Is Israel South Vietnam?
"You are here, We have been waiting for you so that we could turn over the government, There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have."
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”Colonel Istiklal, Major General Medina from the IDF wants to see you,” the sergeant said, strangely smiling in a very inappropriate manner.
It wasn’t a planned visit, yet, the Hezbollah officer wasn’t surprised. “Bring us coffee with hel* and let him in,” he said, also smiling broadly.
Outside, a glorious sun illuminated the green Galilee; the oddly shaped Mount of the Beatitudes was in clear sight. ‘“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth,” I was told once by a Christian, I should have listened better,’ Colonel Istiklal thought while waiting to his visitor.
Earlier that morning he had sent a message back home confirming the fall of most of the Galilee. Two forces had successfully penetrated it, one from the Finger of the Galilee, the other from Nahariya, next to the Mediterranean Sea. The second one was unexpected and heroic. While his soldiers approached the IDF border cross base, the Israelis operated a wave-packets sound-weapon, highly directional and similar to the auxiliary weapon used against Khaled Mashal and to what can be seen near certain heavily fortified embassies. The Hezbollah soldiers froze on their spots except for one of his officers. Badly wounded almost to deafness in the past, an officer of the force was almost unaffected by the noise. He identified the source of the noise and run forward, not only leading the force, but becoming for a short while the force itself. Inside the base, he made an exact attack on the unexpected weapon and destroyed it. The now encouraged soldiers followed the brave man and conquered the base. Following the two conquests, the Israelis - military and civilians as one – run southwards, leaving him the joy of choosing his new headquarters. Mount of the Beatitudes. Good Name.
Due to the day of the event – the ninth of that month – it was being called the “Tet Offensive.”
The Palestinian commander was stunned. The day before began as usual, with a tepid road blockade not far from Zechariah. The violent political climate of the last weeks resulted in an overheated discussion between his soldiers and a high ranking officer in his way to “Wing 2,” where Israel stores airborne nuclear weapons. Eventually guns were used and the officers died. Fearing retaliation, the soldiers acted impulsively, fast, and with courage. They put the body of one of the officers on the roof of the vehicle, so that his rank was clearly visible and approached the base with the siren on. The soldiers recognized the vehicle and the body on it and let him in. The base fell in minutes, mainly because the IDF air-force soldiers run away, in a reminder of the 2006 shameful acts of their most prominent officer. The Palestinian commander was truly stunned.
The commander of the top secret facility couldn’t believe it. He got an email to his supposedly secret address from the outer world. His subordinates were trying to find its source, but something was wrong with the document; it would take time. The email contained exact information – which would be hard to get even for a general – on the sinking of the Sixth Fleet ship evacuating the Israeli leadership.
IDF Southern Command, Beer Sheva
The Hamas officer looked at what probably would become his next office. In his first order since the fall of Israel, he instructed to honor the heroic victims of Kiryat Gat, which by now was being called “Kiryat Dam” (Blood Town).
Zionists were an odd lot. In 1955 they founded a town called Kiryat Gat, north of Beer Sheva and on the way his troops took from Gaza to the IDF’s Southern Command. They named it for Gath, one of the five major cities of the Philistines; acknowledging by this the place wasn’t righteously theirs. In the very short battles that decided Israel’s future, Kiryat Gat became the only place to offer resistance; to the extent the blood of his soldiers tainted the city streets. But even that couldn’t stop justice.
General Medina Speaks
Medina didn’t speak Arabic. Istiklal could speak Hebrew, but he didn’t want to. Silently, English was agreed upon. It was the only deal they would probably ever reach.
After somewhat dry greetings, Istiklal concentrated on his coffee. He would enjoy this moment for as long as he could. Medina was the highest rank IDF officer left; others run away on the American ship and were by now mapping the depths of the Mediterranean Sea.
Medina looked like a spoiled child. In typical Israeli insolence he had arrived in “madei aleph” – the uniform reserved by IDF soldiers and officers to civilian areas and official events – with all his vain decorations. The dandy had shone his shoes in the car before entering Istiklal’s spartan office.
“I’m here to surrender in the name of the State of Israel,” Medina said dryly, while handing over a hastily printed sheet of paper.
Istiklal took the last sip of his coffee. As if he had all the time in the world, he took out of his pocket the prepared answer. He didn’t want to use a paraphrase under these extraordinary circumstances; he wanted the exact text.
“There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have.” These were the words said by Colonel Bui Tin from the Vietnamese army to Duong Van Minh, the last president of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, in what became known as the Fall of Saigon.
In his aloofness, Medina was unable to recognize the text, or even to understand its meaning. There was a stain on one of his shoes.
* “Hel” is the name of a herb added to coffee in the Middle East, like cinnamon and mint that are often added to tea. Some names and other words in this article have an intentionally playful double meaning. For example: “Medina” means “state” in Hebrew, “aloofness” contains “aloof” which means also “military general” in that language, “Tet” is the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and so on. I apologize for not bringing the full list here.
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