I’m Heading to Israel and Palestine

A couple years back a publisher who signed my (meager) checks asked me how I could justify being so critical of American policy in the Middle East and Israel when I’d never been to Israel. I’d traveled all over creation, never to Jerusalem. I answered that I’d never been to Vietnam or Iraq either, and it didn’t stop me from having opinions about them. Still he had a point. Now that I’m doing this blog his point has gotten even bigger. Well I’m leaving in an hour or two. And about time, too.

I don’t have any grand plans for this trip, I want to bounce around, see it for myself, see the dream, also the despair.

My family didn’t give me Israel dreams when I was a kid, partly because they didn’t travel, period. Still, a family that was extremely close to ours made aliyah in 1967, after the 6-Day War, and we had that connection. I saw pictures of my boyhood pal Michael in uniform on a tank, my mother kept me up on her friends’ writings. It never occured to me to do the Birthright thing when I was young—organizations pay for Jewish kids to go out there, up to age 26. In a sense I’m treating this as a birthright experience at 50. I’m less interested in the politics than the people. I have a few names and I’m going to see where they take me. I’m thankful to the readers of this blog for finally getting me off my duff. Shalom. I’m Heading to Israel and Palestine