Negev: Ben Gurion’s Vision Today’s Miracle

It’s winter in Jerusalem, Israel,

a good time to go south and see the Negev.

On the day we were going past southern farms

Negev under devolpment

 Negev farmers were headed to Jerusalem for a protest.

I wondered why all those Israeli flags?

A friend who was stuck in traffic and unable to get around

because of blocked streets later supplied the answer.

Israel Negev Ben Gurion quote

Ben Gurion would be amazed today!

The newest army complex in the Negev

Army base in southern Israel Kiryat Ariel Sharon

named for Ariel Sharon, is larger than many Israeli cities.

In the winter, plantings

Israel Negev planting

have turned the desert green.

Off road in Negev phone and electric wires

Power lines stretch as far as the eye can see,

while the Negev Guardian stands watch.

Really!

Israel south road to Negev

Emillo Mogilner’s 450 ton sculpture sits next to Route 40.

Also, along those Negev roads

Bedoiuns in Negev along road

are new Bedouin encampments

dotting the landscape in more locations

Israel south along road

than I could count.

Winter is a great time for changing weather

Winter clouds in Negev

and also for photos of stormy clouds.

There are desert sands and farms,

growing technology at the new Intel facility at Kiryat Gat,

plus the cyber-tech attached to Ben Gurion University,

and the rapidly developing Beer-Sheva area.

So much amazing progress in such a short period of time,

plus a winning sports team.

Red shirt in mayor's office Beer Sheva winning soccer team

This t-shirt is hanging next to the Beer-Sheva mayor’s office.

The shirt signed by the Beer-Sheva football (soccer) team

after winning championship games.

Beer-Sheva has developed a lot over  the last 30 years.

For some of my nephews, this shirt is a big deal.

Could Ben Gurion imagine today’s miracle of the Negev?

Israel Booming: From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva

Impossible.

It is impossible to compress all that has happened

this past week into a 30-second blog post.

Complexity has to be cut to a sound bite, while

we keep trying to share what the mainstream media misses.

President of Cyprus flag up in Jerusalem

The President of Cyprus was visiting,

and his country’s flag hung on Jerusalem, Israel streets.

I wonder what dignitaries see of what is really happening.

Did the President meet regular Israelis?

Did you know he was here?

Or that the German Bundestag President is speaking at the Knesset?

Most people just read of “conflict” and troubles,

 but construction is booming.

Huge cranes fill the skylines.

The Museum of Tolerance is above ground,

Museum of Tolerance

the construction site is busy with dozens of Arab workers.

building in Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv, more towers are under construction,

two are going up near the Google office.

desert blooming

The flatland of the Negev is such a contrast

to the Judean Hills of Jerusalem.

large Hebrew sign saying they keep shmita

For the shmita year, some farmers are taking

the sabbatical year literally, leaving the land untended.

Negev desert

But in the Negev,

Rahat seen from highway

the Bedouin town of Rahat is booming,

Soda Stream plant near Rahat

 and Soda Stream’s new plant stretches out in the sand nearby.

A few kilometers down the road

large sign welcome to Beer Sheva

there is a new sign welcoming visitors to the new Beersheva.

The once sleepy desert town is the largest city in the Negev.

Beersheva is booming with new neighborhoods,

new business and new cultural life.

After the hundreds of rockets from Gaza last summer,

bomb shelter built in south

 Beersheva homes are getting new safe rooms.

There were so many sleepless nights due to red alert sirens

announcing the oncoming missiles that

home bomb shelters are being installed.

Will running to a safe spot be the summer activity again?

There was another rocket last night in the south,

and it was not the first of the season.

The UNHRC has released its report.

Did they take into account the millions of Israelis

living under terrible conditions last summer?

peace slogan in Hebrew

“I believe in PEACE” says this sticker on a Jerusalem crossing.

Everyone hopes those rockets from Gaza,

and the explosions on the Golan border will stop.

Preparing for summer in Jerusalem

Big plans for this summer.

The start-up nation is booming.

Weddings and end-of-year school performances fill the evenings.

No bombs and rockets are welcome.

Nothing is simple,

but like this Jerusalem bus sign,

Neseya tova

here’s wishing all a good and safe trip.

Iron Dome the Winner

After having spent two days in Southern Israel, 

I can state for a fact that the winner in Operation Pillar of Defense

was the Iron Dome.

iron dome

Those three puffs are not smoke, but each a destroyed rocket.

Hamas rockets from Gaza caused damage and deaths.

rockets were being shot at Southern Israel at a mind-boggling pace.

We only experienced one Red Alert siren while on the open road,

and missed the one in Jerusalem, Israel on Tuesday.

israeli tanks

We saw that Israeli tanks

israeli soldeer

and soldiers ready to respond to Hamas aggression.

soroka

Cameras recorded as injured Israeli soldiers arrived

at Soroka Hospital shortly before a cease-fire was announced.

The hospital was eerie, usually so busy, it was quiet.

 because of the barrage of rockets in Beer Sheva,

people were forced to stay home and off the streets.

The Hamas rockets from Gaza continued well after time to cease firing.

The press will disappear and the reserve soldiers will go home.

Who won in Operation Pillar of Defense will be argued.

But the Iron Dome proved over and over

to be a life saver to those living in Southern Israel.