The Israeli Confessions

The following testimony of Sharm al-Sheikh’s affair should be included, in order to understand what happened there. Colonel (reserves) Amos Ne’eman, who was Wolt’s commander in that campaign, said:

“We were like a hurricane that absorbs power and then crushes everything that it takes hold of. Call it a spontaneous outburst; call it pulling out the plug. I don’t know. I only admit that in those moments it did not occur to me even once to stop killing in order to take prisoners. I changed clips in my Uzi like a crazy man, without even feeling it, and chased the Egyptians into the dunes. We conducted manhunts and whoever managed to escape my barrages when he ran into the desert, was alive only by a miracle. If I try to understand why our fingers were so heavy on the trigger, my only explanation is the hatred for the enemy. I did not hate them in the Six Day War nor in the Yom Kippur War, but in the Suez War I wanted to break their bones, I wanted to slaughter them all….

“I was torn up inside. On one hand there were the values of Ha’shomer Ha’tzair, the Mapam youth movement. On the other hand there were Ratul and Biro, who taught us to despise the enemy. I went to war with a cup full of revenge and I emptied it completely. I remember that only three kilometers from Sharm al-Sheikh, I woke up, came to my senses and truly understood what I had done in the last hours of the war. It happened on a bend on the main road. An Egyptian command car halted 40 meters away from me. An Egyptian officer came out of it, stood there, sent a hand to his belt and took out his pistol. I raised my gun and within seconds I had him in my sights. Suddenly I saw that instead of shooting at me he put his gun to his head and shot himself: When we advanced further, I stopped for a minute, got out of the armored vehicle, and took his gun as a souvenir.

“At al-Tur, one minute before we got on the planes to go home, Raful asked that a special unit inspection be organized. We did not understand what was going on. Raful did not speak; he just laid out blankets on the ground, in silence and looked at us full of rage. Biro came to his senses first and shouted, ‘Everyone empty out the booty, now.’ Raful was very sensitive about this issue. When he discovered that the guys had taken watches and money from the Egyptians, he thought he had only one of two choices. To shoot us all or to burn the stuff in Sinai and never mention the affair again. I think, incidentally, that it happened after someone told him that Aryeh Biro had fired at one of our soldiers, who were caught red-handed, emptying the pockets of a dead Egyptian soldier. Only by chance did Biro missed by a few inches and the man survived. The blankets that Raful laid out were full within minutes. There was everything in them. I went over to him and asked for permission to keep the pistol of the Egyptian officer as a souvenir. He nodded his assent, then tied the blankets into a huge bundle, poured gasoline over it and set it on fire.”