Thankful In November To Be Feeding The World From Southwest Oklahoma

The internet is down at the home place, so today I’m hunkered down using Son #2’s connection. I’ll just re-post this fascinating article from the UK’s Daily Mail because I’m SO thankful American ranchers and farmers are not trying to feed the world under the conditions these Israelis face.

God bless all y’all until next time when I might be thankful for a working internet connection.

 

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 12:45 EST, 18 November 2013 | UPDATED: 13:25 EST, 18 November 2013

The cowboys of the Golan Heights: It looks like the Wild West (and when the Israeli army turns up for live-fire training exercises, it sounds like it too!)

It may look like a perfect scene from a Wild West film, with cattle being herded across vast plains by cowboys, but the violence near this ranch is all too real.

These Israeli cowboys are growing beef cattle on the Golan Heights just miles from the border with Syria, where a bloody civil war is raging.

The men work on the Merom Golan ranch, in the Israeli-annexed area, which is just a short ride from the ceasefire line between the two countries.

It is a tense existence. As well as possible threats from neighbouring Syria and Lebanon, the Israeli army also use the land as live-fire training zones.

This year, it became embroiled in the civil war when the Israeli army returned fire with Syrian rebels over no-man’s land.

In May, there was also fire between the Israeli’s and the Syrian army.

Despite the strategic region’s proximity to war-torn Syria, it is still popular with tourists, who book treks across the land.

Israeli cowboys have been growing beef cattle in ranches on the Golan Heights disputed strategic volcanic plateau for over 30 years.

The disputed plateau was captured by Israel from the Syrians in the 1967 Six Day War and in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the territory.

 
Israeli cowboy Shay Zerbib rides his horse as he moves his herd back to the Merom Golan ranch in the Israeli-annexed Golan HeightsIsraeli cowboy Shay Zerbib rides his horse as he moves his herd back to the Merom Golan ranch in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights
 
The strategically important land used to tend the beef cattle is just miles from the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria The strategically important land used to tend the beef cattle is just miles from the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria
 
The disputed plateau was captured by Israel from the Syrians in the 1967 Six Day War and in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the territoryThe disputed plateau was captured by Israel from the Syrians in the 1967 Six Day War and in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the territory
 
Israeli cowboy Wafik Ajamy drives his herd into a corral to receive vaccines at the Merom Golan ranch Israeli cowboy Wafik Ajamy drives his herd into a corral to receive vaccines at the Merom Golan ranch
 
Israeli cowboys like Yechiel Alon (pictured) have worked the land in the disputed Golan Heights for 30 years Israeli cowboys like Yechiel Alon (pictured) have worked the land in the disputed Golan Heights for 30 years
 
Despite the tensions, the area is popular with tourists who are attracted by the opportunity to trek across the wild landscape Despite the tensions, the area is popular with tourists who are attracted by the opportunity to trek across the wild landscape

 
As well as cattle rearing, the land is used by the Israeli army as live-fire training zones As well as cattle rearing, the land is used by the Israeli army as live-fire training zones
 
 
Yechiel Alon prepares food for his cattle(left) at the Merom Golan ranch
and calfs are penned in as they wait to receive vaccines
 

Yechiel Alon prepares food for his cattle(left) at the Merom Golan ranch and calfs are penned in as they wait to receive vaccines

 
Just like a scene from the Wild West, the cowboys practice with guns at the Merom Golan ranch Just like a scene from the Wild West, the cowboys practice with guns at the Merom Golan ranch
 
The disputed plateau was captured by Israel from the Syrians in the 1967 Six Day War and in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the territoryThe disputed plateau was captured by Israel from the Syrians in the 1967 Six Day War and in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the territory
 
Cowboy Yechiel Alon walks with his horse after he finished moving his herd across miles of the disputed areaCowboy Yechiel Alon walks with his horse after he finished moving his herd across miles of the disputed area

 
Wafik Ajamy plays with his dog
Israeli cowboy Erez Ashtamker moves aside a calf
 

The cowboys of Golan Heights lead a simple and active life. Wafik Ajamy plays with his dog  (left) and Erez Ashtamker moves aside a calf (right)

 
Israeli cowboy Yechiel Alon uses similar methods and equipment that has been used for decades in the area Israeli cowboy Yechiel Alon uses similar methods and equipment that has been used for decades in the area

 
A horse at dawn in the Merom Golan ranch in the Israeli-annexed Golan HeightsA horse at dawn in the Merom Golan ranch in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights
 
Both beef and dairy cattle herds are currently raised by Israeli farmers and cowboys in the Golan HeightsBoth beef and dairy cattle herds are currently raised by Israeli farmers and cowboys in the Golan Heights

 
About 20,000 Israeli settlers live and work in Golan Heights
 here are some 20,000 Syrians in the area, most of them members of the Druze sect.
 

About 20,000 Israeli settlers live and work in Golan Heights across 30 Jewish settlements. About 20,000 Syrians also live in the area

 
Yechiel Alon drives his herd into a corral to receive vaccines, at the Merom Golan ranch Yechiel Alon drives his herd into a corral to receive vaccines, at the Merom Golan ranch
 
 
 
The cowboys live and work amid tensions with neighbour SyriaThe cowboys live and work amid tensions with neighbour Syria. This year the Israeli army returned fire against Syrian rebels across no-man’s land
 
Dogs live with a calf as part of their training at the Merom Golan ranch in the Israeli-annexed Golan HeightsDogs live with a calf as part of their training at the Merom Golan ranch in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

4 thoughts on “Thankful In November To Be Feeding The World From Southwest Oklahoma

  1. I learned something new today. I did not know that the country was like that, and that there were Israeli cowboys. I wonder where their saddles & gear came from. The idea of being so close to disaster all the time is really something to think about. Super interesting!

    • I thought the article and pictures were cool. I don’t know where they get their saddles and gear. I wouldn’t think there would be a saddle shop nearby. It’d be interesting to talk to those guys. You know. While we dodged missiles and stuff. Their cattle must be pretty hardy, too.

  2. These pictures are absolutely amazing. I particularly liked the last one with the dogs going bonkers and the lone mournful looking cow staring out of the pen. This whole article is a reminder that life always seems to go on, despite war and all else. We do have much to be thankful for. Thanks, Danni (hope your internet is back up soon!)

    • AT&T’s mistake shut off the internet, but they finally moseyed out to fix it a week later. Obviously there are no missiles flying around to speed life up at the AT&T place. (Although if I could have laid hands on one, I might’ve been tempted.)
      On a happier note, I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂
      As to the calf in the pen with the dogs, I don’t know for sure, but I suppose those dogs are meant to stay with the cattle and run off varmints. The cattlemen are probably desensitizing them to the calves so when they turn the dogs in the herd they won’t chase them. (That’s my best guess as a former shepherdess who kept an Anatolian guard dog with my flock for that purpose.)

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