[ The exchange below ensued in my Facebook profile around the time the AFSC was blacklisted by a political faction in Israel ]

Jasand Pruski [Facebook friend]: the middle east is a particularly complex region, we shouldn't presume our wisdom surpasses that of the locals... israel often dissolves settlements and should the peace process be successful I don't doubt israel's commitment to carry out the terms.

Me: Yeah, I've been known to disparage what I think of as do-gooder tourism where you visit some hotspot to gain bragging rights and posture as a caring person, while at the same time, much closer to home, so much good remains undone.

Sometimes the better approach is to just stay out of it versus bringing all your Holy Land End Timer fantasies to bear, or whatever cultural baggage makes you fixate on the Middle East in particular. Burma is having problems, why not fixate there? Or just fixate within a radius of ten miles of wherever you happen to live.

I get the sentiment, and often share it.

Speaking selfishly, I'd just like to tour safely (from political dangers) anywhere in the world and witness people enjoying their lives and getting on with their business. I'd like to find a hotel in Gaza on Trivago and have some fun at the beach. No need to fix it or save it.

Call me impatient for humans to get ahead of the curve for a change and stop wallowing in self-inflicted suffering (I know, sounds like I'm "blaming the victim" -- I wish humans were less into being the victims of their own good fortune at having a whole planet to play on).

In my own lexicon, this "whole planet to play on" is what I call Israel, our promised land (thank you God!). So I don't need to board an El Al to visit the holy land. I'm glad to be chosen (Planet Earth is a great place).

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