“The Negev is Israel’s greatest challenge in the Land,” Doron Eran (48), the chairman of Ramat HaNegev Regional Council, told me a few weeks ago.
“David Ben-Gurion’s immortal phrase ’In the Negev the nation of Israel will be put to the test’ is constantly in my mind,” he continued. “Israel’s existence will not be tested in Tel Aviv, but in the desert. This is what Ben-Gurion foresaw 65 years ago. But up until now there were only a few who followed the vision of the state’s founder. But now, in the wake of the Corona crisis, the American ‘deal of the century,’ and the demographic developments, the Negev has become more attractive, in particular the Nitzana plain.”
Yet hasn’t the desert always been a place of training and instruction in Israel’s history? Not only for Moses and the Children of Israel, but also for prophets such as Elijah, and even Jesus Himself, who was put to the test in the desert. So, the desert continues to have an additional spiritual and pedagogic value that is part...
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