Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Miracle w/Grit: How Israel rescued the Promised Land from devastation and neglect - by James Sinkinson

Part of the Israeli miracle is the restoration of a depleted, deteriorating land through determination, ingenuity and back-breaking work.

James Sinkinson..
07 July '20..

Last week I toured much of northern Israel, from the Jezreel Valley and the Lower and Upper Galilee regions to the Golan Heights. The natural beauty of this part of Israel, as well as the explosive proliferation of agriculture, was striking and inspiring.

The abundance of flora in Israel today makes it easy to forget that this land at the turn of the 20th century was a parched wasteland. It also raises the questions: How did this miraculous transformation take place, and who was responsible?

On his visit to Palestine in 1867, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) called the Sea of Galilee “a solemn, sailless, tintless lake, as unpoetical as any bath-tub on earth.” On the other hand, last week I found the Kinneret (its Hebrew name) a sparkling blue jewel surrounded on its north, south and west by vegetable fields, orchards and forests.

Traveling by horseback through the Jezreel Valley, Clemens noted: “There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent—not for 30 miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride 10 miles, hereabouts, and not see 10 human beings.”

Clemens continues, “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. … Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies.”

(Continue to Full Column)

James Sinkinson is president of Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.

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