There is a measure of thanksgiving, or at least relief, in the land of Israel. With the ceasefire, Israelis are grateful that their young men waiting on the border—and almost everyone has a husband, son, brother, friend among those 70,000 reservists—will be spared the horrors of fighting in Gaza. They are grateful that the civilians in southern Israel can now emerge from their shelters.
‘I’ve never been to Ramallah before,” one of the White House correspondents says, gazing out at the cold gray mountains outside Jerusalem. The walls and ceilings of the buses provided for the press are lined with strips of old shag carpet, and it takes two skinny Third-World-person-sized seats to fit a single network cameraman accompanying President Bush on the first leg of his pilgrimage to the Middle East. The printed sign in Hebrew at the front of the bus reads hebron.