST)Cheri

Security Concerns[edit]

Given the volatile situation in many parts of this country, and the potential for violence against foreign nationals, is it not advisable to have a more detailed section on the dangers of travelling to Israel?

I considered this page http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Israel_Gaza_Strip_and_West_Bank before making this suggestion. Perhaps some information could merely be dragged off that site and placed on this site? 211.27.45.119 21:46, 20 April 2006 (EDT)

As long as you don't travel to the disputed territories, there is little danger to visiting Israel, beyond suicide bombings, which are mentioned in the article. With regards to violence against foreign nationals - a foreign national is not more likely to get involved in a bombing than an Israeli.

Actually, I want to react on a security tasks mentioned in the article. I was in Israel and I spent most of the time in the Palestinian territories. Concerning the security situation, I must honestly testify that I felt absolutely secure and I was treated by the Palestinians as the most important guest. However, my feeling of security were rapidly decreased by Israeli treatment. Never ending and sometimes brutal controls persuaded me that I cant feel free in this country. While traveling with local people (Palestinians) I was considered the same enemy as the locals. At the airport I had to stand 2 hours naked in a room without my phone or ID or anything. I cordially recommend not to be afraid of Palestine as we are tough by media!

Please don't continue this discussion any further. Article talk pages are for discussing the article in question only. Further off-topic discussion will be removed. --Peter Talk 10:45, 7 July 2009 (EDT)

Bahai Faith and Israel[edit]

While I agree that describing the Bahais as a "major" world religion is maybe a bit much, Israel is their home and the Gardens at Haifa are arguably the city's top attraction, even for non-Bahais. Jpatokal 00:37, 20 June 2006 (EDT)

Israel/Lebanon conflict[edit]

Should we put an alert message in this article about this conflict and advisory not to go there right now?

I'd say so. Please plunge forward! Majnoona 19:53, 17 July 2006 (EDT)

I toned down the language about Hezbollah and northern Israel - this article gets so many political edits that the less we can say about politics (while still serving the traveler) the better. If we add a warning about Hezbollah to this article then I can see us needing to add warnings to Lebanon, Syria, Iran, etc. about the potential for Israeli attacks. It seems like enough to educate the traveler about the tense situation in the Middle East and then advise them to make their travel plans according to current events. That saves us from having deal with POV edits from both sides. -- Ryan 19:12, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

Great point. Although, I don't think it would have been appropriate to have included Syria and Iran in with the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 19:14, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

Getting Around, by Car[edit]

I have written a pretty detailed section on traveling in Israel by car, including a fairly detailed discussion of the traffic laws and regulations. Please make sure the information is all accurate. Also, if someone could add information about car rentals, that would be great. EngineeringCat 21:16, 7 November 2006 (EST)

If you plan for a longer stay and considering buying a car - this is a convenient place where all models imported in Israel with average price on a new and 3-year old (used) - listed on one page: http://used-cars-for-israel.com/

External links[edit]

I accidentally hit save without adding an edit comment, but the following links were removed in accordance with Wikitravel:External links:

-- Ryan 12:37, 27 January 2007 (EST)

Hi i have read the external links instructions. Couldn't find why not to include a website that include alot of traveling information, trails and hikes in Isreal as a link. Could you please explain? Yochaig 17:20, 29 May 2008 (EDT)

We don't include links to secondary sources; only primary sources like restaurant websites that are listed in the guide, or an official, government tourism website for a city. We don't include links to other travel guides. To quote the policy:
In particular, avoid links to other travel guides, including audio guides and audio tours. We should have travel information in Wikitravel, not linked to from Wikitravel. This is an incentive issue; if we have lots of links to other travel guides, we lose the impetus to create our own. In addition, many users print copies of Wikitravel articles, and therefore need information to be within the article rather than linked to at another site. --Peter Talk 22:08, 29 May 2008 (EDT)

Safety Message[edit]

Can someone please correct the message to a wikitravel standard (which I am unaware of). There is absolutely NO chance of Israel going to war with Egypt (as there is a peace agreement) and there has been no incinuation that any conflict between Israel and Pakistan was on the table. Can we link to the US Department of State, perhaps http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_922.html Flymeoutofhere 10:29, 24 February 2007 (EST)

Theres always the chance actually, MFO are holding the fort in Sinai but theres still tension, and pakistan/bangladesh don't actually recognise Israel, seeing it as an illegal movement. So conflict is HIGHLY possible in the near future, I don't like to cast an opinion on whether Israel has effectively "had it coming", but we all know the story... --MiddleEastern 08:58, 25 February 2007 (EST)
I would support it if it looked like conflict was imminent. Just not right now. Stay safe should have plenty of happy fun text though. -- Colin 13:54, 25 February 2007 (EST)

I removed the comparison of risk from Kassams in Sderot to being struck by lightening. Lightening's risk can be removed by staying sheltered in the rain, so it is a poor comparision. I would also guess the risk is much higher for a Kassam to hit near you in an area where they are coming weekly and daily, than lightening stricking so until the numbers are available it's best to leave it out.

Cycling[edit]

How "bicycle friendly" is Israel? I'm thinking about doing a bike trip from Turkey to Egypt, and I'm wondering if that is reasonable, and how accepted cycling is in those nations. Amssports06 15:30, 28 April 2007 (EDT)

  • I'm not sure about the other countries, but Israel is bike friendly. The Israel National Trail is a 940km trail running the length of Israel especially for bikes and walkers. Bikes can also ride on most roads - similar to biking on roads in Europe and parts of the US, I guess. Biking has become quite a popular hobby for Israeli's so you wont be alone Flymeoutofhere 03:49, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
  • I've just seen this article which might interest you [2]. Enjoy Flymeoutofhere 10:05, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Interesting, thanks a lot! -Amssports06 15:30, 28 April 2007 (EDT)
  • It's kind of hard to bike from Turkey to Egypt since the only way from Turkey to Israel is through Syria and Lebanon, which don't have borders with Israel, since they don't have diplomatic relations with the country.

Money[edit]

I'm not sure if this is covered elsewhere on WikiTravel, but in my experience the statement in the money section that "ATMs are cheaper than traveller's cheques" needs correcting. My bank charges 2.5% as a transaction fee on top of the ATM fee for that machine. They add this in to the exchange rate so it is hidden for most people. VISA does this as well. Basically, there's no free lunch, and the article shouldn't imply otherwise. Neil 12:14, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

Are traveller's cheques a free lunch then? Most banks charge more than 2.5%+exchange rate commission to make them, and then you get gouged again when converting them to local currency. Jpatokal 16:55, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
In any place but the US of A, AMEX traveler cheques mean both commission when buying them and commission when using them (i.e. they would be respected slightly below their value). For Israel, bring US dollars or Euros in cash and convert them at any random change point. You can find change points a dime a dozen in every city center. (Israel has some pickpockets like any other place, but it's not a place where you'd be robbed at gunpoint or anything.) --Ilya 07:14, 8 April 2012 (EDT)

WiFi[edit]

I believe the wifi project in Jerusalem is complete, but I'm not sure. I've also added a mention on a similar one in Tel Aviv, which I believe is also complete. Can anyone verify this?

Embassy bar[edit]

I doubt this is true. Can the person that added it verify it? Sahmeditor 23:24, 31 August 2007 (EDT)

Regions[edit]

This seems like a lot of travel regions for such a tiny country. Can they be combined into larger travel regions? --Peter Talk 14:36, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

If not, do any Israel experts think our current hierarchy should be considered finalized? If so, I'll import it to other language versions, and make an Israel regions map. --Peter Talk 16:25, 16 August 2008 (EDT)

Israeli humour[edit]

The following paragraph is being repeatedly deleted and restored (a few examples: [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] & see also Special:Contributions/71.193.196.149). Here's a copy (misspellings and all), so that there's now a place to invite discussion:

Common Israeli humour is one which knows no boundries. Subjects such as war and death, which are hardly a laughing stock in other countries, are occasionaly tackled humoursly in Israel. Rather then a sign of disrespect or insensitivity, such behavior is often seen as an legitimate effort to lighten things up when conversing about heavy topics. Many people would joke about things they take very seriously. In Israel wild humour, serious thoughts and deep emotions go very well together.

Warningbox[edit]

Anonymous comment moved from the Get In section:

I believe Pakistan should not be included in the Warning Box above. I called the Pakistani Embassy in Washington D.C. and they had no problem with people visiting Israel before Pakistan. Could someone double-check this information before it is removed?

I met people in Pakistan with Israel stamps, but unsure if they were just overlooked or if Pakistan isn't as uptight about it as some of its neighbors – cacahuate talk 17:03, 16 August 2008 (EDT)

Tour listings[edit]

The whole "public and private tours" section looks to me to be in violation of our tour policy, and I'm inclined to delete it. Any reason why I shouldn't? --Peter Talk 02:01, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

Golan Heights[edit]

I think it is inappropriate to locate Golan Height in the same section of Disputed Territories as with Gaza Strip and West Bank. AFAIU, Golan Heights are annexed and therefor can't be called "disputed". It's true, that there is a talks about returning it to Syria, but it is not like Syria claiming that they own this territory. In short, my point, is that status of Golan Heights is completely different from state of Gaza Strip and West Bank (which are really disputed, as both Palestinians and Israel claim ownership of this land). I suggest moving it to the main "Regions" list, but leaving the current remark of annexed status. --Zigmar 11:18, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Sleep[edit][add listing]

It's been a while since I last visited this page. This time I'm going to try and be on the editor's side for the first time (I've been a "reader" of this term for a long time and have used the info provided here so many times)

One of the changes that I didn't like to find out, was the revert from textual-links to bullets-Links.

I really can't see the point in replacing a simple, easy to read, text link like "Israel Youth Hoster Association" (for example), with the bullet-link: [16]. (hey that's what the internet is all about, text links, isn't it?)

FMOHO, in the previous version, when one (actually, I'm basing it on my own experience) was looking at the listings under the "Sleeping" section, it was much easier to read through the different items in the list - the text links made it easier to differentiate the items (thus making it easier and quicker to browse the the section and find the one item in the list, that really interest you).

I personally believe we should never sacrifice functionality (or comfort of use, in this case) for good looks (as in the example above).

Just my 12 cents....

(btw, I modified the page back to the previous look n' feel, if you think I'm wrong feel free to undo) --Eladrosh 23:13, 17 July 2008 (EDT)

Thanks, but we've changed our format for links -- see Wikitravel:External links -- in order to be more consistent. Previously some links were footnoted and others weren't. Now they all are. -- Colin 13:20, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

Israeli Visa and Entry to Other Nations[edit]

Hi, a friend of mine told me that he has heard of some Eastern European countries that will deny entry to an American with a passport that has an Israeli visa attached to it. I think it would be hard to imagine an EU country (even in Eastern Europe) not allowing an American into the country simply because of another foreign visa. But what about non-EU countries? Has anyone experienced this problem? Do any of you think it is even remotely likely? --Matt Talk 00:48, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

All European countries are OK, but a few Middle Eastern countries (notably Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon) will refuse entry if you have any evidence of having visited Israel in your passport. These are listed in the respective countries' "Get in" sections. Jpatokal 01:07, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Israel has diplomatic relations with pretty much every European country, including countries such as Ireland (that are known to be extremely unsympathetic to Israeli policies). It's unthinkable you'd have a problem having an Israeli visa entering any European country. --Ilya 07:54, 8 April 2012 (EDT)

Religion[edit]

I really don't know who is responsible for the fact data on the site. Last Religion data distribution of the population in Israel(source: Central Burau of Statistics): Jewish 75.6%, Arabs 20.0% and other 4.4%. The data in the site is completely wrong. Gus

That matches the article - "Jewish 75%, Muslim 16% (mostly Sunni Muslim), Christian 2%, other 1% (2008 est.)". The data in the bar on the right is generally taken from the CIA World Factbook. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:13, 2 November 2008 (EST)
It was a caching error. I've flushed the cache and the info bar is correct now. -- Colin 17:33, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Regions, again[edit]

continuing from Wikitravel:Votes_for_deletion/January_2009#Judean_Desert

So, it's probably time to jiggle Israel's regions a bit, because there's just too many at the moment -- maximum should be nine. Here's my first shot:

  • Merge Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee and Sea of Galilee into just plain Galilee. Upper and Sea have little content, and Lower doesn't even exist.
  • Merge Jezreel Valley and Beth Shean Valley into Jordan Valley.
  • Carmel Range should probably be demoted from a region to a destination under North Coast (Israel), seeing as it only has two settlements.
  • Expand Dead Sea to cover the non-Arab bits of the Judean Desert. I'm not sure what the best name is, but "Judean Desert" might be the best option. Disentangling the Palestinian West Bank from this will get hairy, but then, it's hairy in real life too.

I'm also not sure that we need all of Shephelah, Sharon and Coastal Plain (Israel). Jpatokal 10:54, 16 December 2008 (EST)

I'd like to see these changes made as well. It pains me that we don't have a valid regional structure for such an important travel destination as Israel. And I want to make a regions map for the article, but can't until I can make sense of the regions. --Peter Talk 23:43, 23 July 2009 (EDT)

Occupied or Disputed[edit]

A user came along and changed "Occupied Territories" to "Disputed Territories". Which should be used? Does it even matter? AHeneen 04:22, 12 January 2009 (EST)

The UN calls 'em "Occupied", so that's good enough for me. It's also a fairly neutral label, as the land in question is occupied by the Israeli army, yet not legally claimed as part of Israel proper. Jpatokal 10:38, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Reverted AHeneen 01:40, 13 January 2009 (EST)

I'm not going to edit it, but really, should Judea and Samaria be used to term the Palestinian Territories? It's only known as Judea and Samaria to those that do not recognize the existence of Palestine, and I think it is a political statement to use that term rather than OPT, which I think is the genuine non-political term.

gun ownership and homosexuality in Israel[edit]

It is not unusual to see soldiers and civilians carrying firearms (military rifles and handguns) in public.

I've heard Israel does allow citizens to carry weapons, but I only hear this in many pro-gun ownership websites. I need conformation on this statement, since if I travel to Israel, seeing people carrying guns around may make me feel uncomfortable. And by the way, I'm pretty sure Israel is safe for gays and lesbians, but I recommend them not to travel to the Palestinian territories, as homosexuality is frown upon in Palestine (note that I already added that).--Dark Paladin X 02:02, 17 January 2009 (EST)

Yes, it's very common to see armed soldiers in Israel — and this article is about Israel proper, not Palestine. There are also huge cultural differences between bits of Israel -- you can be as flamboyant as you want in parts of Tel Aviv, but I wouldn't recomment it in the ultra-orthodox neighborhoods of Mea Shearim or Bnei Barak. Jpatokal 04:20, 17 January 2009 (EST)
As in Israeli, Israel in general does not allow citizens to carry weapons. In order to get a license you have to have a very good reason (hunting license which is very rare, being a jewelry shop owner etc.) and it's really hard & expensive to get. Soldiers & cops however are required to carry their weapons on them most of the time so seeing someone with an m16 in the mall is not rare at all. Hoped that helped, Moshe.
There are several different rules and laws that regulate the ownership and carriage of firearms. Combat soldiers and police personnel frequently carry them on duty and while in uniform. Civilian gun ownership laws are restrictive but a person who is knowledgeable of the law can usually acquire a gun for self defense and sporting use. Licensed civilians can and do carry loaded firearms, openly or concealed, in public, either as private individuals or as security guards who use firearms owned by their employers. Also, few places in Israel are off limits to legally carried firearms. Legal gun ownership is not a major problem in Israel and openly carried firearms do not draw much attention or public reaction. Almost all firearms related violent crime is carried out using guns stolen from civilians or army bases or smuggled in from outside of Israel. Hope this helps too, Lior.

Improving the ISRAEL value and currect it's geography[edit]

The geography in this value is a bit mixed at best, and untrue at worst. a few examples:

  • Sea of Galilee - since the subject of course doesn't talk about the lake itself, but the areas around it, i see no reason for it to be an article of its own. The sea of the galilee, AKA Lake Kineret, isn't considered a "region" in any israeli geographical (or any other) devision. It is part of the Jordan valley, and its devided between 2 diffrent regions - Galilee at the west, Golan heights at the east.
  • Dead sea - again, not a region of it's own in any israeli devision. And even worse, if in lake kineret you can say its similar from a traveler's POV, in the dead sea its absolutly not. The western coast is the Judean desert (an important geographical region of its own that has no represintation) in israel, a democratic western jewish country, and the eastern coast is Edom and Moav deserts (btw which are diffrent from the Judean desert in many geographical properties) in Jordan, an islamic arabic royalty country. it is VERY diffrent from a traveler's POV.
  • Golan heights - the "desputed teritories" section states clearly that:

"As these regions are quite different from a traveler's point of view, information on travel to and within them can be found under the entry Palestinian Territories. This is not a political endorsement of claims by either side in the dispute over the sovereignty of these territories." However, puting the Golan heights as a "desputed teritory" is a purely political decision. From a traveler's POV, a trip to the golan heights is exacly like a trip to the Galilee, to Tel-Aviv or to Eilat. There is no special permit needed for this region, most of it's population is jewish and it is safe as the rest of the country. The only diffrece it has from other regions is the fact that it was conquered from Syria, which tries to get it back in negotiations (there are absolutly no agrassive acts in the Golan heights by Syrians or any other islamic group, not even during the war in Lebanon in 2006.). The same goes for East-jerusalem, which are naiborhoods that were annexed to Jerusalem, its residents have an ISRAELI citizenship and its considered a part of Israel, both officialy, and physicly from a visiter POV. The only diffrence betweeen East-Jerusalem and any other part of Israel is purely it's political status, and diffrenting it in a travelers' guide is purely a political decision. I think a small explaination line in the article about Jerusalem itself should do, and i think that would be the case if it wasn't the politicly touched value ISRAEL.

besides, the call "desputed territories" isn't very true. just like Tibet or Kashmir aren't put as a "desputed teritory" in the side, but are blend into the devision and specificly in every article its said "dangerous" or what-not. I don't see why the two values "Judea" and "Samaria" should be diffrent, as every region has it's properties, jewish regions and arabic regions. and i don't see why can't the ISRAEL articles and the PALESTINE articles both link to this regions. I think treating it diffrent than other desputed territories in the world is not only political and wrong, but also show an untrue image to the travelers here.

because of all of that and more, i suggest a new devision to the regions, which will be both true to the real geographical and regional devisions in Israel, and also more importantly give the travelers better information about the diffrent regions.

since the USA, China, Britian and every other country determans it's own regional devision, i guess its only fair to devide Israel in the same way. I suggest to use the devision as its written in here, in the website of the tourism office of the Israeli government: [8] which is also used in here, in the geographical devision of Israel in the hebrew Wikipedia: [9]

for those of you who don't speak hebrew, i'll write it in english: i think the basic devision should first of all be North, Central and South, as it is a general devision of Israel everywhere. Sub-devision should be: North: Lower Galilee, Upper Galilee, Western Galilee, Jazreel valley, Jordan valley, Haifa and the Golan heights Central: Tel-Aviv, Sharon, Southern coastal plains, Shephelah, Jurusalem, Judean mountains, Samarian mountains, Hevron mountain (all of the last 3 can also be collectivly called "the west bank" and then break into sub-regions) South: Negev, Eilat, Gaza strip, Judean desert(though its not in the south, its considered a part of it since it shares a very clear property of the south - its a desert. could be on both central and south regions).

I really do believe that this version will give the travelers a much more truthful image of what goes on in Israel from a travelers POV, without the unrelated political statuses and with a more accurate geographical and cultural devision. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Govrin (talkcontribs)


- any objections? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Govrin (talkcontribs)
You might add a note in the Pub with a link to this discussion to solicit further feedback as there may not be a lot of people watching this talk page. It doesn't look like there is currently any plan behind the Israel region hierarchy, so an update along the lines you've suggested probably makes sense. Also, a suggestion - you can sign your posts with four tildes ("~~~~") which makes it easier to see who left a comment. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:39, 11 March 2009 (EDT)
Thanks for the info. Well, it doesn't sound logical to me that a decision about the article of ISRAEL would be decided by people who don't know much about israel and don't surf in these pages. But if thats the way to go, if you could help me with it and post a link at the needed location (don't know exacly how where what..) i would appriciate it. Thanks again. Govrin 15:58, 11 March 2009 (EDT)
Pub#Israel Regions. There are a number of users here who are fairly familiar with Israel, but it's easy to miss a talk page discussion so hopefully posting in the Pub will be a bit more visible. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:06, 11 March 2009 (EDT)
Alright, its been over a week and gladly, no one seems to disagree on the new devision. I'll start working on the changes, and also atleast start every region's description. Hopefully others will have more to add or to fix me. Govrin 15:56, 17 March 2009 (EDT)
Started the main page. to avoide any political conflicts, i've mentioned on each region that belongs to the west bank that it is infact a part of it, and also mentioned it on the disclaimerbox. is it enough or should each area that goes through the west bank have some kind of a warning box or a bolded note? Govrin 19:22, 17 March 2009 (EDT)

So, I appreciate the effort you're putting into this... but unfortunately you're doing it all wrong and should stop until there's a consensus, ie. that other explicitly agree with what you're doing.

The first huge problem is that there are way, way, WAY too many top-level regions now: the hard limit is 9, but right now we've got 14 (!), and adding another level of splitting does not address this. Earlier on this very page I suggested the following:

  • Merge Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee and Sea of Galilee into just plain Galilee. Upper and Sea have little content, and Lower doesn't even exist.
  • Merge Jezreel Valley and Beth Shean Valley into Jordan Valley.
  • Carmel Range should probably be demoted from a region to a destination under North Coast (Israel), seeing as it only has two settlements.
  • Expand Dead Sea to cover the non-Arab bits of the Judean Desert. I'm not sure what the best name is, but "Judean Desert" might be the best option. Disentangling the Palestinian West Bank from this will get hairy, but then, it's hairy in real life too.

That gets us down to 10, and I'm also not sure that we need all of Shephelah, Sharon and Coastal Plain (Israel), so some of those should be merged together.

The second even larger problem is that you're now attempting to create a second parallel hierarchy that places the West Bank and Gaza both within Israel and Palestinian Territories simultaneously, which is a huge no-no. While I appreciate that your proposed hierarchy shows things as they "should" be geographically, the regrettable fact is that, for the actual traveler, it makes a gigantic difference if they're in Israel proper or within the wall in PA/Hamas territory, and that's why the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan are outside the Israel hierarchy. That said, I'm OK with placing those bits of the West Bank on the "Israeli" side of the wall, including East Jerusalem, under Israel. Jpatokal 23:18, 17 March 2009 (EDT)

First of all, i disagree that i need an explicit agreement from everyone on every little change. If the edit is disputed in any way, then it should be discussed. however, this edit was not disputed. if you had any objections, why not bringing them up here? instead of lunching and deleting the new version, we can discuss it here and trying to imrpove and tune the value and make it better.;
as for the devision, Like i wrote on your talk page, Israel is not devided into clear counties such as the USA or Germany or other countries. it functions as a unit, and the diffrent regions are determaned by either geographical properties (for example - Judean desert), by cultural diffrences (for example, Dan Bloc) or by political and military actions (for example - the Golan heights). Therefore, there are many devisions and sub-devisions of Israel, and most areas overlap each other. The Judean desert overlaps the Negev desert, the Galilee overlaps parts of the Golan heights, the Plains overlaps the Shephelah which overlaps the mountains, and so on. That is how Israel is and always was built for over a thousend years. I'm sorry there are no clear bounderies like in Europe, i really do, because it would be easier to devide it here, but thats the way it is.;
the devision in most places extands deeper and deeper into sub-articles. meaning its true that China value for example is devided into south, west, east and so on, but then it has sub devisions, and more sub devisions, and more sub devisions. so its basicly the same length, only in depth. i don't think Israel is that big that it needs sub-articles and more sub-articles. a general devision of ALL the regions on the front page would do. lets just say that if you removed the sub-articles of China and simpley spread out all of the regions in china that are mentioned in Wikitravel, you would get a list probably longer than the entire ISRAEL article. so instead of adding those regions as sub-articles in the Israel value and create pointless short articles on each sub-region, spreading them all on one page is much more afficient.;
As for your regional proposals:
1 - Merge the Galilee regions: thats exacly what i have done. but since there is currently no Galilee article, i kept the links to the sub-articles, so that people can still get the information they want.
What I'm saying is that we should create Galilee and merge Upper, Lower and Sea into it. Jpatokal 06:09, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
2 - Merging Jezreel valley with Beit-Shean valley into the Jordan valley is simpley incorrect. its like merging California and Florida regions. Jezreel valley is absolutly not a part of the Jordan valley. if anything, it is sometimes annaxed into the Galilee in the devisions in israel. i did thought about making a "jordan valley" value instead of beit-shean, but than you will have to break it down into sub-regions and of course it slides into the west bank and so on and so on.
Sorry, I had my valleys mixed up there. I agree that merging Jezreel into the Galilee might be the best option. Jpatokal 06:09, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
3 - The Carmel range is densely populated, and the majority of it is part of the Haifa metro, the 3rd largest metro in Israel. The fact that its not a well written article doesn't mean you should delete it from the travelers guide, but that we should help improve it, perhaps?
We should definitely keep one region for Haifa and parts north of it, but that already exists: North Coast (Israel). The current Carmel Range is about a few villages in the hills and does not include Haifa. Jpatokal 06:09, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
4 - The dead sea is between 2 very diffrent countries, and therefore cannot include regions from israel or jordan. The desert of Jordan and the Judean desert are diffrent in their geography, in their culture, and of course - its 2 diffrent countries !
We agree here: the Dead Sea is not a good region. This is why I'm suggesting that the Israeli content currently in that article be moved to Judean Desert. Jpatokal 06:09, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
5 - adding up the Shephelah, the Sharon and so on just means more sub-articles, so what will it be good for other than to save space on the "ISRAEL" article?
Sorry, I'm not following you here: merging them into one region means less clutter. Coastal Plain (Israel) should work quite nicely for the entire sprawl from Netanya to Ashkelon; this even corresponds roughly to the existing administrative "Central" (Merkaz) district. Jpatokal 06:09, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
as for the creating of a parallel article, i did not and not going to add any articles under the "palestinian authority". i did not create them, and i do not know who did. the link to gaza, west bank and palestinian authorities was also in the previous version, and i left it in order to avoide any problems of consensus. if you wish to delete them, that has nothing to do with me or to my version.;
I do not wish to delete them, what I'm saying is that any regions defined in the Israel article should not overlap with regions already defined under Palestinian Territories. Jpatokal 06:09, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
I hope i explained myself well, and i hope fixing the value will be the goal now, instead of an edit war. improving the value will bring much more use than constantly restoring it.
anything you disagree with me? Govrin 02:44, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
Unilaterally changing the hierarchy of a country is a no-no around here. You are certainly not the first to come along and try to improve Israel's regions-- it has been hotly disputed a number of times. I certainly appreciate your effort here, but with these organizational types of changes, it is important to garner some support before a change is made (even if it takes longer than 2 weeks), because this kind of change affects many articles, and changing them all around back and forth is more than a pain in the ass. Texugo 03:14, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
Well, you were the one changing it. Me and Jpatokal agreed to keep the new version unless someone else will write an objection about it. if anyone objects to the new version, he will see it and will come to discuss it here. if you'll remove it without even starting a debate, no one will know there was anything to debate about, just like you guys didn't start this discussion until the new version was up, and eventually this subject will, again, be burried deep and keep the ISRAEL value not updated and not useful. something i think none of us want. do you have any objections to this agreement? as for editing new articles, like i said, i will atleast start each new article myself, because i think a pain in the ass shouldn't prevent us from improving wikitravel. Govrin 03:27, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
I see no evidence of any such agreement. If you are looking for another objection, count me in. The old version stays until a new organization is agreed upon, per Wikitravel:Consensus#Status_quo_bias. Period. Anything else at this point is edit warring and a pointless waste of time. Texugo 03:36, 18 March 2009 (EDT)

Finalize[edit]

Globe-trotter's proposal

OK, I'm going to try and take the points of agreement above and list the resulting regions to be listed:

Tasks:

Does this look right? --Peter Talk 23:07, 12 January 2010 (EST)

See the map for my proposal. I think a Judean Desert and the Jordan Valley don't make sense, as most of it is in the West Bank. The listed cities in Judean Desert are already listed either in the West Bank or in Negev (such as Arad), the Dead Sea being an exception (but we can just place it in Negev to avoid overlap). The Jordan Valley goes from the Sea of Galilee all the way south to Aqaba, it's a very small strip, quite weird as a region. I suggest we combine the northern part with Galilee, the middle part goes to West Bank and the southern part to Negev. Beth Shean Valley only has 1 town in it. Israel is a small country, it doesn't need so many regions I think. --globe-trotter 10:20, 13 January 2010 (EST)
That works for me. --Peter Talk 11:06, 13 January 2010 (EST)

That would make the following tasks:

What to do with Judean Desert? Either move the small part into Negev or move it completely to West Bank? I'm starting to feel a bit more for keep it as a region, as it is quite district naturally and also more visited (it would have the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada). It's a bit weird to only cover the Israeli part of the Judean Desert though, so I guess we could maybe just keep it as an OD in Negev. It's not a region now as well. But seeing the article of Judean Desert, it would be too bad to just ruin the information covered there. --globe-trotter 13:28, 13 January 2010 (EST)

If there are no more objections, I'd like to make this Israel hierarchy final and apply it as a regional scheme. --globe-trotter 12:33, 15 January 2010 (EST)
Yea from me. I like keeping the Judean Desert article as an OD, if only because it has already proven its worth as a good little travel article. --Peter Talk 14:49, 15 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, seems cool, but what do we do with the part in the West Bank? Include it or not? Including it pretty much opens a can of worms. I don't know which name we should give the article if it only covers the non-West Bank part. --globe-trotter 20:57, 17 January 2010 (EST)
As long as we treat it as an OD, I don't think the border presents any real problems, as the article won't be used as a part of the regions hierarchy. I say keep it off the map and list it as an OD on the Negev and West Bank pages. If you want to show it as an OD on the map(s), try using a translucent path, perhaps with a pattern, over what else is there? I more or less did that with Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter. --Peter Talk 21:53, 17 January 2010 (EST)
Ah, excuse me, I misunderstood. This I completely agree with, it was always my plan to keep this article as an OD. Would be a shame to break it up as it turned out nicely and is useful for travellers. --globe-trotter 12:45, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Good compromise. Peter and GT, thanks for finally taking the time to hammer this out! Jpatokal 07:56, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Section for Jews travelling to Israel?[edit]

Could there be a special section for Jews travelling to Israel? Jewish jokes for instance are commonplace among Western Jews; with the knowledge of a person's heritage how are they percieved by Israelis? Other things as well. There are about 1.5 million Jews in New York City alone, and many of them take trips to Israel, as I am doing soon. So could a traveller of preferably Jewish decent write an article dealing with this important topic? 72.225.231.173 20:57, 27 May 2009 (EDT)

Driving, route 6[edit]

I've added a paragraphs about Route 6, but I'm unhappy about my wording. Can somebody with better English writing skills edit it up a bit? :)

Also, I remembered there being a slow-car "fine" in the road, but I can't find any mentions to it in any of the many official sites of the road. Has it been canceled? Anybody knows?

p.s. I'm also responsible to the other edits in this page in the last few days (Except those signed) --Avivey 07:13, 7 October 2009 (EDT)

Other destinations list[edit]

I trimmed down the list of "other destinations" to 9, but I am pretty sure we will need more discussion on it. I know I trimmed it down pretty harsh, but I do not know the country that well, so please some suggestions on which destinations to leave out and which to include. I now got to the following nine:

  • Beth Guvrin - a chain of caves which was used for various purposes in ancient times
  • Caesarea National Park - ancient Roman city and much of it remains
  • Dead Sea - a sea of hypersalinated water that keeps people afloat and the lowest point on Earth
  • Ein Avdat - beautiful steep canyon and a popular hiking spot
  • Masada - high on a plateau above the Dead Sea, the scene of the Zealots' last stand against the might of Rome
  • Megiddo - an ancient Canaanite and Israelite city and the location of several key battles, both ancient and modern
  • Mitzpe Ramon - crater/cliff in the middle of the Negev desert and the largest of three similar craters found in Israel
  • Sea of Galilee - the home of Christ and the largest freshwater lake of the country
  • Zippori - an archaeological site with the best preserved mosaics in a Roman town

See also: Israeli National Parks

Suggestions please! --globe-trotter 20:27, 19 January 2010 (EST)

It would be a crime to leave out the dead sea and masada obvioulsy... They are all pretty interesting in themelves, especially the places up north. En Gedi, in your dead sea article, has a bottled water company, don't remember if you included that.... anyways ill have a think and see what i can come up with...Roshi08 12:01, 24 February 2010 (EST)

i see you got the water....!Roshi08 12:02, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Thanks for your input! Masada, the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert are included, so I think adding Ein Gedi as well would be a bit too much, as they are all in the same region. I now have the following nine:

  • Beth Shean Valley — the core of the north Jordan River valley
  • Caesarea National Park — ancient Roman city and much of it remains
  • Carmel Range — a small yet diverse region of hills just south-east of Haifa
  • Dead Sea — a sea of hypersalinated water that keeps people afloat and the lowest point on Earth
  • Ein Avdat — beautiful steep canyon and a popular hiking spot
  • Jezreel Valley — an extensive inland valley, largely rural, extending inland from east of Haifa to the Jordan Valley
  • Judean Desert — hostile and arid landscape with an array of hills and canyons
  • Masada — high on a plateau above the Dead Sea, the scene of the Zealots' last stand against the might of Rome
  • Ramon Crater — crater/cliff in the middle of the Negev desert and the largest of three similar craters found in Israel
  • Sea of Galilee — the home of Christ and the largest freshwater lake of the country

What do you think of it? --globe-trotter 17:15, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

Stay safe passport warning[edit]

I think the warning about passports being mis-used in the "Stay safe" section should be removed. This was a one-time, isolated incident, and while it was a violation of international law that affected a handful of travelers it doesn't merit its own warning box. If Israel starts behaving in this manner regularly then we can revisit, but for now the warning box seems vastly out-of-proportion to how many travelers have been and will be affected. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:54, 24 April 2010 (EDT)

Ryan: I think Israel currently moves in a rather worrying direction and this is just one piece in a puzzle e.g. Kamm is another step in the wrong direction. I agree that the box is out of proportion for the average traveller and will work it in the section. jan 14:03, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
I think warnings of this nature are in some ways actually more important than the usual Captain Obvious stuff that proliferates here. The point about out-of-proportion is though well taken. The fact that the warning came from the British FCO of all organisations is especially telling. Britain has been very compliant with dastardly deeds by the Israeli security forces in the past, but this incident was clearly a step too far. I suggest perhaps some words in the stay safe section instead? --Burmesedays 14:18, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
My concern is less with the warning and more with the use of a warning box for something that won't affect the vast majority of travelers. If we start using warning boxes for anything other than "it is very important that you know about this!" then it sets a dangerous precedent. For example, do we need to do something similar with the US article due to the handful of renditions during the previous administration? Doing so would have the unfortunate effect of making the warning boxes less meaningful and would also annoy a lot of people who don't want to see their country's reputation tarnished undeservedly. The current changes to incorporate the information into the section text seems like a reasonable compromise. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:44, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
ARe both of you fine with my new under section Identity theft in the Stay safe section? jan 03:37, 25 April 2010 (EDT)

was a British colony?[edit]

Israel was *NOT* a British colony. It was a British mandate. 77.126.224.42 15:30, 18 August 2010 (EDT)

I'd say, go ahead and fix it. – Vidimian 17:54, 18 August 2010 (EDT)

Keep your entry stamp safe![edit]

I'm moving the following piece of advice from the article back to the talk page. I've integrated the grain of advice ("keep your entry stamp safe!") into the main box. The rest of the advice is circumstantial, and IMHO shouldn't be presented as-is in the main article. In particular, the border police (not customs officer!) after the passport control booths just routinely collects and tears up paper slips. They do a pretty boring job, so if you hand him or her a random paper slip, they might tear it up absentmindedly. Not handing them important paper slips is human common sense :-)

Please note that the boxed advice about not allowing Israeli customs officials to stamp your passport can be a problem, too. In November 2008 three travelers, following the Wikitravel advice, asked their Israeli customs officer to stamp a separate sheet of paper, which she did. Shortly thereafter, another airport official collected the loose sheets without realizing what they were and tore them up as part of a routine passage through the airport. The travelers ended up with no verification that they had entered Israel legally. This caused problems throughout the rest of their visit to Israel. When they checked with a U.S. Consular employee, he advised them that, unless they intended to travel to Syria or Iran, there was no reason at all to ask for the Israeli custom stamp to be placed on a separate sheet of paper from their passport. Travel to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Algeria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Qatar, and Kuwait will not be possible with an Israeli stamp -- you will be refused at their border. However, travel to other Muslim countries that have no formal diplomatic relations with Israel, such as Oman, the UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia is still allowed with an Israeli stamp.

--Ilya 07:58, 8 April 2012 (EDT)

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