Reflections from Metulla

From Swords to Plowshares

By David Williamson

As I walked passed the TV sets in Schiphol Airport, I saw Beirut going up in smoke. 10 hours later, when I got off the train in Acco, I heard shelling from the north.  Welcome back to Israel.

I had just spent a week with my wife's family in the Netherlands. The contrast between our two “homes” is enormous. Centuries of mutual effort, especially the past 60 years, with a tremendous spirit of cooperation, have resulted in an advanced society in the Netherlands. Centuries of and war and terrorism, especially the past 60 years, have yielded destruction and stifled progress in this region.

Buses were cancelled. Various rides brought me closer to my destination.  Around midnight, a police official, driving a motorcade escort, brought me the last few miles to my home of Metulla.  Metulla is a small farm village, reminiscent of the farm town where I grew up in North Dakota.  The land was bought by Baron de Rothschild over 100 years ago.  After World War II, many Holocaust survivors settled here. The Lebanese border is 200 yards from our house.

Projects were waiting for me, including documentation of advanced agricultural technology.  I’m proud to play a part in making “plowshares” and in making “the desert bloom like a rose.”

My level of productivity has a direct relationship with the level of battle.  On relatively quiet days, I’ve been able to work almost as usual. Other days, it’s been hard to concentrate, with a higher level of incoming rocket fire and outgoing shells very close by, sometimes all night long.  One night, I heard a rocket hit near by. I ran out to see if our 80 year old neighbor was OK. It turned out that it was an outgoing shell, apparently passing directly over our house. This occurred twice the same night.

The old timers here long for the old days when the border was designated by stone markers.  They used to walk into Lebanon to pick flowers and visit friends in the neighboring village.  Then the terrorists came to Lebanon. Today a sophisticated military fence marks the border.

We can only look upward for hope, and forward to the day when Isaiah’s words will come true: “They will beat their swords into plowshares. They will not train for war anymore.”

Activities Just Out of Range

Yokneam and the Megiddo communities are Hosting Israel’s Northern “Refugees.


2 comment

nurith levinsky - metulla 7 year, 3 month ago

DAVID is very shay this very days when hard war occured on metulla's border with lebanon - david volountir to help M.D.A as A premedic on our AMBULANCE! I thank him from the bottem of my haerd for this humanitarry and send pray for better days very soon.

Leah Guren 7 year, 3 month ago


Keep your chin up and your head down! We heard about the refet that was hit last week and thought of you.