Six Day War hero: We must act like the cho­sen peo­ple

Shi­mon ‘Katcha’ Ca­haner hon­ored by FoZ Mu­seum

The Jerusalem Post - - JERUSALEM DAY - • By STEVE LINDE

Is­raelis must act with com­pas­sion as the cho­sen peo­ple should, Six Day War hero Col. (res.) Shi­mon “Katcha” Ca­haner said on Sun­day as he was hon­ored on Jerusalem Day by the Friends of Zion (FoZ) Mu­seum in the cap­i­tal.

“In order to be the cho­sen peo­ple, we have to act like the cho­sen peo­ple, and we have not a short way, and not an easy way, to go in order to act like the cho­sen peo­ple,” he told a room full of sev­eral dozen of his fel­low Six Day War vets.

“Why was the Sec­ond Tem­ple de­stroyed?” Ca­haner, 81, asked, rhetor­i­cally. “It was de­stroyed be­cause of cor­rup­tion – I don’t like the term ‘base­less ha­tred’ – and so­cial gaps, be­tween rich and poor, as well as be­cause of re­li­gious and na­tion­al­ist zealotry.”

He urged all Is­raelis “to lend a help­ing hand” to those less for­tu­nate. “I rely 100 per­cent on this group of peo­ple,” he said, point­ing to his for­mer com­rades.

Ca­haner, a for­mer chair­man of the Am­mu­ni­tion Hill Na­tional Memo­rial Site, was ac­com­pa­nied by his wife. The cou­ple live on Kib­butz Neveh Ei­tan.

“Katcha,” as he is best known, be­came fa­mous for his heroic role in the five-hour bat­tle for Am­mu­ni­tion Hill on June 6, 1967, in which 37 Is­raelis and 70 Jor­da­nian fight­ers were killed. He served as the deputy bat­tal­ion com­man­der in Ariel Sharon’s elite 55th Brigade, which cap­tured the strate­gic po­si­tion from the Jor­dan’s Arab Le­gion af­ter fierce fight­ing on Sul­tan Suleiman Street, and af­ter his com­man­der was wounded, led his troops tri­umphantly through the Lions’ Gate into

Jerusalem’s Old City.

Ca­haner thanked the Friends of Zion Mu­seum for pro­vid­ing him with a cer­tifi­cate of honor for his hero­ism in the lib­er­a­tion of Jerusalem.

“There’s no doubt that this is ex­cit­ing, and be­ing here at the mu­seum and meet­ing all of you [fel­low vet­er­ans] is al­ready enough,” he said, with ob­vi­ous emo­tion. “We are old enough to know that you need to be strong in life, and be in the right place at the right time.

“Our luck was that we had the priv­i­lege of be­ing part of the lib­er­a­tion of Jerusalem. We all knew where we had to jump, and what we had to do. We ar­rived in Jerusalem at 7 a.m. We pre­pared to do bat­tle for at least 10 or 12 hours, and we com­pleted the as­sign­ment, which is the most im­por­tant thing.”

“Ev­ery day, I feel the honor

that I had a role in the lib­er­a­tion of Jerusalem,” he added.

Friends of Zion Mu­seum CEO and founder Michael Evans Jr. pre­sented Ca­haner with its Guardian of Zion award, and praised the del­e­ga­tion of war vets and Bor­der Po­lice of­fi­cers who vis­ited the mu­seum in down­town Jerusalem on Sun­day.

“Each and ev­ery one of you here to­day is a hero,” Evans said. “I wasn’t born in 1967, but the call that you’ve sounded has im­pacted my life. With­out you, we prob­a­bly wouldn’t be

here in this place to­day. This mu­seum prob­a­bly wouldn’t ex­ist. All of you are my he­roes.”

Both the war vets and the Bor­der Po­lice of­fi­cers ap­peared to thor­oughly en­joy their tour of the Friends of Zion Mu­seum. The mu­seum, which was opened last year by US Chris­tian Zion­ist leader and writer Dr. Mike Evans (Michael Evans Jr.’s fa­ther), em­ploys ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy to of­fer vis­i­tors a vir­tual tour of Is­rael’s his­tory and he­roes – at least one of whom re­cip­ro­cated the honor on Sun­day.

(Yossi Zamir)

SHI­MON Ca­haner (sec­ond left), flanked by two Bor­der Po­lice of­fi­cers, holds up his Guardian of Zion award pre­sented to him by Friends of Zion Mu­seum CEO Michael Evans (right) yes­ter­day.

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