Midnight at the Casino Oasis in Jericho!
A long time dream of mine has been to visit the State of Israel. Two years ago when my "mad money" account reached the one traveler total, I didn't look forward at how much more I needed to squirrel away, but rather how far I'd come. It's not a cheap trip and many times I wanted to tap into it and shuttle off to Vegas (my most favorite place in the world besides Cape Hatteras Island, NC.) or make an impulse purchase. But the thought of Israel always prevailed.
Now I’m not talking about a week or ten day trip, with a whirlwind tour of sites that appeal to Jews or Christians. Nope, I want to stay at least fourteen to eighteen days and see it all. I want to be baptized in the River Jordan, swim in the Dead Sea, cruise the Galilee and stay in a kibbutz a day or two. I want to pray at the Western Wall and walk the streets of the old city of Jerusalem. Visit the Shrine of the Book and Yad Vashem museums. I want to stand on the Mount of Olives in awe of the city of God. But most (and expensive) of all I’m flying El Al, the safest airline in the world. If I'm going to spend all this money I want to make sure I have the best shot at making it in one piece, right. This kinda makes me rethink the idea of filling water bottles with Dead Sea and Jordan River water. To be on the safe side I’ll probably just buy it and contribute a few more Shekels to the Israeli economy. Since 9/11 Nick has a tendency to be pulled aside for extra scrutiny. His surname is clearly Italian, but he looks like a clean shaven arab.
My desire to visit the Holy Land has always sparked disapproval from friends and relatives alike. Protests notwithstanding, I’m going to Israel. Despite objections from Nick and my sister in-law, who used to claim I’d be going alone. That was until I had enough saved for one of us to go and I promised to bring Carolyn Dead Sea salts, mud and water. I also feel more confident in my personal security because I’m a student of Krav Maga. Just as long as I don’t wander off to the Temple Mount and express my disdain for the dome of the rock, I should be OK.
But I digress. With all the holy sites to visit and experience (and it’s not on any of the tour schedules I’ve seen) there’s a casino in Jericho! Can you believe it? While perusing an article in the Israel National News, the magic word jumped out at me C.A.S.I.N.O. And they speak English! Oh what a great adventure this is going to be, however, I’m gonna need a few more Shekels for the slots and roulette table and add two more days to my tour.
Security has been in the hands of the palestinians, however there’s been talks of transferring the task to the Israelis. The bloodthirsty terrorists realize business has all but stopped since the intifada. This may be the safest place in all of Israel because those pious muslims don’t engage in gambling. It’s the sleeper cell dealers and housekeepers we’ll have to watch out for. But in all sincerity, it all comes down to this; these arabs want to make money. The casino pays well above the average wage and they know the gaming hall is a gold mine. Restaurants, shops, farmers and other businesses have been hurt by the lack of tourism to the West Bank resort.