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temple_mountLet’s be clear about this now. Israel is a little place, about the same size as Wales. Surrounded by thousands of miles of oil-rich desert, it is populated by a vast, seething melting pot of different colours, cultures and cuisines. It’s the holiest place for great religions whose scriptures argue against having holy places! It has a geography of extremes: snow-capped mountains in the north, lush green orchards in the west, barren desert in the south and the lowest place on Earth in the east! It is possible to start a car journey needing an overcoat in Jerusalem and be sunbathing an hour later by the Dead Sea! Can Wales boast all of that? It’s also the world’s foremost political and religious hotspot, giving rise to more United Nations resolutions than all other nations put together! It’s both hated and loved by more people than any other. It’s the most fascinating, mysterious and intriguing place in the world. (from: The Land of Many Names, by Steve Maltz)