Israelis in Goa disastrous for tourism’


A book published by the Council for Social Justice and Peace, an arm of the Roman Catholic Church in Goa, India, vilifies Israeli tourists to the area, with some contributors claiming the Israeli government sends young people to the region to “recover” from their military service. Claiming the Right to Say No: A Study of Israeli Tourist Behavior and Patterns in Goa, was authored by 11 seminarians and totals 96 pages. The study was based on an undercover survey and personal experiences of the seminary students as they traveled around Goa finding Israelis in the many tourist spots. Officially released by Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao on Sunday, the book critiques the behavior of Israeli tourists. Copies are available for sale at several church-supported outlets throughout Goa. The first article, by Dr. Victor Ferrao of the Rachol Seminary entitled, “Tourism in Goa: A Narrative Construction of Hosts and Visitors” states that while performing his research on both the Israeli and Russian visitors he found there to be “disastrous socio-economic, political, environmental consequences of enclavization of tourism. “Their motivation, expectations, travel patterns and activities have little to offer to the local communities,” Ferrao wrote. “This results [in] a substantial displacement of the locals.” He went on to write that the two groups bring cultural, political, economic, social and environmental consequences on the host community. “One can also notice many unbecoming activities like flesh trade, drug abuse, rave parties and crimes like rapes, murder, etc., making hay as the sun of tourism refuses to set on our land,” Ferrao wrote. “This loss of control of the locals over tourism activities in their localities will receive even greater momentum if the demand for an independent tourism board is realized.” Foreigners from Israel, along with those from Britain, Russia and Germany, top the number of visitors arriving in Goa every tourist season. Of the two million tourists coming to the Indian state each year, nearly 450,000 are foreigners. The second section of the report, written by students of theology at Rachol Seminary is called “Is Goa the Rome of the East or Israel in the East.” It discusses Israelis’ military service and its effect on how they act once they get to Goa. “The disciplined and strict environment, the encounters, the shoot-outs, somehow distorts their psyche and thus becomes a burden to treat,” the report stated. “So these people are sent on holidays to different destinations in order to recover themselves and Goa is one of the destinations.” In Myron Jeson Barretto’s article “My Experience/ Understanding of Israeli Tourists and Other Tourists at Vagator and Arambol Beach,” he walked around Goa’s beaches and spoke to non-Israeli tourists about how they viewed the Israelis. In one section he quotes a tourist from the UK as saying that Israelis who come to Goa bring drugs from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir, and they use Goans and other Indians to sell them. “The Israelis who sell drugs have control over the ministers from Goa to Delhi,” the tourist said. “They pay them a large amount of money. They also bribe the police.” In Manuel D’Souza’s article, “The SababaExperience,” he describes the creation of Israel by writing, “Americans under the guilt of Holocaust of Jews gifted Israel a state and are supporting them in their expansion. “There is compulsory military training and service for everyone in Israel. Can you imagine young boys killing people? They go mad while in the services. The government sent these people to relaxation hubs. One of them is Goa.” An article on the front page of Gomantak Times, an English daily in Goa, reviewed the book. The article’s title – “Satanic Visitors?” – says it all.