Permalink to Holy Land Press Junket Alert!

Holy Land Press Junket Alert!

 

UPDATE: You do all realize the part about being drunk all week is a joke, right? And that I’m a vegetarian teetotaler who travels with her yoga mat? Anyway, for anyone who didn’t get that, it’s a joke. I’m the only journalist on the planet who locates the local Muay Thai gym before she locates the bar. Go on, ask anyone who’s met me. 

***

We’ve got an exciting week coming up here on Ricochet–we’re taking Ricochet to the Holy Land! That’s right, your Turkey correspondent’s been invited on a press junket to Israel, where she’ll be hooking up with Ricochet’s Permanent Holy Land Correspondent Judith Levy and our Pro-tem Holy Land Correspondent Mollie Hemmingway. Hosted by Act for Israel, together we’ll be live-blogging, filming, and podcasting the entire week. 

Here are some of the events on our schedule. Questions for any of the people we’ll be talking to? Things you’d like us to see and do? You ask, we’ll investigate. It will be as if you’re right there with us, especially when we go to the hotel spa together and comp it to Ricochet–right, Logo? Dead Sea Mud Mask Facial, here we come! 

We’ll be meeting Gilad Shalit’s parents on Sunday, then touring Givaat Zeev and Maale Edumim, which are settlements in disputed Jerusalem neighborhoods. After that we’ll meet the IDF Central Command spokesman. 

Then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk. 

On Monday, we’ll be going to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We’ll speak to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and the prime minister’s Deputy of Communication, Mark Regev, where I plan to ask the all-important question, “Hey, why don’t any of you communications whizzes speak Turkish? Haven’t you noticed that this is the language Turkish people speak?” I am coming back with an answer to that question, folks, and if they think Hamas is persistent, they haven’t seen Claire Berlinski when she gets in a lather about Israeli communication policy.

Then we’ll have an overview briefing of the Iranian threat. After lunch, we’ll be visiting JVP, a communication and animation startup (I may skip that so better to communicate what I learned in the morning with you, my Ricochet readers). Then we’ll visit Teva, Israel’s largest pharmaceutical company. 

And then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.

On Tuesday, we’ll be heading to Tel Aviv and the Weisman Institute for an overview of their latest medical innovations. Then we’ll be checking out Shai Agassi’s electric car factory, which I’m told is the highlight of the trip. If we can pull it off, we’ll podcast the whole thing, with video. After lunch, we have a briefing at the International Center for Counter Terrorism. 

Then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.

flickr-484111583-hd.jpgOn Wednesday, we’ll be heading north toward Hezbollahland for a briefing with IDF Spokesman Yair Dotz and an overview of Israel’s Northern border. Then they’ve got us scheduled to see a soap factory, which they swear is interesting but which I may skip, because how could that be interesting? But who knows, I do have a thing for nice soap. The lure of soap samples could well rope me in.

Then we’re off to see something listed in the schedule as a Druze village. I suspect the point of this is to show journalists that Israel’s not just about Jews, so I may skip it, because I’m convinced of that already.

Did I tell you that I used to hang out in this neighborhood a lot when I was a teenager? I worked on a Kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee one summer, long ago, so this will be a little walk down memory-lane for me. Splendor in the grass and all that. I may go on my own little sentimental journey. 

Then, because I’ll be all melancholy–and because this is a press junket–we’ll be getting drunk.

Finally, on Thursday, we’ll be touring the Sea of Galilee (I used to water-ski there, which is a very ancient historic tradition, you may recall.) I may skip that too because I’ve done that, and let’s face it, at my age you need to recover from all that drinking. I’ll probably just catch up on sleep.

After lunch we’ll go to Kibbutz Beit Oren, which was devastated during the December fires, to learn more about the recovery efforts. 

And then, because this is a press junket, we’ll be getting drunk.

So join us in Israel, Ricochet! Leave your questions and comments here, and remember, this trip is your trip: It’s a press junket, so the whole point is for us to find the answers to any questions you might have about Israel. Don’t be shy–we’re off to the land that tact forgot. You ask, we’ll report–loudly, without caring who we offend.  

See you at the bar!

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Members have made 27 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Israel P. Member

     Welcome to Jerusalem. 

    And go to Hevron.  Insist on it. You will learn many things that will surprise you.

    • #1
    • March 10, 2011 at 4:21 am
  2. Profile photo of sierra Inactive

    Just an FYI, here in America the phrase “hooking up” can no longer be used.

    • #2
    • March 10, 2011 at 5:05 am
  3. Profile photo of Kennedy Smith Inactive

     It’s the Unapology Tour.  I suppose a live drunk-blog is out of the question?  (“OMG, this guy is pretending to be a Coptic refugee for sympathy.  He’s soooo not Coptic, but he’s buying.  Now he’s getting grabby.  Ugh!”).

    • #3
    • March 10, 2011 at 5:40 am
  4. Profile photo of Robert Bennett Inactive

    That picture is just awesome.

    • #4
    • March 10, 2011 at 5:43 am
  5. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    I confess my envy. Database guys don’t have junkets.

    • #5
    • March 10, 2011 at 6:26 am
  6. Profile photo of Ursula Hennessey Contributor

    Dying to hear about the swag bags.

    • #6
    • March 10, 2011 at 7:07 am
  7. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    Then, because I’ll be all melancholy–and because this is a press junket–we’ll be getting drunk.

    The legendary Ricochet asceticism is inspiring to all of us.

    • #7
    • March 10, 2011 at 7:34 am
  8. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    Marie-Armelle Beaulieu of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land wrote this back in 2009 – hat tip to Phil Lawler of Catholic Culture:

    Fifteen years after the Fundamental Agreement came into force (March 10, 1994) and ten years after the coming into force of the “Legal Personality Agreement” (February 3, 1999), these negotiations [on fiscal and property matters] are not yet concluded. Not only that, but the treaties that have been signed and ratified, have still not been legislated by the Israeli parliament, and therefore cannot be enforced by the Israeli courts, which greatly limits their practical significance.

    My question: Where do things stand now? I realize that for obvious reasons Jewish-Christian tensions in the Holy Land aren’t front page news, but I wonder if Judith has any insights as to why there is such a long delay.

    • #8
    • March 10, 2011 at 7:49 am
  9. Profile photo of Mark Monaghan Member

    I’m thinking a job of some sort might be a good idea…..

    • #9
    • March 10, 2011 at 8:27 am
  10. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    Mark Monaghan: I’m thinking a job of some sort might be a good idea….. · Mar 10 at 7:27am

    No, no, this is all included in your Ricochet membership fee! You get the podcasts, you get to go to Israel with us, you get everything–all for the price of a cup of coffee. It’s all part of a package so affordable you don’t even need to be employed to join. 

    You may want to get a job anyway, of course: The rest of life is expensive. 

    • #10
    • March 10, 2011 at 8:37 am
  11. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    Ursula Hennessey: Dying to hear about the swag bags. · Mar 10 at 6:07am

    I’m hoping for an electric car. 

    • #11
    • March 10, 2011 at 8:44 am
  12. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    KC Mulville: I confess my envy. Database guys don’t have junkets. · Mar 10 at 5:26am

    You do this week! You’re all invited. Except you get to skip the lines at the airport and any of the boring parts. 

    • #12
    • March 10, 2011 at 8:47 am
  13. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    It sounds great, Claire. Thanks.

    • #13
    • March 10, 2011 at 8:57 am
  14. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    I’ll pay extra if one of you says “Zenga! Zenga!” in a public place.

    • #14
    • March 10, 2011 at 9:21 am
  15. Profile photo of Roque Nuevo Inactive

    Camp David, 2000. Barak offered Arafat the whole store in exchange for some empty promises, was turned down and then lost the following elections for that reason alone.

    Did he think he was flushing Arafat out of his cover and he would be vindicated by the  “world community” because the mask would be off?

    If so, it was a good idea. But it was a bad idea. The “world community” will never support the Jews or Israel. The “world community” has been trying to exterminate the Jews and Israel for over a thousand years. Why would they stop now? Barak knows this better that I do. So, what happened at Camp David?

    I just want to be in a place where I can ask Barak about it. What was he thinking? Did he have some crazy-like-a-fox strategy, like the one I tried to explain? Was he a true believer in handing over territory for a promise of peace from the world’s most accomplished liar? He’s smart. He’s been involved in strategy formulation forever. He’s brave. What went wrong?

    If you can’t ask him, maybe you can ask someone who knows him?

    • #15
    • March 10, 2011 at 9:26 am
  16. Profile photo of Roque Nuevo Inactive

    Here’s something else: could you just stand on a high place in the West Bank, try and see the Mediterranean from there, and take a picture of it? Then put the picture somewhere where I can see it? Then put a marker on Google Maps where you were and send that to me, too?

    I’m just curious about the view, is all. That’s probably the first thing I’d do if I ever got the chance to go to Israel since where I was born, that’s what people do when they go someplace new. They try and get the lay of he land and they’ll climb a tree if they have to.

    • #16
    • March 10, 2011 at 9:33 am
  17. Profile photo of Mark Monaghan Member
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    Mark Monaghan: I’m thinking a job of some sort might be a good idea….. · Mar 10 at 7:27am
    No, no, this is all included in your Ricochet membership fee! You get the podcasts, you get to go to Israel with us, you get everything–all for the price of a cup of coffee. It’s all part of a package so affordable you don’t even need to be employed to join. 

    You may want to get a job anyway, of course: The rest of life is expensive.  · Mar 10 at 7:37am

    No,no,Nona, I was thinking more on the line of YOU getting a job.   Have you considered Auto Body repairs?  hard to offshore something like that.  Or maybe tiling the AlGore collection of green bathrooms?

    • #17
    • March 10, 2011 at 9:40 am
  18. Profile photo of Mark Monaghan Member

    Another good idea Claire, and I hope you have your ‘good idea notebook’ out:  Michael Moore is coming out with a new spring clothing line.  He will need a designer with panache and a feel for the people.  I think the theme will be ‘Other People’s Clothing’ but if you get in on it early you can influence this vital decision.

    • #18
    • March 10, 2011 at 9:48 am
  19. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author
    Pseudodionysius: I’ll pay extra if one of you says “Zenga! Zenga!” in a public place. · Mar 10 at 8:21am

    How much will you–or any member of Ricochet–pay per utterance? Because trust me, if the money’s right, it will happen. 

    • #19
    • March 10, 2011 at 10:31 am
  20. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    Pseudodionysius: I’ll pay extra if one of you says “Zenga! Zenga!” in a public place. · Mar 10 at 8:21am
    How much will you–or any member of Ricochet–pay per utterance? Because trust me, if the money’s right, it will happen.  · Mar 10 at 9:31am

    I settle all international obligations using the Thai Bhat.

    • #20
    • March 11, 2011 at 2:31 am
  21. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    they haven’t seen Claire Berlinski when she gets in a lather about Israeli communication policy.

    I have a vivid memory of how flustered Peter Robinson was during your Uncommon Knowledge interviews last year, so I think the Las Vegas odds are running against the Israeli communication person prevailing against the Ricochet Galilean Sea-Doo of Poseidon. Or Persephone. On Porpoise. I’m shocked to learn that Andre Agassi is now making electric cars.

    • #21
    • March 11, 2011 at 2:41 am
  22. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Can’t believe this isn’t a cruise. Are all the guys busy changing underwear at home between other cruises ? Rich target environment, action cruises-Easter…… Who took the corona shot (or how far is Judith from beach) and thanks for Dr Johnson- we all needed that. I bought forty three yellow wifebeater shirts with Arafat’s mug ($ 5 for all) thinkin it was going to be something I could bring the family reunion to. Surprise #1 It was the ” I’m a tiger ! ” Arafat shirt ,which means the kids can’t see it. Surprise #2 No stops in Stambool for shopping…

    • #22
    • March 11, 2011 at 7:12 am
  23. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Pseud… Agassi..electric…shocking…? The questions roll into each other. BC. AD. and VC

    • #23
    • March 11, 2011 at 7:42 am
  24. Profile photo of Duane Oyen Member

    Does this mean that you have joined The International Zionist Conspiracy, the one that dares suggest that because people bought the land from the prior owners, and their forefathers have lived there for the last 3,000 years, they should be able to… well, keep living there?

    How can we believe a word you say after this?

    • #24
    • March 11, 2011 at 11:40 am
  25. Profile photo of Stuart Creque Member

    I would like to get a better understanding of the Israeli commitment to getting Gilad Schalit back from captivity.  I thought that it was outrageous that Israel agreed to release live terrorists for the bodies of Sgts. Goldwasser and Regev – that is, how it was that there was no mechanism for proof of life before the exchange was consummated.

    Gilad Schalit is one Israeli soldier.  It’s one thing to ask other soldiers to risk their lives to try to rescue him.  It’s something entirely different to barter his release for that of terrorist murderers.  So far, the Israeli government has not acceded to the full demands of Hamas.  Do Gilad’s parents understand that there are lengths to which no government can go to trade the life of one citizen against punishing past murders and deterring future ones.

    • #25
    • March 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm
  26. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member

    I’m still reeling at having my prior questions answered.  I felt proud of finding three whole pages worth of unbiased information on the internet–and of course, I  was totally wrong in my conclusions.

    What’s the story of economic relations between Isreali and the West Bank?

    • #26
    • March 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm