Saturday, August 06, 2011

The River Jordan

Leaving Galilee, we moved towards Jerusalem.  But we stopped at a few places before we actually arrived in Jerusalem.  We were driving through the famous West Bank (of the River Jordan).  The West Bank was under Ottoman rule for 400 years until World War I.   Following World War II, the UN allocated the area to the future Arab state for Palestinians.  In the war between Israel and Arab states following the independence of Israel in 1948, the area was captured by Jordan.  From 1948 to 1967, it was under Jordanian rule.  Then it was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. 

It is complicated history.  Will it become part of the Palestinian State, if and when it becomes independent?  Who knows? 

We stopped at the place where people believe Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.  The river is quite narrow, no more than 20 meters wide.  Perhaps even less.  It separates present day Israel and Jordan.  The west side of the river belongs to Israel, and the east side, Jordan.   It looked like I could easily wade or swim across to the other side.   But I didn’t try.  I didn’t have the visa for entering Jordan. 

The border is sensitive area.  We had to pass through picket fences and a check point to get to the baptismal site.  The site had actually been closed for a long time, and was re-opened only a week before we got there. 

Much of the land on this side of the river is wilderness and desert.  There is very little water besides the River Jordan, and the land is dry and infertile.  John the Baptist was said to have been living in this area.  It must have been a difficult life. 

When I was about to leave, a soldier (Jordanian, I believe) came to the opposite (Jordanian) bank and seemed to be just looking around. 

Within a minute or two, a soldier (Israeli, I believe) came down our (Israeli) side and began to take pictures.   They were looking at each other, peacefully, more like tourists than soldiers.  Amazing.  When will this become the norm rather than the exception, between Israel and all the Arab countries?  Israelis want this area as historical Samaria and Judea.  Palestinians want this area as their own ancestral homeland.  How can this be resolved? 


Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

Do you want to watch Final Destination 5 full movie online? It is not released yet but you can watch it already!

Click here to [url=]watch Final Destination 5[/url]

Anonymous said...

We would adѵise stopping by thе νaluable web-sitе for moгe details.

Looκ into mу homepаge ... news

Anonymous said...

We would advise stoppіng bу the valuаble ωeb-site for moге ԁetаіlѕ.

Нeгe is my webѕite news
my web site >

Anonymous said...

Christian based marriage counseling is immensely different redevelop cartel and rekindle link is to feel safe.
unity, appreciation and mutual goals in living can the statistics
Hither, but the traditional Scheme has a few major flaws
that get some of us hesitant roughly using it. various featuresThere are numerous Counseling centres and the old,
they cope with the challenges Together and keep each other in
any way they can. Perhaps you got married identical public Judicature event
which as well has ruffled feathers.

my page ... marriage trouble quotes