Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Snapshot 1965-1967

Hugh Nissenson’s Notes from the Frontier provides a very clear, firsthand account of life on a kibbutz near the Syrian border in 1965, and then in 1967 after the Six Day’s War.

Of course, most of what Nissenson writes about is no longer applicable.  At the time, infiltration was the major security concern in the State of Israel.  Arabs from Jordan and Syria would sneak into Israel at night, and cause mayhem.  Nissenson’s kibbutz, in the Hula Valley, a stone’s throw from Syria, was particularly vulnerable to attacks; this paranoia fills his accounts of life on the kibbutz.

The narrator then returns during the Six Days War, and see the colossal destruction and changes.  With a kibbutz member he drives up the Golan Heights, and sees the view of the Syrians had long had of the Hula Valley since 1948.   

And the book ends there, on note that does not really end.  Because even in 1967, Nissenson is perspicacious  enough to realize that the conflict is far from over.  That really, it has just begun.

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