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June 05, 1987 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

else has been, let alone lives."
And yet he has grown to admire
and respect aspects of Israeli socie-
ty and evinces a cautious sympathy
for Israel's dilemma over the occupied
territories.
"Palestinians are reminded by their
proximity to Israelis of what they
lack, of their own shortcomings. The
modernization, the order — these are
constant incentives.
"The Israeli experience has also
been very helpful to me as a lawyer,"
he says. "I have been able to witness
the work of the judiciary. I saw the
shortcomings on the West Bank in
the judiciary and in freedom of ex-
pression."
Just last week, in fact, Raja
Shehadeh and a group of Palestinian
attorneys held a press conference in
Jerusalem to discuss the effects of 20
years of military rule.
He complained bitterly of increas-
ing strictures — of house arrest
orders, expulsions, collective
punishments, press censorship.
But he also allowed that under
Israeli rule, the Palestinians had a far
greater potential for self-expression
than in any Arab country.
"I think, in all fairness, one has to
say there is a larger measure of self-
expression than there was before,"
Shehadeh told the assembled jour-
nalists. "And this is certainly a
positive development because it
enables people to articulate and grasp
things better?'
Raja Shehadeh expects that the oc-

The future of the West Bank is the key to much debate within Israel — whether it is suicidal to keep the land or return it.
Orthodox settlers, like this mother and her young children, vow to never give up their claim to the land.

cupation may last for a long time, but
he believes that the dispute "will
eventually be resolved in my lifetime."
In the meantime, he sees a great
difference between himself and a
younger generation of Palestinians
which has known nothing but life

under occupation.
"They are stronger than I was at
the same age, they are less confused,"
he says. "I would never have con-
fronted soldiers and the authorities
as they do. They cannot be shaken so
easily." ❑

The Temple Mount Is Ours'

Motta Gur, who led the battle that reunited
Jerualem, says the issues were
more clear in 1967 than they are today.

HELEN DAVIS

Special to The Jewish News

n the third day of the Six Day
War, the name of Mordechai
("Motta") Gur entered the
pages of Israel's history books.
At 9 a.m. on June 7, 1967, Colonel
Gur stood on the Mount of Olives.
Below him, the road from Jericho and
the Dead Sea wound up to the walls
of the Old City of Jerusalem, which
lay sprawled out directly ahead.
The war was entering its second

half and still the Old City, which con-
tained the Western Wall — the focus
of Jewish spiritual yearning — was in
Jordanian hands.
Using his field radio, Gur addressed
his men: "Parachute Brigade 55," he
said, "we stand on a ridge overlook-
ing the Old City. Soon we will enter
the city, the Old City of Jerusalem,
about which countless generations of
Jews have dreamed, to which all liv-
ing Jews aspire. Our brigade has been
granted the privilege of being the
first to enter it.

"Eytan's tanks will advance from
the left and will enter Lion's Gate.
The 28th and 71st will move to that
gate, with the 66th in reserve behind
them.
"Now, on, on, on to the gate! We
will hold the passing out parade soon
on the Temple Mount!"
One hour later, the men of
Parachute Brigade 55, Gur at their
head, had poured through the Lion's
Gate, fought their way through the
narrow alleyways of the Old City and
achieved their objective.

At 10 a.m., standing atop the Thm-
ple Mount, site of the ancient Jewish
Temples of Solomon and Herod, Gur's
voice broke with emotion as he sent
a triumphant message to Central
Command: "The Temple Mount is in
our hands. The 'Temple Mount is
ours!"
For the first time in 2,000 years,
Jerusalem was reunited under Jewish
sovereignty.
At the moment the conquering
warrior thought of his five-year-old
daughter and wondered: "What will
Ruthie say when she hears that her
father did what the Macabees and
Bar-Kokhba did — liberate Jeru-
salem?"
After the Six Day War, Mordechai
Gur was appointed military governor
of Gaza and then went on to serve
with the Israeli delegation at the
United Nations and as military at-
tache at the Israel Embassy in
Washington.
In 1974, in the bitter aftermath of
the Yom Kippur War, he returned to
Israel to take up an appointment as
Israel's Chief of Staff, a post he held
until 1978. Three year's later he was
elected to the Knesset on the Labor
Party ticket.
lbday, Lieutenant-General (res)
Motta Gur still carries with him a
sense of privilege: "There are some
things that nobody can take from

29

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