Six Day War of 1967 - 3rd Arab Israeli War




"Every one of the hundred million Arabs has been living ... to see the day Israel is liquidated"

Cairo Radio’s Voice of the Arabs broadcast,
May 18th 1967.

Memories of 67

- Elaine Taylor (now Lady Elaine Sacks) wife of Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks

I left school the summer of '67 and went to Israel on the WUJS [1] scheme. This was a summer ulpan [2] followed by a year at the Hebrew University. Plus tiulim[3] etc.

Anyone who was there that year will know what an amazing time it was to be in Israel. Everything opened up. There we were in Jerusalem. Arabs were coming in but nobody was afraid and nobody was the enemy. They would stand and watch the traffic lights! On tiulim in the countryside, we would buy shiny red apples from local farmers. Some students rented rooms in East Jerusalem - it was ‘cool’ - don’t forget this was the sixties! But no harm came to them.

On the other hand, this was post war. Israeli students had lost friends, and we chalutzniks were aware of our different backgrounds.

Many foreign students were American; a number of young men were studying for the rabbinate to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam. They felt this was ok.

We took an amazing tiul [3 ]for a week into Sinai Sharm el Shaik Santa Katerina monastery - in open army trucks before roads were built. The stuff that Gap Years are made of! There were abandoned tanks, personal effects, the occasional arm or leg protruding through the desert sand. We wanted to send papers or photos back to the families but who to?

Yom Haatzmaut [4] 1968 - the 20th anniversary. There was a victory march of soldiers and jeeps through Jerusalem West and East. As I stood with friends on a rooftop in East Jerusalem, watching the parade, I must say that we did feel uncomfortable. It was all splendid but did we have to rub their noses in it? We were teenagers, with barely a political thought between us, but we felt it then. How much more so now?

The music... 'Yerushalayim shel Zahav', 'Nasser mechakeh le Rabin', there was an LP that everyone bought and everyone played all the time. Nothing brings back those memories more than music.

[1] World Union of Jewish Students

[2] Ulpan, is the educational framework of courses set up in Israel for learning the Hebrew language.

[3] Tiul / Tiulim: Walk / Walks

[4] Israel's Independence Day

BACK to Diaspora Recollections