By Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello
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Extra info for 1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem
Three of us form the lookout and change round every hour. I lie on the roof. Suddenly I hear a shout and see a concerned expression on Shatzky’s face. When I look at him, he laughs. Apparently I had fallen asleep, and when I didn’t react to his first call he was afraid that I had been hit. 36 BAPTISM OF FIRE The landscape is quiet. In front of me is a field of red poppies. A remarkable contrast to the whistling bullets. I have no idea where the snipers are situated. From the noise of the shots I can estimate roughly, but I can’t see anything.
Triumphantly he would recount his adventure. How he broke out for her sake, although twenty-four hours in the arrest cells await him if he gets caught. That is the house. His breathing is labored – he ran half the way so as not to waste any time. Luckily he is used to running. He pauses on the stairs a moment to regain his breath. Then he rings the bell. She opens the door, looks at him with astonishment, yes, she smiles too. But it is a different smile. Not the one he expected. “Come in” she says, and leads him into the room.
Our squad is defending their left flank, another squad has the same task on the right. We walk, or rather stumble, forwards. Our rifles no longer hang from our shoulders. Within the first few steps the row is jumbled up. It is not possible to maintain a regularly spaced formation in a freshly plowed field when you are dog tired. Shlomo, who should be to the left of me, is suddenly behind me. I do my best to keep the man with the bright trousers in view. I don’t know how long it goes on like this.