Israeli songs with special historical meaning

The two songs below captured in few words historical events in a way that elevated them to historical documents that will last for a long time. The first song is describing a tough battle in Jerusalem during the Six Day war. The other song became the protest song during the 2005 the evacuation of the Jewish settlers from settlements in the Gaza Strip. Both songs are in Hebrew, which makes it difficult for non-Hebrew speakers to relate to. For that reason I included English translation of the lyrics and YouTube videos links of the songs with English translations.

Givat Hatachmoshet  (Ammunition Hill)

givvat hatachmoshet2Givat HaTachmoshet Tiyul with Ulpan 045

One of the Six-Day War’s best-known folk songs — Givat Hatachmoshet — tells the story of the battle that took place on Ammunition Hill. This song celebrates a grueling battle that was waged at the site of a police station built by the British in northern Jerusalem on a site called “Ammunition Hill”. During the 1948 War of Independence, the Arab Legion conquered sections of northern Jerusalem which resulted in the creation of an Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus which was cut off from the rest of Israeli Jerusalem. Ammunition Hill became one of the Jordanians’ fortified positions preventing the two segments from being united. One of bloodiest battles of the Six-Day War was fought on Ammunition Hill (Givat Hatachmoshet). To gain access to Mount Scopus and the Jerusalem-Ramallah Road, the task of capturing Ammunition Hill and the fortified Jordanian Police Training School, was assigned to IDF Paratroopers. It was clear that the capture of the hill would be crucial in gaining access to the Old City. Built on a slope, the winding fortified trenches were planned in such a way that one trench provides cover for other trenches. This was one of the reasons it was hard for the paratroopers to advance and capture their target. A huge reinforced concrete bunker also made capturing the hill difficult. Ultimately, Paratroopers took the hill, only after blowing the bunker up. The fighting that took place on the night of June 6, 1967 lasted four hours. In those few short hours 36 men lost their lives.

Givat Hatachmoshet 

It was the second morning of the war in Jerusalem. The darkness faded out in
the east. We were deep in the battle over Givat Hatachmoshet. It was a
fierce battle. The Jordanians were hard to crack.

It was a well-fortified bunker; in some stages of the battle, I had only
four soldiers with me. We came up there with two companies.

I never knew where the others were because the radio was with Dudik, the commander was cut off from the beginning of the battle, at that moment I was
sure that everyone was killed.

It was 2:30 at night
when we came through the rocks
to the fields of fire and mines
of Givat Hatachmoshet.

In front of fortified bunkers
machine guns and cannons
100 and few guys in front
of Givat Hatachmoshet.

The pillar of dawn didn’t rise yet
When all the company was already covered with blood
But we were there
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Because of the fences and mines
we left the medics behind
and we ran with no senses
to Givat Hatachmoshet.

We came down to the tunnels
to the holes to the cracks
and to the death in the trenches
of Givat Hatachmoshet.

There were no questions
those who went first, just fell
you really needed a lot of luck
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Those who fell were dragged to the back
so they wouldn’t disturb the others passing
until the next one fell
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Maybe we were lions
but if you wanted to live
you should not have been
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

We decided to blow up their bunker with the bazooka it made a few scratches on the concrete. We then decided to blow it up with explosives. The guy at the back would throw me the packs and I would put them at the entrance to their bunker. They had a system, first they would throw a grenade, then they shot a few shots and then they would rest, so between the grenades and the shots I ran and put explosives down. I had only four meters to move because there were Jordanians all over the place. I do not know why I got the medal of honor, all I wanted was to go home quietly.

Smoke covered the hill
the sun was rising in the east
we were only seven, going back to the city
from Givat Hatachmoshet.

And this is the story
the story of trenches and bunkers
the story of our brothers the men
who remained twenty years old
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

 

Ze Haya Beiti (This was my home)

azaazza2

The original song “This was my home” was written and performed by Israeli rock star Meni Begger, an immigrant from Turkey. Though the song drew on the experience of his own aliya, the song happened to emerge just prior to the evacuation of Yamit in 1982, as part of the peace agreement with Egypt. Begger’s song became emblematic of the struggle of the Yamit settlers, some of whom then moved to settlements in Gaza. In the summer of 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip. At the same time Israeli soldiers and police evacuated all Jewish inhabitants of Gaza. Some families evacuated independently, but most remained, waiting to be taken from their homes by Israeli soldiers and police. Many could not believe they were being made to leave their homes. There were many political responses to the ‘disengagement’ – many mass demonstrations took place around the country – and for a while prior to the execution of the disengagement there were fears of civil war breaking out. In the end, resistance was mainly passive and spiritual. This song was one of the rare songs that caught the true mood of the disengagement – anger, regret, and deep sadness

THIS WAS MY HOUSE   

This was my house with a garden and rooster, was my house it was yours, mine, ours from dawn, strangers lived in it and we with all our memories are disappearing…
We fought so much that we forgot what for for me it is war for them it’s profit for me this is a home for them it’s just another line on the map it changed to be much more long ago than just land maybe I don’t agree, but I get without a problem we made the desert bloom and this is what you give back the memories did not die, they moved. Yamit was raised for a revival.
I’m sailing in my mind on a memory from the day I wrote the first rhyme running by the stopwatch separating between dream and reality in the photo album, beautiful years memories of youth (checked) nothing will stop time a clock beats, the hands move forward and I go farther, there’s no place like home this is not a sucked-up sentence yet of the heroine in the book “the wizard of oz.”
This was my house…
Now it’s yours we won’t make memories in it anymore I remember the first night, the first kiss separation that won’t return anymore in which I sweated from being hot a fight and again, all happened exactly so when I lifted and carried you over the threshold bending to the ground, taking a handful of soil here this was my house, the youth, the soul in the morning, I got up, breathed the air and dust between us till this day there was to the house a bit of connection I don’t believe it’s finished now all’s taken hand in hand we’ll be forever and disappearing like the wind.
This was my house…
We don’t see the candles lit again in the windows we since left when you went, with you, all the friends we always laughed with went as well
This was my house…

 

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