> FM: John Whitbeck
> My mother-in-law, a devout Catholic, has just completed a church-organized
> pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was her first visit to the region. I asked
> her for her impressions. Here they are.
>> Dear John,
>> I must say my trip was really fascinating. We went all over the Middle
>> East, starting in Amman, then passing north of the Dead Sea, crossing the
>> Jordan River into Palestine, then on to Jericho. The guide warned us
>> that the difference we would see between the Isreali side and the
>> Palestinian lands would be quite dramatic. Indeed, the lands the Israelis
>> have annexed are all the beautiful hillsides and choice spots in the
>> Palestinian lands, where they have built beautiful exotic hillside
>> apartments, down the sides of the various hills. All financed with
>> American Dollars. Apparently there is nothing to stop them just grabbing
>> whatever land they fancy. It is really horrifying and so depressing. Then
>> the various CHECKPOINTS. The Isrealis have them every few miles. We must
>> have gone through at least 10 or 15 each day, all a form of harassment.
>> At the busy time of the day, workers have to allow several hours 'en
>> plus' in order to get to work on time!!
>> The whole process is insane and just another way to make life almost
>> unendurable for the Palestinians. I must say our group was outraged and
>> very, very outspoken! They couldn't believe what they were witnessing.
>> The thought that most of luxury APTS AND ALL OF THE HARASSMENT was
>> financed and condoned by the USA made our group outraged and ashamed, and
>> they have all returned home with a very different opinion. I suppose all
>> I can say is I was thoroughly disgusted and thoroughly ashamed of our
>> country. We preach so much justice with pomposity, it is really
>> humilitating. Any way I am so happy I went, but sadly have no wish to
>> Lots of love,