I was just looking at this website, from a company called “World Leaders Travel”, that is offering a 12-day tour next May, just to Israel and Palestine (though Palestine is never mentioned as such, and Jerusalem is listed as “Jerusalem, Israel.”)
Hat-tip to Angry Arab for the link.
“World Leaders Travel” are offering Aaron Miller and Sam Donaldson as your tour leaders… and they’re charging $11,900 per person for the tour– without the transatlantic airfare, and with shared accommodation. If you want a single room, you’ll need to pay an additional $5,990.
Our recently completed “Political pilgrimage” tour cost paying participants $8,500. That covered economy-class airfare from Washington DC, an all-expenses-paid, 16-day tour to Israel, Palestine, and four Arab countries that included numerous fascinating meetings and tours, and then two nights’ additional hotel and a Gala Dinner back in DC after the participants returned.
Oh, and participants had Jack Matlock and me as their tour leaders… I venture to say that my CNI colleagues and I know a greater number of interesting people in the region, and more about the region as a whole, than either Aaron Miller or Sam Donaldson. Though Aaron’s a nice enough person, we should also remember that he was a key member of the “peace-processing team” that throughout the eight Bill Clinton years never missed as opportunity to miss an opportunity to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (And that, even after they got handed the whole “Oslo process” on a plate, by the Norwegians.)
Oh, I just looked through the brochure with which WLT are trying to sell the Miller/Donaldson tour. It seems extremely Israelo-centric. No surprise there, I guess.
We at CNI will need to be organizing– and publicizing– our next political pilgrimage tour soon. It will also be in May 2010. Watch this site for news of a really rich (and handily priced) opportunity ahead…