CONFLICT JOURNALIST Bob Worthington III breaks down on Tel Aviv beach as some of the ‘natives’ stroll by..
(photo credit: TAKEN WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM REUTERS)
He hoped to find conflict while being able to drink and relax on the beach in Tel Aviv.
He had heard from friends that Israel was a perfect place to live the most posh and relaxing life while also becoming a grizzled war veteran. But after six months searching for suffering and conflict, Bob Worthington III has left Tel Aviv in disgust.
“There was no conflict. I came to see Palestinians throwing stones and Israeli soldiers oppressing people, but despite months here, I haven’t found it.”
Mr. Worthington says he only ventured into the West Bank twice during six months, but he thought that would be enough to become a war-worn conflict expert.
“My friends back in London and New York told me that they had come to Israel for a few days and written about the conflict and are now considered veteran war correspondents. They’ve been living off those three days for years, discussing their war years. Some of them even wrote books about their experience. One guy even had to wait at Kalandia checkpoint for 10 minutes. He was really traumatized.”
But Worthington says that the conflict didn’t find him while he was here. Part of the reason is that he spent most of his time in Tel Aviv relaxing on the beach. But the other problem was the unwillingness of what he calls “the natives” to act as he had been told they would.
“I was told Israel was Hobbesian, fascist state. We heard there was shooting and tear gas and killings. But I’ve seen none.”
Nevertheless, Worthington already has a book deal and will be writing about his suffering and the deep problems he encountered here.
“I once had to wait in line and a man shouted at me,” he says. “Also in Jerusalem I experienced a lot of cars honking horns, which was very disturbing. Where I’m from everyone is very polite, but in Israel it’s truly savage.”
He was also traumatized by the price of cheese.
The United Nations has contacted him to serve as an expert witness at the next session focusing on condemnation of Israel.