We began the day with a few hour hike through The Golan Heights. Gunshots and loud blasts could be heard with varying degrees of volume in the not so far sounding distance. Fortunately, it was only the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) combat training.
Later, we spent an hour taking in the vista from the top of a no longer functioning IDF bunker. Between us and the Syrian border was about a football field of land. On the majority of the field, from about the 20 to the 20 yard line using that same football reference, a few dozen cows grazed. The red zones had yellow flags to show that those areas were filled with land mines.
On the way home, we drove along the Jordanian border and after dinner we had a journalist come in and talk with us about geopolitics in the Middle East. Israel’s border issues are seemingly endless in their complexities but today’s lecture helped to give me an extremely rudimentary understanding of what is going on at the north border with Hezbollah and its military stronghold in Lebanon, to the northeast with the civil war drawing global attention in Syria, and with the Gaza Strip in the lower left corner of Israel where the Hamas so regularly shoot rockets and drops fires via kites over Israel’s border that it is referred to as a cyclical occurrence. There is also the Israeli-Palestinian conflict taking root on the West Bank (of Jordan) in eastern Israel. I will not go deeper into any of these subjects because my understanding of them is far less than my available time to write today, which is also very little.
Still, I look forward to learning more and discussing with people who know a lot more about these subjects than I do.