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
— 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