- By Allison Good<p> Allison Good is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy. </p>
The raging civil war in Syria has created a new spectator sport for Israeli vacationers: war tourism. Mortar shells from Syria are now landing in the demilitarized zone in the northern Golan Heights, and residents in the area say they can hear gunfire as well. Many Israelis are foregoing the pool or the beach, flocking instead to the Israel-Syria border for a little action. As Maariv reported Tuesday, the intrigue attracts "dozens" of Israelis who arrive each day with their binoculars, inspired by the broadcast images of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak "watching the shelling of Jobata al-Khashab across the border in Syria."
"We saw a few days ago how Defense Minister Barak watched the battles in the Syrian village of G’ovta with binoculars," Yosi, a resident of Tel Aviv, told Maariv. "I know that it’s dangerous and the border becomes explosive, but it is still intriguing."
According to The Times of Israel, tour guides have caught on to the fad and are adding the "Syrian unrest" to their agendas. Police in northern Israel are on alert in case any curious travelers try to get into any sensitive army installations on the border. Hopefully we won’t be reading any stories about overly adventurous tourists.
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| The Cable |