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Kathy Shaidle's Guide For Your First Visit to Israel

5 Places to Visit in Israel

Folks who say visiting Israel is like traveling back in time don't know the half of it.

Say: Do you find yourself missing the 1970s -- even though, like me, you vowed you never would?

That is: Do you miss litter, graffiti, off-leash dogs, free-range cats, smoking on the beach, 13 TV channels, no wheelchair ramps -- plus polyester everything?

Because if so, Israel is the 70s with cellphones! You'll love it! Heck, the same war's still going on!

Seriously: This shiksa just got back from her second trip to Israel -- not a moment too soon, from the looks of things -- and I'm here with the first of a series of articles that will go from macro to micro.

PJMedia's own Barry Rubin literally wrote the book on Israel. I read it before I left and recommend it highly. But he's a Jew who has lived there for years. I'm writing as a gentile two-time visitor.

To that end, I'll start off with an overviews of major cities and regions in Israel, then drill down to cover specific attractions; define words that don't mean what you (or more accurately, your dorky grad student nephew) think they mean (i.e., "check point," "settlement," "refugee camp"); then offer tips on food, language, manners and more.