WINTER 2005                         WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                               AMERICAN VETERANS OF ISRAEL
                                         VOLUNTEERS IN ISRAEL’S WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
                                             UNITED STATES & CANADA VOLUNTEERS
                                              136 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016

   President’s Message                       He Deserted the British                    Book Review: Machal
                                             Army to Fight for Israel                   in the Eyes of History
  I am most grateful to the AVI board        Kit Wilkes-Chase, a non-Jewish           Ha’Machal, Mitnadvei Chutz
of directors for the honor bestowed        British serviceman, was assigned to      L’Aretz b’Milchemet Ha’Atzmaut
on me in electing me as President of       guard prisoners at Atlit in 1947. Ap-    (Machal, the Overseas Volunteers in
our organization. To the membership        palled by the treatment of these Ho-     the War of Independence), by Yaacov
at large I proffer a pledge to do my       locaust survivors, he abandoned his      Markovitsky, is among the collection
utmost       in    fulfilling     our      post and offered his services to the     of War of Independence articles by dif-
organization’s agenda and objec-           Haganah. With the formation of the       ferent authors in Alon Kadish’s book
tives.                                     IDF, he was sent to the commando         Milchemet Ha’Atzmaut. An overview
  The major challenge I see this           unit, Chayot Hanegev, where he           of the book and reviews of several ar-
coming year is in keeping us unified       fought to stem the Egyptian advance      ticles appeared in the Summer 2004
and focused to accomplish our mis-         on Tel Aviv. Wilkes-Chase also par-      AVI Newsletter. The Fall Newsletter
sion, in spite of our ever-diminish-       ticipated in battles to conquer          contained a review of Markovitsky’s
ing numbers. We want to ensure that        Beersheba and the skirmishes around      Gachal article.
others will perpetuate our legacy          Eilat. He was wounded twice.               Markovitsky is also the acknowl-
when we are no longer here.                      (Wilkes-Chase continued on p.14)
                                                                                    edged author of the Machal booklet,
  I envision the mission of our or-                                                 published a few years earlier by Israel’s
                                                                                    Ministry of Education. Those who’ve
ganization as ensuring that the Jew-
                                                                                    read either the English or Hebrew ver-
ish community is made fully aware
                                                                                    sion may recall that Zipporah Porath,
of our role in the creation and de-                                                 Joe Woolf and yours truly are thanked
fense of the State of Israel. That the                                              for “their contributions” and for “help
ideals and spirit that led us to fight                                              in editing.” When trying to compare
in the defense of the Jewish people                                                 the two, I thought the article more akin
be remembered and emulated when-                                                    to his draft of the booklet before the
ever our people are endangered.                                                     involvement of the “contributors,” than
  In my vision I see a place for AVI                                                to the finally published product. I also
in the Conference of Presidents of           Gen. Zvika Gendelman of Israel         found it odd that the Machal booklet
the Major Jewish Organizations                 Embassy in London presents           is not referred to at all in his article,
where we could call on the Jewish            certificate to Mrs. Wilkes-Chase       although it contains references to other
communities to act vigorously in                                                    Markovitsky works - and some of its
defending the Jewish People and the                                                 passages were apparently taken from
State of Israel in these threatening                                                his booklet almost verbatim.
times                                                                                 Also odd is that his article begins
  During my tenure in 2005 I will                                                   with an obviously non-Machal morsel,
                                                                                    which has it that over 20,000 of all
encourage and provide focus to:
                                                                                    those mobilized in the War of Indepen-
  1. Supporting the AVI Newsletter
                                                                                    dence were “new immigrants who
and the Newsletter Website, the prin-                                               were trained and organized in Europe
cipal means of communication                                                        and in the Cyprus camps,” and “most
among our members.                                                                  arrived after British rule ended on 15
                  President’s Message
                   continued on p. 14)              Kit Wilkes-Chase                       Book Review (continued on p.15)

                                      WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

American Veterans of Israel                       ANNUAL BUDGET AND CASH FLOW PLAN
        136 E. 39 Street                                 YEAR ENDING 12/31/05
    New York, NY 10016-0914
                                         BEGINNING BANK BALANCE-2005                  $16,500
Officers and Executive Board             Machal Pamphlet Reserves                                        4550
President                                Life Membership Reserves                                        3500
Ira Feinberg         201 886 1188        Archives Donations                                               750
Vice President
                                         TOTAL ALLOCATED FUNDS                          8,800
Bill Gelberg         561 278 7392
                                         BEGINNING BALANCE (1/1/05)- FREE CASH 7,700
Executive Director
Simon Spiegelman 212 685 8548                        PROJECTED INCOME-2005
                                         Membership Dues                                                 7000
Treasurer                                Transfer from Life Membership Reserves                          1700
David Gerard         631 499 4327
                                         Transfer from Machal Pamphlet Reserves                          2000
Vice Presidents                          Archives Donations (Released from 2004 donations)                750
Canada: Jerry Rosenberg                  Hanukkah Contributions (Attendants)                              500
416 787 7632                             Machal Pamphlet Sales                                            600
USA Regions
Northeast: Paul Kaye                     Newsletter Subscriptions                                        1000
718 428 2465                             TOTAL INCOME –2005                            $13,550
Southeast: Irving Meltzer
561 637 5874
                                         PROJECTED EXPENSES-2005
West: Bailey Nieder
206 722 8197                             Newsletter Printing and Mailing                                 5000
Midwest: Ben Hagai Steuerman             Museum Inauguration and West Point National Events              2000
773 935 0802                             Computer Supplies & Service                                      500
Directors                                Postage, Printing & Copies                                      1000
Newsletter, Internet and Trustees        Telephone & Conference Calls                                     800
Committee:                               Hanukkah Event                                                   600
Samuel Z. Klausner 215 473 6034          West Point & Parade                                              500
                                         Contribution to Archives Account (new)                          1000
Archives and Museum                      Transfer to Archives Account (Members Donations from 2004)       750
Ralph Lowenstein     352 392 6525        TOTAL EXPENSES- 2005                         $12,500
352 393 6670 FAX
                                         PROJECTED ENDING BALANCE (12/31/05)-
Speakers Bureau:                           FREE CASH                                    9,100
Naomi Kantey         201 489 3809

Activities and Membership                PLANNED RESERVES ALLOCATIONS- END 2005
David Hanovice (USA)                     Machal Pamphlet Distribution                                    2550
201 224 3551                             Life Membership Reserve                                         1800
Joe Warner (Canada)
416 497 0140                             Archives Donations (Estimated for Year 2005)                    1000
Art Bernstein (Museum)                   TOTAL ALLOCATED RESERVES- END 2005 $5,350
978 532 6956
                                         PROJECTED BANK BALANCE- END 2005             $14,450
Representative to World Machal
Zippy Porath                                                                              Dave Gerard
Websites                                                                                         Si Spiegelman                                                                  1/13/2005

                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                     NEW YORK AVI HANUKKAH OBSERVANCE 2004
   On Sunday, December 12, 2004,           take a harder stand in combating           the Machal tribute on the Intrepid
 AVI in New York held its annual           anti-Semitism in the world, particu-       and her assistance in distributing
 Hanukkah celebration at the Bnai          larly in view of the deepening threat      the Machal pamphlet. As a token
 Zion hall. As in years past, old com-     of countries in the Middle East con-       of appreciation she was presented
 rades got together to exchange fam-       doning terror.                             with the Silver State of Israel medal
 ily updates, swap old tales and             The guest speaker was Ravit Bar-         remembering Clandestine Immi-
 commiserate as the years take their       Av, Chief Information officer at the       gration.
 toll. Nevertheless, nothing stopped       Israel Consulate General in New               Ruth Gruber concluded the pro-
 them from enjoying a great brunch,        York, who spoke of the improved            gram with a talk about her life and
 lighting the Hanukkah candles and         outlook for negotiations with the          work as an acclaimed and prolific
 joining in song.                          Palestinians in view of Arafat’s de-       author even to this day. She spoke
   It was also an opportunity to in-       parture from the scene. She was            of the importance of persistence
 troduce our incoming president, Ira       guardedly optimistic about the             and dedication as values in life.
 Feinberg, who spoke about his pro-        practically nil possibilities of peace     Two of her books were available
 gram for the coming year. (See Ira’s      while he was alive.                        to the attendees.
 message in this issue of the News-          Si Spiegelman, Executive Direc-             The guests took leave standing
 letter). He spoke of AVI’s opportu-       tor, praised Ravit for her support         around and chatting at the door un-
 nity to become more engaged in            of AVI and reminded the audience           til the last minute as another Ha-
 persuading other organizations to         about her activities in organizing         nukkah celebration came to a close.

  For many U.S, and Canadian volunteers who served                business. He became a U.S. citizen in 1912, and during
in Aliyah Bet and in Machal the essence of their stories          World War I participated in the war effort by working
is the theme of a dual commitment. They served their              as a carpenter and pipe fitter in the Houston area ship-
country in the Second World War and participated in               yards. When the war ended and Britain received a man-
the struggle for the creation of a Jewish State. Nowhere          date from the League of Nations to govern Palestine,
were these ties more explicit than in the story of the            Israel, who was an ardent Zionist, left for a visit to the
Hanovice family.                                                  Holy Land. He toured the country from one end to the
                                                                  other on foot and by any means of transport available at
PART I. QUIET TIMES                                               the time. This led to his decision to settle and make a
  Israel Hanovice was born in Russia, in the Minsk prov-          home for his family in Palestine. Tel-Aviv was in its
ince, on Jan.10, 1884. Following the recurring pogroms            infancy when he brought the family over and bought a
he emigrated to the United States of America. He landed           parcel of land near Jaffa. Here he constructed his house.
in New York and settled in York, Pennsylvania where               It was one of the early buildings in the city and it still
he found work in the coalmines and other industries.              stands today on Geula Street 30 serving as an annex to
He married his first wife Sara around 1905 and they               a school next door. Nine of Israel’s children moved to
had two sons. He discovered new opportunities in the              Palestine with their parents and three more were born
West and resettled the family in Houston, Texas where             in Tel Aviv later on. Israel worked for many years as a
two daughters were born. Following Sara’s untimely                plumbing contractor in the growing city. In 1927 the
death at age 29, Israel traveled to New York where he             family returned to Houston in order to retain their U.S.
was introduced to a young widow, Rebecca Pravda. He               citizenship. With the onset of the depression years the
married her and brought her to Houston. Rebecca cared             family left Houston and resettled in Tel-Aviv. This time
for his first four children and also raised 8 more of their       the four older children remained with relatives in Hous-
offspring in Houston, Texas.                                      ton in order to continue their high school studies. Re-
   Israel found work in various trades and engaged in                                       Hanovice (continued on next page)

                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

Hanovice (continued)                     to the Yarkon River that required a      donkeys, as was the custom on the
turning to Tel Aviv in 1930 Israel       full day’s hike back and forth. For      land. There were no paved roads and
resumed his occupation as a plumb-       popular entertainment there were         riding a bicycle was impossible on
ing and building contractor as the       several movie houses in Tel Aviv,        the sandy roads in the region. At
new city was growing by leaps and        including the Mograbi, Armon,            school I studied music and sang in
bounds.                                  Achad Ha-Am, Gan-Rina, and               the choir, but then I switched to
   David Hanovice recalls his boy-       Ophir. There was also the Habima         classes in the school’s carpentry
hood years in Tel-Aviv, “When I was      Theater.”                                shop and worked on class projects
a child and came home from school          In 1935 Israel decided to leave Tel-   that were displayed at the end of the
at midday, my mother would send          Aviv and live on the Land in the         school year. In the evenings, except
me to deliver lunch to my father at      spirit of the Zionist pioneers. With     on Friday nights, my parents would
his work site. While he had his meal     eight children in the family helping     take a buggy ride to Pardess-Hanna
I waited to take back the utensils. My   out, he saw the possibility of oper-     to visit and have tea with relatives
father detailed jobs for me to do        ating a farm of moderate size. He        and friends from their country of
while he was eating. In this way I       bought a citrus grove in Tel-Alon,       origin. They would talk about the
acquired my mechanical skills from       near Pardess-Hanna. At that time cit-    “old times” while we, children, re-
him. Among my childhood memo-            rus exports to Europe were rising and    mained at home to do our school
ries of Tel-Aviv, I vividly recall the   the future looked promising for that     homework assignments. On Sab-
school years as I entered the first      industry. He sold the house in Tel       bath, our only day off, I would ac-
grade without knowing any Hebrew.        Aviv and aided by bank loans he          company my father to the Syna-
I recall the special efforts of my       purchased a ten-acre citrus grove. He    gogue in the morning. In the after-
teacher, Rachel, to have me keep up      built a new house on the hill over-      noon my older brothers played with
with the class. I kept close ties with   looking the grove and had the entire     the local soccer team, and we would
her for many years. Mr. Maravi was       family help to finish it and make it     attend the matches. I also partici-
our music teacher. He taught me to       livable.                                 pated in the local Maccabi sports
read notes and to sing on any occa-        David Hanovice recalls those days,     group and Zvulun Sea Scouts in
sion. Geula Street branched off from     “We were isolated, since the closest     Hadera. On Saturday evening there
Allenby, a main thoroughfare of Tel-     community of Pardess-Hanna was           was usually a new movie at the lo-
Aviv at that time. North of Dizengoff    five miles away. There were only         cal theater including news shorts
Street was sand dunes. Westward on       three families nearby and they lived     from around the world. In the news
the Mediterranean Sea was a very         miles apart. with hundreds of acres      at that time we saw the rise of Nazi
shallow beach where we spent a lot       of citrus groves covering that area.     Germany, of Fascism in Europe and
of time swimming in the summer-          Beside the citrus grove where all of     the outbreak of World War II.”
time and building sandcastles. The       us worked every day after school, we
lifeguard at the beach was known as      had a barn with several horses, cows,    PART II. WAR YEARS
Mullah. On the holiday of Lag            donkeys and a chicken coop. Each            Before the war broke out, five of
Ba’Omer we would light bonfires on       of us had prescribed chores assigned     the Hanovice children were living in
the beach till the early-hours of the    varying with the seasons. There also     the U.S. The remaining children,
morning, sitting around and relating     were hired laborers who worked           consisting of five boys and two girls
stories. There was an opera singer       alongside our family members             lived on the family homestead in Tel-
in our neighborhood who practiced        whenever more hands were needed.         Alon. In 1936, Arab terrorist gangs
for his performances and all day our     We grew our own fruit and veg-           began to ambush residents of the
street was filled with opera music.      etables and that was one of my           Jewish communities and settle-
On the Sabbath, when there was no        chores for many years. All year          ments, engaging in wanton killings
traffic on the street, we would play     round we had vegetables that were        and destruction. The British admin-
sticks, a game similar to baseball,      in season. We had a surplus of pro-      istration permitted the strengthening
played with a short stick instead of     duce and eggs, which my father           of the police forces in the Jewish
a ball. We went on special outings       would sell to a grocer in Pardess-       villages, townships and settlements
                                         Hanna. To get to school we rode our            Hanovice (continued on next page)

                                       WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER
Hanovice (continued)                       soldier until his retirement.          for four years in K-9 training as as-
as well as in the large cities. As a                                              sistant instructor for local groups of
result, the Haganah, the Jewish un-        Sam Hanovice                           dog owners. This involved training
derground defense organization,              Sam was active with the Haganah      dogs in attack and defense as well
called on able-bodied Jews to par-         and trained under Orde Wingate,        as mine detection and using dogs as
ticipate in its defense activities. Jew-   head of the ‘Night Brigades’ com-      messengers between local posts and
ish men joined the British Police          bating the Arab terrorists in Pales-   patrols in the field. He served in the
Special Forces called Notrim,              tine from 1936 to 1939. During         British Air Force supernumerary
Gafirim, or Supernumerary Police.          WWII his Haganah unit was at-          Police around Tel-Nof /Aqir and as
This was followed by a variety of          tached to the British Royal Navy       the U.S. entered the war he trans-
clandestine training and maneuvers         Commandos and trained as seals in      ferred to the U.S. Army unit based
in weapons use and field tactics as        underwater demolition. In May          at Tel-Litvinsky. He served with the
part of the Haganah activities. In         1941, the 23 members, under the        404th Q.M. Trucking unit made up
1939, when World War II broke out          command of British Major, Sir An-      of US citizens who resided abroad.
and as news spread about the atroci-       thony Palmer, were sent on a mis-      The company included six Chris-
ties perpetrated against the Jews in       sion to destroy refineries and fuel    tians from Lebanon and about 50
Europe, a large number of volunteers       storage installations in Lebanon and   Jews from Palestine. The unit trans-
joined the British Armed Forces and        Syria. These were under the control    ported supplies and personnel dur-
served in the Jewish Brigade, and          of the French Vichy government,        ing the battles of El Alamein and
other units.                               which collaborated with Nazi Ger-      Sulom Pass, Tobruk, Benghazi, Tri-
   Israel Hanovice was not a politi-       many. To this day they are MIA and     poli all the way up to Sfax in Tuni-
cal person. His life’s focus had been      their boat “Sea Lion” has not been     sia. David returned to the U.S. for
on daily mundane matters related to        found. In 1957 a monument was          his discharge and studies. He gradu-
his trade or working the land. As it       erected on Mount Herzl in their        ated from the School of Technology
became clear that war was imminent         memory.                                of the University of Houston that
he encouraged his sons to join the                                                prepared him for a career in marine
Haganah and later on the U.S.              Aaron Hanovice                         engine repair and maintenance. He
Armed Forces in which they served            In 1941 Aaron joined a British Na-   subsequently volunteered for service
as U.S. citizens. Without speeches,        val unit and was stationed in Haifa.   in Israel’s War of Independence. He
he simply told them, “It was the right     He enlisted in the U.S. Army and       was among the U.S. Machalniks that
thing to do.”                              served in Egypt during WWII return-    brought the Yucatan (Noga K-26)
   Life in Tel-Alon changed drasti-        ing to Tel-Aviv after his              from New Orleans to Haifa for de-
cally with the start of the war and        discharge.Based in Camp Russell B.     livery to the Israeli Navy and later
work on the family homestead came          Huckstep in Egypt for the duration     served as its Chief Engineer. The
to a standstill as the export of citrus    of WWII. Camp Russell B.               Noga (Kuf-26) took part in all naval
fruit to Europe was halted and four        Huckstep was a center hub of trans-    engagements during the War of In-
of the Hanovice sons went off to war.      porting GI’s and war supplies          dependence, including the sinking of
                                           throughout the Near East, Middle       the Egyptian flagship Emir Farouk.
Harry Hanovice                             East Europe, the Far East and the      Upon his return to the U.S., David
  Harry joined the Northern Fence          USA. He was killed at the hands of     was involved in refitting and deliv-
Security forces, a Police unit that        an Arab mob in August 1947 while       ery of two other vessels to the Israel
patrolled the Lebanese and Syrian          driving a truck in a convoy from Tel   Navy; the K-28 corvette and the K-
borders. When America entered the          Aviv.                                  22 that became part of the Shayetet
Second World War he enlisted in the                                               13 operation. (See AVI Newsletter
U.S. Army Air Corps from Tel-Aviv          David Hanovice                         of Spring, 2001 for the full Yucatan
and served in Abadan, Persia. After          After graduating from public         story). David returned to the U.S.
the war, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Air    school, he worked in the family or-    and made a career in the marine en-
Force where he served as a career          ange groves and became active in       gine industry. Subsequently David
                                           Haganah activities. He was involved          Hanovice (continued on next page)

                                    WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER
Hanovice (continued)                    served in the Tank Corps, Gedud 82.         This is a “Beau Geste” story of our
resumed sailing US Merchant ships       In 1954, while, serving on Israel         time relevant to many of the Machal
as a US Coast Guard Licensed Ma-        Army Reserve duty, Yitzchak lost          volunteers who came from North
rine Engineer till retirement at age    the use of his legs due to polio and      America and other regions where
65 during a continuance period of 23    was confined to a wheel chair. Tak-       Jews live free and peaceful lives.
years, serving in all Engineering       ing account of the shortage of wheel-     They found a way to maintain an
Ratings all the way to Chief Engi-      chairs in Israel because they were        allegiance to their countries of ori-
neer on a verity and types of US Flag   imported, he started a factory to pro-    gin while engaging in the creation
ships , Oceanography Research,          duce them locally. He returned to         of the Jewish State and serving in
Bulk Grain and Coal Carriers, Tank-     civilian life to run the business pro-    its defense.
ers , General Cargo and Container       viding employment in the commu-                                 Si Spiegelman
Ships.                                  nity of Pardess Hannah and ex-              (Based on material provided by
                                        panded into various other business        David Hanovice)
Yitzhak Hanovice                        sectors. In 1956 he trained as a
  The youngest brother, Yitzhak,        swimmer on Lake Kinneret and par-            Editor’s Note: Israel Hanovice passed
                                        ticipated in the Paraplegic Olympiad      away in 1966 at the age of 82. Today
enlisted at age 17 and served in the
                                                                                  there are 77 or more of his descendants
Palmach under Yitzhak Sadeh in the      in England, where he won the Gold         living in the U.S. and Israel.
War of Independence. He later           medal for the State of Israel.

         Yitshak Hanovice                         Harry Hanovice                                 Aaron Hanovice

                                                                                 David Hanovice
                       Sam Hanovice

                                    WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                                      Middie to Machal:
                        The Israeli Odyssey of Paul Nachman Shulman

  If anyone can “bottle” historical research, the bottle     worthiness of Aliyah Bet vessels. Soon after May 15,
should contain a label: “Warning: historical research        1948 Ben-Gurion called Shulman to Israel to set up the
can be highly addictive.” Such is the nature of my re-       naval academy, in Haifa. The staff included former U.S
search for a book about Paul Shulman, the graduate of        naval officers Richard Rosenberg, Marvin Broder and
the U.S. Naval Academy who in 1948 established an            Saunder Finard, and British ex-officers Allen Burke,
academy in Haifa to train officers for Israel’s new navy.    David DeLange and Harvey Miller. Training texts in-
  After two years of duty as en-                                                     cluded the U.S. Navy’s
gineering officer of the USS                                                         Bluejacket’s Manual
Hunt, Shulman resigned his                                                             Himself trained at Annapolis,
commission. He volunteered for                                                       Shulman often found it a chal-
the Haganah’s mission to get                                                         lenge to instill the same regard
Jewish Holocaust survivors to                                                        for classical learning in the
Palestine, the Jews’ promised                                                        former PalYam (Sea Service)
Homeland.                                                                            students. “Paul would make a
  Of the estimated 1,500 Ameri-                                                      point about seamanship,”
cans who served as volunteer                                                         Marvin Broder recalled, “and a
Machal, some 250 were veterans                                                       student might reply, “Oh, yeah?
that crewed the surplus vessels,                                                     Prove it!”
purchased by cover corporations                                                        Shulman’s limited sea-going
supplied by funds from wealthy                                                       experience in combat was no se-
Jewish interests, which formed                                                       cret, recalls Richard Rosenberg.
the “Jews Secret Fleet” of Aliyah                                                    “Still, he did a creditable job of
Bet –clandestine immigration.                                                        organizing the navy…given the
  David Ben-Gurion made sev-                                                         opposition of the PalYamniks…”
eral trips to the United States in                                                   Dual-hatted as the Navy’s Com-
1945 and 1946 to press the case                                                      mander-in-Chief, Shulman was
for the state of Israel. When in               Shulman with Ben Gurion               not content to command merely
New York City he would some-                                                         a desk. He took part in several
times stay at a small hotel at 14 East 60th street, known    naval operations. In the most celebrated, in command
as “Hotel Fourteen,” which was above the trendy              of Kuf-24, Ma’oz, he led a group of naval commandos
Copacabana nightclub. More than once he was a                from Shaytet-13 on a mission to attack the Egyptian
houseguest of Rebecca and Herman Shulman – Paul’s            corvette Emir Farouk off the harbor at Gaza on October
parents – at their apartment overlooking Central Park        22, 1948. Although a truce with Egypt was not struck
West, or at their elegant country home in Stamford,          until 1949, it is believed that the loss of their flagship
Connecticut. It was at one of these visits that “BG”         that night was in Hebrew – the straw that broke the
impressed the 24-year-old Lieutenant,                        camel’s back.
  (Junior Grade) that Israel could use a man with his                                                       J. Wandres
engineering skills.                                            J. Wandres is writing a book about Paul Shulman.
  Shulman’s engineering skills served the Haganah in         He would enjoy hearing from anyone who served with
New York and Italy where he helped ensure the sea-           him in the Israeli navy or during his long life as a
                                                             civilian in Israel. Contact Mr. Wandres at

                                    WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

     Irving J. Block                                     FELLNER’S “SAM’S QUEST”
Honored and Memorialized                               PRODUCED IN NEW YORK CITY
  Rabbi Irving J. Block, who passed       Irv Fellner, a member of AVI, who
away in October 2002, was a veteran     served in the Israel Army in 1948, now
of the Haganah defending Jerusalem      of Mesa, Arizona has written a play,
in the early days of the War of Inde-   “Sam’s Quest,” which was produced by
pendence. He was a member of the        The Theatre-Studio, Inc., of New York
AVI Executive Board and served as       City in December. Irv and his wife
AVI’s Chaplain. He founded the          Eileen were at the December 11
Brotherhood Synagogue in New            opening.
York in 1954 and then served as its       “Sam’s Quest” is about a disabled,
Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus until his      older man who is desperately seeking
death.                                  a way to make his existence meaning-
  The Brotherhood Synagogue has         ful. His wife, Beverly, is bitter about
established the Rabbi Irving J. Block   having all the responsibilities of day-             Irv Fellner
Memorial Lecture as an annual pro-      to-day living thrust upon her and con-
gram. The first lecture took place in   stantly demeans him. Sam is planning a drastic solution to his dilemma
November 2003 with Abraham              when he unexpectedly finds a solution to his quest. This is Irv’s second play
Foxman National Director of the         to be produced. The American Theatre of Actors produced “Bitter Herbs,”
Anti-Defamation League. The 2004        a drama about a family conflict during a Passover Seder, in New York City
lecturer was Rabbi David Ellenson,      in 1997.
President of the Hebrew Union Col-                                      xxxxx
lege-Jewish Institute of Religion
where Irving was ordained in 1953.                  MUSEUM OF THE JEWISH SOLDIER
  A monument has been erected in
                                                     OF WORLD WAR II AT LATRUN
Irving’s honor in Israel.
                                           Accompanied by Colonel (ret.) David (Migdal) Teperson, a South African
                                        Machal brother, I visited the Latrun Armour Museum where the Exhibit
                                        titled “The Jewish Soldier of World War II” is displayed. This exhibit por-
     Yom HaZicharon                     trays one the close-kept secrets of World War II: “The Forgotten Ally” i.e.,
                                        the Jewish People.
        in Israel
                                           Displays representing Jewish fighters who served in the armies of many
                                        countries (regular and partisans) and who made a major contribution in de-
    Wednesday May 11, 2005
                                        feating the Third Reich, fill and entire room. One and a half million Jewish
      Machal Monument
                                        soldiers fought to free the world of Nazism; many of them distinguished
                                        themselves and were highly decorated. A number rose to the top echelons of
  Contingents are expected from
   the United States, Canada,
                                        command in their respective army and navy. This vast number represents
 France and the United Kingdom          almost 11% of the total Jewish world population remaining at the end of the
         as well as Israel              war. The casualty rate of the Jewish fighters was very high; sixteen per cent
                                        of the total number who served gave their lives. In the United States, 500,000
            Information                 Jews served in all branches of the armed forces and 52,000 were decorated               for bravery.
                                           Sadly, the victorious Allies did not recognize this contribution to the war
   An American delegation is in         effort. Instead the Jews were rewarded with a British blockade and a weap-
            formation.                  ons embargo as the Jews struggled to resettle the holocaust survivors and
    For information contact Ira         create a State of their own. The story of the Jews from many allied nations
             Feinberg                   in World War II is a compelling one; of courage, dedication, and distinctive                service rendered toward Allied victory and the defeat of fascism.
                                                                                                         Ira Feinberg

                                      WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                                Dov Mills: Exodus Crew and then Palmach
  Dov Mills passed away on the 23rd       wiped out Hiroshima on his 20th
of October, 2004, and was laid to rest    birthday. Ever since, his birthdays
in the cemetery of the City of Be’er-     were mingled with sadness, as he
Sheva‘, situated about mid way be-        remembered the multitude who died
tween Kibbutz Hatserim and the            that day or carried their terrible
“Old City”. His plot is on the same       wounds for the rest of their lives. His
path he took in his PALMAH jeep           commemoration reached a fateful
on the 21st of October, 1948, as a        peak during the last year of his life,
member of the 9th Battalion of the        when a young group of Japanese
Negev Brigade, which liberated            missionaries for peace knocked on
Be’er-Sheva‘. The Israeli forces          his door. They visited him often and
advanced from the West, from Kib-         brought him much happiness during            British Aboard the Exodus
butz Tse’elim, passed Kibbutz             his sickness. He told them about his        photo from the Aronoff Collection
Hatserim and attacked the town from       experiences and feelings regarding
different sides. Eight years after the    “the bomb”, and that he had written       gine room down below deck. On the
War of Independence ended, Dov            a poem about Hiroshima, which they        way back to Europe, on board the
settled in Be’er-Sheva‘, where he         then translated into Japanese and         “Empire Rival”, he served as a
spent most of his mature life.            sent to the Mayor of Hiroshima. A         middleman between the undercover
  Dov was multi-talented, self-edu-       reply from the Mayor brought Dov          Haganah people and the British of-
cated, and had many diverse inter-        much excitement and some sense of         ficers. He was also on an organizing
ests: Zionism; the sea, navigation,       closure.                                  committee that dealt with the fre-
astronomy; the land, agriculture,           A brief leave from the Army, to-        quent problems of the refugees. Be-
camping; psychology; and even             wards the end of the War, brought         ing a pivotal figure, many came to
painting, poetry and short-story writ-    Dov to Shanghai, changing his life        know him: activists and refugees
ing were all part of his life. He was     entirely. There he met Jewish refu-       alike. On board the “Empire Rival”,
born in Brooklyn N.Y. on the 6th of       gees who had survived W.W.II. He          in order not to be recognized by the
August 1925, to Jewish immigrants         became aware, for the first time, of      British as a crewmember from the
who had come as children with their       the tragedy of his people in Europe.      “Exodus”, he changed his name
parents from Poland and Romania.          Later, he used to say that this had a     from Bernard Miller to Dov Mills.
He spent his childhood in Brooklyn,       significant impact on his decision to     Later, he managed to escape from the
and, later in life, warmly recalled the   help with the establishment of a          detention camp at Popendorf, Ger-
public library, playing handball in       home for the Jewish People. After         many, with other “Exodus”
the streets of his neighborhood, his      returning to New York in 1946, he         crewmembers, posing as a member
friends and, of course, his family.       looked for a way to do this. Through      of a soccer team. When passing
Dov studied agriculture in the only       Hashomer Hatsa‘ir, Dov heard that         through France, he was the only
high school in the city that had this     the Haganah was seeking young             member of his group to meet the
course of study. As a youth, Dov          Jewish men to volunteer for ‘Aliyah       head of Haganah. He finally made
joined the Hashomer Hatsa‘ir Move-        Bet.’ So Dov volunteered to serve as      ‘aliyah in January, 1948. After only
ment.                                     a crew member on the ship “Exo-           a month or so, Dov had already vol-
  In 1943, Dov joined the U.S. Army       dus”. The story of the “Exodus” and       unteered for the PALMAH and
and, after Basic Training, he was sent    the agony of the 4,500 refugees has       joined the Negev Brigade. He par-
to fight in the Far East. He was sta-     been told many times. Dov was an          ticipated in battles against the Egyp-
tioned in the Philippines and later in    oiler during the voyage to Israel, and    tians in Gaza, the northern Negev,
Okinawa, when the atomic bomb             spent most of the transit in the en-
                                                                                          Obituaries (continued on next pg.)

                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                                         Be’er-Sheva‘, still a small town at         living on it in the Tel-Aviv Marina.
                                         the time, when a job was offered to         Not forgetting where he had been
                                         him - to head the Meteorological            before, Dov named his boat “Desert
                                         Station. This station was located at        Dream”. He taught himself naviga-
                                         the Negev Institute for Arid Zone           tion and often sailed along the coasts
                                         Research (later named: the Institutes       of his beloved country. Dov had two
                                         for Applied Research of the Ben-            homes: one was the place he slept
                                         Gurion University of the Negev).            and had his meals (for the last 15
                                           Working among animal and plant            years—his boat) and the second was
                                         physiologists, chemists and engi-           the Aranne Library in Be’er-Sheva‘,
                                         neers, he flourished. Self-educating        where he spent much time nourish-
                                         himself in climatology and meteo-           ing his mind. Painting and short
          Dov Mills, Oiler               rology, he reached very high levels         story writing occupied Dov in his
                                         of expertise in these fields. Besides       last years. His final project was to
Be’er-Sheva‘ and Bir Asluj. Though       carrying out the routine meteorologi-       develop a simple method of naviga-
he did not have a license, he was a      cal observations, he provided               tion, using neither a sextant nor a
jeep driver and shot a machine gun       weather forecasts for farmers all           GPS, but his illness prevented him
during the battles. His jeep com-        over the northern and southern              from completing this. About six
mander was Corporal Mota Gur,            Negev and participated in different         months before he passed away, he
later Commander-in-Chief of the          researches that needed his skills and       could no longer live on his yacht.
I.D.F. After one year of fighting, at    know-how in climatology. He also            This was very hard for him. Decid-
the end of the War of Independence,      taught a practical laboratory course        ing not to sell it, Dov gave it as a
he was discharged. First, Dov joined     on climatology at the Ben-Gurion            gift to Giora of Moshav Habonim,
Kibbutz Sasa (Hashomer Hatsa‘ir),        University of the Negev. In 1964,           who loves sailing, loves the sea, and
but he left after several months.        Dana, his third child, joined the fam-      has “good hands” to make it sea-
Then, looking for a job using his ag-    ily. Dov loved his country, so dur-         worthy and keep it ship-shape. Dov
ricultural experience, Dov found         ing holidays he would travel                did not live to see his boat go back
work at the Smuckler Farm in             throughout Israel. Camping was his          into the water. On October 25, 2004,
Moshav Rishpon, where he also met        favorite activity in the late sixties and   Dov’s family, friends from
the farmer’s daughter, Shula, who        seventies. Dov’s mind was always            Hashomer Hatsa‘ir, from the “Exo-
had come for a visit from the U.S.A.     stirring, always looking for new in-        dus”, from Kibbutz Sasa, Moshav
They fell in love, got married, and      terests. Psychology caught his fancy        Habonim, Moshav Orot, and from
settled in Moshav Habonim, being         in the late seventies. He completed         the Ben-Gurion University of the
among the first settlers. His son,       his B.S. in Behavioral Sciences at          Negev, and others, came to pay their
David, was born in Haifa, when they      Ben-Gurion University of the Negev          final respects and take their leave of
occupied one of the rooms in the         and continued with an M.A. in Psy-          Dov. May he sail the heavens in
Crusaders’ Fortress. After two years,    chology at the Hebrew University in         peace!
Dov and his family moved to              Jerusalem. Dov always loved as-               Received from David Baum
Moshav Orot, near Be’er Tuviyah,         tronomy. An autodidact also in this                    Condolences to
where his second son, Ilan, was born.    area, he became the beloved as-                         Dana Oumat
In 1956, difficulties in land cultiva-   tronomy teacher of kids from around                  Kehelat Solaniki 4/8
tion and financing drove him away        Be’er-Sheva‘ for several years; he                     69513 Tel Aviv
from Orot. Having returned tempo-        loved those kids and they loved him.
rarily to the Rishpon area, he started   Dov retired from work in 1989, af-            Memories from Dov’s Friends
working as an agro-meteorologist at      ter 32 years of governmental service.         Our chaver and former shipmate,
the Meteorological Service in the        Then, he returned to his lifelong           Dov Mills(born Bernard Miller)
Qiriyah in Tel-Aviv. In 1957, Dov        dream—the sea. Dov bought a small           passed away in Beersheva, Israel on
did not hesitate to move South to        yacht and spent the rest of his life              Obituaries (continued on next pg.)

                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

Saturday, Oct. 23rd, at 78 years of      ing was very much regretted by the         talking about the use of the sun &
age. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. he           kibbutz members.                           stars for navigation. He seemed al-
served in the U.S. Army during             Our third encounter was in Beer          ways to be working on a new method
WWII. He was a crew member of            Sheva where I joined the Negev In-         & claimed that he was close to a
the Aliyah Beth ship “Exodus” and        stitute for Arid Zone Research. Dov        new solution.
was among those who accompanied          was in charge of the local office of         Essentially Dov was a loner. He
the maapilim on their forced return      the Government’s Meteorological            was a free spirit that could not be
voyage to Hamburg, Germany. The          Services which maintained weather          held down for very long in conven-
Americans later escaped from the         observation facilities at our Institute    tional frameworks You felt this when
British Zone while posing as a soc-      He was responsible for measuring           you spoke to him or when you read
cer team and managed to make their       the various meteorological param-          his poetry We shall miss him.
way back to Palestine (Israel). Dur-     eters for Israel’s southern region and         Yoel & Chela Schechter
ing Israel’s War of Independence,        transmitting them over the world-
Dov served as a member of the            wide weather network. I noticed that
Palmach’s Ninth Battalion and par-       despite very little previous training
ticipated in the capture of Beersheva    Dov was able to explain to me the
and taking of Eilat (Um el               basics of atmospheric physics & how
Rashrash). He was an early mem-          to decode weather charts. We spent
ber of Kibbutz Sasa and Moshav           many hours during those years por-
Habonim. For many years he lived         ing over weather maps & observing
in Beersheva and served as a meteo-      cloud formations. Dov fit in well
rologist for the Ministry of Transpor-   with the staff of the Institute. His son
tation at the Arid Zone Research In-     David is now a professor at the In-                    Dov Mills
stitute. He enjoyed teaching chil-       stitute & the associated Ben-Gurion
dren about the stars, wrote poetry,      University.
and maintained a small sailboat at         Dov was always ready to explain
the marina in Tel-Aviv.                  what he was doing. Hardly a day                    We regret to report
   Avi and Batsheva Livney               passed when there was not a group                    the death of
   Kibbutz Barkai                        of young pupils from the nearby high
   ISRAEL                                school eagerly listening to Dov’s en-                Ida Chertoff
   972-4-6387254                         thusiastic lecture & patient demon-                      90
                                         stration of how equipment is used to                   wife of
   Encounters With Dov                   measure and predict the weather.                   Mordecai Chertoff
  I first met Dov (Miller then) when     Especially the measurement of up-
both he and I were visiting the          per atmospheric winds by following                   New York City
Hechalutz training farm at               the flight of a helium filled balloon               October 21, 2004
Heightstown N.J. I didn’t get much       would attract a big crowd of kids. A
of a chance to get to know him but I     visit to his station was very popular
do remember him as a very popular        in Beer Sheva high schools. His in-                We regret to report
and likeable character with a remark-    terest in people led him to study psy-               the death of
able baritone voice. He especially       chology in later years.
enjoyed singing Negro spirituals           Our forth meeting with Dov was                  Miriam Gardner
which was enjoyed by all.                in Tel Aviv where we had gone to                          79
  We met again years later when I        live after retirement. Dov still main-                 widow of
came to Kibbutz Sasa .He had al-         tained his connections with Beer                      Leo Gardner
ready made up his mind to leave the      Sheva but established a second home
kibbutz so once again we did not         in a little sail boat which he named                 Boca Raton, FL
have much of a chance to know one        “Desert Breeze” We visited each                     January 20, 2005
another It was clear that Dov’s leav-    other from time to time. Dov enjoyed
                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

      Irving Weingarten:                                                           In 1948, however, his lifelong
      Normandy Veteran                                                           dedication to the newly created State
        and Aliya Bet                                                            of Israel was about to begin in ear-
  Irving Weingarten passed away on                                               nest. Answering a random ad for an
July 25, 2004. Irv served on the                                                 overseas aircraft and engine me-
Hayim Arloseroff, the Pan Crescent                                               chanic, he found himself face to face
and the Pan York. Irving was born                                                with a recruiting agent for the fledg-
in Flushing New York on May 23,                                                  ling Israeli Air Force. Before long,
1924 and soon after moved with his                                               he was heading to Israel, where he
family to Buffalo. His Jewish edu-                                               spent 1948 and ’49 with 69 Squad-
cation was modest and his family                                                 ron at Ramat David servicing Israel’s
observance hardly went beyond                     Irving Weingarten              squadron of three reconstituted Fly-
High Holy Day attendance at syna-                                                ing Fortresses.
gogue.                                   shot in the leg and arrested. Placed      What made the whole experience
  Irv had served with the United         on a bus to the Athlit prison he man-   most interesting was his meeting up
States Merchant Marine and was part      aged to hide under a seat where he      with Jim Fuller, a gentile former U.S.
of the Normandy invasion during          remained when the other prisoners       Air Force aircraft mechanic work-
WWII. Upon returning to the United       were deboarded. In cooperation with     ing alongside him on the “forts.”
States after the war he met recruit-     the bus driver he was spirited away.    Fuller went through the same expe-
ers for aliya bet. He was drawn to         For seventeen years Irving worked     riences as he did but, this time it was
the effort more for the adventure        as a bus driver for the New York City   supposedly with a fledgling Israeli
than out of a sense of Jewish ideol-     Transit Authority. His wife Sarah       Airline (that then did not exist).
ogy. However, the sight of the DPs       and his son Michael survive him.           Jim’s parents, with whom he lived
changed his life and his attitudes. He              Condolences to:              at the time in Cleveland, suggested
became devoted to the Zionist cause.                Sarah Weingarten             he ask the advice of a relative in
  The British boarded his ship. In a           5801 NW 62nd Ave. #205            nearby Geneva, Ohio, who, they re-
show of daring he attempted to save            Tamarac, FL 33319-2227            membered, was married to a Jew.
the Zionist flag on the ship and was                 954 726 1401                The relative recommended Jim con-
                                                                                 sult with a Cleveland Rabbi who
                                                                                 knew something of Israel’s set up.
       Murray Kaplan: Serviced IAF Flying Fortresses                             Unbeknownst to Jim at the time, the
  Regretfully, our old buddy, Murray Kaplan, has                                 rabbi, who recommended Jim accept
passed away after a protracted illness.We will al-                               the position in Israel was Abba Hillel
ways remember him as a faithful servant to Israel.                               Silver, popular president of the Zi-
Murray was born in New York City on June 5, 1926                                 onist Organization of America.
of parents who had immigrated to the United States                                 Murray is survived by his wife,
from the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire.                                       Elaine Strauss, and two daughters,
Despite never belonging to a Jewish or Zionist or-                               Shoshana and Bat-Ami, both of
ganization, Murray considered himself Orthodox. He                               whom received their initial, pre-high
celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and was proud of his                                  school education in Israel.
Jewish Heritage.                                                                   Eugene Blum, AVI, IAF, 1948-’49
  Upon graduating from De Witt Clinton High                 Murray Kaplan                  Condolences to
School in The Bronx in 1943 at the age of 17, he                                          Elaine R. Strauss
obtained permission from his parents to enlist in the U. S. Navy “to fight the           828 Oakton, Apt. 2F
Nazis.” He spent close to a year transferring from one aircraft and engine               Evanston, IL 60202
mechanic school to another before being shipped to Guam, where he served
out the rest of the war as an aviation machinist mate.
                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                            Sol Freeman: Mechanic with 72nd Battalion
                          We re-         for France on the Marine Swallow.             Being the great mechanic that he
                        member           Arriving at the Grand Marinas DP            was, he was able to gather parts of
                        Sol Free-        Camp he assisted the residents with         three or four damaged trucks and
                        man with         day-to-day arrangements and pre-            build one that worked. He per-
                        g r e a t        pared them for aliya. He accompa-           formed this service with the 72nd in
                        pride. Sol       nied some of them to Palestine on           the Galilee.
                        was a li-        the Pan York and was assigned to a            Sol’s first wife Betty passed away
                        censed           military base in Samaria. He was            25 years ago. He married Bea Es-
                        mechanic         assigned to the 72 nd Battalion,            trin 17 years ago. He is survived
     Sol Freeman        w h o            Company B and saw action a scant            by Bea, a son, Brad, a daughter,
                        served           four days after his arrival. He par-        Aviva, grandchildren Norina,
first in the Ordinance Corps and         ticipated in an attack on a hill des-       Rebecca and Veronica and a step-
then in the Infantry Corps of the        ignated as Tamara. Fighting there           daughter, Marilyn Rosen and her
Canadian Army in World War II.           was severe and at close quarters and        daughter Jessica.
He was sent home from Belgium            the Jews were heavily outnumbered             His family and friends who loved
in 1944 for training as a Flame          by the Arabs. A bayonet charge was          him dearly miss him.
Gunner on Carriers.                      called for. The B Company lost a                       Condolences to
  Sol volunteered for the Haganah        number of men and many were                             Bea Freeman
in late 1947 and eventually sailed       wounded.                                           55 Skymark Dr. #206
                                                                                           Toronto, ONT, 2H3 2N4

                     Wartime Humor—as Remembered by David Macarov
      In establishing the Codes-and-Cipher Section of               “Zvi, this isn’t the kibbutz and you aren’t the work
the Israel air force, in Tel Aviv, I needed tens of work-        manager. This is the army, and you are ordered to trans-
ers, not only to make up the random-letter codebooks,            fer fifty people.”
but also to work in each of the outlying signal stations            “Okay, okay, I understand. I’ll stretch myself and give
as well as in headquarters. Since the air force operated         them ten.”
in English (due to the many foreign volunteers), I went             “Don’t you understand, Zvi? This is an order: Trans-
to the head of the air force — Aaron Remez — and                 fer fifty.”
explained my need. He thought a moment and replied                  “No, I can’t do that. It would denude my service.
that there were hundreds of airplane watchers on the             Fifteen is my last offer.”
roofs on Tel Aviv and other cities, and that many of               By this time Remez was laughing out loud.
them undoubtedly knew English. He also said he was                 “Zvi, you are not negotiating a land sale with an Arab.
convinced that the air-watch service was over-manned.            The code section needs fifty people and you are to give
So he called in the head of the air-watch section — an           them over.”
old kibbutznick named Zvi — and told him to transfer                “Aaron, with my hand on my heart I tell you I can’t
fifty air-watchers to the Codes and Ciphers Section. I           do it.”
am told the conversation went somewhat like this:                   In the end, we got twenty-five new clerks, and Remez
  “Fifty? I can’t spare fifty. Maybe if it is an emer-           told me that was the best he could do.
gency I can give them five.”
                                                                                                  Humor (continued on p.19)

                                     WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

President’s Message                      scheduled for Sunday June 5th, 2005.     website (, and
(continued from p. 1)                      6.Completing the first stage of        the museum that he created at the
   2. Furthering the archival work at    Aliyah Bet and Machal Museum in          University Of Florida at Gainesville.
the University of Florida and encour-    Gainesville, Fl. by September. The       We owe a lot to Ralph for his un-
aging members to donate or lend          tentative opening is planned for early   swerving efforts and his determina-
photographs and documents. Further       December, 2005. We plan a festive        tion as well as his resourcefulness
work in validating service records,      reception for the inauguration with      in raising the funds for the projects.
and expanding the Virtual Museum         participation by members and spe-          We are especially thankful to the
remains also an integral part of our     cial guests.                             University of Florida, Hillel and the
archival agenda.                           7.Promoting fundraisers to sup-        financial sponsors for their unflag-
   3. Encouraging a mission to Israel    port the archival and museum work        ging support and to our Machal
by an AVI delegation coinciding          in progress gaining support from in-     friends in Israel for their research
with the Yom Hazikharon memorial         dividual members, outside sponsors       assistance in connection with the
at Sha’ar Hagai. This solemn day of      and foundations.                         exhibit material. Our story will be
remembrance for Israel’s fallen sol-       8.Continuing the work of the           documented and reflect a unique
diers occurs on Wednesday, May 11,       Speakers Bureau in providing AVI         contribution to Jewish History by a
2005, followed by Israel’s 57th In-      speakers to temples, organizations       relatively small band of inspired
dependence Day celebration on            and community centers.                   people.
Thursday.                                  These are the pillars of the 2005        I salute my predecessor, Jerry
   4.Expanding the West Point As-        Agenda that I propose to the AVI         Rosenberg, for his service to this or-
sembly (honoring Mickey Marcus           Board. I ask the membership at large     ganization and I look forward to
and the other Fallen North Ameri-        for further support. Please come and     working with our new Vice presi-
cans) into a National AVI event with     help. Contact any of the board mem-      dent, Bill Gelberg, and the AVI
appropriate media attention and par-     bers to volunteer your time. Feel        Board of Directors in serving the
ticipation by Jewish schools, temples    free to call or e-mail your thoughts     members to the best of my capacity
and community centers. The event         and suggestions to me or any of the      and abilities.
is scheduled to take place on Sun-       Board members.                              I extend my best wishes for good
day, May 15.                               We recognize our Archivist, Ralph      health and happiness to you and your
   5.Participating, as is our custom     Lowenstein, for his incredible           families for the coming year.
each year, in the Salute to Israel Pa-   achievement with the Machal &              Shalom,
rade down Fifth Ave in New York,         Aliyah Bet Archives, the AVI                                     Ira Feinberg

                                xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

(Wilkes-Chase continued from p 1)
                                         Cambridgeshire agricultural packing      raeli Ambassador Zvika Gendelman
  Later, he passed an officers train-    business. He met his wife, June, a       presented the certificate to his
ing course and was assigned as a         former nurse and married in 1962.        widow. Medicks said he was disap-
bodyguard to David Ben Gurion. He        They had two daughters, Vanessa          pointed not to have known Wilkes-
remained in Israel until 1958 and        and Genevieve.                           Chase. He learned of his service
achieved the rank of Captain in the        Wilkes-Chase died at the age of 73     from his obituary in the Daily Tele-
IDF artillery. Returning to England,     in 2002. Stanley Medicks, coordina-      graph.
he surrendered to the authorities and    tor of the British and European            This article is based on a one that
served a year’s detention at             Machal, arranged for the Israeli         appeared in the Jewish Chronicle,
Colchester barracks. Upon his re-        Embassy to recognize his contribu-       London, June 18, 2004. John Rifkin
lease he moved to East Anglia and        tion with a certificate of apprecia-     took the photograph of the presen-
accepted a position with a               tion. IDF Brigadier General and Is-      tation.

                                        WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER
Book Review (continued from p.1)            that I was previously unaware of. Ex-          Markovitsky also refers to the resent-
May 1948.” This doesn’t seem to mesh        cept for those morsels, there is not        ment of Machal among Gachalniks. He
with the passage in his Gachal article      much in it that most of us are not al-      explains that their antipathy was due
which states, “over 4,000 men who re-       ready familiar with, such as references     largely to the better service conditions
ceived ‘service’ training and arrived in    to ‘brand-name’ Machalniks like             enjoyed by Machalniks, and was par-
Israel … between February and Sep-          ‘Buzz’ Beurling, Ben Dunkelman and          ticularly evident in mixed units, such
tember 1948, joined various Hagana          ‘Mickey’ Marcus.                            as the mainly Gachal Czech Brigade
units which later became IDF units.”           How many of us knew, for example,        and the French Commandos, both of
   Returning to Machal, he writes that      that volunteers from Australia and New      which included a number of
“over 4,000”¡ participated in the vari-     Zealand were initially considered as        Machalniks.
ous IDF and pre-state underground           Gachal? Officialdom’s rationale was            To his credit, he provides this astute
forces. But instead of providing justi-     that since they came to Israel on their     explanation of officialdom’s ambiva-
fication for that number, he states that    own (recruiting organizations were          lent attitude toward Machal, which he
published Machal numbers are not uni-       non-existent in either country), they       wisely attributes to un-named other
form; one source gives 3,000 as their       hadn’t been promised any ‘special’ ser-     people; “The military and political es-
total, another puts it at “about 5,000,”    vice conditions such as transportation      tablishment wasn’t sufficiently truth-
and still another, a book of his own,       back home, as were their comrades-in-       ful in its relationship to Machal per-
puts it at “between 4,700 and 5,600.”       arms from other English-speaking            sonnel, ….National pride was a factor
In the footnote he explains that “it’s      countries.                                  in the behavior of military command-
not our purpose to study the topic of          To this I can add that bona-fide vol-    ers toward the volunteers.” Further-
quantity in this article.”                  unteers from Eastern European coun-         more, “Yishuv leaders believed, or
   It’s puzzling why Markovitsky chose      tries, and there were some, had an es-      wanted to believe, that they didn’t re-
to mention those unfounded and wide-        pecially hard time trying to be classi-     ally need outside assistance,” a con-
ranging numbers, educated guesses at        fied as Machal. As Markovitsky points       tention “strengthened by the ‘fact’ that
best, that were bandied about over the      out, perhaps the official attitude toward   the volunteers yardu min ha’aretz (de-
years, when the “about 3,500” given         them mirrored that of David Ben-            serted the country) when they left and
in his own Machal booklet was built         Gurion who regarded the Czech Bri-          so there was thus no need to immor-
on solid footings and is therefore gen-     gade, which had some Machalniks in          talize their assistance and contribution
erally accepted as being a very realis-     its ranks, with apprehension as being       to the war effort.”
tic estimate.                               a possible Communist conspiracy.               The article ends with the indisput-
   As is generally known among stu-            In another reference to Ben-Gurion,      able but rather timid view that since
dents of Machal, researched numbers         he tells of an entry in his war diary       many Machalniks came with WW2
were just non-existent prior to 1987.       which shows that he saw the Machal          military training and experience they
Only with the publication that year of      contribution “not only in terms of in-      “made a meaningful contribution that
The Jews’ Secret Fleet, by Joseph           creased military manpower, but mainly       enabled the IDF to create a regular and
Hochstein and Murray Greenfield, did        as an expression of Diaspora Jewry’s        modern army in a relatively short pe-
a reasonably solid Machal number (for       solidarity” with the nascent State of Is-   riod of time.”
Aliya-Betniks) come to light. Other         rael. It seems to me that we saw our           While few Machalniks would find
equally solid Machal numbers, all the       contribution to the cause in a somewhat     Markovitsky’s article totally satisfying,
result of thorough research, became         different light; more as individuals put-   we should bear in mind that its appear-
known during the 1990s, including; the      ting our lives on the line than as Zion-    ance in Kadish’s important book will
killed and missing, volunteers from         ists or representatives of Diaspora         surely help spread the Machal message
South Africa, aircrew personnel and         Jewry. That may be why even now             in Israel. Who knows, it may also reach
volunteers from Canada.                     many of us are inclined to see our-         members of the country’s establish-
   Markovitsky’s Machal article has         selves, justifiably in my view, as be-      ment who know little, if anything,
considerably more footnote references       ing a head taller than most Jews in the     about the true worth of the Machal con-
to original data sources than does his      Diaspora. Perhaps it’s that very senti-     tribution back then.
Gachal article, but here too many origi-    ment which led to our tongue-in-cheek                               Eddy Kaplansky
nal data sources are masked by refer-       definition of a Zionist back then, as a                                        Haifa
ences to his own works. But in con-         Jew in the Diaspora who raised money
trast with the latter, his Machal article   from a second Jew with which to send
contains several interesting morsels        a third Jew to join the fight in Israel.

                                       WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                                           Letters to the Editor…
   The Eleanora Stratham obituary in       perhaps, in common with several          friends and relatives. Often begin-
the last Newsletter brought to mind        others I know of, he just didn’t like    ning as little white-lies, such tales
a very pleasant young lady from            the idea of serving in a non-flying      are known to have developed into
Britain called Ella at the IAF’s In-       position and opted for an IAF dis-       myths that effectively shut out his-
telligence Wing, and I was therefore       charge.                                  torical truth. And in instances where
saddened by the news of her pass-            The heroics attributed to him will     the tale is based on an actual hap-
ing. I was previously unaware that         be seen as highly unlikely to any-       pening but with a name-change, the
she was then a married woman, and          one familiar with the IAF history of     identity of the true hero can be lost
that her husband was an airman             that period or with matters of aircrew   forever. As former CIA director
called Joshua Joseph.                      training. For one, that someone          Alan Dulles reportedly put it,
  The first time I came across his         trained only as a navigator, “flew one   ”Truth has a hard time once myths
name was some forty years later,           of Israel’s first aeroplanes in Italy”   are established that satisfy our hun-
while researching and compiling            after making “the mistake of telling     ger for heros and heroics.”
THE FIRST FLIERS, a definitive             the Israelis he could fly,” is utter       If other reputable veterans organi-
work on the nascent IAF’s aircrew          nonsense to anyone knowing               zations can manage to keep their
personnel that was later published by      how much training is required be-        newsletters clean of such history-
the IAF Historical Branch. The             fore one can safely take-off and land    falsifying stuff, surely so can the
document containing his name in-           even the simplest of light airplanes.    AVI.
dicated conclusively that on Octo-           And if one of our fliers was indeed                    Ed Kaplansky, Haifa
ber 29th 1948 air gunner Joseph was        “wounded severely in aerial combat”          
in the IAF’s Aircrew Pool, essen-          back then, such sensational and un-
tially a roster of fliers either not yet   precedented news would have                          xxxxx
assigned to a squadron or awaiting         spread like wildfire throughout
their discharge. In none of the doz-       the IAF. Yet there is no known docu-       A number of Machal volunteers
ens of other documents I scoured           mentation of an IAF airman having        served together with their wives. Yet,
did his name appear, and to none of        been wounded in action at any time       some of the wives do not appear in
the many former IAF fliers I con-          during the 1948/49 war. While seek-      Machal records, though they are rec-
sulted was his name familiar. He           ing clarification of that unlikely       ognized by AVI as members. The fol-
therefore appears in THE FIRST             allegation, I was informed that he       lowing letter speaks to this point.
FLIERS as an air gunner in the Air-        “shot down an Egyptian plane and           Many of the wives of American
crew Pool whose WW2 service, unit          was shot down and wounded him-           students were active one way or an-
of IAF service and country of ori-         self.” It happens that the circum-       other (as were single girls like Zippy
gin are unknown.                           stances of every air-to-air downing      (Borowski) Porat, Rachel Lev,
  Thanks to the heroics attributed to      of an airplane, both the enemy’s and     Rachel Weiner, and others). How-
him in Ella’s obit, I now know much        the IAF’s, were properly recorded at     ever, this was long before the cre-
more about Joshua Joseph, but have         the time and so are well known to-       ation of Machal, and they were not
no evidence that he ever flew with         day among historians and research-       later blanketed in like the men. My
an     IAF      squadron.         Since    ers of that era. I have little           wife stood on the porch of Patt’s
there was only one unit (69 Squad-         doubt therefore, that both heroic
                                                                                    bakery trying to spot Arabs entering
ron) back then with any need for air       deeds attributed to Joseph are of the
                                                                                    the New City. She also carried arms
gunners, and there were more than          kind seen in that old Danny Kaye
                                                                                    to Motza, but when the war was over
enough air gunners in the IAF to fill      classic, The Adventures of Walter
                                                                                    none of these wives received dis-
that need, it may be that                  Mitty.
                                                                                    charge papers or pay. Sexual dis-
Joseph was among the many ‘super-            Such ‘old-soldiers tales’ more of-
                                           ten than not originate with the self-    crimination is not new.
fluous’ air gunners who did great                                                             David Macarov, Jerusalem
work on the ground as intelligence         proclaimed hero himself, and are
officers, operations officers, or in       innocently propagated, and fre-                                Letters to Editor
some other important capacity. Or          quently embellished, by admiring                        (continued on next page)

                                      WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

Letters to Editor
(continued from p.16)                     Letter to the Editor…

   I am a quiet member of AVI. I was      Response from Si Spiegelman..              1. Over the past ten years we have
3rd engineer on the Aliyah Bet            Dear Martin:                               discussed the museum idea with
ship Mala in 1948. Paul Kaye and             Over the years we have been in          major organizations. Interest was
Sid Rabinovich may remember me.           touch with the curators of the Mu-         intense and promises were made, but
   I recently listened to a lecture by    seum, specifically Esther Brumberg         no one delivered. The problem was
Dr. Louis Levine, the Curator at the      and more recently Michael                  in funding the project.
Museum of Jewish Heritage in              Spielholz. They know all about our         Now….
NYC , on the heroic role of uni-          organization and where to find us.         2. Hillel in Gainesville offered the
formed Jewish servicemen during           Our talks with them in the past led        space for the exhibit to us and even
World War Two. The lecture was a          nowhere. There were problems in            designed the new Hillel House foyer
verbal “walk thru” of a new exhibit       their minds as to how we fit with          to accommodate the display cabi-
he mounted at this museum. After          their exhibit themes, besides budget-      nets.
his inspiring talk , I suggested to him   ary issues and more recently their         3. While AVI members provided
what a natural addition to the exhibit    focus on remodelling the floor where       the modest seed money to start the
it would be to add those USA WWII         we suggested an Aliyah Bet Exhibit         fund raiser, the sponsors/contribu-
servicemen who served in the vari-        be mounted.                                tors who provided significant funds
ous branches of Machal during the           Thanks for telling us about your         are Floridians
Israeli war of independence in            conversation with Dr. Louis Levine.        Other factors…
1948. Dr. Levine had already              I will be more than happy to contact       4. UFL- Gainesville supported the
thought of the idea but was having        Dr. Levine and give him all the as-        creation of the archives over the
difficulty in finding Machal people.      sistance he needs. There is no doubt       years and signed agreements to
   I respectfully suggest that you con-   that even a small exhibit on Aliyah        maintain the archives in perpetuity.
tact Dr. Levine and move this idea        Bet and Machal would be an upbeat          (Supported by a Machal endowment
forward. Perhaps Dr. Levine could         message of resistance, defiance,           fund.)
write an article for our AVI newslet-     hope in connection with the holo-          5. Ralph Lowenstein, who has dedi-
ter and solicit responses from sur-       caust years. We have always felt that      cated his time to create the archives
viving qualified member veterans?         we “belong in the Museum of Jew-           and museum lives and works in
                         Martin Silver    ish Heritage”, but you understand          Gainesville as past Dean of the UFL
                           Lenox, MA      that it is not in our hands and soon it    School of Journalism
                                          will be too late as our numbers are        6. UFL at Gainesville has a signifi-
Dear Martin:                              dwindling fast.                            cant Jewish student population
  It is always pleasing when a quiet         I suggest, if you see it as appro-      (6000) and a major Judaica library.
AVI members speaks up. Thank-             priate, to cc this note to Dr. Levine...      In the final analysis the museum
you for the information. We had                                               Si .   location becomes less important if
some contact with the Museum of                                                      we consider that
Jewish Heritage through David                                                        7. Displays will be accessible on-line
Gen perhaps a decade ago. I am               Gainesville Machal Museum…              through          the         internet
forwarding this to Si Spiegelman,                    A Reality Check                 (
now the chairman of our executive            Gainesville ???????? At first           8. Mobility is assured by having rep-
board. This initiative falls in his       blush it sounds like a strange place       licas of displays that can be exhib-
area.                                     for the Machal museum considering          ited by other institutions. All they
                     The Editor SZK       all the fine Jewish museums and in-        have to do is provide the space.
                                          stitutions located in our major cities     There is also plenty of room for fur-
                                          that attract large crowds…                 ther enhancements if they care to
                                             The reality is as follows…              participate in such initiatives.
                                                                                                            Si Spiegelman
                                  WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                          More on “Machal Volunteers from China”
   The AVI Newsletter Winter 2003 contained an article entitled “Machal Volunteers from China.” Sello
Fisch, a 1967 veteran, has submitted a follow-up article sketching some of the history of Jews in China,
China as a refuge during the Holocaust, a list of individual Jewish refugees form China who have become
prominent in American life and a vignette of Jewish volunteers who sailed for Israel in 1948. This last part
of Fisch’s narrative is reproduced below.

  With the end of WWlI the ‘China Jews’ refugee            Negev. Michael Blumenthal, Secretary of Com-
community dispersed some to the US and Canada              merce in the Carter administration and Peter Max,
or Australia while others went on aliya to Israel.         new-age illustrator of New York. Colonel Avi Lanir
Among the various Zionist organizations in Shang-          (Lankin), son of an illustrious Zionist family whose
hai was a contingent of Betarniks of Jabotinsky Re-        father made aliya from Harbin China and whose
visionists who trained, with three British Lee-            uncle Eliyahu Lankin was commander of the ill-
Enfield rifles, to join in the fight for independence      fated ‘Machal/Gachal’ LST ‘Altalena’. He com-
in Israel. In the latter part of 1948 the first contin-    manded Machal fighter squadron 101 at Ramat
gent of this MachaI group boarded the ‘Wooster             David during the Yom-Kippur war. The Syrians
Victory’ an ex US troop transport enroute on a two         downed defending the Golan Heights Lanir’s ‘Mi-
months storm tossed voyage                                                            rage’ and Lanir was cap-
around Africa to Israel. The                                                          tured and martyred in
Suez Canal passage as well                                                            Damascus at the promis-
as most ports of entry along                                                          ing age of thirty-three.
the way was barred to this                                                              An interesting aside of
‘human cargo’ (four-tiered                                                            ‘the circle of history’ is
bunks in the cargo holds                                                              the adventurous life story
were the accommodations                                                               of Gerhard Neumann, a
and noodles and tuna the                                                              Frankfurt am Main Jew-
standard fare), which finally                                                         ish aviation engineer who
disembarked in the port of                                                            in the 1930’s serviced
Marseilles. There they were                                                           German engines for an
joined by a group of French                                                           airline in southern China.
Gachal embarked on the              Betar members sail from China to Israel, 1948     During WWlI he became
Zim ship Negba, to its des-                                                           head of maintenance of
tination the port of Haifa in Israel.                      Claire Chennault’s A VG (American Volunteer
  Among the ‘China hands’ and descendants of note          Group) ‘Flying Tigers’ in Chunking. Among his ex-
are Zerach Warhaftig, saved by Sugihara (the Japa-         ploits was the restoration to flying condition of a
nese diplomat in Poland who issued transit visas to        crashed Mitsubishi ‘Zero’, which was the nemesis
allow Jews to escape to Kobe and Shanghai), des-           of allied pilots who desperately wanted to discover
tined to be among the signers of Israel Declaration        its nimble flight characteristics. After the war
of Independence and long-time serving minister of          Neumann came to Ohio and joined the budding GE
religious affairs in Israel’s cabinet; on one of his       jet-engine division where he rose to become its di-
official visits to Japan he re-discovered Chiune           rector And developer of the unique J-79 engine the
Sugihara. Joseph Tekoa, Israel ambassador to the           powerhouse of the indomitable F-4 Phantom and
UN and director of Ben-Gurion University in the            Israel’s indigenous design fighter-bomber the Kfir.
                                                                                                     Sello Fisch

                                         WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER

                                                                                         Humor continued from p. 13)
                           AVI EVENTS IN 2005
                                                                                            We made up codebooks of random
   The year 2005 will be marked by four major events. AVI members are asked to           strings of letters by painting alpha-
take note and invited to participate.                                                    bets on poker chips, stirring them
MISSION TO ISRAEL                            information regarding the program will      around, and drawing them out in
We are planning a mission to Israel by       be mailed beforehand.                       groups of five. This was tedious
an AVI delegation coinciding with the        Note: Those joining the mission to Is-      work, and in order to keep morale
Yom Hazikharon memorial at Sha’ar            rael and also attending the West Point      up I usually asked for volunteers
Hagai. This solemn day of remem-             assembly should plan their trip so as       among the cipher clerks. We did this
brance for Israel’s fallen soldiers occurs   to return to the U.S. in time for the       work at night, and usually served
on Wednesday, May 11, 2005, followed         event (May 15). There was no flexibil-      light refreshments to keep things on
by Israel’s 57th Independence Day cel-       ity in scheduling the West Point Assem-     a pleasant keel.
ebration on Thursday. Our plan is to         bly earlier in May.                            We had worked late one night, and
arrange for transportation for the atten-
                                                                                         when I dismissed the crew, Sonia —
dants from a central Jerusalem or Tel        SALUTE TO ISRAEL PARADE
Aviv location to Sha’ar Hagai and re-        We will again march (or ride) in the
                                                                                         who had just joined the service —
turn to that point at the conclusion of      Salute to Israel Parade down Fifth Ave      waited until everyone else had gone,
the ceremony. We are in touch with           in New York, on Sunday, June 5, 2005.       and then said, “I don’t mind work-
World Machal about organizing a spe-         For information contact Dave Gerard         ing late. In fact, I don’t mind being
cial dinner or lunch event and a visit to    (631) 499-4327                              here with you very late. What do
a museum including also a visit with                                                     you say?”
Israel dignitaries. Each participant will    OPENING OF THE ALIYAH BET                       I said, “That is very thoughtful
make his/her own travel and room ar-         AND MACHAL MUSEUM                           and very helpful of you. However,
rangements AVI will provide a sched-         We plan an opening ceremony of the          I think my wife would be annoyed
ule (time and venue of the events). For      Museum in Gainesville, FL on either         if I came home too late.”
information please contact: Ira Feinberg     Sunday, November 6 or 13, 2005. Our
                                                                                            Shock! “You are married? I didn’t
(201) 886-1188, David Hanovice (201)         members and special guests following
224-3551, Sparks Meltzer (561) 637-          a catered brunch at the Hillel House will
                                                                                         know that. I have to leave now.
5874 or Jerry Rosenberg (416) 787-           attend the formal opening in the after-        Sonia never volunteered to mix
7632.                                        noon. Those members who will be in          poker chips again. However, it was
                                             Gainesville on Saturday can join for        when she was stationed in a small
WEST POINT ASSEMBLY                          Shabbat services in the morning and an      airfield in the north that I received a
The West Point Assembly (honoring            informal dinner in the evening. The         phone call from the Military Police
Mickey Marcus and the other Fallen           committee members organizing the            wanting to know about Sonia. It
North Americans) has been an impor-          event are Ralph Lowenstein (352) 392-       seems she had shot the lock off the
tant event for many years attended           6525, Art Bernstein (978) 532-6956,         door of her room, and they wanted
mostly by members and friends living         Bill Gelberg (561) 278-7392, Sparks         to know what I wanted done with
in the immediate vicinity. We now plan       Meltzer (561) 637-5874, Paul Kaye
to expand the attendance to involve          (718) 428-2465, Jerry Rosenberg (416)
other regions and to include Jewish          787-7632, and Si Spiegelman (212)
                                                                                             I got on the phone and asked her
schools, temples and community cen-          685-8548.                                   if she had lost the key to her room.
ters. The memorial event is scheduled        More information regarding the pro-         The answer was no. Had she found
to take place this year on Sunday, May       gram will be forthcoming.                   trouble unlocking the door? Again,
15. For information, please contact any                                                  no. Then why shoot the lock off?
of the committee members: Naomi              Note: If you can lend a hand with these        “I wanted to see if it really works,
Kantey (201) 489-3809, Paul Kaye             events, please get in touch with our        like it does in the movies.”
(718) 428-2465, Si Spiegelman (212)          President, Ira Feinberg at (201) 886-          I got her off that time, but the next
685-8548, Dave Gerard (631) 499-             1188 . We need all the help we can get.     time I was unable to help her. She
4327, Joe Warner (416) 497-0140,                                      Si Spiegelman      was arrested for shooting dice be-
Sparks Meltzer (561) 637-5874 or Ira                             Executive Director
                                                                                         hind the cipher hut with a bunch of
Feinberg (201) 886-1188. Additional
                                                                                                      Humor (continued on p.20)

                                   WINTER 2005 - THE AVI NEWSLETTER
Humor continued from p. 19)

officers, while she was just a buck private. None of the        nel in the American army (we called it “major plus).
officers were arrested, of course, and I found out later        After a few days, the hotel manager approached me,
that she was winning a fortune. I also found out that           explained that he had not been paid by the air force for
they caught her cheating. That was the last I heard of          the use of the hotel in several months, and asked me to
Sonia.                                                          intervene to see that they would be paid.
   Two pretty, blonde, sexy young ladies from the States          I tried to explain to him that I was not in the finance
used to hang around the Yarden Hotel, which is where            department, and that I had no real influence anywhere
air force officers were quartered. Somehow — I won’t            else in the air force, but he kept after me, eyeing the
try to guess — they got hold of officers’ uniforms and          evidence of my rank on my epaulets. When he finally
wore them. The somewhat taller and older girl was re-           understood that I couldn’t or wouldn’t help him, I found
ferred to as “Hot Pup,” while the younger, more slender         myself demoted. Not by the air force, but by the man-
girl was called “Little Kitten.” They turned up at al-          ager. We were shifted to a much smaller room from
most every air force social function, and many times            which we heard the constant noise from the street.
when there was no function. Eventually, two officers               Incidentally, the hotel had a nightclub on the ground
were court-martialed for having taken them along on a           floor, and the band would play loudly into the wee hours
secret trip to Yugoslavia, and Hot Pup and Little Kitten        of the morning. Remonstrations, pleas, official repri-
disappeared.                                                    mands made no impression on the hotel manager or on
   When Jerry Renov and another pilot flew Frieda and           the bandleader. Pilots would explain that they needed
myself out of besieged Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, the first         their sleep to be of maximum service in the morning,
place to which we headed was the Brooklyn Bar, which            but that made no difference.
was really a milk bar. Crossing the street, we saw a              Finally, drastic steps were evidently necessary, so by
cucumber in the gutter, and bumped heads from simul-            pre-arrangement a group of pilots visited the nightclub
taneously leaning down to retrieve it. Food had been            one night, and at eleven o’clock told the band to stop
so scarce in Jerusalem for weeks that a free-floating           playing. The leader remonstrated, whereupon twelve
cucumber (so to speak) promised a treat.                        uniformed air force officers standing together took out
Once in the bar, we ordered the fanciest concoction we          their pistols, advanced on the bandstand, and explained:
could find ice cream, fruit, whipped cream, nuts the            “Believe us, the army will acquit us for whatever we do
works. Just as we were ready to dig in, a young woman           on the basis of wartime necessity.”
dressed in what I can only describe as Tel Aviv high              The band never played after eleven o’clock from then
fashion, wearing jewelry and well made-up, stopped at           on.
our table and said, loudly: “How can you eat some-                 On a routine flight to the airstrip in Ekron one Ezer
thing like that when people in Jerusalem are starving?”         Weitzman introduced me to the field commander who
  Someone with us mumbled: “These people have just              was passing. When he left, I asked the pilot with whom
come out of Jerusalem.”                                         I was flying about Ezer.
  She turned red, bit her lip, and ran out of the cafe.            “A wild man,” he said. “He’ll never amount to any-
I began wondering how people in Tel Aviv not eating             thing.”
would help the people in Jerusalem, until I remembered
how many mothers used to urge their children to clean
their plates because of the starving children in Arme-
  When I joined air force headquarters staff in Tel Aviv
Frieda and I found we had been assigned the penthouse
suite in the Yarden Hotel, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
I had the rank of Squadron Commander, which was the
equivalent of a rank between major and lieutenant colo-


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