n the weeks immediately following the 1967 Six-Day War, I was part of a contingent of international civilian volunteers—mostly Jews—sent from Jerusalem to El Arish, in northern Sinai. It was a mission that marked my life indelibly, and left me with a debt it has taken more than half a century to repay.
The legacy of this half-forgotten conflict is an important one for those who care about religious freedom and religious pluralism today.
I arrived in Jerusalem as a reporter five days before the war. When I asked directions in English of a woman on the street near the King David Hotel, she looked at me sharply and said, “Haven’t you gone home yet?” When I said I had just arrived, she nodded and pointed out my destination. The King David itself, I would learn, had gone overnight from 86 percent occupancy to one percent.
The candidness and emotional vulnerability of Israeli soldiers is of such renown today that there’s even a pejorative for it: yorim ve’bochim, shooting and crying.
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Into the hell of Bosnia entered Susan Sontag. It was July 1993, her second visit, and she was in Sarajevo to direct a production of Waiting for Godot.
Rabbi Yigal Levenstein’s crude, misogynist, hate-filled statements about religious women serving in the Israel Defense Forces, leave little doubt as to what he thinks about women in the army and about Israeli society in general.