Recently married and the father of a baby girl, son of new immigrants from Iran who found themselves in a slum in the city of Jerusalem, the author is called to reserve duty. It is June 1967. Jerusalem still bears the ravages of the Siege of Jerusalem and the War of Independence in 1948. Jerusalem was a capital city whose eastern flank had been split from the whole and surrounded by enemy mines, barbed wire, high walls, narrow border corridors, incidents of shooting, and injury to citizens – the norm of life in those days.
Before the Six Day War, propaganda spread by neighboring Arab nations directly threatened Israel, describing in gory detail what would happen to the young country in the next military attack against it.
“Last one out of the country turns off the light,” was the national joke.
Concern was weighty. And then the Six Day War broke out. In six days of battle, everything changed. The rest is history. David Yair initially fought in battles around Jerusalem as part of the Har’el Brigade, and later fought in Jericho and the Golan Heights.
The book “They gave their lives for you – The story of a young soldier in his first war, June 1967” appeared in Hebrew many years ago. It is now appearing for the first time in English through several digital outlets. It describes incidents from the perspective of a regular soldier, a young man in his first war. The reader is made aware of his great love of his homeland, which positions him as a fighter. He is no war hero, no officer, no recipient of medals or merits. The love of his country simply beats strong in his heart, as it does in the hearts of his fellow soldiers, those who made it safely home, and those who fell in battle.