National Geographic : 1995 Jun
Living in he Shadow ISRAELS By DON BELT ASSISTANT EDITOR Photographs by ANNIE GRIFFITHS BELT AFTERNOONS BROUGHT RAIN in early spring, when my wife, Annie, and I came to Galilee, the rugged hill country of northern Israel. Galilee is best known, perhaps, as the home of Jesus of Nazareth, and with its stony hillsides and gnarled old olive trees the region surely looks the part. Even the weather at first seemed biblical: Mighty, swift-moving thunderstorms would darken the skies and smite the earth. Then the gray marble clouds would part, and a single incandes cent beam would pour through like a searchlight, probing the green hills and bone white stones like a miracle looking for a place to land. A Druze elder collects his thoughts in Majdal Shams, an Arab village in the Golan Heights overlooking northern Israel's Galilee. Nearby are Israeli police, sent in by the hundreds to stop a pro-Syrian celebration. Such is the uneasy relationship of Arabs and Jews in Galilee as well, even as Israel and Arab nations reach out to make peace.