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West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

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Whitby, Canada
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West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

My family just had the most amazing trip to Israel this past summer. Jerusalem, Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Dead Sea and more. I got read this article today in the Toronto Star.

thestar.com/news/insight/2014/01/25/west_ban…

On my next visit, I would like to make this trip. Would it be possible going on our own, and not part of a tour?

Gippsland, Australia
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1. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

I think it would be this tour:

toursinenglish.com/2007/11/back-roads-to-ram…

NYC/Israel
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2. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

THe link Heather supplied will give you a tour from a very pro-Palestinian POV. However, let's look at the reality of the "checkpoint"

This type of "checkpoint" does NOT exist from everywhere in the West Bank to Jerusalem. It DOES exist when leaving PA ( Palestinian Authority) areas and entering Israel. This "checkpoint" is, for all purposes a border. Have you entered the US lately--or any other country. You stand on line, you go through security, you go through immigration, you are held up waiting as long as it takes to get processed. Hey--the wait at JFK can be 1-2 hours AND this is for AMERICAN citizens, as well as foreigners. Can I, waltz into Canada with no immigration or custom stops. Does every person who wants to enter Canada get a VISA or are some denied?

I think it is time to take these things into perspective. BTW in Israel, Israeli's are standing in security lines to enter places--this is due to the danger of terrorist activity. If building a separation wall keeps me safer--then so be it.

Jerusalem, Israel
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3. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

Green Olive Tours (GOT) is the one OP is talking about and the one Heather linked to. They present things from the Palestinian POV, as mentioned. To be fair, there is no such thing as an unbiased tour in Israel/WB. Things are presented either through the Israeli or Palestinian POV. There is no question that the facts of the checkpoint presented in the article are true but, as rglady said, our security trumps 'political correctness'.

Jerusalem
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4. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

The OP here actually asked a question, rather than requesting that everyone present their political opinion. And by the way, rdglady - simply prefacing your own (legitimate) political opinion with a phrase like "reality" or "the truth" doesn't change the fact that it's just that: an opinion.

FlyAtNight - to answer your question. Technically, you could tour those areas yourself. However it would require a lot of knowledge of areas not usually visited by tourists. Your motives could be questioned or misunderstood by people along the way, including Palestinian residents or Israeli security personnel. Moreover, while some of the issues the tour is talking about are physical (you won't have any problem seeing the separation barrier), understanding what impact this has on people's lives requires explanations or meetings that you're unlikely to be able to organize yourself.

In a nutshell - go with this tour if you want to explore this issue. And by all means expose yourself to other views about the situation, too.

NYC/Israel
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5. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

PRSV-- i have to respectfully disagree in this instance. The 'reality' I spoke of was that this is not a checkpoint BUT a border crossing. I do not see how anyone could disagree. I then drew an analogy to entering a foreign country--specifically the US at JFK, What I wrote is what happens, again--no opinion. Exiting in the PA and entering Israel requires a pass, like an Israeli must go to the US Embassy and get a VISA prior to visiting the US!

I can write lots of opinions--and we both know how the other thinks, but in this instance I feel you were wrong.

6. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

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Jerusalem
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7. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

rdglady - equally respectfully, I disagree. The comparison between the crossings between Israel and the West Bank and a border crossing between, say, the US and Canada is disingenuous. Israel controls both sides of the crossing. Israeli citizens live on both sides of the crossing and move across with complete freedom. The border is open, closed, or somewhere in between at the total discretion of one side only. I won't go on, because in all honesty I believe that you are well aware of the differences.

Jerusalem, Israel
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8. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

The only way to begin to understand the reality here is to go on tours that offer different perspectives - both Palestinian and Israeli. There are many "truths" here and the more you see and learn, the more you will begin to understand the complexiities of life in this fascinating country.

Whitby, Canada
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9. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

Thank you to everyone on these quick responses and from both perspectives. We had a fascinating visit, but it was short, and requires further trips. Israel is such a complex country.

NYC/Israel
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10. Re: West Bank / Jerusalem checkpoint

PRSV--Israeli citizens do not(in any great number,if at all) live in Ramallah. We are talking the crossing between Israel and PA territory, NOT between land inside and outside the green line.

Edited: 5:57 pm, January 27, 2014