People get turned on by all sorts of things: handcuffs, grapefruit, cactus dildos, 50 Shades of Grey — and apparently, for some people, war. Undeterred by the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Gaza, the first ever Jewish National Fund/J-Date Singles trip to Israel recently happened, and participants report that all of the military activity might have made the trip even more enjoyable. I find this disturbingly easy to believe.
The trip involved 24 single American Jews between the ages of 30 and 45 who travelled to Israel, presumably in the hopes of getting it on, either with each other or with Israelis they happened to meet. And even though some people would consider the fact that hundreds of Palestinian civilians have already been killed as part of a questionable military offensive to be a major turn-off — or at least that the fear of your flight possibly being hit by a rocket might turn down your sex drive — apparently that is not the reaction the attendees had. In fact, even though the group was only about half of its expected size after lots of last minute cancellations, the participants reported having a great time.
"Because we were unable to go to some of the typical tourist sites in the center and the south, we got a chance to see another side of Israel," one participant explained. "The main sites are important too, but this way we felt like we were really getting to know the country and its people.” Another traveller added that "touring with a smaller group, with everyone’s emotions running extra high, made it a much more intimate experience.”
Ah yes, war. It does wonderful things for the libido.
According to the trip organizers, the hostilities going on "served to enrich the trip experience” by causing participants to "[exchange] ideas and opinions on a level that the average singles trip often avoids."
On the one hand, I understand the idea of going through with a trip that you've probably booked months in advance and spent a lot of money on. And yes, tense situations often encourage some good sexy times. But on the other hand, it seems in pretty poor taste to travel to a country where hundreds of people are dying each week and act as though the very real, very deadly conflict was just a side issue that made your trip extra interesting.
Hopefully these participants really did critically engage with the issues at hand while on their trip, but the idea of this trip still seems pretty odd, under the circumstances — and the way in which the organizers have been talking it up to the media feels downright disrespectful to the many, many lives that have already been lost as part of a conflict that certainly should not be seen as an appealing backdrop for hooking up.