The Safety of Israel

Possibly in the long term it will prove to be the most dangerous place on earth, standing as it does under a Sword of Damocles in the form of a surrounding Middle East that nurtures a very deep grudge against its very existence. Still, for today, this is true.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia, says he felt safer during a recent trip to Israel than he would “in certain parts of New York City or Chicago.... The whole time we were there, of course, we had security with us, but there was no restrictions on travel, we never felt threatened one bit... In fact, I can say that we felt safer in Israel than we would in certain parts of New York City or Chicago,” Loudermilk said.

“Yeah — or Baltimore, I would think, as well,” interjected host Tony Perkins.
I had no security with me at any time, indeed was walking completely alone, and still felt perfectly safe. Even in East Jerusalem, even in the Arab parts of town. Several of the Arabs told me I was very welcome, I think because they want Americans to come and see the situation for ourselves. No one during the entire trip was even mildly threatening, except the Israeli security officer who pulled me aside to question me very intensely about my business in Israel when I first arrived. That was only his duty, and I took no offense.

UPDATE: I guess my radar's a little off. I realize this afternoon that the reason these comments are a story is that the authors are implying some sort of racism in the guy's commentary. "Certain parts of New York City or Chicago"... "or Baltimore" is supposed to be code, I guess.

Well, maybe. All the same, I've been to New York, I've been to Chicago, I've been to Baltimore, and there are certain parts of those cities that are objectively unsafe. They were having riots in Baltimore just recently, and Chicago's murder rate is periodically higher than Afghanistan's. I've also been to Jerusalem, and walking around Jerusalem even alone and late at night felt perfectly safe to me.

So, for what it's worth, if you're reading racism into his remarks it may not be appropriate. He may have been making a comment about Israel, not about race in America. That's how I read it at first.

UPDATE: Not to put too fine a point on it, but last weekend: 27 shootings, 9 fatal in Baltimore. Chicago? 56 shot over the same weekend, including a child. I don't see any for Jerusalem in the same period.

UPDATE: Murders are up in Manhattan too. And according to this list, Israel's total murder rate is 1.7 per 100,000 if you discount the deaths from the war; 1.8 per 100,000 if you don't. That's not great: most of Europe does much better than this, having rates in the zero-point range. The USA is 4.7 per 100,000. The Americas are the worst place in the world overall, even worse than Africa, with an average rate of 16.3. If you break it down by cities, all the worst places in the world are in the Americas, including two US cities: New Orleans and Baltimore.

So yeah. I think dude was objectively correct in his statements.

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