Living: The No-Shows at Israel's Party

U.S. tourists, especially, shy away from the troubled Holy Land

This was to be the best summer ever. Israel was throwing a lavish 40th- birthday party, and the Ministry of Tourism expected the crowds to break all records. Foreign visitors would flock to the festivals or the spectacular $12 million staging of Verdi's Nabucco in the 5,000-seat Sultan's Pool. They would sample the rich history of Jerusalem, the flashing, clear waters of Eilat, the archaeological drama of Masada. Bracing for a flood of guests, Hyatt International unveiled a $60 million, 500-room hotel in Jerusalem. Airlines scheduled extra flights, and car-rental agencies planned to plump up their fleets. Israeli tourist officials, anticipating...

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