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Gay travel helps boost tourism in Israel

BY ARON HELLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM -- It's priming for a risky showdown with Iran over its suspected nuclear program, concerned about neighboring Syria's bloody civil war spilling across the border and dealing with terrorists attempting to infiltrate from Egypt's lawless Sinai Peninsula.

But that doesn't seem to be deterring hundreds of thousands of tourists from flocking to Israel each month. Despite the region's turmoil, Israel is enjoying an unexpected tourism boom, and 2012 is shaping up to be a record year.

Nearly 300,000 tourists arrived in July, a record for the month and an 8 percent increase over the previous July, according to the Tourism Ministry. The trend is nothing new: The ministry says each month of 2012 so far has set an all-time record for that month.

Gay travel has helped provided a boost. Tel Aviv was recently crowned by readers of the travel website GayCities and American Airlines customers as "Best Gay City of 2011," ahead of New York, Toronto and London.

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Keep the Sodomites out of Israel. Jesus Christ is Lord and savior, repent while you still have time, the Lord is coming soon. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose three days later. REPENT. The Lion Of Judah is coming in wrath!

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