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States with fewest Passports most Opposed to Obamacare | Informed Comment.

Travel is and always has been one of the clearest forms of human enlightenment. Fantasy and illusion are best served by sedentary life, by immobility that allows the clever and the creative and the unscrupulous to fool the majority through fears and nightmares. But the traveler walks over the hill, and then walks back, and simply says, “But it is not true over there. What you are saying is not true over the hill.” An then he is condemned and stoned by those whose lies he has challenged. But the traveler’s challenge has ignited the imaginations and curiosity of ten more people. The traveler is the embodiment of human curiosity, of discovery, of science in its deepest sense.…

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This is reprinted from my latest Huffington Post article:

Tourism is a business involving a billion people a year meeting several other billion people whose lives they profoundly affect economically and socially. The question for the future is whether that effect is going to be negative or positive, peaceful or destructive.

I want to argue that it is all up to us travelers.

Recently, in the major Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot, there appeared a picture of a beautiful little girl holding and aiming a machine gun almost her own size, being coached by a smiling soldier in fatigues in a West Bank settlement in the Occupied Territories. The caption mentioned how many foreigners come on tours and are given this kind of exposure.

This is a very different kind of tourism and educational seminar experience than the kind I and my colleagues have been running for years in Israel …

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The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of war, the mutual recriminations of the present, the painful memories of a lost past, and the unreasonable fantasies of a world where one’s enemies magically disappear. Sometimes the way forward is to free the mind to build a different world, a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved.

Let’s imagine the following: a full peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital, a shared civil regime for the quarter mile of the Holy Basin in the Old City of Jerusalem that is overseen by Israeli and Palestinian Jews, Muslims and Christians, and a way for every Palestinian refugee camp’s residents to be awarded citizenship and compensation in a variety of countries including Palestine itself.

The first …

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