National Geographic : 1965 Dec
Cutting a wide wake, a boat heads homeward to Tiberias from the kibbutz 'Ein Gev, nestled perilously on a strip of land between the Syrian border and the sea. From the shores like something out of the south of Ireland. Both were sabras. It occurred to me, as often before, that Israel has created not only a new state but virtually a new people in its own time. The sabras look, move, and act more like the people of the old American West than the descendants of the Diaspora. The major gave me a driver. The driver gave me his submachine gun and coaxed my little car up the jeep track to Susitha's sum mit. Here columns of red and black stone, carved in Cleopatra's Egypt, lay parallel, felled simultaneously by some ancient earth 864 quake. As I explored the ruins of this fine city of the Decapolis, which once faced Tiberias across the sea, five armed soldiers followed me, spread out and walking casually. "Don't point," the sergeant said. "Don't take pictures of Syria. Move easy." He held up his hand. "Listen!" I heard the cough of gazelles, then voices in quiet conversation. The sergeant gestured with his chin. "They're over there across the gully. Syrian soldiers. Don't look at them. I don't think they'll do anything; they see our guns are slung."