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Roger L. Simon

Last Blog from Tel Aviv — Trouble at [REDACTED] Headquarters

June 3rd, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Barry Rubin is a first-rate writer, scholar, and person, but no one would ever mistake him for Mario Andretti. He’s the kind of guy you might want with you as a partner on Jeopardy, but maybe not if you’re trying to find your way out of the Istanbul bazaar.

This is all by way of saying we got lost yesterday on our way driving [REDACTED] of Tel Aviv to an appointment at the Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Center (ITC) at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (HCC). Barry took a couple of wrong turns and we ended up at the gate of the new headquarters of the [REDACTED] agency — an organization that has been written about frequently in novels.

Naturally they were surprised to see us. A young man with an M4 stepped out of a car and asked to see our IDs. He stared at our U.S. passports with some amusement as Barry explained at length (possibly more than was necessary) in Hebrew who we were. Then the young man sent us on our way with the proper directions.

A few minutes later we wound up rather miraculously at our destination where we were met by Dr. Yoram Kahati, deputy director & senior analyst of the aforementioned center. It was worth the wait — and the confusion.

The Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center is actually a tiny museum on a military base. consisting of blood-curdling displays of the history and activities of Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc, a kind of Madame Tussaud’s of terror organizations. (Note to B. Obama: Al Qaeda existed before bin Laden and did not vanish at his death,)

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All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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The best part of many of my trips were on the accidental detours, the only way you learn of many places is by stumbling into them. I always plan my trips with hours of free time to take advantage of surprises or even a nice restaurant. I bet you brightened that guards day with your charming bumbling.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
So true. There's nothing more exhausting and unedifying than an itinerary planned down to the last minute. Especially in a country as fascinating as Israel.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger, welcome to my country. Since you're with Professor Barry, I know you're having a very good time, and learning a lot of neat stuff in the process. When are you making aliyah?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with Hmastercylinder. You ended the article before getting to anything interesting. You made some very high level comments about how interesting the museum was and how corrupt a terrorist Arafat was, which peaked my interest a bit. But I already know as much or more than what you put in this article. It might have been worth reading had you gone in more detail on those subjects.

But as it is, it appears your only real concern was that you got yourself lost driving somewhere you had never been before. If that had been the title of your post, I would have skipped reading this non-article, and would have been the none the worse for it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
An academic in charge of the PA? Oh thank G-d! There will now be peace in the ME. Academics are always so reasonable and peaceful. :o0

BTW- My daughter is there right now in the far north living with an Israeli (Christian) family.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger -
Go to the Rockefeller Museum. I was there 20+ years ago. In the last room was a beautiful mosaic floor with Hebrew writing saying basically: "Don't trust the people 10 miles away. They pronounce 'A' like 'ah'."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder if we passed each other in The Old City yesterday? I spent much of the morning on The Temple Mount. I hope you has a chance to go up. This evening, if you are interested, you can find me at the wooden indian in Mamilla at 8PM. Just ask anybody.
Enjoy your trip.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Holy Land is on my bucket list. I envy your adventures there.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was there 20 years ago as well. I'm very grateful I was able to go when I did. Have a marvelous journey Roger.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rog, honey.
I hope you got all your dough out of this thing, because it has become way too troublesome to even comment in this stupid format.
You're making NRO look like badboys.
Have you noticed the comments declining? Indeed, disappearing?
Everyone else has.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
If it is too annoying, leave, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, that's the best way to improve things. Never point out problems and make sure nobody else does, either.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Mr. Report - great attitude. Are you in Marketing at PJMedia? I posted way more in the old format and read more of the comments also. And I observe that many of the posters I enjoyed back then are nowhere to be found or are not as active. I am not sure why but it is so. But sorry for bothering you with that observation.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I envy you your behind-the-Kotel tunnel tour. I've always wanted to do that but never found the time. Speaking of patrimony, be sure to visit the Burnt House, another Old City excavation of a (presumed) high priest's home at the time of the Second Temple's destruction. The Burnt House has been around a while but is now done up suitably for visitors, with a nice video re-enactment as well.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
DickStanley: make time for the Kotel tunnel tour. It's amazing.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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