Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

21 - On the Golan

from Part 2 - New ambitions


On the heights of Tiberias in northern Israel, in October 1973 Joan Howard looked out of her lounge-room window and had a grandstand view of a war. Spread out far below her was Lake Tiberias, known in Israel as the Kinneret, the biblical Sea of Galilee. Close across the lake rose the equal heights of the Golan escarpment, the southern end of the Syrian territory that Israel had captured in 1967. At night she could see the flashes of artillery. During the day, ignoring the sirens that warned her to take shelter, she stood at the window watching air battles as Israeli jets flew low over her house to keep under the Syrian radar, fighting dogfights above the lake before swooping down over the Golan. She was close enough to see Syrian tank formations come over the ridge and fight their way down towards the lake before being halted by Israeli armour.