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Jerusalem Journal #1: Dancing with machine guns


You know you are flying to Israel when they make you go through that second security check…just in case the first one missed anything.

Our group left from New York.  Another member of The Blaze team in another city was questioned by armed airline security officials before being allowed to board.

One member of our team (Wilson!) called it the “worst flight ever” because of the crying toddlers all around him. But nice and quiet around me! So…sorry…about…that.  I took an Ambien and slept like a baby.

Unlike other overnight flights I’ve taken, there are poignant moments when you awaken to see, throughout the cabin, Orthodox Jews donning tallit shawls for Shacharit (morning prayer).   I said grace before breakfast but it didn’t seem quite as powerful!

I’ve been to Israel once before.  A memorable trip that involved taking a day-long helicopter trip around the country’s entire perimeter.  Seeing it from the air that way changed a great deal about my perspective of the MIddle East.

We landed to news of the bus attack near Eilat.  I quizzed our driver who didn’t seem overly concerned.  The security stop as we drove through the West Bank seemed routine.  See our coverage of one of the funerals here.

After checking into the hotel, I went in search of the radio studio.  I’d like to say that it’s in some cool underground fortress that looks like a NASA commander center.  Nope.  It’s more, well, cute.  It’s in a secret location on the order that The Hardy Boys might have cooked up.

The interior has sort of a Crate & Barrel feel.  Glenn was sporting 1791 wear.  He had a veggie plate in front of him.  Barely touched.  The cookies in the other room were GONE. But, I’m not accusing anyone.

Check out some cool pictures by Liz Stephans after the jump

I learned a lot in the first 24 hours.

Yes, you can buy grilled corn on the corner:

And balloon animals.  Which are not as tasty as regular animals:

But this stuff is fantastic:

And…carrying a machine gun is not a barrier to dancing:

My second elevator ride in the hotel was interesting.  Elderly Jewish couple in the front.  Some tourists from New Jersey in the back to one side.  And in the other back corner— a young couple in love. Maybe.  She cried liked a hyena the entire ride down.  And I think we stopped at three floors.  The guy, to his credit, embraced her and offered soothing words that did not seem to work at all.  These did not seem to be tears of grief — more like the guy had said exactly the wrong thing right before they got on the elevator.

Tears in Jerusalem.  At least it wasn’t Glenn.

For complete coverage of all things Israel, check out The Blaze's Israel super page here.

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