Even during the July 2005 war with Hezbollah in Jordan, the beaches were busy with sun-seekers.. Tel Aviv has miles of white sand beaches that attract tens of thousands of Europeans, especially French, in the summer. A mere war didn’t seem sufficient reason to stay away, as the photos indicate.

In the mosaic of beach-bums and sun-seekers, below the Hilton Hotel, an observant visitor can see numerous male and female couples and singles scattered among the many hetero tourists who pack the beaches here.

Daytime gay ‘action’ can happen anywhere but most notably in Independence Park, adjacent north of the Hilton. It’s Israel’s most famous cruise park (along with Jerusalem’s Independence Park) where a labyrinth of trees and shrubs offer semi privacy, adventure–and some risk. Some men have (not-unhappily) complained they got lost in there!

So well known is the park that a book entitled ‘Independence Park-The Lives of Gay Men in Israel’ was published in 1999. Said one review: "In the book, 12 diverse men representing a cross-section of Israeli gay male society (e.g., a male prostitute, a senior citizen, a Russian immigrant, an Arab, and a married man), all of whom have spent time in the parks, recount their life stories. While their tales display commonalities of experience that most gays will recognize, they also reveal Israeli society to be far more secular and tolerant than one might expect."

The last 35 images here are random street scenes of buildings and people seen on any typical day in summer in Tel Aviv. Minerva and Paradise are gay venues along the main drag of Allenby Road, not far from the main synagogue of the city.

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