THE DECADES LONG UNRESOLVED PUZZLE
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
Join Founder and President of Iconic Journeys Worldwide, Jerry Sorkin, a specialist in Middle East and North African politics, as he leads this exclusive tour to Israel and Palestine this November! His involvement with the Israel-Palestine issue dates back more than thirty years and he has organized and lead numerous tours to the region. Jerry Sorkin provides an enlightening and educational tour while giving insight on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has shadowed this region for decades…
“Throughout the tour, we had an outstanding array of guest speakers arranged by Jerry Sorkin, whose deep array of contacts ranges from leading members of the Palestinian movement, high ranking Israeli military and government officials, journalists, students and a myriad of interesting people representing a diversity of views with whom we had the opportunity to have candid discussions.”
President & CEO
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
Friday, November 30 – U.S. Departure
Depart the US via United from Newark, NJ at 4:45pm (or your choice of flight gateway) for your non-stop flight to Tel Aviv. Other flight arrangements can be made…
Saturday, December 1 – Arrival in Tel Aviv airport
We will be met at Ben Gurion airport by our Palestinian hosts upon your arrival and transferred to our hotel in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s administrative capital. Today will be a light day of exploring Ramallah and vicinity, depending upon your flight’s arrival time. Ramallah has become the city where not only the Palestinian Authority’s administrative buildings and meetings are held, but it has also become the Palestinian “millennials” city of choice for entertainment. Restaurants, nightclubs and an open, Western style of nightlife, not necessarily possible or acceptable in other Palestinian towns has given young Palestinians a place where they can enjoy in the evenings and mix freely male and female and with the expat community of NGO’s and foreign government representatives.
One of the first lessons tour participants will learn is that while your flight has landed in Israel’s international airport, to Palestinians, particularly within Ramallah and the West Bank, you are in Palestine. Dinner and overnight in Ramallah., the West Bank. (D)
Sunday, December 2 – The West Bank/Palestine
After breakfast, we drive to Bethlehem, for some touring of this historical city to Christians. We will visit the Church of Nativity, said to be the birth place of Jesus. We will also have a walk around Bethlehem’s historic heart, a relatively small, compact town.
Leaving central Bethlehem, we drive to the Aida refugee camp. Numerous refugee camps were set up in 1948 and again in 1967 to house Palestinian refugees. Originally, literally tent cities, these “refugee amps”, which fall under the aegis of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, are a topic that is seen with different viewpoints by the two sides, the Israelis and Palestinians. In addition to learning about why these camps remain after seven decades?
Proceed to visit Hebron, walking thru the city and seeing the small, but provocative Israeli settlers living amidst this overwhelming Arab town, helping to understand why the presence of these settlers is so controversial. Dinner and overnight in Ramallah. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Monday, December 3 – The West Bank/Palestine
This morning we will have a meeting with a member of the Palestinian Authority. We then depart for Bir Zeit University, one of the largest Palestinian universities, providing an opportunity to speak with members of the faculty and student body.
Following lunch, we drive to Nablus, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank. We will tour the old city of Nablus visiting some of its historical sites and learn about the city’s efforts to attract tourism despite the negative publicity frequently cited regarding travel in the West Bank.
We leave Nablus and drive to a nearby neighborhood on Mount Gerizim where we will meet with a representative of the ancient Samaritan community to learn about their religion. A relatively small community, the Samaritans speak both Hebrew and Arabic. They see themselves as the “Shomroni”, the “Guardians” of the original commandments of the Torah…which they feel was received on Mount Gezirim. Their torahs are written in an ancient Hebrew, they strictly observe the shabbat, but given their unique situation, remain out of political discussions, thus allowing them to continue living peacefully with both Israelis and Palestinians.
Dinner and Overnight in Ramallah. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Tuesday, December 4 – Jerusalem
This morning we depart Ramallah and drive to Jerusalem, seeing Jerusalem from the Palestinian perspective. This will likely include both housing destruction, as well as some of the historical Muslim and Christian sections. Visit Dome of the rock, walk the Via Dellorosa until we reach the Church of Holy Sepulcher. Meet with our Jerusalem Palestinian guide and political commentator for the morning portion.
We have an afternoon rendezvous with our Israeli guide and driver with bus, who will take over the guiding and providing the transportation. We will embark on a tour of the old city of Jerusalem, including the Cardo, the Western wall and time permitting… areas of West Jerusalem. This evening we will have a guest speaker join us prior to dinner. Overnight in Jerusalem. (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Wednesday, December 5 – Jerusalem
Today starts with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust. One walks through the memorial at their own place and quietly follows the architectural layout, designed to take you from one display to another.
From Yad Vashem, we depart for a visit with a representative of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, as well as from the Knesset, providing exclusive insight as to the political situation from Israeli officialdom.
We lighten the theme of the day by visiting Mahane Yehuda, a potpourri of food stalls and produce vendors, where you can help yourself to trying a myriad of foods. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore Jerusalem on your own. Rendezvous for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)
Day 7 – Thursday, December 6 – Neve Shalom Wahat al Salaam/Galilee
This morning we check out of our hotel and drive west of Jerusalem approximately forty-five minutes to the village of Neve Shalom Wahat al Salaam, a village of approximately 120 families equally divided between Jews and Arabs. A spokesperson from the community will share with us the origins of the community and the benefits and the obstacles that result from being such a unique community.
Departing Neve Shalom Wahat al Salaam, we drive north to the Galilee, a region of green hills and farmland, as well as both Jewish and Arab villages, the later being Israeli citizens. The scenic drive will take us to the area of the Golan Heights, we will be based in a scenic rural setting.
Dinner and overnight in the Golan. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Friday, December 7 – Golan, Galilee and Nazareth
This morning, we will have a visit to the northern tip of the Golan Heights to a point known as Bental. We will hear be able to learn how close the region is to Syria and why the proximity of this northern portion of Israel to both Syria and Lebanon has been so important over the years with regards to Israel’s security concerns.
We then drive to Madjel Shams, a Druze town in the Golan , which was formerly part of Syria. Here we will have lunch in a Druze home. Druze are a sect of Arabic speaking people whose religious tenants are kept rather private. Druze are in Syria, Lebanon and Israel and while ethnically connected and rarely marrying out of the Druze sect, the Druze within Israel serve in Israel’s army and for the most part, show their allegiance to the State of Israel.
From the Golan, we drive south to Nazareth, where we stop for a brief tour of this city. Historically a Christian city, today’s Nazareth is largely Muslim. We will have the opportunity to visit the Church of the Annunciation.
Depart Nazareth to Tel Aviv, approximately one hour drive south and towards the coast. The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown. While most of the country slows down considerably, Tel Aviv’s more liberal ways means that many restaurants and activities not among the norm in other parts of Israel, remain active in Tel Aviv.
Dinner and overnight in Tel Aviv. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Saturday, December 8 – Masada and the Dead Sea
On Saturdays, much of Israel quiets down to the Jewish Sabbath. We escape the urban environment for the day to travel south to Masada. Masada was a mountain top Jewish stronghold where the Jewish community fought off the Romans…literally, until their death. The history of Masada has a considerable impact as a reminder of centuries of Jewish persecution.
We continue to the Dead Sea, where you will have the opportunity to float at this lowest point on earth and cover yourself with the mud that is used to make many of the luxury bath products that have entered the international market of cosmetics.
Late day return to Tel Aviv. After having time to change and refresh yourself at your hotel, we depart for dinner. With the close of the Sabbath and being in Tel Aviv, you will see the life out in the street and in restaurants and will understand why many say, “While Jerusalem prays, Tel Aviv plays!”
Dinner and overnight in Tel Aviv. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Sunday, December 9 – Tel Aviv
This morning we continue exploring Tel Aviv, including meeting with other people whose voice contribute to the issues facing the region. Then depart for touring some of Tel Aviv and then head to Jaffa, some twenty minutes south of the heart of Tel Aviv. Once an Arab city, but today, a mix community., a visit to Jaffa can include the local flea-market, where cafes, antique shops and chic boutiques provide an enjoyable atmosphere near the seaside.
Lunch will be independent, with plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from.
Following the Jaffa visit, we rendezvous and return to your hotel where the remainder of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy the seaside atmosphere.
Evening rendezvous for Farewell Dinner and overnight in Tel Aviv. (B, D)
Day 11 – Monday, December 10 – Departure
Following breakfast, check out of your hotel for your transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your 12:15pm non-stop flight to the US, with arrival the same day in Newark at 5:10pm. For those who have signed up for post-tour options, the programs continue. (B)
Ramallah, West Bank: Millennium Hotel Palestine
Cost per person: $5,795 per person.
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT!
What is Included
* Deluxe hotels with breakfast
* English speaking Palestinian and Israeli guides
* Meals included, as indicated by B, L, D
* Entrance fees at sites noted on itinerary
* Water with group sit-down meals and on the bus during touring
* Airport transfers for those arriving on December 1, 2018 into Ben Gurion Airport and departing from Ben Gurion Airport on December 10, 2108
What is Not Included
* International airfare to Ben Gurion Airport. Iconic Journeys Worldwide will be happy to assist with air arrangements
* Gratuities to guides and drivers
* Alcohol, additional beverages and any items of a personal nature
* Travel insurance
TO REGISTER OR FOR INFORMATION
Registration on this link: Israel & Palestine registration