Charles Ellingworth

09:00

Golan Heights

The Golan Heights are again in the news. With the Assad/Iran victory in Syria, the Iranians and their proxies are moving up to the border and close to the Golan Heights which are so strategically vital to Israel. Geography in Israel is everything - not surprising in such a small country and particularly one surrounded by enemies - and the Golan Heights dominate Galilee and the north of the country. It was here, during the Yum Kippur war that an existential tank battle took place and where Israel stood on the verge of defeat - a battle that is still remembered with a shudder in that country.

We visited it in the early morning, leaving Nazareth in our hire car to drive round Lake Galilee (on the shores of which we ate St Peter’s Perch). It is surrounded by farms that became fewer and fewer as we climbed the heights. It is (or certainly was then) an obvious buffer zone becoming bleaker and bleaker the higher we climbed. There were abandoned tanks from 1973 and ruined villages and little sign of much life except shepherds and their goats.



The view from the top into Syria and Lebanon was spectacular - but more interesting was the view back into Israel that explained the importance of the Heights. Anyone holding them dominates the area.



It is now, once again, the front line with rockets and Hezbollah fighters pressing closer. I doubt there will be much tourism there now.
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10:56

Jeremy Thorpe

Jeremy Thorpe
Hugh Grant is doing a great turn as Thorpe. Looking back on it, the whole tale was much more than ‘A very English Scandal’. It was high farc...
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14:46

St Kilda

St Kilda
You can easily miss St Kilda. To find it, locate Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and then head out fifty miles into the Atlantic wher...
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11:17

Theodora’s speech

Theodora’s speech
This is Empress Theodora’s speech to her husband Justinian and his council during the Nika Rebellion of 523. It must be up there with Church...
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18:39

Grade inflation

Grade inflation
One of the sins of getting older is the moan that it was all better in the past. Most of the time it’s just different - and that applies to ...
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09:04

2nd Referendum

2nd Referendum
The subject of a second referendum once the terms on offer are known seems to me not only democratic but also commons sense: we had no idea ...
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