The 1967 'Six-Day' war ended with Israel's decisive victory; conquering Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank. It is a war portrayed, to this day, as a righteous undertaking - a radiant ...
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The 1967 'Six-Day' war ended with Israel's decisive victory; conquering Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank. It is a war portrayed, to this day, as a righteous undertaking - a radiant emblem of Jewish pride. One week after the war, a group of young kibbutzniks, led by renowned author Amos Oz, recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The recording revealed an honest look at the moment Israel turned from David to Goliath. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing the kibbutzniks to publish only a fragment of the conversations. 'Censored Voices' reveals the original recordings for the first time.Written by
"Censored Voices' is a remarkable documentary, even after the wraps came off them 67 years after the Six Day War. It is even more remarkable: it is a record of voices of young citizen soldiers who went to fight for the survival of Israel on 6 June and in lightning speed in six days vanquished the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Out of this death and wanton destruction of a dazzlingly victory, the Zionist state was conqueror of the Sinai, Golan Heights, the Palestinian territory on the West Bank, Gaza and east or Arab Jerusalem. And yet, listening to the voices of the kibbutzniks who fought bravely for Israel emerges a sense of betrayal and muted rage. Suckled on the heroic breast of Israel victory in 1948 and Suez in 1956, these young men and women were itching to make their mark on history. So they did, but the fruits of victory proved bitter sweet. Amos Oz is the most recognizable name in the Greek chorus of kibbutzniks who bear witness. We see them as smiling, robust youth then and aging men with sagging cheeks and jowls as they enter their eight decade of life. The story they tell has an immediacy today as it was fresh almost seven decades ago. Brought up on the weakness of European Jews who went like lambs to the slaughter in Europe during the Holocaust, they were eyewitnesses if not participants in ethnic cleansing of Arab villages, of children and women and old men and young men who didn't fight. They saw creation of camps, sending people into exile, humiliation in the same light they saw the treatment of fellow Jews in Europe. The voices are evoke the darkest moments of humanity that transcend time and should make us uncomfortable. And that seems to be the tragedy of those days for them. Western military who fought or are still fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria, as well in other hot spots in the world, can without too much trouble identify with the angst of these censored voices. The liberation of Jerusalem brought much joy and religious significance for the Wailing Wall or Kotal was again in Judaism's hands. But for a mother who lost her son in the Sinai, she wailed with the cry of a Greek heroine that it was to save the Fatherland not extol in a Wall and for that her loss wasn't worth the finger nail of her son. Soldiers who went in the Palestinian lands found no religious stirring in visiting the tombs or the Patriarchs or that of Rachel. As the spool of the tape recorder spun to its end, two brothers pronounced a dire judgment of their censored voice. They remind us of a refrain from Ha Tikvah, the national anthem of Israel--To be a free people in our land,the land of Zion and Jerusalem. Despite the fulgurant victory, so celebrated, it ushered in hatred by those under Israel's colonial rule in the West Bank; it ushered in unending war and militarization and a consuming religiousness sapping the bases of a democratic state, and fatefully Israelis are not a free people.
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