Israel supporters vacation in Israel because they love the Jewish State. Many people make the admirable choice to skip exotic locals in favor of helping Israel by visiting. Since the modern rebirth of Israel in the 1840s, Israel's Jews have been under economic, political and terrorist threat from within and without. The people of Israel appreciate the kindness of her visiting friends.
Israel is unique in that every dollar properly spent exponentially increases its impact and strengthens the nation.
In broad outline, there are three groups within Israel that profit from tourists. Only one is good. Focus spending your money with the good: Group One.
Group one consists of ordinary Israelis, whether secular or religious, politically right or left. It also includes Druze, pro-Israel Christians and friendly members of the Muslim community. It doesn't matter to whom you give as long as they believe in and support Israel as the Jewish State. Many of these individuals own small stores, businesses, restaurants, drive cabs, are artisans, operate Airbnbs, etc. Spending with this group supports the land and people of Israel.
Group two consists of Jewish/Israeli trouble makers. Some work openly and others work surreptitiously against Israel's interests. Many people who visit Israel for milestone life events such as Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, funerals, Jewish or Christian holidays, etc. want someone to officiate at their event. Various individuals rent themselves out as Jewish or Christian clergy but are often associated with anti-Israel groups.
Others act as tour guides and poison minds by spreading anti-Israel lies through a microphone on sightseeing buses. Do Israel a favor and type their names into your browser. If you discover that they are harming Israel, don't hire them. Believe it or not, some of these people shamelessly post videos of themselves setting fire to Jewish farms in the West Bank and encouraging Arabs to attack Israeli soldiers.
Group two includes angelic-sounding charities and NGO's (non-government organizations) looking to dupe kind tourists. They claim to encourage equality, acceptance, and harmony between Jew and Muslim; in reality they work to harm Israel's Jews. They are part of a large unregulated economic sector devoted to anti-Israel activity inside Israel. These people sanctimoniously masquerade as helpers, but do evil. Be proactive and research their names and the organizations they are part of. They have a discoverable anti-Israel online presence. Don't let them take advantage of the goodness in your heart.
Group three is the radical part of Israel's Muslim population and their supporters. They reside comfortably within Israel's tiny borders. They have been given full citizenship and enjoy every benefit of living in the Jewish State. They own shops, stores, and businesses, and most famously, they sell tourist knicknacks in Jerusalem's old city souk. Notwithstanding all the good they receive from Israel, they devote their leisure time to fantasizing about murdering Jews and destroying Israel. Occasionally, they act out their fantasies.
Some background regarding Israel's radical Muslims is necessary: Although they cleverly market themselves as "minority Palestinians" to dupe the uninformed, Israel's radical Muslims are part of the Ummah (the worldwide Islamic community) of 1.5 billion Muslims who have subjugated, converted, and/ or destroyed every indigenous group under their occupation since the onset of Islam 1400 years ago. The true extent of their civilizational holocaust can never be quantified.
The so-called "Palestinians" are not a persecuted minority, they belong to the supra-national Islamic empire dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Purchasing from them fuels their dream of genocide.
Against all odds, Israel remains the only independent minority in the Islamic Middle East. Thankfully, it defends its territory, flag, values, and independence against all enemies. Israel's miniscule land mass, amounting to 8,550 square miles, sits as a tiny island surrounded by more than 25 million square miles of ever-expanding Muslim-conquered territory. Israel exists on less than .01% of the Middle East. Nevertheless, radical Muslims yearn to complete what Hitler and the Nazis didn't.
Returning to helping Israel as tourists: Expect to spend more in Israel for the same item than in America. Don't assume that since an item costs more that the shopkeeper is overcharging you. Israel imposes a 17% value added tax (VAT) on most goods. That money goes directly to the Israeli government, not the shopkeeper.
There is a wide variety of Israeli-manufactured goods to purchase such as wine, candy, food, towels, art, Jewish ceremonial items, silver goods, etc. Ask about them when in stores. Buying them helps the factories, workers, owners, and their vendors, in addition to the shopkeeper who sells the end product. If you don't want to schlep items back home, gift them to your Israeli friends or relatives. Circulating money in the economy is the goal.
At hotels, shopping centers, stores, restaurants, and other venues, tip the security staff (they're always Jewish), doormen, cleaning women, and waiters. Have money at the ready. If you have to reach for your wallet, you will be less inclined to give. Tips are a small but important way to help people. This action, repeated by thousands of good people, makes a big difference.
Here is a true story that shouldn't happen: A man with a New York accent walked into a Jerusalem liquor store and asked how much a bottle of scotch cost. The proprietor said $150.00. The man huffed out saying he pays less at home. That unfortunate visitor missed an opportunity to do good for himself and Israel. If that $150 bottle sells for $130 in New York, so for $20 extra, he would have had a $130 bottle of scotch and a good deed credited to his spiritual account; all for just $20. He squandered that opportunity.
Every workaday Jew in Israel is a hero to me. I don't try to bargain down prices anymore as long as they are within reason. I'm privileged to be able to help in this way each time I visit.