You Let WHO on the Guest List?!
On Sunday night, my mother's short one week visit to Israel came to a close. She needed to get to the airport. We needed to spend the afternoon and evening in Jerusalem finishing up some loose ends, gifts for family, last visit to the Kotel, etc.
We decided that the best way to get my mom to the airport was via a shuttle, known commonly as Nesher. The Nesher is just 45NIS per person, which is about 1NIS per minute of the trip from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.
Not residents of Jerusalem, we needed to select a place for the Nesher to pick up my mom. Thinking of a nice, comfortable place near to both the Old City and Ben Yehuda Street, I chose the David Citadel Hotel. Its a great hotel, with plenty of parking around.
We arrived at the David Citadel about 20 minutes before the Nesher.
All the parking spots on both sides of the hotel were blocked off with police barriers. I had forgotten all about it. Our dear friend Condoleeza Rice was back in town trying to advance those blessed peace accords that have made life in Israel so simple over the past 15 years. (That's sarcasm folks!)
I dropped off my mom, wife and kids in front of the hotel, while I went to find more distant parking. I found a spot not too far off, and returned fairly quickly.
My entire family was outside one of the country's nicest hotels with together with my mom's luggage sitting on the curb. I asked why they weren't inside.
My wife Tzippy told me that security was only letting paid guests and restaurant goers inside due to the increased security surrounding Condi and Company. I said "Okay."
Then Tzippy--who has clear conviction when it comes to politics in Israel and has her own ideas about where the Palestinians can shove, err...create a state of their own--pointed to a tinted window SUV.
"You'll never guess who just came out of that car parked right there," Tzippy said.
I was stumped. "Who?"
"Really?" I said.
"Yep, he just walked right in with his entourage," Tzippy said.
At that point, I looked at the bags and my family sitting on the curb, Jews living and visiting the Holy Land of Israel, not allowed into the hotel for security reasons. All the while, one of the greatest threats to Israeli security was allowed direct access, on an invitation from our friend Condoleeza.
Honestly, I felt quite inferior at that moment.
Until we realize who the real threats to security here are, we are going to be in for a bumpy ride. Buckle your safteybelts.
PS. Here is a bio of Dahlan, put out by the ZOA in 2002. You can bet some details have been added to his resume since then:
MOHAMMED DAHLAN Dahlan, 41, is chief of the Palestinian Security Forces in Gaza. He spent four years in Israeli prison for terrorist activities, and was a commander of operations for Arafat’s Fatah terror group during the mass “intifada” violence that began in 1987. According to the Israeli government, Dahlan is one of the primary directors of the current terrorist violence against Israelis in the Gaza region.
Masterminded bombing of Israeli bus: Israel Radio reported on October 20, 2000, that “Dahlan was behind the October 18 bombing of an Israeli bus in Gush Katif.” The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on November 16, 2000, that “members of the Preventive Security Force in Gaza, headed by Mohammed Dahlan, were involved in a series of attacks on Israelis in Gush Katif and Netzarim.” Ha’aretz reported on April 17, 2001, that Yasir Arafat “takes an active part in decisions regarding the firing of mortars. The general directives in this regard are passed to Mohammed Dahlan, and from Dahlan to his deputy, Rashid Abu Shabak.”
Ordered rocket attack on an Israeli bus: Dahlan is currently a defendant in a lawsuit filed by victims Arab terrorism, including an American citizen as well as three children whose legs were blown off in a Dahlan-directed rocket attack on a bus on November 20, 2000. The Israeli daily Hatzofeh has reported (April 13, 2001) that the Central Intelligence Agency has tape recordings of telephone conversations in which Dahlan can be heard ordering the November 20 rocket attack and other terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Shelters Hamas terrorists: Dahlan told the PA-sponsored newspaper Al Ayam on Oct.26, 1998 that terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad “will not be outlawed.”
Hired Hamas terrorists: Dahlan said in an interview with the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah on Sept.24, 1998, that 25 more Hamas terrorists have been hired by his force, specifically in order to protect them from being arrested by the Israelis.
Praised Hamas terrorists: In an interview with the Hamas newspaper Al-Risallah (cited in Ha’aretz, June 15, 1997), Dahlan said: “The presence of Hamas on Palestinian territory is very important for building the Palestinian homeland.”
Threatened violence against Israel: On August 30, 1996, Dahlan said: “The Palestinian Authority does not exclude the return to the armed struggle, and it will then use its weapons.” (Jerusalem Report, Nov. 28, 1996)