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Lonely Planet Guide : Israel & the Palestinian Territories Paperback – August 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 4 edition (August 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864426917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864426918
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,238,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Andrius Uzkalnis on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
...and less on campaigning, it could have been an excellent guide. Alas, alas. It would be unreasonable to expect neutrality and even-handed approach from Lonely Planet (although they almost manage it sometimes; the best I've seen was Canary Islands, by the way). Israel guidebook is one example where they feel their political opinion is so valuable that it has to be offered on almost every page.
I am no Middle East expert and I do not know who is right and who is wrong in the conflict - but in any event, I do not want my guidebook to preach to me. I buy guidebooks for travel, accommodation, eating and sightseeing information - and this part is only so-so. The guide has some helpful info (for example, about passport stamps and about beating the bureaucratic system - or at least minimizing its impact). The book has not been researched sufficiently and choices of hotels, for example, often feel they have been picked at random.
There is one thing you realize after reading about a dozen Lonely Planet guides: a very large part of the book is actually cut and pasted from one book to another. When you are paying for a Lonely Planet guide, you are paying for much less particular destination information than you imagine: there are pages and pages of generalities of no practical relevance. Why insult intelligence of a reader with gems such as "pack as little as possible but take everything you need"? I can think of no other reason but to artificially increase the volume of the book so it seems a better value for money.
As usual, information about "Getting there" is very, very poor. Same tired "advice" about buying tickets from discount travel agents (and you thought about buying them from your dry-cleaners, didn't you?
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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Michael McDaniel on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased the Lonely Planet Guide, the Knopf Guide to the Holy Land, and the Insight Guide for Israel. All are excellent resources, and really seem to serve different needs.
The Lonely Planet Guide is way ahead in providing helpful info about the day-to-day details of your trip. It has more restaurant and hotel listings and tells you about the feel of the place. It provides suggested iteneraries, which I find especially nice. Finally, it gives details on getting from place to place, which can really help reduce vacation stress.
The Knopf Guide to the Holy Land is a truly beautiful volume which manages to capture the people and history like nothing else. It has fold-out views of the Via Dolorosa and its coverage of all the sites is amazingly detailed and really prepares you to get the most out of your visit.
The Insight Guide's color pictures are nice and I like their presentation of the history, but the Knopf Guide really excells in this, so I find myself using the Insight Guide just as another opinion on which sights to see.
We'll be carrying the LPG to get places, but the Knopf Guide will be our reference once we arrive.
All in all, the Lonely Planet Guide is the must-buy book in this category. Buy the Knopf Guide second.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have a number of Lonely Planet guides and this is the only one that goes out of its way to make political statements about the country. Along with that is the poorly researched information about what to see and where to stay.
Shame on Lonely Planet. They are unquestionably the best guide books around except for this one.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Bonanomi on June 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a LP fan, but after been living in Israel for almost 3 years I have to say that this guide is very superficial. It could be much better ... for example, there are restaurants that everybody know in Israel, very popular, very nice that are not mentioned in the guide. I would expect something more from LP ... sorry :(
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on June 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like most of the Lonely Planet books with which I am familiar, this one has a lot of good facts that are very useful for the traveler. The information on passport stamps, for example, is very handy if you plan on traveling in other countries in the Middle East.
However, I have to disagree with avalonwitch and agree with alfassa; the pro-Palestinian (or anti-Israeli; pick your poison) bias in this book is very strong and pervasive. Right from the beginning, one notices things such as the fact that B.C. and A.D. are used, rather than the Jewish or Muslim equivalents (or the widely-accepted B.C.E. and C.E.) There's a sidebar swipe at the Mossad, for example, that concentrates on their "bungles" (of which there are, of course, some) rather than such successes as the detection of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, the successful capture of Nazi war-criminals, and so on. This attitude is all through the book.
That said, there's some good stuff here. I just wish Lonely Planet's editors could have been more even-handed. After all, while Israel has certainly done some things that are pretty awful (e.g., Lebannon), the Palestinians aren't exactly free of blame, either (e.g., strapping bombs to themselves and going to discos to blow themselves up). An even-handed approach would have made this another excellent Lonely Planets guidebook.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Douglas E on May 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I buy a guide book to learn about the country I am visiting, preferably through a reasonably sympathetic eye. I don't want cheerleading or rose-colored glasses, but I don't expect open hostility or overt political bias. But the Lonely Planet Guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories is full of just that. The author is overtly anti-Zionist in his tone, unnecessarily political, and to me outright offensive. I DO begrudge one's political views in a travel guide! If I want a political text (and I read voraciously about Israel, from a variety of viewpoints), I will buy one.

This is a terrible guide. You can do much better, and at the time of this writing, I would suggest the Frommer's Israel Guide, just released in October 2006. Anything would be better than this.
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