Dear Rabbi Ben-Chaim:

It was a glorious day today in Israel. Our first full day here without a bombing of innocents by radical Islamists! It is difficult to wrap your mind around the constant threat of attack that looms over Israel on a day-to-day basis as people go about their daily lives. When you walk the streets of Jerusalem, it is beyond comprehension that many times and many days have held forth terrorists exploding bombs and killing people as they walked the streets just as you are doing.

First I'd like to apologize for the lack of pictures of our opening events of the day, and more extensive coverage of our tour of Old Jerusalem. A large portion of the pictures from the day somehow disappeared during the upload.

We began the day with a stroll to the King David Hotel. It is a beautiful old structure that is the picture of elegance. Ambassador Keyes gave a speech to a Los Angeles-based group, Stand With Us, that is here in Israel on a unity mission. We kept running across people from this group all day! They certainly made their presence known in Israel.

After getting our blood circulating with the rousing speech, we moved to a private area of the hotel for an interview with a Christian leader in the West Bank. The Ambassador conducted an interview with this man, but we had to take measures to assure his anonymity. He is under constant threat of reprisals for speaking out.

He spoke about the desperate situation for Arab Christians in the Palestinian-controlled areas. Most Christian leaders have been forced to support Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. They find themselves in the awkward position of having to treat the Old Testament of the Bible as a history book instead of God's. The minister in our interview has refused to align himself with Arafat and the PA in denouncing history and God's Truth. His small church has been bombed 14 times since the year 2000. They are desperate. We will be introducing him soon to Christian leaders in the United States to help spread the word of their plight.

After this interview, Ambassador Keyes left us to go alone with the IDF by helicopter to the border by Lebanon. There was limited room in the helicopter, so he went with the IDF and one cameraman who recorded the flight. The interviews and footage of our trip will be made available soon either by broadcast or by video. Mesora will have all of the details as soon as they are available.

I spoke with the Ambassador upon his return. He told me of some of the information he could share about the skirmishes taking place quite frequently on the border. There is no longer a situation of calm on the border with Lebanon, orchestrated by Syria.

As Ambassador Keyes spent his day in flight over the border, I spent the day with Mrs. Keyes in Old Jerusalem. The Western Wall is magnificent. As you touch the wall, you can feel your prayers uniting with the millions of prayers that have been offered here. It is the closest that Jews and Gentiles are allowed to get to the Temple Mount. Only Arabs are allowed to visit the Mount. We asked our guide to take us to the entrance to see if we could try to get through, but he refused. He said we would more than likely be shot by Arabs if we entered the area. Unreal.

We then toured the extensive tunnels underneath the Old City. What a marvel of the architecture of the centuries is found here. One of the most amazing feats was Solomon's underground pipeline and aqueduct system that stretched all the way from Bethlehem to the First Temple in Jerusalem that provided water for the Temple. There is also a natural aqueduct system found beneath the city that Solomon built upon.

We have provided pictures of some of the stops along the way in the tunnels.

We also visited many of the temples and churches but sadly these were among the pictures that were lost.

Tomorrow Ambassador Keyes will meet with Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then attend a reception with the Mayor Olmert of Jerusalem, before returning to the United States.

It has been an enlightening, informative and engaging experience for all of us.

We hope that you have enjoyed our reports, but would like to let you know that there will be much more to come for the readers of Mesora once we get back to the United States and can put the efforts to work giving you clips of interviews, transcripts and sound files that limited time here in Israel prohibited on the fly!

Thank you for sharing our experiences with us.

Connie Hair

Wailing Wall - Old City, Jerusalem


Jewish cemetery that reaches from the walls of Old Jerusalem
up an entire mountainside. It's breathtaking.



Ancient archways underneath Jerusalem.
Instead of tearing down to rebuild over the centuries,
new structures would be built over the old.
Those large, heavy stones are not the easiest things to move!


Entrance to the underground tunnels below the City of Old Jerusalem.

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