Monday, June 05, 2023

An Arab account of June 1967 describes their confidence and crushing humiliation. And bigotry.

Nablus in the 1960s

Excerpts from a story in Rai al Youm from a girl who witnessed the Six Day War in Nablus:

Sirens are blaring and my father is screaming and ordering us to go to the shelter.

The shelter is a garage at the bottom of the house, and we put some necessities in it like first aid and some food and water..

President Gamal Abdel Nasser told us that we will be victorious and we love him. Yes, we love him in all his speeches. We sit and listen to every word of his speech emanating from the radio that is in our salon.

From the morning, patriotic songs resound in the sky.

The Egyptian radio announces that we have weapons. Land, sea and air..and we have the conquering and victorious missiles..and the promising…!! that will reach the depths of the Zionist entity in the homeland..

Ahmed Saeed - who does not know him!! He shouts on the Voice of the Arabs radio station, we will be victorious!! Yes, I am sure that we will be victorious over them. The Arab armies of Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Iraq are ready on land and in the air.

Composers, artists, and poets are also gathered, so the radio building has become like a beehive in the morning, and patriotic songs are ringing loudly. Here it is, Umm Kulthum and Abdel Wahhab, singing a song. I now have a gun.. and what gun..!
And Ahmed Saeed is famous for phrases such as “a total war, our goal is to destroy the Israeli myth that says that Israel will remain forever .. and any survival and every one of the millions of Arabs has lived in one and only hope  which is: to die to live and to live to die on the day that Israel is destroyed.”

 Today, victory will be achieved, and this enthusiastic atmosphere was weeks before the date of the fateful fifth of June. Even our poet, Fadwa Touqan, had a symposium in the municipal library, answering the questions of the women of Nablus society after Certain victory How will they celebrate??

The statements that Ahmed Saeed was broadcasting, and even the broken Hebrew that the Egyptian radio was broadcasting from Cairo directed towards Israel, convinced many Israeli civilians that they would confront the powerful Arabs, and they had no choice but to fight, and to fight with all their might.

Out of their fear, they began to appeal to their Arab neighbors to protect them in the event of revenge and the entry of the Arabs into Palestine.

The problem was that the Arabs also believed Ahmed Said and his ilk and convinced themselves that an easy victory was on the horizon. It would eliminate the Israelis...!

What happened??? Ahmed Saeed, where are you?? Foreign radio stations are saying something, and they are saying: The Israeli Air Force has been destroyed. The Egyptian Air Force was destroyed while it was still on the ground on the morning of June 5, 1967, in a lightning attack.

What do you say?? It is not possible that this is the beauty of Eid al-Nasser. He said we will destroy them while we believe him. We named our newborn children after him. Do not believe it??!! Here we are still in the shelter and the news continues from the radio around us.
On the third and fourth day, the war ended..! So it is defeat.. it is calamity.. it is humiliation... it is brokenness..!!

On the fifth day, enemy planes dropped leaflets calling on us to surrender, so are we ready to surrender!!?? In the eastern neighborhoods, white sheets began to be unfurled.. and the West followed suit.. Nablus is sandwiched between two mountains from the east and the west.. Oh my God, this is how...

Enter the Jews!! They occupied us...!! My father screamed with tears in his eyes.. We wonder in fear what they look like. Do they look like the monsters we see in the pictures? Do they have horns?? Or what would happen in our house with four girls ..!? We were young girls..we didn't know the truth..

Our father ordered us to cover ourselves...because they might kidnap girls or...or...

Our dear neighbor had binoculars that clearly saw distant objects, and of course, on his high balcony, he began to give the neighbors, through the holes in the windows and windows, signs and explanations of what he saw.

Suddenly, we heard the roar of a tank on our street. How did they arrive so quickly? They saw our neighbor and thought he was sending war signals. They do not know the people of Nablus and their love for gossip. News spread faster than wildfire.

With caution and terror, and from the holes in the shutters on the windows, we saw what we saw.. The soldiers in the neighbor's house were searching and they led them outside and armed them. The father ordered us to lie down on the ground, they will kill them!!! And then our turn will come. We did not yet know that they were cowards.. As soon as they heard a gun shot from another neighbor, they had gathered the soldiers and fled. That was the first time we saw these monsters in human forms..!

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