Actually, it happened on the evening of December 11 that our longtime friend, Betzelah, who addressed us many times at Misgav Am, came to the Ramat Hotel to speak to us. (This very brave and strong man gave me a long-lasting bear hug that spoke volumes.)
For years our tours have sat at Misgav Am while someone (Mike Ginsberg, or later, Ariyeh or Betzelah) from this strategic combination kibbutz/military post would describe how we were looking right into what appeared to be houses, but each one was constructed with offices on one lower floor, missiles on one floor, and families living on the top level. Thousands of missiles were aimed at us. Hezbollah occupied southern Lebanon.
Misgav Am has had a direct missile hit right where we sat.
And the IDF has hit the very villages we looked into.
All towns and kibbutzim within a two-mile radius of the border have been evacuated.
The Golan Heights
We were driving in this strategic area, which many were saying the Jews should give to Syria not too many years ago. (Israel won it from them in the Six-Day War.) No one says it now.
For if they had, Iran’s proxies would be sitting on the very Sea of Galilee now rather than north of the Golan.
At the last minute, we were granted permission to go to the Syrian border. We got off the buses at a location overlooking Quneitra, now the UN headquarters, sitting on the border. There I shared the details of our “Tone Down” trip in April 1986.
Later, we spent quite a bit of time at a factory that produces products made from olives. The owner’s grandson, about 8 years old or so, was playing around the place. His grandfather said, “I got a call from my daughter asking me to come get him and keep him while she was called to duty. She is a crack helicopter pilot. Called up from the very first for rescue flights into Gaza. Under fire, she takes out soldiers wounded there.”
He, like everyone everywhere we go, was so encouraged by our being there. He asked me to make a short video with him. He wants to post it on his wide network. His first question to me, “Why are you here?” Before the evening was over we were dancing and singing “Am Israel Chai” (“The People of Israel Live”).
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