By Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello
Read or Download 1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem PDF
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Extra info for 1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem
One door gives way. Joske fires a burst from his Sten into the house. I can’t see a single Arab. They cleared off when they saw us coming. We are at the last house. I am running with the squad, my rifle in my hand. I feel that I have to shoot. A movement in front of me. A little Arab dog running away. I raise my rifle and shoot. The dog howls. The howling wakes me up. What have I done? Have I become an animal? Shlomo, running behind me, raises his rifle and shoots. The howling stops. That incident makes me feel sick.
It became famous and overshadowed our victories although we saw them as the peak of military success. The people from Castel have climbed down to us on the road. Someone raises a tin of sardines in our honor: the symbol of the army at the front. Together we have fought to clear this road. They have suffered the same as us, made the same sacrifices, fought like us with grenade launchers, rifles, against fleas and sardines. A silent friendship unites us. We don’t need many words. A rough curse and a smile are enough.
Everything goes to plan. It really is child’s play. The hole in the barbed wire is large enough. Now he crawls on his belly to the slope, just the way he learned. His instructor would be proud of him. He smiles to himself. The sentry post is unmanned. From here on the way is open. On the streets of the city a Sabbath-evening atmosphere. Not many people around. They look at him as though he were a strange 16 BEFORE THE BATTLE animal. Crumpled overalls and the sock hat announce: here is a soldier … he feels like a stranger in the city, as though he has been away for years.