zondag 4 juni 2017

David ben Goerion -- 5 juni 1967

David ben Goerion (1886-1973) was een van de stichters van Israël en de eerste premier van dat land. Voor en tijdens de Zesdaagse Oorlog in 1967 hield hij een dagboek bij.

 5 June 1967 (Monday)
— Hostilities began this morning with our air strike in the south. There was also an assault on Khan Yunis and Rafiah [cities in the Gaza Strip]. I’m convinced that this is a grave mistake. We should have told Washington and London that we would initiate hostilities if the Straits of Tiran were not opened. Dayan sent General .... this morning to inform me of events. He needn’t have.
— At ten-thirty, Zvi Zur [assistant to the Defense Minister] phoned. 137 Egyptian planes were damaged, 6 or 7 of ours. Moshe will soon address the nation. The Knesset meeting has been canceled. It’s planned to convene at four in the afternoon. — At a quarter to eleven, Moshe addressed the army. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Kuwait are aligned against us; Algeria is also sending an army. They are many, and we are brave. He did not mention our losses or the Egyptians’, but said that our settlements in the south are under heavy artillery fire.
— At a quarter to twelve, Shimon and Yosef [Almogi] came to see me. I said to Shimon, “It’s been done. But it seems to me that they shouldn’t have attacked without first informing England and America and explaining our action.” Shimon says we did speak with them ...
— Four o’clock in the afternoon. I’ve just returned from the basement of the Air Force Headquarters. I spoke with Moshe and Zur and Yigal Yadin [appointed by Eshkol as Special Advisor on Defense Affairs], and afterwards with Motti (Hod) [Commander of the Israeli Air Force] and Ezer Weizman [Deputy Chief-of-Staff]. Victory has been won by our Air Force. We’re in a class of our own. We’ve destroyed 362 Arab planes, mostly Egyptian. We’ve knocked out almost all of the airfields in Egypt and Syria. We’ve taken Khan Yunis and Rafiah. Only the Jordanians are still fighting. Egypt and Syria are defeated. Moshe still forbids publicizing our achievements. It’s possible that we’ll inform American Intelligence this evening. I advised informing French Intelligence too. Our great victory might influence De Gaulle. The Knesset meeting scheduled for four in the afternoon was postponed until six thirty. Moshe will go over for the swearing in ceremony and return immediately. I was advised not to attend.
— We’ve lost nine or eleven planes, including a Mirage and Vauteur. The rest were Mysteres, Orans, etc. One of our pilots has fallen in Egyptian hands. Another one parachuted into Sinai and there’s hope for his recovery. It’s likely that the number of Arab casualties is somewhat exaggerated, but it can be said that their air forces have been totally wiped out ...
— Eshkol told the Knesset about “our [Rafi’s] initiative” to broaden the government; the addition of Moshe, Begin, and Sapir to the government; and especially his own “release” from the Defense Ministry ...
— At the end of the debates, we returned to Tel-Aviv and heard about other events on the front. We’ve lost 17 planes and destroyed around four hundred; we’re advancing in Sinai, and fighting is still going on in Jerusalem.

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