The images I share here come from my heart. They are not to be reproduced without my express written permission.

No Man's Land

Warning:
This week's post is NOT "wordless".


Not all that far from Jerusalem, the terrain changed mightily. Soon we were in the desert where, even in October, the heat was impressive. We were headed toward the Jordan River, straight through Bedouin country. And for miles, we saw what our guide referred to as "no man's land"... a strip of desert surrounded by barbed wire to prevent the unwary traveler from stumbling into territory planted with land mines.

Although we were going to the Jordan River to remember our baptism and to renew our baptismal vows, we knew that we would not be visiting the actual site where Jesus was baptized by St. John the Baptist. According to this CNN article, there are several churches where Christians of one denomination or another believe this event took place, but the land around them is peppered with land mines. An organization called HALO, based in England, is trying to clear them... or at least enough of them to enable pilgrims to visit there.


The mined desert seemed to go on forever; indeed this article from The Jerusalem Post indicates that "92 million sq.m. of Israeli territory" is mined. The mines were placed by Israel and by the PLO, many at the time of the Six Day War in 1967. This war was fought between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

The history of Israel - whether viewed from a religious or a secular perspective - is complex, and I don't have enough time left on earth to truly understand it. But one thing that "no man's land" brought home to me clearly:

We're not in Kansas anymore, Auntie Em.


Miracles still happen in Israel, however. Although in "a barren desert", we saw large date plantations along some portions of our route. How they grow... where they get the water... is a mystery to me.




36 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link up and as always your amazing photos. The skies in the desert are beautiful.

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  2. The sands there are so white! Sad to think of all the land mines remaining form the war. It must be dangerous work to remove them.
    Sometimes deserts act as large aquifers and there is water underneath them. There have been proposals by the present US government to drain the water under the Mojave desert for use in SW communities, although environmentalists are not happy about that fact.

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  3. You brought back memories of my time living in the Middle East. I could almost feel the heat coming from the photos. Thanks for sharing and hosting once again. Have a great week :D

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  4. Israel and each other land on our wonderful Earth is complex too. We need time to see this with our heart...
    ...thank you again for hosting, dear Sue ­čĄŚ

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  5. Definitely not Kansas. So much history.

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  6. Always nice to see a new place !!
    Fantastic photos !!
    Happy May !

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  7. The clouds are beautiful- big sky!
    Thanks for hosting the link up.
    Maggie

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  8. uf, the problem of mined areas is more than familiar - there are still mines in Croatia.

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  9. Do people live there? It seems a waste of resources just to demine for tourists when there are so many villages around the world in need of help demining. I follow a goup in Cambodia that demines villages too small for the UN to 'bother' with. It's heart breaking the frequency people are killed just getting rice to the house and so on.

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  10. So much history and so sad to see it. My prayers are hearts to heal in all men.

    Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week.

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  11. There is something so beautiful about the Negev!

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  12. Beautiful blue sky and white sand. Thank you for hosting and have a beautiful day!

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  13. I hope they get to clear the landmines..it's a lovely place!

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  14. I love how you wrote this post and the photos bring it home. "We're not in Kansas anymore, Auntie Em," was the best humor contrasting the stark reality. Thanks for sharing and hosting!

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  15. Historical events are always significant and revelatory!

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  16. What a beautiful place! And so rich with history. Have a great day!

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  17. Those date trees are beautiful. What a trip... thank you for sharing your pictures and for hosting the party. :)

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  18. The date trees look like they have been there for a long time.
    Thanks for hosting each week!

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  19. I love how the sky looks in that second-to-the-last shot!

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  20. I always think that the history of Israel and the controversy surrounding this little bit of land with its relatively small population is one reason to believe in the Bible. After all, why else is it such a focus?

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  21. I love the contrast from the trees against the sky!

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  22. Such a travesty about the land mines, no man's land indeed.

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  23. Sigh! Why do humans try to destroy each other?

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  24. Beautiful photos, as always. And much food for thought. Thanks for hosting.

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  25. Nice to see a new place. Wonderful fotos!
    Have a nice day and thanks for the linkin party!

    Happy ww, Lisa

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  26. It's a shame, that place like this is full of land mines. A few years ago our beach was closed for visitors, because it needed to be cleared from WW II mines...Your photos show the beauty of desert. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for hosting.

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  27. There is something terribly sad about the place that Jesus was baptized being mined. Very sad.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2017/05/visitors-to-alamo.html

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  28. life images by jillMay 10, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    i'm enjoying your tour. amazing to see these plantations in the desert.

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  29. Loved reading this post Sue, really interesting and the photos are stunning! - Tasha

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  30. It's amazing that after so many years, the mine fields are still there. I learned that in the Sahara (Morocco), the sand dunes are like huge sponges and water flows out of them for years (decades, more?) providing water for gardens and palm oasis.

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  31. Mother Nature takes care of it's own...regardless of where...:)JP

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  32. Darf ich mir etwas w├╝nschen? Etwas das bei Google ganz einfach und zudem kostenlos zu installieren ist??? Ich meine ein ├ťbersetzungsprogramm! F├╝r mich (und etliche andere...) w├Ąre es ein gro├čer Gewinn, wenn wir auch die Texte zu den Fotos verstehen k├Ânnten...
    Das w├Ąre super!!!
    Alles Liebe
    Heidi

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  33. My goodness, thank you for sharing this important update and how it was for you as a visitor.

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  34. Interesting... I wonder how those date plantation gets water!

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