Travelling to Palestine and Israel is a pretty amazing experience..it’s something that will stay with me for sometime. The people, the conflict- all of it. I used to think it would be pretty impossible to travel to the country and to ‘miss’ the fact that something was oh so very wrong. But if you never leave Israel this would be a whole lot more likely to happen. It would also be very possible if you decide to take the “Ultimate Mission to Israel”
Do you want to ‘observe a trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDF military court‘?
What about ‘first hand tours of the Lebanese front-line military positions and the Gaza border check-points’?
How would you like ‘briefings by Mossad officials and commanders of the Shin Bet’?
What does a ‘live exhibition of penetration raids in Arab territory’ sound like to you?
Fun?!?!? Well, all this is possible if you take part of an intensive eight day exploration of Israel’s struggle for survival and security in the Middle East today!!
I shit you not…
This is the actual advertising material for the Ultimate Mission to Israel advertised by Shurat Hadin- an Israeli law center which is (and I quote) ‘Bankrupting Terrorism- One Lawsuit at a time’. I guess that occupation is the whole shebang, military, economic, social and let’s not forget a specialist tourism industry and all.
On my way back to Manchester from Jerusalem, I happened to be get into a Neshar (small minibus) driven by the rudest, angriest, cursing (in Arabic, Hebrew and English) taxi driver ever. He was so obnoxious, it was funny. I mean he swore at everyone: poor old ladies crossing the road, Arab taxi drivers, customers who were a little late. I mean he really did abide by the ‘I don’t discriminate, I have everyone’ motto.
Anyway, I digress. This taxi drivers rather ‘typical’ behaviour was a conversation starter with the women who I had happened to share the taxi with. I asked Rachel about her time in Israel and how she had found the country. She said she had really enjoyed it all and loved Jaffa in particular.
I asked whether (coming from Manchester as she did) she found it weird to have to carry her ID with her everywhere. She had not. She explained that she didn’t carry her ID with her as she never really needed it.
Hmmm. That’s weird. I don’t think I could have got very far without mine.
I asked whether she had visited Bethlehem- testing the waters over whether she had even gone into the West Bank. She had not.
To be honest, I couldn’t really get my head round this. Sarah (the ever knowledgeable guide) would tell me not to talk about Nablus or the West Bank when I was in Israel as many people would never have been to these places and would also think it was very questionable that I had. I understand when its Israeli citizens as they are not actually allowed into the Palestinian territories (thats another story) but why had Rachel never even bothered?
Maybe she had been on the “military, humanitarian, historical, judicial, religious, and political reality check” that is the Ultimate Mission to Israel..
Yeah…let hope she made the ‘required tax-deductible donation to Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center to aid in the fight against Arab terror‘….