11 May, 2021

No Entry For Noah?

The wooing of Israelis upsets hardliners

Waseem Andrabi
No Entry For Noah?

Tourists headed to Kashmir have often found themselves caught in the stormy politics of the state. It is now the turn of tourists from Israel. While the state government has set out to woo them, local hardliners, especially those from the Hurriyat, have begun crying foul, accusing the tourists of being part of a larger political and strategic agenda. Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for instance, thinks New Delhi is pushing “Mossad agents” as tourists to involve them in counter-insurgency activities in Kashmir.

This hasn’t deterred the state government, though, from participating in an official delegation to Israel in June this year along with Union tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay. “Kashmir is calm at the moment,” says Talat Pervez, director, J&K tourism department, who was part of the Indian delegation. “The situation here has changed for the better. We are witnessing a tourism boom and we want more and more Israeli tourists to come here. The state government will do its best to woo...

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