Israel and Palestine have admittedly had a bad inter- national profile when it comes to danger from within the country. Stories of bombings, shootings, demonstrations and uprisings are common enough through the images we see in the media. As a result many would-be visitors stay away from the region. The reality is much different from the perceptions that are manufactured on most media outlets.

Traveling within Palestine and Israel is essentially a safe venture. Bethlehem, where the summer program will take place, is a relatively safe place to reside in comparison to other parts of the West Bank. With the Holy Land Trust staff s presence on the ground, traveling in and around Bethlehem can be very comfortable.

Visitors are never deliberately targeted within Palestinian areas in the West Bank. Many travellers frequent the West Bank throughout the year and rarely experience anything that suggests violent backlash. To avoid scrupulous attention from Israeli security and Israeli Occupational Forces, avoid wearing Palestinian keffiyahs in Jewish areas and, conversely, do not wear a Jewish kippa or other Jewish items of clothing in Palestinian areas.

Use your common sense when traveling and stay safe.