Israel Journey — Day 16
Wow, as you can see, this was a PACKED trip and it takes awhile to even report on all that we saw and did.
Gamla in the Golan Heights is the “Masada of the North” (which, unfortunately, didn’t mean much to me before this trip), but it was another place where the inhabitants were under such attack and felt there were truly no other options than to commit mass suicide, jumping to their deaths rather than surrender to the nasty Romans. Of course, if it’s a place from which you can jump to your death, it’s quite a hike to get there, but we did it!
In the afternoon, right across the border from Lebanon and Syria (you can see the satellite systems on top the hills to warn of an unexpected invasion), we ran into a group of Israeli soldiers on patrol who kindly and patiently endured our peppering them with questions. This was most memorable indeed because it was a rare chance in our busy schedules to interact directly with Israelis, hear what they were thinking and what they saw the future to look like. It was the same week that Obama had declared that Israel return to its pre-war borders and Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting the U.S. and speaking to Congress and gaining support. It was so good to see the world from the perspective of another country to watch events unfolding right in front of you. The soldiers told us they expected that Syrians would cross their borders soon and gain worldwide attention and Israel would be villianized if they made any effort to defend themselves. That exact thing happened just 3 days later, the day we flew out of the country.