I thoroughly enjoyed my recent trip to Israel and hope that the series of articles I have written on my observations and thoughts the last couple of weeks have been informative to you folks who read these columns.
So often when a news article deals with Israel it has to do with military skirmishes and intense political issues, and while that is always a profound consideration, there is another whole side of Israel that is rarely exposed to the world at large.
There are a lot of progressive and exciting things happening in this tiny nation and I didn't want to end my series of articles without at least scratching the surface of that side of this diverse, energetic country.
When it comes to making do with what you have I think Israel is the most aggressive nation I've ever been to. When there's a need there's a concerted effort to meet it, if there is a problem, somebody is working hard to solve it, if there is an opportunity to improve on an existing system they're on it.
There has always been a shortage of water and a few short years ago the Sea of Galilee was one of Israel's prime sources of fresh water and even though the Israelis warned the world that harming it would carry consequences too harsh to imagine, the security concerns had to be considerable, plus in the years of sparse rainfall the lake shrunk to alarming proportions.
Israel has recently brought six desalination plants on line and now there's plenty of fresh water and the Sea of Galilee is no longer the do or die situation it was a few years ago.
Israel is a very small country and arable land is limited but the desert will grow practically anything if you can provide it with enough water. I was in the Negev Desert and saw forests of trees growing out of soil so dry it looked as if the wind could blow it away and there were beautiful crops growing in rank desert.
Israel's water problem was solved by collecting and purifying the wastewater in Tel Aviv and then pumping it down to the Negev to make - as the Bible prophesized - the desert bloom.
About 15 miles off the coast, the Israelis have discovered a plentiful source of natural gas and are now adapting their industrial infrastructure, and probably one day soon automobiles, to operate on it.
Israeli medicine is exploring new procedures and treatments that are technologically years ahead and when the research reaches fruition will advance the medical arts in giant steps.
Israeli technicians have developed a program called Taxibot. I won't go into the mechanics of it, but it is basically an airplane towing system to save the fuel an airplane uses from the time it cranks up at the gate and the time it actually takes off. The projections are that the process would save the airlines 8 to 10 billion dollars a year in fuel cost and eliminate 23 to 28 metric tons of CO2 emissions a year.
Their partnership with companies like Boeing and Gulfstream provides America the advantage of Israeli technology and knowledge, which in some cases are far advanced over ours in certain areas.
Israel manufactures and operates it's own system of communication and spy satellites and their airborne weapons systems are second to none.
It is a place where the modern and ancient come together face to face and so rich in archeological treasures that construction of a highway can be delayed abruptly when bulldozers start turning up pottery and ancient stone walls.
Politically, Israel has got to be the craziest democracy on the planet with as many as 30 different parties vying for power in any given election.
Israel has had artillery shells, missiles and just about anything that will explode thrown at it and at one time people on their morning commute were routinely shot at on the West Bank.
Things have calmed down momentarily. I say momentarily because violence in that part of the world can begin without warning, but if any country is prepared, if any country is not only capable but willing to take on all comers when it comes to protecting itself, it's that little sliver of land on the Mediterranean Sea known as Israel.
Ever vigilant, but moving on.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America