For many in Jerusalem, Bush means traffic

U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush are joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres, second from right, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, as they participate in an arrival ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv May 14. (CNS/Reuters)JERUSALEM — President George W. Bush is back in town. For the second time. I hear the helicopters announcing the U.S. president’s arrival to Jerusalem overhead as I type.

He is meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He is attending Peres’ much-touted “Facing Tomorrow Conference” along with many other dignitaries and intellectuals, artists and leaders of the future. He is visiting Masada and speaking at the Knesset.

And he is wreaking havoc, once again, on Jerusalem traffic. To be quite honest, that is the true significance of Bush’s visits for most Jerusalemites.

My son goes to school downtown, and the way to reach it from our home is just along the roads that Bush’s motorcade takes when he does all his visiting. The school has, once again, had to readjust school hours to accommodate the president’s comings and goings and has warned parents to be prepared for traffic jams.

So I have warned my editors that if my copy is late in this week, I am not slacking off. I am just stuck in traffic.

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