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Sunday, August 03, 2008

The beginning… or the end?

As many of you know, I have the privilege of driving to and from work each day along a route that is mentioned prominently in the Bible. Today this road is called Route 60... but it is still known along its entire length (from Beer Sheva to Jerusalem) for the holy city that sits at its approximate mid-point; "Derech Hevron" (the Hevron way)

This ancient road is the route along which Abraham set out from Beer Sheva in order to sacrifice his son Isaac on what would one day become Jerusalem's Temple mount. It is also the route along which the Jews were led into captivity after the destruction of the Temple (which, according to Rashi, is why the Matriarch Rachel was buried along the side of this road; so that she could comfort the Jews as they were lead into exile with promises of an eventual return).

Over the years this road has undergone many changes – both small and large. But over the past few years Route 60 (at least the part that cuts through the South Hevron Hills) has been undergoing a complete make-over. The Israeli government has been investing heavily in the modernization of this road by blasting through hills to straighten, widen and level its path. And they've been laying a silky-smooth road surface that rivals even the new national mega-project 'Road 6' (Derech Eretz).

The thing that puzzles me is that the entire stretch of Derech Hevron that has been getting this fantastic make-over runs through a region that nearly everyone in the current government is talking about giving away!

I'm not complaining, mind you. I love being able to spare my car the pot holes and hair-pin turns of the old road. But why would a cash-strapped Israeli government, which pleads poverty in the face of pretty much every spending request, be lavishing such an extravagant infrastructure upgrade on a section of road that they can't wait to give away?

Is this a case of one part of the government not knowing what the other is doing… or is this some sort of incredibly generous house-warming gift they are planning on giving to the new Palestinian state?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by David Bogner on August 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack