Israel is thousands of years old and home to three of the world’s most prominent religions. However, the modern state did not come into existence until the aftermath of the Second World War. Europe’s Jews, those that had survived the holocaust, fled the continent. Many thousands made their way to their ancient home to make a new life. It began with a struggle. The War of Independence in 1948-49 established the new nation. And then it continued to fight – both for survival and expansion. The last of the four major wars shocked the world 50 years ago, first with its surprise beginning and then with its incredible non-stop ferocity.
This expedition will examine the totality of the history and culture of the land between the Jordan and the sea. While the Independence and Yom Kippur wars will form a backbone to our travels and discussions, we will delve much deeper into the incredible rich history stretching back across millennia. From Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee. From Be’ersheva and Masada to ancient Acre and Haifa. From the Golan Heights to Jericho and Bethlehem. From the seaside beaches of Tel Aviv to the plains of Megiddo (Armageddon). And much more. We will examine biblical history, Roman and Ottoman rule, the Crusades and more. Packed into a small space, Israel is filled with incredible natural sites, the rich cuisine and drink of the Levant, and the cultural delights on the crossroads of the world, where East meets West.
Add-ons include a visit to the ancient Jordanian oasis of Wadi Musa and Petra, once one of the most important trading posts in all the ancient world. It is truly a spectacular site.
A second add-on will be an Egyptian expedition to visit Cairo and the pyramids of Giza, along with a trip up the Nile to ancient Luxor and Karnak.