Major problem very few people state they can get in Israel.
is look far away
The distance won't change so this is quit hard to ease but we have to look at the numbers.
Israel is 4000km from Europe (5 hours flight) and it is 10 000km from North America (12 hours flight ?). This is not close but it is not THAT far away.
is look expensive
Fact is that Israel is not a cheap country to get in as visitor.
Israel is a tourist destination (thousands of thousands every summers) therefor any "touristic" rate accommodation are high from July to September. Beside hostel and flight life cost is somewhere in the middle range of Ouest Europe countries. Standard of living in Israel are quite high (especially for the middle-east) so once there you got everything a modern country can give... with some little extra about nightlife (Tel Aviv is "The city that never stops"), landscape, historical places and mix of culture (music, food, etc) that is quite unique.
I started to check about prices and more, but it seams that the guy from the Wikimania have done it already.
I have copy from there:
Israel is perceived as an expensive location and is not in the euro zone.
However, costs of hotels in Haifa, as well as cost of living is considerably lower than most European and North American cities, and it is also significantly cheaper than Tel Aviv.
Dorms provided at no cost for about 200 attendees will reduce expenses.
If Flight cost are hard to compress for the rest we can be a little imaginative !
As i live 45mn from the Wikimania i'm checking possibilities in my village, Avtalyon, to find accommodations at no-cost and to rent a mini-van for the 7 days (+/-$1000 to be divided by the number of participants) for the 7 days). This will significantly lower the trip cost as it will also provide transportation.
I need to eat
Israel is made of hundreds of cultures and you can find here anything you want. Food price in Israel is reasonable and quality is very good (Dixit French friends). Prices goes from $20/person max for a good Falafel/Shawarma + drinks to $45 and more for a Gourmet restaurant. Of course we should also eat our own food (no dog please ) budget for food shopping should be around $100/$200/per person for the entire 7 days including beers, beef (barbecue mandatory) and others dev necessaries. ;)
I need to have fun
This is very hard to budgetize and more harder to know what people want.
- Nice pub with alcohol is around $20
Man, there is a war going on there !
If political consideration are to be respected, we won't open such debate here and stick to some small and everyday facts that you won't see on TV.
General security is higher than in many European or American countries. A girl can go out at noon in any major city without being scared.
If there is open political questions, there is no open conflicts on day to day basis between Jews and Arabs (Muslim or Christians) inside Israel (pre67 cease-fire border, the actual basis for a global solution). Haifa is a multi-religious/culture town, I do my shopping in Sakhnin (a major Arab city) and i buy cigarettes at Arraba 5mn from home.