Letter: Biblical echoes of a divided village

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your interesting - and sad - account of the divided village of Anata to the north of Jerusalem (30 May), evokes relevant Biblical memories. It is, of course, the Anathoth of the Old Testament where it is mentioned several times.

Isaiah foretells the advance of the Assyrians over the hill from Ai, swallowing up village after village. 'O poor Anathoth,' he exclaims (Isaiah X 30).

It was the home of Jeremiah where the almond tree, blossoming after winter, challenged him. I recall visiting the village early in February in the Forties and, to my delight, seeing almond blossoms on the outskirts of the village. But I have been back more recently and found the fields on the Jerusalem side of the divided village a graveyard for abandoned vehicles. Not a tree in sight. Yet again is the voice heard: 'O poor Anathoth'.

Yours faithfully,



The Bible Lands Society

High Wycombe,


4 June