Middle East: Iran v’s Israel

Hmmmm, something to think about if and when the snow arrives. The bombing sounds I heard yesterday were in fact bombs! According to the Jordan Times it was Israel clearing mines, just shows how close we are. Also, in yesterdays paper “US Defenc(s)e Secretary Leon Panetta stated that Israel will bomb Iran in April or May or June”. Interestingly, Iran announced a pact with Al Qaeda and there was the Bangkok blast, blamed by Israel on Hizbollah, and previously there were attaches on its Embassies in India and Georgia, which I would think most were not aware of. And, in fact, on Tuesday an Israeli diplomat (female) was attached in India, the list is mounting.

There have been a sequence over years of Iranian nuclear scientists being assassinated, one assumes by you know who.

Both Iran and the US (don’t forget it is broke) are both posturing in the Strait of Hormuz – seen of battles for 1000s of years.

One wonders if the Iranian linking so publicly with Al Qaeda has anything to do with thinking of this type: Iran is vulnerable, Russia and China are unlikely to jump to its aid and the Arab world won’t they just could not get organised given the turmoil of the past year, so a pact with Al Qaeda would signal to Israel that attacks on distant and remote targets is how a counter strike will happen. This will put pressure on these remote countries to attempt to dissuade a strike on Iran by Israel.

Clearly the US administration is warning the world that Israel is serious, Israel has nuclear weapons and has never used them, I for one am nervous with the prospect that Iran may have the capacity to develop its own. Unlike the Cold War stalemate, a new type of cloud maybe about to descend.

We are in a troublesome location!


Israel April 2011

The crossing was straight forward as we paid for the VIP service, sounds grand but it just means a private company handles all the details, which you pay for.

We are collected by our driver Ossama and then travel up to Jerusalem to collect out guide Ata, both were terrific, especially Ata who was friendly and knowledgeable.

The travel company is Premimum Global Tours


Jerusalem was interesting for us, so many religious traditions and names were part of our childhoods that it was fun to see and hear about so many! Here is a slide show – I think I have most of the names correct.


The next day we travelled via a small village of Ein Karem, then to the Israel Museum and then to Bethlehem, which is basically next door – it is divided between Israel and the new Palestinian Authority, along with the construction of the so called Peace Highway towards Jordan, it is the first steps towards peace, lets hope so! There is a clear difference between the affluence of the Israel side as compared to the Palestinian one, clearly tourism is vital and Cathie certainly supported their economy. Here is a slide show of some of the highlights.

At the church of the visitation we were reminded of the night King Herod tried to kill all the babies to eliminate Jesus and John the Baptist – Elizabeth hide John the Baptist between two rocks, which can be seen, at least so the story goes!

At the Museum, apart from the fantastic model of the old town of Jerusalem, we saw the sculpture depicting the Essenes idea of the pure world verses the evil one, that will be resolved in one final battle at Armageddon (which is town in Northern Israel). The Essenes were a religious group who occupied the area around Qumran and were responsible for the writing of the Dead Sea Scrolls.


The final day took in the highlight of Masada, the site of the battle between the Romans and the Jews in 66AD and Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found.


We enjoyed the hectic tour very much and plan to go back!