Mossda - part one


JF-Expert Member
Apr 22, 2011
IN LATE APRIL 1979, I was just back in Tel Aviv after two days'
submarine duty, when my naval commander handed me orders to
attend a meeting at the Shalishut military base on the outskirts of
Ramt Gan, a suburb of the city.
At the time, I was a captain, head of the weapons-systemtesting
branch of the Israeli navy's operations section at its Tel Aviv
I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on November 28, 1949, and was
just a child when my parents separated. My father had served in
the RCAF during World War II, flying numerous missions over
Germany in his Lancaster bomber. After the war, he volunteered
for Israel's War of Independence: a captain, he commanded the
Sede Dov air base on Tel Aviv's northern outskirts.
My Israeli mother had also served her country during the war,
driving supply trucks from Tel Aviv to Cairo for the British.
Afterward, she was active in the Israeli resistance, the Hagona. A
teacher, she moved with me to London, Ontario, then briefly to
Montreal, and finally to Holon, a city near Tel Aviv, when I was six.
My father had emigrated to the United States from Canada.
My mother would return to Canada again, but when I was 13, we
were back in Holon. My mother would eventually return to
Canada, but I remained in Holon with my maternal
grandparents, Haim and Ester Margolin, who had fled the
pogroms in Russia in 1912 with their son Rafa. Another son had
been killed in a pogrom. In Israel, they had two more children, a
son Maza, and a daughter Mira, my mother. They were real
pioneers in Israel. My grandfather was an accountant, but until he
could get his papers out of Russia to prove it, he washed floors in
the UJA (United Jewish Agency). He later became their auditorgeneral,
and was a very honorable person.
I was brought up. a Zionist. My Uncle Maza had been in the elite
unit of the pre-state army, the "Wolves of Samson," and served
during the War of Independence.
My grandparents were very idealistic. My own idea of Israel as I
was growing up was as the land of milk and honey. That any
hardships were worth it. I believed it was a country that would do
no wrong, would not inflict evil on others, would set an example
for all nations to see and to follow. If there was anything wrong
financially or politically in the country, I always imagined this was
at the lower echelons of government — with the bureaucrats, who
would eventually clean up their act. Basically, I believed there
were people guarding our rights, great people like Ben-Gurion,
whom I really admired. I grew up regarding Begin as the militant I
couldn't stand. Where I grew up, political tolerance was the main
rule. Arabs were regarded as human beings. We'd had peace with
them before and eventually would again. That was my idea of
Just before I turned 18, I joined the army for the compulsory
three-year term, emerging as a second lieutenant in the military
police nine months later — then the youngest officer in the Israeli
During my term, I served at the Suez Canal, on the Golan Heights,
and along the Jordan River. I was there when Jordan was clearing
the PLO out, and we allowed the Jordanian tanks to pass through
our territory so as to surround them. That was weird. The
Jordanians were our enemy, but the PLO was a greater enemy.
After my military term ended in November 1971, I returned
to Edmonton for five years, working at various jobs from
advertising to managing the CJV carpet store at the city's
Londonderry Shopping Center, missing the 1973 Yom Kippur
War. But I knew that war wouldn't end for me until I gave
something. I returned to Israel in May 1977 and joined the navy.

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