"By the end of May, ordinary life - as we had known it in the previous months - came to an end. Each day seemed to contain double the normal number of hours, and each hour seemed endless. In the heat of the early summer, I did what everyone else was doing: I packed a little ovenight bag with a few essential belongings that might be needed in the shelter and put it where it most easily could be grabbed as soons as the sirens began to wail. I helped Aya make identification discs out of oilcloth for the children to wear and blacked out one room in each house so that we could put on the light somewhere in the evenings. I went to Reivim one evening to see Sarah and the children. I watched the kibbutz that I had known from its first day calmly prepare itself for the Arab onslaught that might turn it into rubble., and I met with some of Sarah's friends - at their request - to talk about what might happen. But what they really wanted to know was when the waiting would end, and that was a question I couldn't answer. So the clock ticked on, and we waited and waited.
There were also the grim preparations that had to be kept secret: the parks in each city that had been consecrated for possible use as mass cemetaries; the hotels cleared of guests so that they could be turned into huge emergency first-aid stations; the iron rations stockpiled against the time when the population might have to be fed from some central source; the bandages, drugs, and stretchers obtained and distributed. And, of course, above all there were the military preparations, because even though we had by now absorbed the fact that we were entirely on our own, there wasn't a single person in Israel, as far as I know, who had any illusions about the fact that there was no alternative whatsoever to winning the war that was being thrust apon us.
When I think back to those days what stands out in my mind is the miraculous sense of unity and purpose that transormed us within only a week or two from a small, rather claustrophobic community...into 2 1/2 million Jews, each and every one of whom felt personally responsible for the survival of the State of Israel and each and every one of whom knew that the enemy we faced was committed to our destruction.
- Golda Meir My Life - the autobiography of Golda Meir Futura 1976 ISBN 0 8600 7394 7