Ancient olive tree, 2
A couple more photos of the ancient olive tree from the Beit Jamal monastery near Beit Shemesh. The first image is a colour version of the black and white photo I posted previously. As well as being very beautiful things, olive trees are immensely important in this part of the world as olive oil is a major source of revenue, and olives and olive oil are a food source and have been so for thousands of years. If you drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for example you will see hillsides with stepped terraces and olive groves that are incredibly old. The production of olive oil is used in several peace and bridge building initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs as well. If you are in North America or the UK you can taste the fruits (literally) of a couple of these initiatives by buying the oil, here for the US version and here for the UK version. According to the sites selling them the profits generated from sales are channeled back into developing more peace initiatives.