I met an interesting woman during Seder last night. When she told me she was born in Poland, I asked her when she arrived in Israel. She arrived in the Mandate in 1936 with her parents and siblings. "Haganah or Etzel?" I asked. "Haganah, but my heart was always with the Etzel," she responded. When I asked why, she smiled and said, "My brothers were in the Etzel." Curious as always, I asked, "How did you deal with the Season?" "I cried," she said, "a lot."
A few other interesting points she made:
* One of her brothers was at the beach when the Altalena reached Kfar Vitkin, and witnessed the ship being attacked by the IDF. He saw survivors from the ship swimming to shore dealing with constant fire, not to mention grenades. It still amazes me how Israel survived this tragedy ...
* David Ben Gurion was a great leader, but he did many evil things. Those shouldn't be forgotten.
* If our education system continues to essentially gloss over the Season and Altalena, it will sadly happen again ... "Us Jews don't learn well from our past."