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A December Sunday Afternoon at the Sea of Galilee

It is Sunday afternoon at a 26 degree, hazily ethereal Sea of Galilee/Yam Kinneret in the Kibbutz Ein Gev promenade on the east side of the lake. The kibbutz has two fish restaurants. One is Mifgash HaDayagim (the Fishermen's Meeting) in the boat harbor. It is supervised kosher and open Sunday to Wednesday. You can sit on the lakeside terrace by the harbor. The other is a little further along the promenade and open Thursday to Shabbat (so not supervised as kosher).

The ferry boats languish forlornly in the harbor awaiting the tourists.

We enjoyed a meandering promenade by the lakeside before and after a fried whole sea bass lunch, then collapsed into a self-supplied folding chair on the prom where I read my book with the almost full lake's water very gently lapping. Benches are dotted about too.
How bizarre to be reading a novel about a double agent during the fall of Saigon and its aftermath (the brilliantly written The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen) while the blood soaked and mined Golan was casting its shadowy memories over this tranquil and beautiful site and sight.
When I first came to Israel in May 1967 with my mother in a small group from Leeds, the Syrian big-gun emplacements were ranged along the top of the Golan Heights looming behind. They were firing nightly into the kibbutz. Residents were sleeping in the shelters. A statue of a mother and child had been hit - displaying a large hole right through it.

There was no road to this 1930s founded kibbutz until the early 1950s. The harbor was built using the local black volcanic basalt stones, dragged by the kibbutzniks from the surrounding shrub land and fields using donkeys.
For the very keen, there is the excavation site of Hippos/Sussita on a hill on the opposite side of the main road. It's up a long, steep hill on a mostly unpaved road.

How fortunate we are that this area is now in Israeli hands. 



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Monday, 22 July 2024

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