In November 1947 the UN voted for a partition of the Land of Israel / Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews excepted it, but the Arab world responded with a war declaration. The local Arab population, backed by 5 armies of neighboring Arab countries, attacked the Jewish population at various locations. One of the main battles was over Jerusalem. The Jews were a clear majority in the city, but they were isolated, as the roads leading to Jerusalem were blocked. Erick and I journeyed along a special dirt road that managed to reach Jerusalem despite the siege. The road is known by its nickname – “The (Israeli) Burma Road”.
How “The Israeli Burma Road”, and Its Name, Were Formed
The camouflaged path to Jerusalem was found by chance by a Jewish soldier who was given permission to walk to Tel-Aviv, “if you can figure out a safe path”. He found one, passing through lower terrain, and reported on this upon reaching Tel-Aviv. Later the foot path was developed so trucks could drive through it, and vital supplies could reach the Jewish population in Jerusalem again. An American journalist who followed these events nicknamed it “the Burma Road” of Israel. Eventually it became its official name, which is indeed a bit confusing.
Touring Along “The Israeli Burma Road”
Today some parts of the road are paved but others are still a dirt road. Especially challenging, even for an off-road car, is the section nicknamed “The serpentines”. Here the dirt road is quite steep. Along the road section of a water pipe can also be seen. It was places also in 1948 to insure a water supply to the Jewish parts of Jerusalem as well.