Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Nothing’s Easy About Israel

By Taki Theodoracopulos Chronicles

Such was my pro-Israel ardor back in 1967, I actually put my name down as a volunteer soldier in the Six-Day War. I was living in Paris, and I was asked by the recruiter if I were Jewish. When I answered in the negative, he jumped up and shook my hand. As everyone knows, my services were not needed that June 54 years ago; the war was over before I finished considering which Parisian girl I would invite to watch me gallantly defend Israel’s right to exist.

Two years later, I was in Jordan covering the aftermath of that famous victory as a freelance photographer for Newsweek and Paris Match, and what I saw made me ashamed to have ever contemplated fighting for Israel. I had been shown around the refugee camps by Faris Glubb, son of Sir John Glubb—or Glubb Pasha, as the Arabs called him. Sir John was the British general who created and headed the Arab Legion when it fought for Arab independence from the Turks during World War I. Faris clued me in to what had been happening since 1948, when Israel expelled the Palestinians and created its modern state. These 700,000 exiles were living in outdoor camps in dire conditions and had been there since 1948. After the 1967 war, hundreds of thousands were added, and the number has grown exponentially ever since.

I covered the Yom Kippur War of 1973 from the Israeli side, and witnessed the Syrian and Egyptian armies giving a good account of themselves during the first week. The Egyptians used wire-guided, hand-carried missiles to attack Israeli armor in the Sinai, while Syrian tanks brought the Israeli armor to a standstill in the Golan.


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