Search For the 1956 POWs Massacre in Israeli literature

Literature is known to be the mirror of the society and its share from its social and political defeats and triumphs especially when it is inspired by real events like wars.

In 1960 one of Israel’s finest authors and playwrights Aharon Megged wrote a novel called “The fortunes of a fool” which

Aharon Megged

was published in 1960 , the novel is about the Suez war and its reflection on the hero of the novel , the fool who suffers in his social life to the degree that he wishes to kill himself finding a final resort in a terrible war.

In the 310 pages novel there is a whole chapter dedicated to the military tribunal of that fool hero who refused to follow his commanders’ orders and kill the Egyptian POWs he was guarding where there is that interesting dialogue between the judge and the fool hero showing how the Israeli military establishment supported and approved1 the murder of unarmed Arab POWs.

There is no doubt that Megged did not imagine that tribunal and that support to POWs murder from nothing , there is no smoke without fire, already in 1956 Israeli military correspondent then Amir Oren wrote about the Metla massacre then in Israeli newspaper “Davar“. There is no doubt that Megged was inspired by Oren’s reports where he wrote that whole chapter in that novel to represent his hero as a fool in the eyes of a military establishment.

“The fortunes of a fool” was translated in to English in 1962 in the United States. I do not know if it has been translated

Fortunes of a fool

in to Arabic or not despite the fact that other Megged’s have been translated in the Arab world as an example to the contemporary Israeli literature. This novel shows the importance of reading and translating the Israeli literature which is another window to understand the Israeli and Zionist mindsets. I knew about this novel from a 2009 op-ed by Dr. Ibrahim El-Bahrawy2 who was among the first to introduce examples from Israeli literature to the Egyptian and Arabic readers since early 1970s.

The English translation is available in Amazon.com if you are interested in reading it.

  1. still does []
  2. professor of Hebrew in Ain Shams university []

4 thoughts on “Search For the 1956 POWs Massacre in Israeli literature

  1. Your post is very interesting. After reading your article, I was so interested in getting the book. Is there any translation other than English or Arabic?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *