When we arrived in Israel in 2003, she had just come through several years of terrorist attacks. This became known as the Second Intifada—when Yasser Arafat rejected the incredibly generous (some say suicidal from the Israeli security side) offer from Prime Minister Ehud Barak to create a Palestinian state. He had given every indication that he was a good-faith partner. During several days at Camp David, Arafat—the father of modern-day terrorism and suicide bombings—was seen playfully engaging with his Israeli counterpart. And then, he stunned both Prime Minister Barak and President Bill Clinton by rebuffing the offer and going back to Israel to start a war.
Thanks to the erection of the security fence, bus bombings and restaurants blowing up are a thing of the past. But in 2003, terrorism was still a very serious problem in the Holy Land.