Yom Ha'atzmaut 2020
My indelible memories of Alexandria when the State of Israel was born.
by Edna Anzarut-Turner

I was a young child, but my seared memories of the time when Israel was born are indelible.

I recall how my parents and grandparents would send the servants on a long wild goose chase shopping, and would bend over the radio as the musical introduction to the underground radio Kol Israel sounded.

They listened to the static infested Hebrew, English, and Arabic news.

I had to stand on guard outside the closed doors just in case the hired help arrived early.

And then...one wonderful day « Partition » became a reality, and miracle of miracles, Jews would again be able to claim the Land of Israel as their home.

The United Nations votes were coming in :

Yes, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, yes, YES !! YES!! YES!!!

I still vividly remember my parents and grandparents yelling, the whooping the very loud cheers and shouts of absolute joy.

The elation and unimaginable happiness as my parents and grandparents cheered wildly when the radio announced that the counted votes meant the birth of the State of Israel.

They wept, they hugged, they danced, they opened a bottle of Dom Perignon.

And then life in Alexandria and the rest of Egypt changed for us Jews..

Friends of my parents, cousins, Uncles and aunts disappeared...we discovered they had been arrested and sent to prison camps for being Zionists.

We Jews started calling Israel “là-bas”(over there).

I remember the secret police on guard in front of our home...I remember that my parents and I were being followed.

To this day I canot understand why the Muhabarat would follow a small child.

I remember our phone being bugged..I remember...I remember...

And then one day lorries with loud speakers drove everywhere blaring orders that we must close our shutters and not look at the street.

We still took a peep : the Egyptian Arabs were being drilled on how to march....left right left right!

We collapsed with laughter as we watched the totally inept disorganized, haphazard group of servants, hawkers, fellaheen dressed up as soldiers, hobbling along, as they were totally unused to wearing boots, let alone shoes, and they had no idea how to hold their weapons.
They were such a sorry and ridiculously pitiful sight.

However, before we knew it, they were whipped up to become a formidable army; an army to be reckoned with.

The Jewish State of Israel ?? follows the Latin precept « Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum ». Eretz Israel is not going anywhere. NEVER AGAIN!

I thank God every day for this blessing. This miracle.

I thank God because wherever we Jews live, whether in the Diaspora or in Israel, we live in democracies, and are free to be Zionists.

We can freely sing the Hatikvah anywhere and any time we wish, and call Israel by its name and not « là-bas » (over there)

Baroukh Hashem we don’t live in an Arab country anymore.

Edna Anzarut-Turner
(Quebec) Canada
1st May 2020

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