14 January 2008

Palestine / Israel Pilgrimage Seminar 2008...Day 3

Bush left on Friday, and I didn't leave my neighborhood. I did not really have anywhere to go, and that was fine, because, apparently half of Jerusalem and all of the roads to Tel Aviv were locked down. I think maybe Bush should consider traveling incognito, so that he (A) doesn't disrupt entire an country's operations by visiting and (B) has a more authentic experience as a tourist.

I seriously doubt his trip to Israel was any fun, for Bush, except for his positive approval rating, or for anybody else. And, while I'm on the subject, I think if you're in Israel for three days (barely) and you go to see the sites, does Yad Vashem really make that list? Especially when one considers that Bush's house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is just a hop, skip and a jump away from a fabulously done Holocaust Museum. When Bush comes back for Yom Ha'Atzmaut, maybe someone will take him to hike Masada or to swim in the Dead Sea. His trips have too much of the conflict reality, and none of the natural beauty that one should experience on an Israel trip.

After I wrote that, I came across an article, telling me that good old Bush did do some touristy stuff. Here is an excerpt from a NYTimes article on Bush's Trip:

Asked how he felt to walk where Jesus had gone, Mr. Bush said: “Amazing experience.” Archbishop Elias Shakur, a Greek Catholic, showed Mr. Bush around the site and asked him, “Did you come as a politician, as a leader of state, or as a pilgrim?”
Mr. Bush answered, “I came as a pilgrim,” the archbishop said.

I think it's interesting that he admitted he came as a Pilgrim, since he is supposedly promoting peace and being all political. It seems to me that Bush saying he came as a pilgrim is like when certain friends of mine told their parents they were traveling to New York to "search for jobs" and "check out law schools" when they were visiting New York to "drink" and "hook up with old high school crushes" and "take crazy pictures at the Met."
New York Pilgrimage 2007, at the Met. Where Tourist trumps Business. AES - I L Y M!

Secondly, it's no secret that Bush wants there to be a two-state solution with Peace in the Middle East. Is it possible to stimulate the peace process while fitting in something touristy, like following the footsteps of Jesus? Actually, not that Jesus is my God, but he has some good ideas about love and brotherhood. Maybe a Christian Zionist pilgrim can make some positive changes. I suppose only time will tell...and I'm always hoping for positive changes!

Anyway, just some thoughts about Bush in Israel. Can't wait to (not) see him again in May!

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