Not far from Shepherdstown, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce guided some of the media to visit the battlefield of Antitem., where 25,000 American soldiers from North and South died in one day of fighting. That land is rendered "hallow ground" by the US National Parks Authority, and viewed with reverence by every American citizen who visits there. Americans paid for Antitem with their blood, and with memories of those who fell there. That is how many in Israel feel about the Golan. It is the place where IDF soldier fell in two wars to protect Israel's northern region. It is the place where Yehudah Fichtman and where Esther Ben David fell while they were raising their families. There is an Israeli lullaby which was written in 1967 for the children of the Upper Galilee who had been sleeping most of their youth in the sheltters of their kibbutzim and moshavim. That soothing children song goes: "Rest my children, rest and relax. The flickering lights that you see on the Golan now are our lights . . ." On the plane home to Israel from the Shepherdstown talks, I read a sensitive and touching feature in Newsday about children of the Golan and the psychological crises that they may go through if they are asked to leave their homes as the result of an Israeli pullout from the Golan Heights. And what kind of psychological crisis will the children of the Galilee cope with if they are forced to live under the Syrian gun once again? Or, as I asked the guide of the West Virginian chamber of commerce, "Would you trade the Blue Ridge Mountains for peace"?
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