Six Day War of 1967 - 3rd Arab Israeli War

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Personal recollections from the Diaspora

 

At the time I was working in the next best place to Israel - the offices of the Jewish Agency in London, or 'Rex House UK', as it was known to all and sundry.

Total chaos reigned at Rex House on Monday morning June 5th - the start of the 6 Day War.

First, all the shlichim (emissaries) that had been in the U.K. on behalf of the various youth movements around England (B'nei Akiva, Habonim, Dror and Hashomer Hatzair) had all gone back to Israel leaving the offices to be run by women - a quite unheard of situation then!

Volunteers were dominating the entire building, (4 floors) - both those that wanted to help with administrative work and those who wanted to volunteer to be sent to Israel.

It was the most amazing place to be in - totally disorderly for the first 48 hours, and then gradually order settled. Thousands of young Jewish able-bodied men and women were sent out to Israel, all the youth movements throughout the country were busy collecting funds for Israel - it was a common sight to see pictures of Moshe Dayan in cars, windows and everywhere.

Also significant to all the Brits was when we wanted to hear what was going on Israel the man that seemed to dominate the scene in the U.K. was Sir Frances Chichester sailing round the world in Gypsy Moth 4.

Thank God for the late General Motty Hod who knew how to put everyone in their place...

A very basic tannoy system had been set up in Rex House and when on the Wednesday the old city had been restored we received the news very shortly afterwards.

Euphoria - what an experience.

- Celia Geffen (formerly Celia Cohen of Edgware, Middx) - Raanana

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