Tuesday, November 23, 2004

One of the most heroic and Israeli but also controversial and political soldiers of the Jewish state, former Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, drowned this morning in or near Ashdod, where he supervised a harbor building project. While reading his biography in Hebrew, I read something that I never heard before: " He wasn't Jewish; his parents were Russians who came to the Land of Israel and did not ( make the effort to ) convert. This did not bother his friends in the Palmach: he was a farmer, a fighter, and he spoke Hebrew. That was enough. " Sorry the link is to a page in Hebrew, I did not find any reliable reference in English. I have no way to verify this piece of information, but the website that I refer to is not overly sensational or known for its serious inaccuracies, as far as I know. His being Jewish or not Jewish is not really relevant, of course, I was just surprised to read it. He was an active player in all major wars that Israel fought in its first 40 years of existence. May his memory be blessed.

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