Israel without Apology
Sol Cohen, tells of his experiences of covering the Six Day War as Israel correspondent of the English New Statesman. He had been born in Israel and emigrated at the age of three to the USA; by his own admission he certainly did not regard himself as a Zionist. He returned to Israel in the summer of 1970—his first visit since emigrating in 1939.
...Realizing that this would be a big war, I called Terry Smith, the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, and asked if he needed some help. He knew my work for the Times Magazine (including a piece I had just published on Israel’s kibbutz movement) and immediately hired me as a stringer. Rent a car, he told me, and get yourself up to the Golan Heights.
At dawn the next morning, I was heading north in a fire-engine red Ford Mustang and learning more lessons about the logistics of Israel’s military predicament. The entire trip to the Golan Heights, where major tank battles already raged, took less than three hours. Along the way, I picked up hitchhikers, clad in military fatigues, trying to reach their units. One was a young professor of nuclear physics at Haifa’s Technion University. Because he was doing military-related research, the government had exempted him from reserve duty, so he never received a call-up notice. Yet here he was, heading to the front lines to try to find his old paratroop unit from the Six-Day War.
I drove the professor up to the northern Galilee region, dropped him off at a designated military crossroads, and wished him luck. Other reservists were gathering at a large field nearby, converted into a parking lot for those driving their own cars to the war. The soldiers locked their cars and then walked a short way down the road to a military encampment, where the reserve units could pick up their equipment. They then traveled five miles or so down the road and crossed the Benot Yacov (Daughters of Jacob) bridge, which separated Israel from the Golan Heights. [full article here...]