Listen To The Past, From The Golan To The Negev
Monuments to heroes, a lone oak with resonant history, the thriving Dead Sea Works and more — a selection of visits amplified by free audio guides
Ten days before Israel was declared a state, Palmach commander Yitzhak Rabin requested air support for an assault on Arabs who were blocking the road to Jerusalem. After two aborted attempts, a Norseman aircraft managed to lift off. “We see the target and are launching the attack,” reported the crew. The plane crashed almost immediately afterwards, and all six soldiers were killed. It was only in September of 1948, after the area came under Israeli control, that a search could be made for their bodies.
Not far from Jerusalem, on Pilots’ Mountain (Har Hatayasim), a striking monument topped with a piece of the Norseman honors the six fallen airmen. Nearby, an audio guide (called a masbiran in Hebrew) relates the story of the catastrophe, along with fascinating information about the role of the Air Force in Israel’s history.
We have written about audio guides in the past, and are extremely enthusiastic about these amazingly free and marvelous additions to Israeli sites that everyone – tourists and Israelis alike – can enjoy. Created by the Golan Wind-Energy Company, they provide in-depth information at sites that range from nature reserves to off-the-track viewpoints.
Just north of Shipon Junction, along Highway 91 in the Golan Heights, a striking monument stands at the entrance to a beautiful forest. Constructed out of parts taken from damaged Syrian tanks, the monument is dedicated to Brigade 679, an Israeli army reservist division that was established in the early 1970s. When called up at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War after the Syrian army invaded the Golan Heights, the brigade inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.