LIFE IN THE BESIEGED CITY
"Portzim! You stand before the walls of Jerusalem.
For 1,900 years no Jew has climbed them. Tonight
you will mount them."
Jewish Commander to His Men
FROM the moment of birth begins man's struggle against death. So with the ancient capital of the newborn State of Israel.
What a radiant and hellish Shabbat morning, this first day of the first year of the first Jewish State in nearly twenty centuries! Would it be an augury of the future? The Arabs greeted the new State by sending over shells, salvo after salvo, beginning at dawn, continuing through the day and into the long night, and for many days, nights, and weeks thereafter. They fell everywhere, all the time--making a low, whirring, rolling, hollow, distant thunder audible for an instant before the shell crashed, killing the soldier, the innocent, the old, and the young. . . . These weren't the French guns of Fawzy Bey el Kawoukjy, commander of the Arab Army of Liberation, because those barrels could never have stood the pace. These were modern, rapid-firing guns.
The barrage seemed directed to the eastern sector of the New City, toward which I now walked, hugging the walls on