WE were fighting the whole night between the 5th and 6th of June. We entered the city from three sides. My regiment went in from the side of the Rockefeller Museum. I was shooting through a window and a Jordanian shell fell near me. Some people were killed. I was wounded in the head by a piece of shrapnel and evacuated to Hadassah hospital.
A day later I heard on the radio that Israeli paratroopers had reached the Western Wall. I said to the guy lying next to me, 'Moti, let's run away.' We jumped out the window and hitchhiked to the Old City. We ran like crazy. I was still bandaged. I put a piece of paper in the wall. I wrote one word on it: "Shalom." This was a historical moment [for Jews] to return to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount after 2,000 years. And I was one of those people. I said to myself, 'No matter what happens to you in your life, you'll never have such a moment of ecstasy again.'
It was like the coming of the Messiah. I was literally crying near the wall. I didn't pray because I am not religious, but this was a moment that was religious. God had brought us back to the place where the temple and King David had been .
I went back to the hospital and after two days they operated on me. They took out the shrapnel and the doctor told me I was very lucky because it was one centimeter from my brain .
In the years to come, I saw how we deteriorated .
We thought that the bigger Jerusalem will be, the better we will rule it . But we were doomed to fail. In the Talmud, it says that if you try to hold on to everything, you will lose it all .
The notion of a unified city does not exist anymore . And the more troubles we have, the more intifadas we have, the more Israelis are willing to divide it.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times