1948. A Soldier's Tale – The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello

By Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello

The first eye-witness account ever released of the 1948 Israeli conflict of Independence, this riveting memoir of a tender Israeli soldier turned an rapid bestseller on booklet in 1949, and remains to be famous because the notable booklet of that battle, within the culture of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet at the Western Front. First becoming a member of the Givati Brigade and later volunteering for "Samson’s Foxes", the mythical commando unit, Avnery took half in just about all the most important battles at the Jerusalem and southern fronts. Written from the trenches, and from an army clinic mattress, he deals a very distinct account of the warfare, of fast paced battles, and acts of maximum bravery, in addition to the camaraderie and off-duty exploits of younger women and men thrust into front line. it is a gripping, delicate, and from time to time deeply poignant account of the daily brutalities of 1 of the main major wars of our times.

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And many Palestinians are convinced that the Israelis want to drive them into the desert. As long as people think like this, there will be no peace. Perhaps this book will help the reader to understand what happened and why it happened – and what must be done to put an end to it all. PART ONE In the Fields of the Philistines Before the Battle 29 November 1947, a few minutes after midnight No one is sleeping. Everyone is sitting by the radio. And over the ether comes the message: the General Assembly of the United Nations has decided in favor of the founding of a Jewish and an Arab state.

The Polish movement for national independence was just as openly anti-Semitic as the majority of the smaller peoples of Europe. The Jews were an “anomaly” in nationalistic Europe. They were scattered over many lands and among many peoples, and had no homeland of their own. They were a remnant from an earlier age, two thousand years before. At that time the Mediterranean region was divided into ethnic-religious communities. Each community was autonomous, with its own legal system – whether in the Byzantine or the later Ottoman Empire.

And over the ether comes the message: the General Assembly of the United Nations has decided in favor of the founding of a Jewish and an Arab state. Joy explodes like a wild storm. Young people stream onto the streets, collect together, go wild. Such a demonstration of mass enthusiasm has never been seen before in this land. Groups are formed, people packed together, songs are sung, and wildly dancing circles form at the crossroads. Men and women who have never met before hug and kiss each other.

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