Fathers and Sons
When my friends and I were in the youth movement in the late 1960s, one of the things that our leaders suggested we read was a letter by Ofer Fenninger, a parachutist who was killed in the Six-Day War. Ofer wrote the letter to his girlfriend from the front in the lull before the fighting began. This 3-week waiting period in the spring of 1967 was one of the most tense times since the state of Israel was founded. There was a full call-up, and Israeli soldiers were positioned along the border across from the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies. Our forces were greatly outnumbered, and there was an acute sense of existential anxiety in the air. The threats voiced in the Arab media repeated variations on one theme: we’ll finish you, we’ll slaughter you, we’ll drown you in the sea. The Israeli public felt under siege, and this awakened collective fears and anxieties from the past. People remembered the Holocaust and stated that we could be led again like lambs to the slaughter. It was felt that this was a struggle for the continued existence of the Jewish people in the land of Israel.
KeywordsSurvivor Parent Vietnam Veteran Holocaust Survivor Existential Anxiety Ptsd Rate
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