As a tour guide, whenever there are terrorist acts in Israel, I always get the question, “Is it safe to visit Israel now?” With the recent murders in Jerusalem I am getting this question frequently.
Unfortunately most people answer this question based purely on their intuition which is influenced by the skewed media coverage of Israel which always exaggerates what happens here. But whenever I get asked this question, in true Jewish fashion, I answer it with a question of my own: “Is it safe for me to visit the United States?”
This question may sound absurd at first, but once you take a look at the numbers you will see that it’s actually a very important question to concider. Let’s look at the intentional homicide rates in a few countries around the world for the year 2012 (the most recent year I could find data for). Keep in mind that these numbers include acts of terrorism.
|Country||Total Murders||Rate per 100,000|
Now that we are speaking in terms of actual data, it becomes clear that one is twice as likely to be murdered in the USA than in Israel even when factoring in terrorism to the murder numbers. Perhaps now you can see that it’s not so absurd for me to ask if it’s safe for me to visit the United States!
Of course you should always take appropriate precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, check the news. But if you had plans to tour Israel, you can feel quite confident that you are at least twice as safe here as in the United States! I on the other hand I will think twice before visiting Los Angeles any time soon the murder rate there in 2012 was 7.8!!