Interesting Time To Travel

Although it has only been a little over a year since I was last in New York, it is obvious how the Islamic terrorists have changed our lives, probably forever. Just to get into some of the buildings, or even elevators, you have to show identification and get a pass. The plays now have guards, in addition to ticket takers, checking your bags and purses as you enter. Grand Central and many other loc

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Arlene Peck

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I love the energy of Manhattan. And after the way Rudy Guiliani cleaned up that city and made it visitor friendly, he?s got my vote if he ever runs for President. One of the highlights of my New York adventures was being able to converse at length with novelist Jack Engelhard. Jack and I write for several of the same newspapers; however, he?s better known as the author of the best-selling novel Indecent Proposal, whose story line was made into a movie with Robert Redford and sold in twenty-two languages. Jack?s newest book, The Uriah Deadline, is set with a backdrop of Israel and Arab terrorism. No doubt it also is destined to the top of the charts. I greatly admire his writing and our brief visit passed all too quickly. We sat in the lobby of the Warwick Hotel discussing our mutual fear for the future of Israel.

That same day, I watched, incredulous, as Today Show guests denounced the war in Iraq and our president. At Columbia University, Professor Nicholas De Genova spoke for three hours at a ?peace rally? at the school?s Low Library. He wished for the death of American GI?s and was cheered by 3,000 people who had gathered there.

Jack Engelhard told me, ?These people aren?t peace activists. They are terrorists? activists.?

How does one rationalize the craziness that surrounds us? I keep thinking of George Orwell?s 1984, in which hate is love and love is hate. However, have you noticed that Israel isn?t so lonely anymore? Not so long ago, Israel was the pariah in world politics. Everyone hated them for being the ?imperialist power?. They were the aggressors and taking land that didn?t belong to them. The United Nations sabotaged and thwarted them at every turn. Now, all you have to do is substitute the word United States for Israel and you get the same response.

We seem amazed at the brutality and barbarism that is shown by our Arab enemies. Even to their own people. However, that is something that we, as a nation, are learning all too painfully. I believe one of the root causes of their hatred is that they haven't been able to function in the world; envy can do terrible things. What confuses me, however, is how the self-hating protesters are still able to feel empathy for evil barbarians. I wonder if, now that the ?suicide barrier? has been broken in Iraq and our American troops are experiencing the same bombing from those seventh-century animals that Israel has long known, the reaction will be to maintain ?even-handed, fair and balanced? coverage. Israel has long known that there is no right and wrong when handling evil. That kind of enemy understands power and defeat. Cancers understand cutting out, not negotiating.

We see how our Arab enemies torture our brave men and women, because they have no concept of what a Geneva Convention is. Yet, still, misguided people march for Saddam, even as they finally see what Israel has been fighting. Is their anti-Semitism so over whelming that they refuse to accept obvious wickedness when they see it?

This was my first trip back to Manhattan post-9/11. This time, I once again headed back to the Warwick Hotel for a little R&R away from constant war news. I was so glad to see that the hotel that I visited as a little girl was still functioning and as elegant as always. Despite the ache in my heart over 9/11 I was delighted to see my home away from home as cozy as ever. In addition to the service and amenities, I found the location perfect. Obviously, the anti-war protestors did also. As I was checking in, they had thousands outside my door screaming and tying up traffic on Fifth Avenue. The hotel?s charming manager, Dieter Seelig, managed to introduce me to James Naughtie from the BBC. Mr. Naughtie offered to meet with me when I arrived in London. I?m looking forward to that meeting, so that I might discuss the anti-Israel, anti-American slant of the BBC.

Although it has only been a little over a year since I was last in New York, it is obvious how the Islamic terrorists have changed our lives, probably forever. Just to get into some of the buildings, or even elevators, you have to show identification and get a pass. The plays now have guards, in addition to ticket takers, checking your bags and purses as you enter. Grand Central and many other locations also have guards with machine guns. And I, for one, was grateful. However, it is sad that they have succeeded in altering our lives.

For the next leg of my trip, I had planned on taking a trip to Italy and reporting back to my readers what I had found; however, after I was told by the Italian Los Angeles Tourist Bureau head, ?Be smart, don?t go looking for anti-Semitism on your trip,? or, ?Don?t write about anything political,? I became a little angry. Then, after seeing a million Italians marching against the United States I became even more incensed. The final straw was when I was informed of how anti-Semitic the Italians had become in their press. At that point, I figured, ?Why on earth would I be traveling there, at this time, to promote tourism for these people?? Somehow, there must be consequences. So, instead, I contacted the British Tourist Agency. What took the Italians two months to arrange, the British agency settled in two days.

Stay tuned for what I?ll be reporting back to you from Europe.
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Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She can be reached at bestredhead@earthlink.net.
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