By December 30, 2017 Read More →

November 30, 1937 Arab Terrorism Continues

Arab Rebels During 1936 RevoltTension at night is still strong. Every qualified comrade has his rifle ready by his bedside in the event of an alarm. Work goes on as usual.  This evening, we had a Hanukah celebration with a rich program of feuilletons and description of our life here.

On Guard

Night fell, and the skies above were overcast with dark clouds.  On either side and behind us, hills, range upon range, stretching away to the horizon.  Toward evening a message had arrived: “An attack is expected tomorrow.  A band of forty terrorists is roaming the hills in your vicinity.  Stand by.”

Bright flashes in Morse convey these sentences, which have become our daily bread.  The sentences hardly change.  Only the size of the band varies.  Now it has been estimated at forty, and again at thirty-six …

From the watch, eyes scan the distance.  The spaces to be covered are wide.  A restless breeze whistles through the clefts in the rocky wall of our dugout.  The beam from the searchlight cuts into the hills, revealing a wadi, newly sown, sending up its first shots among the haughty boulders.  This is where our tractor passed, leaving its tracks in the soil to mark the renewal of life in the place.  Amidst desolation and neglect, the first sprouts have made their appearance.

One hour follows fast on the heels of another.  Ears are alert for the slightest rustle.  Previously three attacks have failed.  Their shots penetrated the courtyard easily enough, but they didn’t reach the mark … From the newspapers, they undoubtedly learned that no one had been hit, although lots of bullets had been fired, well over a hundred.  This time, maybe, they’ll attempt to make a breach in the fence and slip through.  Our camp is tense.  Lights go out.  “They won’t pass” whispers a comrade … And the words evoke a vision of other circumstances.  As the thought flashes through our minds, we see the defences lines at another front, far away to the west.

No pasarán.”

And we reply, “Lo Ya’avru.”

They shall not pass! …

Thoughts pursue each other.

Signals.  From Kfar Hahoresh they are signaling.  They’re worried that the information about the band of forty may not have reached us, and they’re losing no time to let us know.  Stillness has enveloped all.  An east wind rushes by smiting us in the face.  A harbinger.  It’s time …. At this hour they usually arrive.  The calculation is a simple one.  They must get back to their places and enjoy a good night’s rest.

The beam from the searchlight rapidly sweeps the hilltops.  Eyes follow the rays of light as they pierce through the darkness.  A jackal wails in the night.  The beam alights on him then passes slowly, traveling to and fro.  The little animal is silenced and scurries for cover into the rocky caves.

At times, one is apt to forget that the searchlight is there to keep guard.  It is as though its object were to rule over nature, mighty and serene.  There is an awesome beauty about keeping guard in the night.

Ten o’clock.  An additional comrade has entered the dugout.  We are silent.  We lend our ear to the murmurs of the night.  “See, there’s the whole Emek” says my comrade.  Square upon square: black and green bands are visible on the broad horizon.  Over there, a tradition has already been created, and we are just beginning.  The beam has stopped in its tracks.  A shot.  A hail of shots.  And no rust yet on your guns.

– Ziskind

Source:  92, p. 51-52.

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