Journey to Jerusalem

Facing Jihad

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 shocks surprises.

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.

I will be posting daily to let you know how our donation drive is going.

19 thoughts on “Journey to Jerusalem

  1. Insert a witty comment here, it’s 1:20am and I just can’t be funny when I@m this tired.

    God willing you’ll raise more than enough. Maybe even enough to afford a minibar. 😀

    One of these days I want to visit Jerusalem and see a few bits of it. For now I’ll settle for vicarious living through internet acquaintances.

  2. we were told 1200.00 for the airline. Tht’s for the 13 hour ride, not the one that takes longer than the conference.

    And my late unlce, a travel agent in Maidstone, said to allows allow 25% of charges they didn’t tell you about. He ennumerated them for me one time, but that was a long time ago.

    “Allow 25% for Murphy” for any project you undertake, especially if you are going out of the country.

    Heck, allow 25% for Murphy when you ask the mechanic how much your car repair will cost.

  3. I called a friend of mine, who has family in Israel, and he will forward some recommendations for accommodations.
    I don’t do paypal, they take too big of a cut, so email me an alternate method.
    And Mr. Murphy makes for a terrible co-pilot.

  4. Just checked PayPal’s fee schedule. no2libs is right. Didn’t know PayPal leeches so much off a transaction. Is there a competitor that charges less?

  5. anon,
    They have a nice gig, at paypal. Most people never check the fees.
    When I shop online, I make my selection, then call them and make the purchase.

  6. I wish I’d sent cash now.

    There aren’t any real competitors. All the online money brokers take a huge cut, as I’ve discovered whilst trying to find a decent payments system for a client (my brother, oddly enough). Until you’re pulling in enough money to justify a merchant account and a credit-card payment processor like PROTX, Paypal are actually one of the cheaper ones.

  7. CarnachiUK —

    No, that’s not a valid email address for us (or anyone, as far as I know).

    The PayPal address to use is the one that goes with our “tip cup” on the sidebar: natintel (at)

    Thanks for asking.

  8. Thanks, Baron, for the correction.

    I’m used to making payments from my Paypal page, so I’d overlooked the ‘tip cup’.

    May your cup runneth over!

  9. I am waiting for a call from my good friend, who has a cousin in Israel, that operates a tour service, and hopefully he can offer some info on accommodations, and possibly an advantage.
    Is paypal the only way to donate?

  10. Well, congratulations to the invitation, le Barone! CJ must have his shorts all in twist by this. And Geert Wilders will from now on officially be a Nazi at LGF too. And the Lizards will probably denounce the whole country of Israel over this.

  11. I dropped a dime in your direction as well. Paypal fees or no, I think it’s a great thing for you to get to go.

    As long as you tell us what happens while you’re there. 🙂

  12. Just sent a contribution. If you don’t make it, keep the money.

    Sounds like an exciting conference!
    Geert Wilders, Daniel Pipes and Bat Ye’or all in one place — wow!
    Imagine the after-dinner conversations.

    I hope Robert Spencer attends, and CJ’s head explodes…
    …was that wrong?

  13. I’ve been a daily lurker for a long time and feel the donation just sent is well worth it – for Jerusalem or for your continued work. Congratulations on the invite!


  14. Against my opinion for paypal, a contribution has been sent.
    I’m still awaiting info from the source in Israel on accommodations.
    Certainly hope the Baron makes this trip.
    If not, the contribution I made, is just that.

  15. I agree with the consenus re Pay Pal. It took me a long time to finally go with them because of the scare stories about some people’s experiences.

    Long before we hd a blog or I ever thought of Pay Pal at all, a consumer advocate on the radio here in the US (Clark Howard) had the head dude at Pay Pal on the carpet to explain his company’s poor record for resolving consumer complaints. Mr. Howard really held that guy’s feet to the fire.

    After that, the company seemed to clean up their act and it has a much better reputation.

    A friend of mine uses them in her business and she keeps money on deposit in their money market account because she says it pays a better interest than her bank.

    We don’t have that kind of “float” but even if we did, I doubt I’d trust them that far. OTOH, the way banks are sinking like stones…who knows.

    I intuit that if this could be done more cheaply, PayPal would have a competitor. In fact, there would be lots of them. At least as long as the free market lasts.

  16. Dear BB&Dy,

    The sole reason for me to open a PayDude account, was when you declared yourself independent and asked for donations a little while ago. I am so glad that my first donation made it safely into your tin cup, and even more so, ’cause shortly after that, my account was hacked.
    I got messages from PayPal that someone was purchasing stuff through my account. In short: lots of hassle; very bad consumer service online, almost deliberately leading one to call the expensive “help”desk about every other day (looked like a scheme to me). So as soon as I had the chance, I immediately closed this account.

    Now, like other supporters asked, I’d really like to know if there might be other ways to support you guys. Perhaps I should contact Geert Wilders over here and ask his secretary to pass on my fist full of Euri (Euros) to the Baron when you meet in Jerusalem 😉
    Still that would only serve to “co-fund” your stay over there.
    Or I might hire one of those safes at Schiphol Airport (perhaps you’ll make a short stop there) and put a big brown envelope in it, to be collected by BB.

    Anyhew, I’m open to suggestions that don’t include PayDude.

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,

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