For weeks this thing has been wrapped in duct tape, with large “No Entrance” signs all over it. We’ve received very little information about the Jerusalem conference coming up next month.
However, the Baron’s official invitation has just arrived:
Attached please find your invitation to “Facing Jihad: A Lawmaker’s Summit”, to be held in Jerusalem from Sunday, December 14 through Monday, December 15, 2008.
We would be honored if you would attend.
Imagine! Having the privilege of sitting in the Knesset, along with the other participants, to hear Bat Ye’or ( among other guest speakers) address the problem that Arieh Eldad describes as a “global disease”.
So far, we know that the following people will be in attendance at the conference:
Professor Arieh Eldad, Member of Knesset
Dutch MP Geert Wilders
Guest Speaker: Professor Daniel Pipes
Guest Speaker: Bat Ye’or
Also, we read in Jihad Watch that Robert Spencer has been invited.
That invitation is my good news.
Before presenting details on the conference, though, I must discuss the bad news: I have to put out the begging bowl for our readers’ contributions if this venture is to be possible. No matter how we finagle this particular bagel, going to Jerusalem is an expensive proposition.
It simply isn’t possible to bear the whole cost by ourselves.
In fact, we’re not quite sure what the “whole cost” will be — only that they are above our means. I will tell you what we have learned so far, and then ask that you consider making a contribution to the cause. In addition, I will suggest what is to be done if it turns out we don’t raise sufficient funds to cover the expense of going to Jerusalem.
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We have been told that the air far is estimated to be in the range of $1200.00; but we don’t know if that total covers the government’s take, not to mention the surcharges and so on that airlines manage to tack on as additional
Then there are hotel costs in Jerusalem. Are there cheap places to stay there? Is the cost of hotel space more or less expensive in mid-December? The invitation says there is a block of “superior class” rooms set aside for attendees, but we all know the Baron doesn’t do “superior class” prices so those are out.
I am guessing — and heavens knows this is a guess since I don’t venture far from home myself — that the total cost from our front door and back again will be about $2000.00 if the Baron is careful (and believe me, the Baron knows how to live on the cheap… there was this time he left home to paint some landscapes in the next state… oops, never mind. I’ll save that story for another time. Let’s just say he can get by on very little).
On the other hand, Jerusalem is probably not a cheap place for the average American visitor, even if one foregoes the “superior class” accommodations. How do you say “Motel Six” in Hebrew?
Thus, if the Baron is to attend this conference, we must rely on the generosity of readers to make it happen. If we raise at least $1,500.00, we are in safe waters.
The Baron suggested asking for half the cost (a thousand dollars), but I am the one who does the bills so I can tell you he’s dreaming. With two jobs, his real one and the upkeep of the blog, there are moments he doesn’t have time to breathe, much less to wonder when the light bill is due. Assuredly, $1,500.00 is a safer goal than his optimistic guesstimate.
Our time frame to come up with the money is quite limited. Their RSVP must be answered by Sunday, November 16th. That doesn’t give us much notice, and it raises the question: what do we do if our fund-raising efforts fall short?
Well, there are two options if we aren’t able to get $1,500.00 in the next almost-week:
|1.||We can refund the money via PayPal. They make the reversal transaction quite easy.|
|2.||We could consider the funds raised as a set-aside of seed money for the annual donation drive for maintenance of our ad-free blog for 2009. We have until February until that money runs out and this could be added to it.|
Either option would be open to the donor, and you could let us know on the message line in the PayPal notification which you prefer.
If this doesn’t happen, it will be disappointing, but it is worth the risk to ask for your help because the return is so great. Imagine an ol’ Virginia boy sitting in the Knesset looking around in wonder. A long way from the woods of the Old Dominion!
Rather than post all the relevant materials about the details of this conference, you can find links at the bottom of the post with more information about the who, what, when, and where of the “Facing Jihad” summit.
- EJP story on Sept. 3, 2008
- Israel National News story on Sept. 28, 2008
- Official “Facing Jihad” website
- Press Release
- Tentative Schedule
I will be posting daily to let you know how our donation drive is going.