Rick Steves in the Middle East

War and peace

Rick Steves

7:49 PM EDT, May 5, 2013


For Israel, simply surviving is serious business. More and more Israeli Jews, along with people around the world who care about peace in the Middle East, think Israel would be wise to lighten up a bit. But when you travel there and hang out with the older generation, you appreciate why most of them take every threat to their nation extremely seriously and make their own rules for security without waiting for anyone else’s OK.

That’s the generation that remembers 1967, when Hebrew-language propaganda radio from Egypt broadcast to a young generation of Israelis: “Dear fish of the Mediterranean, don’t bother eating now because in a few days you’ll be dining on two million Jews.” And, while lately, the news fixates on missiles from Iran, Israel considers it has two Iranian divisions right on its border: Hamas (in Gaza) and Hezbollah (in Lebanon).