Back from Israel &"Palestine"

I made a mention here that I was going to Israel a week with the NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Committee), and just returned back yesterday. I took the opportunity to pretty much ignore what was going on here in the US, not even checking email until a day before I returned, to allow for as full a focus on the many meetings that were arranged, with a full spectrum of voices.

When I was approached by the NJDC about making this trip, it was described as an informative trip, not a junket, and that's what it wound up to be. A group of about 15 of us --progressive partisans, bloggers and journalists, staff and members the NJDC, and the wonderful Israeli organizers and security on the trip trip-- all woke up early each morning and went to bed late, holding meetings and touring every single day. In fact, it wasn't until the last day, that we had a couple of hours of freetime to wander around Jerusalem. This was entirely due to a legitimate security concern. I would love to return for a vacation trip at some point.

I don't plan on making this a full description of the events, the speakers, as that would take too long and I'm way behind on every other part of my life, so blogging more will have to wait. I was amazed to see the indomitable Chris Bowers was making full-on posts while we were touring, and he's got a couple that I would point out, here and here.

As a campaign hack, I spent most of my time figuring out how the Israeli political institution worked, the parties, and the future election prospects. And I came away with a much better understanding, and a full hand of contacts to keep in touch. As for the issues, I made the transition from having little of an opinion, to sharing the hope that Bowers talks about in regards to support for a two-state solution, to wind up settling on the realism of what really is happening. On that 'big picture' thought, I'll follow-up later, and respond to any questions or comments.... about Clinton vs Obama...

nah nah, I really didn't miss the one week lapse at all, but am immensely looking forward to, after this week, a more election-based six weeks of campaign activity.

Tags: Israel, njdc, Palestine (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

Re: Back from Israel & Palestine

Welcome Back! your trip sounds quite interesting, I would love to learn more on Israeli political process.

by rigsoHC 2008-04-16 06:42AM | 0 recs
Welcome back!

I'm an Obama supporter, but I STILL enjoy your reality based slams of my candidate!:)

Any news on whether George Allen is moving to Israel to run on the Likud ticket?

by Democratic Unity 2008-04-16 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Palestine
Can the mods please focus on the increasing number of 'attack' diaries posted by republicans migrating to this site.
Can you please put a stop to these practices.
by Cristalgirl 2008-04-16 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Palestine

6 Weeks?  I doubt the race goes further then May 7th.

by Bobby Obama 2008-04-16 06:57AM | 0 recs
I'd say May 20

It'll probably be a split decision on May 7, leading Clinton to continue.  Obama'd have to blow her out to end it then.

May 20 is more likely; that's pretty much the point of no return for pledged delegates.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-16 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I'd say May 20

It depends how big the PA and NC splits are.  If Obama nets more delegates from NC than Clinton does from PA, then he'd have a 160 pledged delegate lead with 260 to go.  I'm thinking that everyone will see the writing on the wall then.

by thezzyzx 2008-04-16 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: I'd say May 20

Actually I was going off of the NY Times' inaccurate count.  It would be more like 160 delegates with 200 to go.

by thezzyzx 2008-04-16 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Palestine

Welcome Back Jerome! You were missed. And are much needed to try to wrestle this site back to sanity.

by wasder 2008-04-16 07:09AM | 0 recs
You didn't miss much.

The media created a controversy.

It was fairly pointless.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-16 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Fantasyland

Please don't use the term "Palestine."

At the moment, there is no such place.  And while I'm all for a two-state solution, right now, there isn't any second state.

Currently, saying "Palestine" and saying "Fantasyland" are the same thing.

"Back from Israel and the Palestinian Territories" would have been the correct thing to say.

Splitting hairs?  Maybe.  But the simple fact is that right here, right now, the country of "Palestine" does not exist.

by erzeszut 2008-04-16 07:36AM | 1 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Fantasyland

I wholeheartedly agree.

There may have to be a 3 state solution given the in-fighting between Hamas and Fatah.

And while I am at it, I'll go ahead and say it: Jimmy Carter should lose his superdelegate status (I have my beef with his terrorist-loving persona).

by kydem 2008-04-16 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Fantasyland

Thank you.

by NJ Liberal 2008-04-16 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Fantasyland

With all due respect, as Jerome's the owner of this site he can use whatever term he chooses here to describe his trip.

Here or anywhere else actually.

by alegre 2008-04-16 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel

Welcome back to the states!

by kydem 2008-04-16 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Palestine

Welcome home, all safe and sound.

The 2 state solution is as obscure as knowing when Hillary may give up...

Maybe the 3 state solution is the answer-sounds interesting.  

Might work in Iraq also!

by lja 2008-04-16 09:24AM | 0 recs
Welcome back, Jerome

I really liked reading this diary.  But I want to draw your attention to 2 hate-filled diaries up on the new diary list; one about Netanyahu's statement and one about Israel's crimes.

I think they should be removed because they are not productive and are playing on the worst prejudices.  They certainly are not helpful to Democratic Party unity in the fall.  Instead, they are scaring me, because I didn't realize our party was filled with people that were so hateful to Israel.

by cjbardy 2008-04-16 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Palestine
Welcome home! great teaser! Can't wait to read more!
I second cjbardy's motion- those two hate filled diaries are very scary! Not helpful to the party or conducive to productive discussion at all! Please! Take those diaries down!
by ProudMilitaryMom 2008-04-16 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Israel & Palestine

Welcome back Jerome - we missed you.  I can't wait to read more about your trip and will try to check out Chris' post when I get home from work tonight.

by alegre 2008-04-16 11:54AM | 0 recs
Why the quotation marks?

Jerome, did you "Palestine" in scare quotes in response to that comment about how there is "no such place" as Palestine?

by Colin Kalmbacher 2008-04-16 03:40PM | 0 recs

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