Archive for January 2nd, 2012

Monday Moaning

When I read of the arrest of the Israeli tourist responsible for the enormous blaze destroying major parts of Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Chile, I was not surprised.

Despite that he has admitted his role, his family are bleating that he is innocent:

Israeli tourist family defends Chile fire suspect

High winds spread the flames rapidly through the Torres del Paine national park

The family of an Israeli tourist accused of starting a massive forest fire in a Chilean national park say the authorities are making him a scapegoat.

Twenty-three-year-old Rotem Singer’s relatives in Israel say he could not have caused the blaze.

A 110 sq km (27,000 acre) expanse of pristine forest has already burned in the Torres del Paine national park in southern Chile.

Hundreds of firefighters are still tackling the blaze.

Mr Singer was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of causing the fire through negligence, by failing to properly extinguish a toilet roll he had been burning.

Chilean prosecutor Juan Melendez said the Israeli had acknowledged his role in allowing the fire to start.

However, Mr Singer’s family say he is innocent.

Source: BBC News Read more


In the 1990s I worked in many locations as a tour guide and camp administrator, including the Pantanal; during which time I met many Israeli tourists, along with many other nationalities.

Of all the nationalities, were I to have my time over, I would never again work with Israelis, closely followed by 5 Star Americans, they are the pits. Don’t bother with your views that I am anti-semitic and therefore a racist, I am not. My disrespect was earned.


Following Israeli compulsory military training every year many parts of the world are flooded with thousands of Israelis freed from their military commitment with a pocket full of money. They swarm across South America in droves from December to end up in La Paz, Bolivia for the Passover Festival there.

During their trek, they reek havoc like no other group or nationality. They ignore camp rules, they do as they please. I have had to close a camp in the Pantanal after it was made uninhabitable by the Israelis shitting everywhere, refusing to use the toilet area, strewing the surrounding countryside with toilet paper, refusing to bury their own shit and designated rubbish containers. They lit fires where they wanted, ignoring special areas set aside for fires, they destroyed camp equipment, hammocks, tents, chairs, tables and used the water casks for seating which in turn broke them. They used drinking water (which has to be trucked in) for washing, even to the point of not closing spigots to preserve water so it was lost, it was organised sabotage because we dared to point out that their behaviour was unacceptable. In this particular camp intake there were only Israelis, 32 of them.

As a national group, their irresponsibility and arrogance makes all angry. In South America, there are hotels, lodgings and tour operators that have signs, “No Israelis.” So I am not alone in venting my thoughts. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru has seen many problems with them as well, while not from personal experience, I knew many Peruvian trail guides that refused the four day treks with Israelis in the group. The scenario above was one instance, and the worst, but not by much. I had photos that I had taken at the time, unfortunately they have yet to be recovered from my old HDs, if in fact I had scanned those negatives now lost.

They have no respect for nature or eco-anything.

Now I am not saying that all Israelis are like this, but many of the ones traveling in South America are. Of the hundreds I had contact with, one ex-army doctor was a great guy, even apologising for his comrades behaviour which he recognised was way beyond the limits.

Sorry, no sympathy here. His family are in Israel, they don’t know what happened on the other side of the world in Chile.

I apologise to my readers if this sounds racist, it is not intended to be. I am 100% miffed by the attitude and the claim by his parents and hope that upon his admission he is subjected to the full weight of the law as I would be with any nationality. This type of carelessness in today’s day and age is not excusable from travelers from first world countries when you consider the education we have.

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