Adapted from Leon Uris’s novel by Dalton Trumbo and directed by Otto Preminger, after World War II European Jews struggle to get to Palestine which the British are ruling while the United Nations is deciding whether to partition it. An American nurse is won over to their cause and helps their efforts to create the free state of Israel.
A Cypriot guide tells Kitty Fremont (Eva Marie Saint) that the island of Cyprus was conquered by many nations and was purchased from Turkey by the British. She says she is an American, and they continue the tour.
People are lined up at a port as soldiers stand by. A taxi arrives with Kitty, and she asks what is going on as they see trucks loaded with people in the back drive by. The driver explains that they are taking Jewish prisoners to the detention camps. He explains the Jews in Europe chartered a ship to get to Palestine; but the British captured the ship and brought them here. He says the Arabs don’t want them in Palestine, and the British apparently don’t want them here. They hear a soldier shout to stop, and they see a Jew escape from a soldier’s grasp and jump from a truck. He knocks down the soldier and is chased by several soldiers to an old fort. He fights with a soldier and falls and is knocked unconscious. They carry him.
Kitty tells her driver to take her to the address of the British commander. There she is welcomed by a soldier and is told the general is expecting her. In his garden General Sutherland (Ralph Richardson) welcomes her and says the Byzantines occupied Cyprus for several centuries. They sit down, and she asks if he published something on Roman ruins. She says Tom mentioned it in a letter. She says Tom was proud of his friendship, and the general feels the same. He pours drinks for them, and they toast Tom. Sutherland says they had to bury him in the field. He says it was a border skirmish with the Jewish underground not worth the loss of a life. She asks if anything is, and he believes there is. He says the war correspondent Tom was the bravest man he ever met. She says in Indiana they have the saying, “The braver the bird, the fatter the cat.” She shows him a photograph of a plane, and he tells her how he saw Tom take it. She says he had a strong sense of death and realizes he did not take cover when that picture was taken. She says she lost the child in the hospital at Jerusalem. She went back to her profession of nursing and just completed a tour of duty with the US Public Health Service in Greece. He asks her plans, and she says she may travel before going home. She booked passage on a ship to Istanbul and may go to India and Kashmir.
Major Caldwell (Peter Lawford) arrives, and Sutherland offers him a drink and asks about the disembarkation. Caldwell says Karaolos is full of Jews, and more are coming. He thinks they should send them back where they came from. He says two loads were shipped out of Haifa for Hamburg and asks why they can’t do the same. Sutherland does not want to send Jews back to Germany. Caldwell says they are running short of everything. Sutherland asks Kitty to nurse at Karaolos, but she says she is tired and knows nothing about them. She says she feels strange among Jews and must go. She is touring the island with a guard who is waiting. She thanks Sutherland for the drink and talk, and he urges her to drive by Karaolos. He asks her to call him if he can make her stay on Cyprus more comfortable.
Caldwell tells Kitty as they walk through the house to the front that Sutherland has a quirk about Jews and is suspected of being descended from one. He laughs and opens the car door for her. She tells Caldwell to tell Sutherland that she changed her mind and will work at Karaolos for a few days.
At night a taxi parks, and the driver Reuben (Paul Stevens) gets out. He uses binoculars to see a boat throw a package in the sea, and then he signals with his flashlight. He puts the hood up on the taxi, and two soldiers in a jeep stop and ask if he needs any help. He says no and thanks them for stopping. They drive on. Reuben welcomes Ari Ben Canaan (Paul Newman) who swam with the package to shore. Ari says they will go directly to Mandria, but Reuben says he is on the other side of the island. Ari says he should be on this side.
A car drives by the fence of a detention camp, and Caldwell gets out with Kitty. He explains that the British checkpoint is outside and the Jewish checkpoint inside. They don’t allow the British inside the camp which is policed by the Jews themselves. He takes her through the British checkpoint. He says the Zionist organizations send their own people from Palestine to administer these camps. He says the Jews respond better to their own kind. They have the privilege of approving all Gentile personnel, and he asks if she minds. She says no. They go in the Jewish checkpoint, and Caldwell introduces her to David Ben Ami (Michael Wager) who accepts the assistance of another nurse and tells her that a friend of General Sutherland is always welcome. Caldwell leaves.
Ben Ami shows Kitty around the crowded camp. They go into a tent where a nurse is telling Dov Landau (Sal Mineo), who tried to escape from the truck, that he will die if he does not let them clean out his infection. He says he will see Palestine before he will and tells her to leave him alone. Ben Ami says the woman is trying to help him, and he orders him to do as she says. Dov asks who he is, and the nurse says he is the Palestinian commander. Dov says he is working for them, and he knows his kind from Auschwitz. He says he cannot tell him what to do. Ben Ami tells the nurse he will hold him. Dov breaks a glass and threatens to cut him. Karen (Jill Haworth) comes in with clean sheets and tells Dov if he does not let them help him, he will die. He says he wants to die. She says she will take them off herself, and he warns all of them to keep away from him. She says she can talk to him better alone because they came on the Star of David together, and they go out. She takes a crutch from another patient and uses it to knock the glass out of his hand. He complains that that hurt. She says she will beat him and make him hurt more if he does not let them take care of him. He says not them, but she can do it. She returns the crutch.
She steps outside to get the tray from the nurse. Kitty asks how she persuaded him, and Karen says by patience and kindness. Ben Ami says the nurse Yetta will show Kitty around. Kitty sees an old man using cotton on a boy’s pock-marked face. She politely tells him that he has impetigo which can be cured by sulfathiazole. The old man says the camp does not have the drug. She advises him to stop what he is doing because he will spread the disease over his body. The old man explains that if you do not have sulfathiazole or ammoniated ointment which was the earlier treatment, you can soften the scabs with soap and water, gently remove them with cotton as he does so, and then expose the lesion to the sun for five minutes. She realizes he is a doctor, says she is a nurse, and asks him to forgive her. Karen comes over and tells Dr. Odenheim that he has been up all night and must rest. She says she can do this because he taught her on the ship. He thanks her and walks away. Kitty and Karen introduce themselves to each other.
Ari goes into the Mandria shipping office, shakes hands with Reuben and David Ben Ami, and is glad to meet Mr. Mandria (Hugh Griffith) who asks him to sit down and offers him a cigar. Ari asks David how many people he has behind barbed wire now, and he says over 30,000. Mandria says they are building for 30,000 more on the other side of the island. Ari asks how many arrived yesterday on the Star of David. David says 611, and Ari says they are going to take them to Palestine. They laugh, and David says they have not been able to break out more than fifteen at a time from Karaolos. Ari says it will be a new experience, and they are going to break them out on Monday. David says they cannot do it. Ari explains that the United Nations is going to be voting soon on Palestine in this session. Before then they have to show them that thousands of Jews are not going to accept a solution that bars them from Palestine. The escape of those 611 people will be worth more than many speeches. They say this is not the Red Sea, and it will not part. Ari says Mandria has to get them a freighter with legal registry and real cargo that they can unload in Cypress. Mandria says that is brilliant but will be expensive. Ari says they depend on donations and have a low treasury now. Mandria says he will do everything he can for the Jews. Ari says the Jews have paid him well for his efforts. Mandria asks if he would do this for money, risking ten years in prison. He has spent over £5,000 working with the Haganah. Ben Ami asks Ari to apologize, and he does so. Mandria says he understands and pats Ari on the back. Ari says they will need 14 lorries. Ben Ami says the British have requisitioned every vehicle on the island. He says Haganah can make mistakes, and this is one. Ari says he wants to hear every criticism but only once. Mandria says he will send a telegram to his friend in Athens. Ari asks if the British monitor telegrams. Mandria says some of the monitors are Cypriots who would like to see the British leave, and he leaves the room. Reuben tells Ari that Mandria is a friend and that he should not have hurt him. Ari warns him not to be fooled by those who offer to help them; but when it comes down to it, they usually stand alone. He believes they have no friends but themselves. Ben Ami tells Ari he is wrong, but he will have to learn it for himself. He asks about Jordana, and Ari hands him a letter from her. Ben Ami opens it eagerly. Ari tells Reuben that he thinks because he is in love with Jordana, everyone else is too. Reuben says he is right and asks if she mentions him.
At a cocktail party Sutherland tells Kitty that central intelligence informed him. She says she has a plot, and he asks about it. She would like to take a girl from the camp out for a day for lunch and to buy some clothes. He asks if the strangeness has worn off. She says no except for this girl who acts like an American. He is glad she got interested in something other than her own troubles. She says he was right, and he is glad she was not offended. He would not like to see her drift through life as a fair woman with no purpose and no art and no lovers. He says places are not important without someone to share them with. He advises her to fill her life with people. He calls over Caldwell and tells him to arrange for the girl to get a pass. Caldwell asks if it is irregular. Sutherland says it is, and that is why he wants Caldwell’s signature on the pass instead of his own.
Ari, Mandria, and Reuben get out of the taxi and go on board an old freighter. Ari says they must have towed it across. He shakes hands with Hank Schlossberg and introduces him to Mandria. Hank says it is not a good ship, and Ari asks if it can make it to Palestine. Mandria says it made 300 trips from Cyprus to Athens for its last owner alone. Hank says that is the problem, but he thinks it can make one more trip. Ari says he wants a loudspeaker system on board with a power unit and six speakers. Mandria says there is no such thing for sale on Cyprus. Ari says if they can’t buy it, they are to steal it. He wants it stocked with provisions for five days. Mandria says it is only a two-day trip. Ari wants all canned and packaged food, which Mandria says is the most expensive. Ari asks if they have his jeep yet, and Mandria says he told him it is impossible. Hank says his guys can overhaul the engine. Ari sees a jeep and asks Mandria about that one. Mandria says it belongs to the Greek Archbishop of Cyprus. Ari tells him to steal it, paint it, and hide it until he is ready for it. Ari walks off, and Mandria crosses himself and shakes his head.
At a beach Karen asks Kitty if he she can have another swim. Kitty says yes, and she runs off. Sutherland arrives and learns that is the girl, and he likes her. Kitty asks if he could arrange for her to take her back to America with her. He says not from his end. They are glad to let them all go as long as they don’t end up in Palestine. He says he could get Caldwell to arrange it for her when she has decided. She thanks him, and he leaves. She calls Karen who comes over. Kitty asks her if she would like to go to America. She will cancel the rest of her trip. She says Karen can go to school there and maybe become an American citizen. Karen asks if she would go right away. Kitty says in the next week or two, and she will try to get her out of the camp. Kitty asks if she wants to go, and Karen says she must think about it. Kitty says she can take all the time she wants. Karen asks her not to be mad at her.
In a tent Dr. Odenheim tells Kitty she is doing a fine thing for Karen. He says she is worried about her father. He explains that she learned her mother and two brothers had died, but there was no record of her father. He says he could have survived because he was a prominent scientist. She hopes she might find him in Palestine. Karen says it is curious that she did not mention her father. He says they are often ashamed of their past. Those who survive feel guilty and pretend the bad things never happened. He says she will be making a sacrifice, not of money so much, but for the person who is searching for a new parent. Because they have been without love for so long, they demand all the love they can get. He says Karen will drain her of love. Kitty says that is what she needs. Karen comes in and says she would like to go with her if she still wants her. She puts her head on her shoulder, and Kitty hugs her.
Ari is wearing the uniform of a British officer and goes into an office, says he is Captain Bowen, and hands the soldier behind a desk a list of what he needs. Hall calls the C. O. and says he has an order for 14 lorries, 4 motorcycles, 18 drivers, and 18 guards for four hours. He says it is counter-signed by General Sutherland, and he is told to give them to him. Hall hangs up and hands the order to Smithers. He offers the Captain Bowen tea, but Ari asks for a gin and tonic.
The vehicles arrive at the camp. Ari gets out of a jeep and salutes the British officer at the checkpoint who takes him across and introduces him to Ben Ami. Ari says they are relocating all the internees from the Star of David. Ben Ami looks at the order and asks where they are taking them. Ari says the destination is not in his orders. Ben Ami says he cannot let them travel so soon because of a piece of paper. The British officer looks at it and asks what is the problem. Ben Ami says some of them are sick. He orders Ben Ami to turn them over at once, but Ben Ami says he cannot take the responsibility. The British officer says he will and signs the paper. Ben Ami says he does not approve, but it makes the record perfect. Ari asks the British officer to order Ben Ami to have all his administrative personnel help him. Ari and the British Officer go out, and Ben Ami uses a microphone and announces that all those from the Star of David are to prepare to evacuate immediately. Reuben comes in and reads the document.
The vehicles transport people. A car with Caldwell and Kitty in back stops, and Caldwell asks what is going on and gets out to investigate. He orders a sergeant to clear a way for his car and walks over to the lorries. An officer is telling Ari that he has to check, but Ari says the orders are clear and are signed by General Sutherland. Caldwell arrives and asks what this is and who is in charge. Ari says he is Captain Bowen. Caldwell looks at the order and says he is getting rid of some Jews for them. Ari says they are shipping them back to Hamburg, and Caldwell says he agrees the Germans should have to handle it. He says Sutherland must have changed his mind. The junior officer declines to sign, and Caldwell signs the order. Caldwell says they should have had this policy for two years. He does not care about Jews and says they are troublemakers. Ari pretends to agree with him. He says with two you have a debate and with three a revolution. Caldwell says half are Communists and that they look funny. Caldwell says he can spot them, and Ari asks him to look into his eye for something. Caldwell says he can’t find anything. Kitty comes over and asks Caldwell if they are taking everyone from the Star of David. She says then Karen must be with them. She says she has Sutherland’s permission to take her to America. Ari says Ben Ami told him about her, and he left her behind. Ari asks Caldwell to convey his respects to the general, and Caldwell says he is a bit of Jew.
Ari goes in a jeep to the ship.
Kitty is telling General Sutherland and Caldwell that she has been to Palestine and knows what kind of a life she would have there. She believes she must have been forced to leave, or she would have left a note. Sutherland says he will get her back with her consent. He asks Caldwell who is in charge of this operation, and he says it is Captain Bowen. Sutherland says they don’t have a 23rd GT company on Cyprus and that Caldwell should have known that. Caldwell says the orders were issued from the Colonial office by Bradshaw and were signed by Sutherland, who says he did not see or sign such an order. Caldwell realizes it was probably forged and admits that he signed it, taking responsibility. Sutherland asks what he is going to do with that responsibility. Caldwell realizes that the Olympia is not going to Hamburg and may be going to Palestine. Sutherland tells him to telephone control and have them block the harbor. He orders him to take care of the situation. Caldwell goes out.
At the harbor Major Caldwell uses a microphone and announces to those on the Olympia that they have no chance to escape. He orders them to return to dock, or they will board them. He asks if they heard him. Ari uses a microphone and replies that they are bound for Palestine with an American captain and crew and 611 passengers. They are carrying 200 pounds of dynamite in the engine room with fuses attached. If one British soldier steps aboard, they will blow it up. Caldwell says he received his message. The Olympia is moving by them. Caldwell tells a man to get Sutherland on the phone. He tells Sutherland he thinks it is a bluff, but the general orders him to call his boarding party back and tell the Olympia that he is contacting London for instructions.
Sutherland tells Kitty they are threatening to blow up the ship. She asks if they mean it, and he says two years ago a ship in Haifa they were detaining did blow itself up, killing 236 refugees. She wants to get Karen off the ship. He asks if she would go on board to find out what is going on. She asks if they will let her, and he says he will try to arrange it. He asks her for a favor. He wants her to find out if force was used to get Karen on board. If it was, he would like her to tell the story at a press conference with him. Kitty agrees.
On the ship Ari gives Reuben a message to send every ten minutes. Dr. Odenheim with Dr. De Vries comes to Ari and tells him they need more bathing and toilet facilities, or they will have a serious health problem. Ari says he will take care of it. Hank brings Kitty to Ari and introduces her as from General Sutherland. Ari asks Hank if they have enough lumber on board to build privies. Hank says they do, and Ari says he wants ten-holers and some showers too. Hank says okay and goes. Ari completes a message to Haifa he hands to Reuben. Ari asks Kitty what she wants. She calls him “captain” skeptically. He replies that he was in His Majesty’s Jewish Brigade in North Africa, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and the decorations are real. She says he lied to her about the girl because she is on the ship. She says he forced her to come aboard, and Ari says they don’t force anybody. She says she is going to take her off this “death trap.” He says she will not tell him what to do on this ship. He asks how she knows she wants to get off. She says she is trying to save a Jewish child and asks if he can understand that and if he has respect for human life. He tells her not to get hysterical about the life of one Jewish child and says she is ten years late. He says those children were butchered like animals because no one wanted them, and no one would take them, not even her country. No one wants the ones who have survived. He says Jewish flesh is cheaper than beef and herring. Reuben hands him the message from Tel Aviv. Ari says she can take her or even a dozen if she wants to.
Kitty goes down the steps and looks around the crowded ship. Karen sees her and goes to her. She says she did not have time to leave her a note. She had to go to find her father. She is happy to be going to Palestine; but Kitty says she does not know what it is like there, and the British won’t let them go there. Karen says they will have to because they are not going back. Kitty offers to take her to Palestine, and she will find a way. She says Ari Ben Canaan has given his permission. Karen says she could not leave now because they all came together and are trying to do something different.
They hear General Sutherland calling the Olympia, and Ari answers for the Exodus. Sutherland says he has received instructions from the Colonial office in London. No attempt will be made to board the ship, but the harbor will remain blocked. They can return to Karaolos whenever they want. If they choose to remain on the ship, provisions and medical supplies will be sent to them.
Kitty asks Karen if she will change her mind now. Karen says no, because it would be like leaving her family when things are bad. Kitty tells her to let her know if she can do anything for her. Karen tells her to ask General Sutherland to let them go to Palestine. They hug and part.
Hank says they will turn the ship into another concentration camp. They hear people debating the situation on the deck. Ari uses the microphone to tell them they have to make a decision. They can go back to Karaolos, or they can stay on the ship. People cheer the second option. Ari says there is another possibility. He says they were picked by Haganah for this ship so that their escape to Palestine would have meaning for the world. They can choose to go on a hunger strike, and the vocal Lakavitch (Gregory Ratoff) says he is now making sense. He says they spit on the food, and people cheer. What they have on board they will throw overboard. Lakavitch says they will go to Palestine or die right here. People cheer. Ari asks them to stop and think because going on a hunger strike is very serious. Once they strike they must win or die. Lakavitch asks what is so unusual about Jews dying. He say there is no use for them to go on living unless they start fighting right now so that every Jew can start feeling like a human being again. They cheer his call to fight. Ari says they agreed to obey Haganah orders, and he orders them to sit down and maintain silence for twenty minutes. Each person will listen to one’s heart and brain, and then they will vote. They begin the silent period.
At a dining table Kitty tells General Sutherland that she saw the people on the ship and says they are miserable. She asks why he can’t let them go. He says the British have a history of troublesome commitments. Palestine is a British mandate imposed by the League of Nations, and they are responsible for keeping peace in the area. He says the Arabs will not be peaceful if they allow more Jewish immigration. She says she knows that the Jews were promised a homeland in Palestine. He says the British made that promise in the Balfour declaration of 1917, and it was confirmed during World War II. She asks how they can promise and then not deliver it. He says England was fighting for its life in 1917. They also gave Arabs assurances, and they have claims too. The Arabs are fanatically opposed to Jewish immigration, and just now they need their goodwill. She asks how it is going to end. He does not know and says the whole question is before the United Nations now. He hopes they will solve it because he and the British officers would like to stop operating detention camps. An aide comes in and says he has a telegram. Sutherland picks up the phone and learns that they are sending 23 people back to Karaolos, but the rest have declared a hunger strike. He offers to take her to her hotel, and they go.
At night on the ship under the flag of Israel people throw boxes of food in the ocean.
The next morning Reuben announces news regarding Palestine. The UN Commission has not yet completed its report. News of the hunger strike on the Exodus has been reported worldwide, and some people are picketing the British embassy in Washington. Dr. Odenheim from the medical committee tells them they must save their fresh water by rationing it with one cup every four hours. Everyone must bathe daily, and it will be done with sea water. Platoon leaders will call their names. He advises them to conserve their energy, and physical work must be divided by as many people as possible. If they feel dizzy, they are to sit down and lower their head between their knees. They will feel uncomfortable stomach pains, but they are not dangerous. He says people can live a long time without food.
Reuben reports that four leaders of the Irgun in Palestine were hanged in Acre. Winston Churchill has called on the Labor government to end its squalid war on the Jews. Dr. Odenheim comes to Ari and says they made a bad mistake including the children because their bodies are growing, and they need food more than others. Ari asks what they should do. Odenheim says when you make a mistake, you admit it and correct it. Ari asks if he feels well, and Odenheim asks who cares if an old man feels well and leaves.
Major Caldwell sees a line of people handing things to Mandria and asks him what this is. Mandria says he is providing information showing the strike has been going 88 hours. People are contributing to the Red Cross. Caldwell suspects he is collecting food for the Olympia; but he says it is a waste of time because they won’t accept it from the British or from them. Mandria says they will accept it from the Red Cross when they sail.
Dr. De Vries examines Dr. Odenheim and shakes his head. De Vries tells Ari that Odenheim died of a heart attack. Reuben asks if he should send it out, and Ari gives him a brief obituary and says it should make news somewhere. Ari announces the order that all children under the age of thirteen are to be prepared to return to Karaolos.
Kitty tells Caldwell she is going back to the ship, and he says they are beginning to crack already. They get in a car.
On the ship Kitty asks Ari if he has the power to call off the strike. He says he does if there is a compelling reason. She asks him to do so because General Sutherland told her he cannot do anything. She says he is a humane man, but they have made the issue so flat that no one can help them. She says they must compromise or lose. He says they won’t lose because if the British give in, they have won; or if they die, they win too. She says the British will wait until they are weak and then take them off. Ari says it does not take much strength to set off the dynamite. She does not understand. He says they are soldiers, but the only weapon they have is their willingness to die. She asks for what purpose, and he calls it publicity. He says it is a help wanted ad to the United Nations Journal from 600 people who want a country. They are trying to call attention to Israel without ever having seen it themselves. He asks if that shocks her. She says they can’t fight the British empire with 600 people. He asks how many Minutemen they had at Concord on the day they fired the shot heard around the world. She does not know, and he says it was 77. He wishes they could win and have a country of their own, but she does not believe it is possible. She says she was in Palestine a year ago. Even if they get a partition and a free Jewish state, the Arabs won’t let them keep it. She says it is 500,000 Jews against 50 million Arabs. She knows he thinks she is a fool, but she came to appeal to him to call off the hunger strike. He asks her to appeal to Sutherland. She asks what she can tell him. Ari advises her to say what Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go that they may serve me.”
Two women with young children come up the steps and ask to talk to Ari. Mrs. Frankel says the mothers have made a decision because to send the children back to Karaolos now would show weakness. The British will not think they are serious. Ari says it does not matter what the British think; he cannot take the responsibility for letting them starve to death. She says they will take the responsibility and will not take them back. He says it is a Haganah order that the children must go back, but she may stay if she chooses. She says their children are free now, and no one will ever lock them up again. Mrs. Hirschberg says when she has no more milk to give, she will die with her baby rather than take him back.
General Sutherland is served a lavish meal, and Kitty asks when he is going to stop this and let them go. He says he can’t answer that because it is up to London. She says he knows it is wrong and asks him to make a public statement about it. He says he can’t do that because he is a soldier. She says he is also a Jew. He says he is sorry to disappoint her, but he is not at all Jewish. She is surprised, and he says he heard the rumor. He says she is becoming quite a Zionist. He is glad she flew off, and he admits he asks himself how any man can let it happen no matter what he is. He goes to a phone and says he is flying to London within the hour.
Kitty goes back to the ship and finds Ari sitting on the floor. He says Sutherland won’t let one member of the press on board, but she flies back and forth like a carrier pigeon. He stands up, and she says General Sutherland has left for London because he understands their situation, and he is trying to help. He says thanks. She says she heard about Dr. Odenheim, and she offers to stay on board to work as a nurse. He asks if she will go without food, and she believes she can go as long as he can. He says he is glad to have her on board.
In the evening Ari walks on deck. Dov tells Karen that the Jews will give in first because they don’t know real starvation. She asks if he hates these people so much, why is he going with them to Palestine. He wants to fight instead of talk and says he will join the Irgun because they know how to do it. He is going to blow up every British installation he can find and kill Englishmen. She says not all the British are bad. He believes they are along with the Russians and the Poles. She says the Danes are better, but he disagrees. She says the Hansens were Christians and adopted her. He says that is one exception. She tells how when the Nazis marched into Denmark, they ordered every Jew to wear the star of David on an armband. She says the next morning King Christian came out for his ride and was wearing the star of David on his armband. He asks why should he, and she says by afternoon all the Danes were wearing stars of David. He asks why they did that, and she replies if he does not why, then something is wrong with him.
Major Caldwell comes to Control Headquarters and tells them to call the Olympia. An officer does so. Caldwell announces that General Sutherland at his own request has been relieved of his duties on Cypress. Caldwell says he received a message from the Colonial office. He reads it to them. The British government having no desire to witness needless human suffering has granted permission for the Olympia to sail and to disembark its passengers at Haifa.
People on the Exodus cheer and celebrate. Mandria arrives at the harbor with a load of provisions.
The Exodus proceeds out of the harbor.
Passengers are getting off the Exodus at the port of Haifa. Kitty is welcomed and is told she will find her luggage at customs. She asks them to convey her thanks to Ari Ben Canaan, and he tells her the Haganah guys went over the side two hours ago because there are too many British soldiers on the reception committee. Kitty finds Karen standing by a bus, and she asks where Dov is. Kitty says she is going to the American consulate and then to the Jewish Agency. When she learns anything, she will come to Gan Dafna. They kiss, and Karen asks her to tell Dov where she is if she sees him.
Dov walks in the city. He goes up steps looking for an address. He knocks on a door, and two men in suits with guns tell him to come inside. One sees he has the address and concludes it is no accident. He handcuffs him and calls him “Irgun swine.”
Outside a woman saw him and sees him being taken away. She calls from her house to a shopkeeper who tells Yoav (George Maharis) that a boy was arrested for going to Asa’s house. He tells him to look at him. Yoav walks by as the two men take Dov into a building.
The bus to Gan Dafna arrives, and many children are there to greet them. Edna takes Karen. Two men in suits, two women, and one Arab walk to chairs as they are applauded by the others. An older man introduces Barak Ben Canaan (Lee J. Cobb) as having done more to establish Gan Dafna than anyone and who is on the executive committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and who just returned ten days ago from negotiating with the British in London. Barak stands up and says he knows they are tired from their long trip. He says they are here to learn, work, and build a Jewish state in Palestine. He came to Palestine 47 years ago after walking all the way from Russia. They changed the swamps with mosquitos into fields of corn and groves of orange trees. He says a friend Kamal from the neighboring Arab village donated this place for a youth village, and they began to build it. They have three Arab children here who are grandchildren of Kamal who gave them this land. Kamal’s son Taha (John Derek) is with them who was raised in his house with his son Ari. Taha stands up and thanks him. He says they dwell here as friends and in peace. He proposes a toast to life.
Dov is taken from his cell and is told he is legal, and they have no reason to keep him. The policeman advises him to leave Haifa so that he won’t get in trouble. He warns him that the Grand Mufti’s gangsters will cut his throat, and he tells him to stay away from the Irgun. Dov leaves. He walks on the street, and Yoav follows him on his motorcycle.
Yoav is waiting outside, and another man goes in where Dov is answering questions about his life. They ask again what work he did at Auschwitz, and Dov says he mostly cleaned up. Again they ask if after liberation he walked to Germany. Akiva Ben Canaan (David Opatoshu) comes over and asks Dov if he wants to blow up British installations for the Irgun, and Dov says yes. He asks if he is an expert dynamiter, and Dov tells him to try him. Akiva asks him to tell the truth. He asks Dov to describe his work at Auschwitz most carefully. Dov says they were undressed and were examined by doctors. Those strong enough to work went through the right gate; but most were sent through the left gate and were killed. Akiva asks about the third gate, and Dov says the pretty girls went through there. Dov says the SS kept some, and the rest were sent around to army camps for the soldiers. Akiva asks how they were killed at Auschwitz. Dov says 2,000 to 3,000 went in to take showers; the doors were locked, and then came the gas. Dov has said that he blew up Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto with dynamite. Akiva asks where the bodies were taken, and Dov says to ovens. Akiva says they only had crematoriums at Auschwitz at the end. Before that he wants to know what happened to the bodies. Dov says they buried them in trenches. Akiva asks who dug the graves. Dov says he doesn’t know. He says sometimes they had demolition squads to blow holes in the ground. Akiva tells him that at no time did the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto use dynamite. He asks him if he remembers better now. Dov says maybe. Akiva asks if he learned how to make dynamite making holes for the dead bodies at Auschwitz. He admits he did. Akiva says it was for hundreds of thousands of bodies, and he saved his life by working in that camp as a Sonderkommando. He asks if it was his duty to shave the heads of other Jews, remove dead bodies from the gas chambers, and collect gold fillings from their teeth. Dov says yes and cries. He asks what he could do. Akiva says they take into consideration that he was only thirteen when he went to Auschwitz, but they must have the truth. He asks if there is anything else. Dov says yes but that he won’t tell them even if they kill him. Dov sobs and says they used him like they use a woman. Akiva helps him to stand up. He has him put his hand on a book and holds a menorah as he recites words for Dov to repeat. Dov gives himself without reservation to the freedom fighters of the Irgun. Under torture he will never divulge the name of a member of the Irgun.
Reuben sees a bus stop, and Ari gets off.
Yoav rides his motorcycle and goes into the King David Hotel. He is the first to sit at a table, and Ari comes in, sits down, and tells Yoav he needs to see Akiva. Yoav asks if they are to tell Haganah where their leaders are hiding. Ari says Akiva is his uncle, and Yoav says Barak Ben Canaan is his father whom they trust like the Grand Mufti. Ari asks him to tell Akiva and let him decide. Yoav says he does not know if he is in Jerusalem. Yoav asks if he finds him, where can he telephone this evening. Ari says he will be here on the terrace from seven on. He gets up and goes out.
Ari sees Kitty come out on the terrace and goes to her table. She invites him to join her. He orders drinks and food. He asks what she was doing at the consulate, and she says she asked them to help her find Karen’s father. He asks her to forget what he said about getting hysterical over one child. She knows he did not mean it. He asks what happens if she finds out her father is dead, and she says she will take Karen back to America with her. If she likes it, she may adopt her. He asks if her husband would have something to say about that. She says he was killed in a border skirmish a year ago. He offers to put some of his Haganah boys on the search for Karen’s father. He sees the British High Commissioner to Palestine walk by and says he has taken over the south wing of the hotel in British General Headquarters. She asks Ari where he is from, and he says he is a sabra, born in Palestine. His father came from Russia. He mentions his farm and asks if she likes farms. She says she was raised on a farm, and he invites her to visit. She has rented a car and is going to Gan Dafna tomorrow. He says where he is going is on the way and asks for a lift. They drink to life. He says a year is a long time in the life of a pretty woman and asks if she found another man. She replies nothing serious. He asks why. She says her husband’s work filled his whole life, but she would like one who has half his life for her. A waiter tells Ari that he has a telephone call. Ari excuses himself.
Ari goes to a phone at the desk. Yoav tells him to come with him. Ari says he needs to go back to the terrace for a moment. Yoav suggests he wants to have them followed. Ari says he will go with him.
Yoav and Ari ride on his motorcycle. They stop, and Ari follows a man over a wall and to a building.
In his small bedroom Akiva hears a knock. He opens the door and tells Ari to come in. They sit down. Ari says his uncle looks good. Akiva says Ari has been active lately and has been acting like an Irgunist with dynamite. Akiva guesses why he came and says the Haganah believes they are blowing up too many installations. After much discussion they decided to send Ari to tell his uncle to stop these activities. Ari says that is correct but says they also want an alliance between Irgun and Haganah because after the United Nations decision, they will be facing all the Arabs. Akiva says when Haganah adopts their policy of fighting instead of talking, the alliance will be automatic. Ari stands up and says he is not being fair. Haganah has lost more lives fighting than the Irgun. They fight to defend themselves or capture positions they can hold. He says the Irgun attacks to spread terror. Akiva says he has given him the official line of Haganah, but he asks Ari what he thinks. Ari believes these bombings and killings have lost them support at the United Nations. A year ago they had the respect of the whole world. Now they read about terror and violence. Akiva says this is not new in history. He does not know of one nation that was not born in violence. He says compromises like the Haganah makes bring only abortions. Ari says before you have a country, you have to have people. They have smuggled in tens of thousands of people while the British were blockading the coast. The population they have built is their most valid argument for independence. He asks how they can ask the United Nations for a just decision if they keep blowing things up like anarchists. Akiva says first, justice is an abstraction without reality. Second, it is absurd to think that Jews will get justice. Third, Arab claims on Palestine can be argued as justly as Jewish claims. Fourth, no one can say anyone has had more injustice in the last ten years than the Jews. Fifth, he asks that the next injustice work against someone else. Ari says he changed the subject and asks if that means more bombings and killings. Akiva does not object to the National Committee trying to talk the British out of Palestine, but they will continue to bomb them out. Akiva asks about Ari’s mother and sister Jordana. Ari says they are fine. He asks if Ben Ami still wants her, and Ari says he does. Akiva asks if Barak still counts his name among the dead on Yom Kippur, and Ari nods. Akiva says ten years is a long time to be dead to one’s family. He asks if he understands that he must work for Israel in his own way just as Barak does. Ari says he has tried to talk to him about it.
Ari is driving with Kitty and stops the car overlooking farm land. They get out, and he leads her up a hill, and on the other side he shows her the valley of Jezreel. He says the ruins of Megiddo can be found down there. He points out Mt. Tabor where Deborah watched Barak march out to fight the Canaanites with 10,000 men. The Canaanites had 900 iron chariots 3200 years ago. When his father came here, he took the name Barak, and he made this valley a Jewish land again. She says she is not opposing what he says so strongly. He says he wants her to know that he is a Jew and that this is his country. She understands, and he says sometimes it is not that easy. She says it is because the differences between people are made up. He contends that people are different, and they have a right to be different. They like to be different. He says it is no good pretending the differences don’t exist because they do. They have to be recognized and respected, and she says that she does. She says he makes her feel like a Presbyterian when he cannot forget for just a minute that he is a Jew. She says there are no differences and kisses him. He kisses her back.
Ari and Kitty arrive in his car at his father’s farm. Barak comes out and hugs Ari. He shakes hands with Kitty and goes to tell his wife that Ari is home with an American girl. She asks about her, and they discuss who is chasing whom. Barak tries to use the phone.
Dr. Lieberman (Felix Aylmer) answers the phone and says it is a nice surprise. He says it is no trouble. He tells the boy he is all right and goes outside where children are playing and learning. He tells Jordana Ben Canaan (Alexandra Stewart) that her brother Ari is on the phone. She goes, and he takes over her class.
Jordana is clearing the table at her father’s home and says it is not fair that David is away when he could be working in Palestine. Ari says that is what he told him. She says he may be gone another year. She knows Haganah would call him back if Ari used his influence. The mother tries to get Kitty to eat strudel because she could use a few pounds. Jordana says David chose the Haganah instead of the Irgun because of her. Ari says he saw Akiva who sends his love. Barak says he will not mention that name in his house. Ari says he is all alone and wants to forget what happened. Barak says today the existence of Israel hangs by a thread, and he present them to the world as murderers. Barak says he is dead and pounds the table. Jordana says she has to go and stands up. Ari gets up to take Kitty. She thanks Mrs. Ben Canaan for the good food. Barak stands up and says goodbye. They go out, and Ari’s mother tells her husband he should be ashamed of himself in front of a stranger. Kitty drives the car taking Jordana, and Ari stays behind.
Karen is helping Kitty unpack in her room and says she is learning Hebrew. At the age of sixteen the girls become soldiers too. She takes Kitty outside to see a statue of a woman who refused to tell any secrets, and she was tortured and killed. She says they named the village after her. Karen says Dr. Lieberman read her father’s book and knows who he is. A bell rings, and Karen goes to eat supper, but Kitty says she already ate.
Ari arrives in a car and sees Kitty by the statue. He kisses her and asks what is the matter. She says she feels like one. He says he might feel the same in Indiana. She asks him to stop saying that because she can understand as well as he. He says he came to say goodbye because he is going back to Jerusalem. He tries to kiss her; but she says she had an accident on the road today, and it was not his fault. She says she is going to drive more carefully from now on. He hopes she does not mean that; but she says he was right that they are different. She has been feeling it all afternoon with his family. She says it does not make sense to discuss it. He says then he will forget it. If he gets any news on Karen’s father, he will let her know. She says goodbye, and he leaves.
Ari greets Karen and Kitty. They go to see her father, and Kitty says it has been a long time. Ari introduces the doctor to them, and Kitty says they told her everything. He opens the door, and they walk in slowly. An old man is staring straight ahead. Karen takes his hand and kisses it. She touches his face and puts her arm around him; but he makes no sign that he knows anyone is there. Karen says he is tired, and they go out.
Outside they hear an explosion and see smoke and more explosions. Ari says it is the King David Hotel. Karen screams, and Kitty embraces her. Ari picks her up and carries her inside.
Yoav lifts a grate so that Dov can climb out. Yoav starts his motorcycle, and Dov rides with him. A British soldier saw them and calls in. British soldiers start searching. Yoav lets Dov off, and he climbs over a wall. The British soldiers climb over a wall. Dov runs up steps and goes into a room where Akiva is listening to news on the radio which announces a 9 o’clock curfew for all Jews. Akiva says he did a good job and offers him some food. Dov goes to wash up. Soldiers walk over a roof to balconies, and other soldiers are already there. They break into the room and arrest Akiva and the other two men. Dov in the wash room sees the soldiers and tries to escape. He goes into a church where Christians are praying. An officer directs soldiers to search the grounds. Soldiers come in the church, and Dov hides behind a curtain. Dov comes out and moves slowly watching for the soldiers. He gets behind the painting of an icon.
The Military Court of Jerusalem announces that they have found Akiva and the other two Jews guilty. They will be sent to the prison at Acre where in two weeks they will be hanged.
Soldiers have prepared the gallows. A soldier tells Akiva he has a visitor, and he comes to a window. Barak and Ari are waiting, and a soldier calls Barak first. He comes to the small window and looks at his brother and cries and turns away. The soldier closes the window, and Akiva returns to his cell.
Barak and Ari walk out of the prison. Barak asks God not to let his brother die at the end of a British rope. They go out the gate.
Three men dressed as Arabs come on donkeys and then walk into a building. The Irgun leader comes in and says Yoav should not have brought Ben Ami and Ari there because it is dangerous. Yoav says they have orders that Ari can see them any time he wants to. Ari says the United Nations is going to vote on partition by the end of the month. Half the leadership of the Irgun and forty members of Haganah are rotting in the Acre prison. If partition is voted, they will need every man to fight the Arabs. Ari says he spent fourteen months in that prison, and he can show them. A man comes in and says the British have 10,000 soldiers there. Ari says 8,400 because 1,600 are going to Jerusalem. The leader tells him that fortress has not been successfully attacked since the Crusades. Yoav ask about the 400 Arabs in that prison, and they ask if they should waste Irgun blood to free Arabs. Ari says the Arabs will flee in different directions and will have British soldiers following them. Another man says if they can’t trust each other, there will be no Israel. The leader asks Ari how many men his plan needs. Ari says 26 in four attack groups and Dov Landau. They have only six days, and only Landau can surrender and get sent there that fast. Ari takes out a map and describes the place and what they will do.
Two men in a jeep go in through the prison gate at Acre. A prisoner visits his wife through a cyclone fence, and she slips him tiny detonators in kisses. On a roof Muslim prisoners pray while others walk in a circle. Dov passes a note while walking.
At night Ari is dressed like an Arab and walks through a public area until he finds Yoav.
Dov is in the same cell with Akiva. In another cell prisoners find plastic explosives in a cake. They assemble the explosives and detonators.
A truck is carrying men dressed as Arabs in the back and goes into the prison. They bring in explosives and remove their robes.
Yoav and Ari dressed as Arabs park a car. Ari hides a rifle. Others take over places with rifles. Ari removes his robe and headgear.
A prisoner puts explosives in a toilet. At four the toilet explodes. On the roof Dov says now and runs. A prisoner fights a guard who falls to his death. The soldiers are mobilizing while prisoners are trying to escape. A truck is blown up. Dov sets an explosive inside while Ari lights a fuse outside. The two explosions blow out window bars so that prisoners can get out. Ari with a rifle leads Akiva and others running. Ari, Yoav, and Akiva get in the car and drive off. Others escape in the back of a truck or by running.
Yoav drives the car, and they listen to the news on the radio. They come to a check point, and Ari tells Akiva to get down. They drive around obstacles and race off. They are followed, and they drive off the road and park in a gulley by bushes. Ari asks Akiva if the pain is bad. Akiva says he is occupied by dying. Akiva tells Ari to kiss Barak for him, and he dies. Ari says he is not hurt bad and asks for a handkerchief. He says he can get to Gan Dafna from here and gives the rifle to Yoav who leaves.
People at Gan Dafna are listening to the news about the prison break. Jordana announces that Arabs have been infiltrating the area in the last four days. From now on no one is to leave the village without permission.
Kitty leaves the meeting and finds Karen in her room. Karen says that Dov gets scared. Kitty hopes they will get to America soon, but Karen says she is not going to America.
Jordana comes into a room where Dr. Lieberman is operating on Ari as Kitty assists. Jordana says the search party is coming here next. Lieberman says moving him now with his punctured lung could mean death.
British soldiers arrive in jeeps. Inside a gate Ari is carried on a stretcher. Dr. Lieberman tells a soldier they can search. Men dressed as Arabs carry Ari on the stretcher to another house in the area. Kitty is there to take care of him.
Soldiers find a large arsenal of rifles and other weapons. Dr. Lieberman is arrested and taken away in a jeep.
Kitty works on Ari’s back as he lies in bed. Taha comes back in and says Dr. Lieberman was arrested. He could not find any plasma. Kitty says she opened the wound, and it is draining now. She says his temperature is 102, but it is coming down. Taha says Ari’s father saved his life. He grew up with Ari, and he is afraid his house may become his tomb. Kitty says she can’t find his pulse. She prepares a hypodermic needle and gives him a shot into his heart. She listens for a heartbeat for a while before she hears it start. She cries and puts her head by his.
Barak and others in a room are listening to the vote in the United Nations. Outside a large crowd has gathered. Paraguay changed their vote to being for partition. They hear another vote, and Barak says they have won. He goes to the balcony and announces to the people below that on May 16, 1948 the British will leave Palestine forever. They cheer. He reads the final vote for a Jewish and an Arab state in Palestine as 33 for and 13 against with 10 abstentions. He wishes that the parting with the British to be with honor. He mentions that many British soldiers risked their lives to save Jewish lives. He urges people to remain in their homes and shops, and they will work together as equals in the free state of Israel.
Ari, Kitty, and Taha are listening by radio to Barak’s speech. He says the Grand Mufti has urged Arabs to kill Jews or abandon their homes and lands to go into exile. Barak implores them to remain so that they can work together as equals in Israel. They cheer. People begin singing “Ha-Tikva.”
Taha stands up to go, and Ari asks him what is wrong. Taha says Ari won his freedom, but he has lost his. Ari says neither one ever had freedom. Now they will be equal citizens in Israel because the resolution guarantees it. Taha says resolutions are one thing and reality another. Taha says he is now a minority. Ari argues that it makes no difference. Taha asks then why did he fight so hard to bring it about. Ari says they had hundreds of thousands of people with no other place to go. Taha asks where his people should go. Ari says they don’t have to go because this is their home too. He says they have to prove to the world that they can get along together. Otherwise the British are right that they cannot govern themselves without their help. An Arab comes to the door, and Taha goes out. Ari says they loved each other all their lives. Now that it means something he feels he can’t reach him. Kitty says he will make him understand. He says she is wonderful. He asks himself why she is here in the middle of someone else’s fight. She should go back to America. She embraces him and says she will stay as long as he will have her. He says he loves her.
Taha tells Arab men that his father gave them the land, and his children go to school at Gan Dafna. He is the muktar of this village, and he will not attack Gan Dafna. Von Storch (Marius Goring) says they know he is the muktar. He says the Grand Mufti has committed himself and every Arab to die rather than accept the partitioning of Palestine. He does not recognize the authority of the United Nations. He tells Taha that as a Muslim he cannot accept it either. Gan Dafna commands the Jezreel valley, which the Mufti passes through on his way to Safed which he has made his provisional capital until the Jews in Palestine are exterminated. Taha says there are now 650,000 Jews in Palestine. Von Storch says the Grand Mufti was their guest in Berlin during the war, and now he is trusting him and his friends to help him with his problem with Jews here. He has 80 Arab storm troopers in his command. He orders Taha to supply 300 men by tomorrow to join them. Taha says his men are shepherds and farmers, not soldiers. Von Storch says his men will train them. He is leaving three officers and six men behind to assist their recruiting. Taha says they do not need Gan Dafna. Von Storch says they have chosen Gan Dafna for a quick victory. He says he has to go take a message from the Grand Mufti to the British commander at Fort Esther under a flag of truce. He says his men will be his guests tonight. He understands he has a Jewish couple there too, but Taha says the woman is an American. Von Storch tells him to make sure they are there when he returns so that he can interrogate them. He goes out and gets in a car that has two jeeps escorting it.
Taha goes back to the room and tells Ari that they must leave immediately. He says he must evacuate Gan Dafna before midnight tomorrow. Ari says he does not understand and asks if they are going to attack it. Taha says the children may be butchered like sheep. Ari asks him to tell him more. Taha asks if he has said enough already; he cannot leave himself defenseless. Ari says they are the same gangsters who murdered his father; he cannot get involved with them. Taha says he knows what he is doing. Ari argues that they can defend Gan Dafna together. Taha says today more than ever he realizes that he is a Muslim. He cannot kill another Arab. He asks him to prove his friendship by leaving his house. Taha says a prayer for him, and they embrace before he leaves the room.
At night Karen takes her post guarding. Jordana rides a horse and sees Arabs in jeeps. Karen lets Dov come in the gate. He has a rifle and asks who is in charge. He shows her how to hold the Molotov cocktail.
In the Gan Dafna headquarters Dov reports the Palmach has 6,000 arms and the Irgun 1,500. He says from now on they will work together. A radio operator gets a message from Haganah Safed that they have had an Arab uprising and still hold the center of the city, but they are outnumbered. Ari comes in with Kitty and asks how many guns they have. They tell him they have eight and 180 Molotovs. He knows the British confiscated the rest. Jordana went to Fort Esther to try to get them back. Dov says a detachment of Palmachs is on the way. He says the order is to fight for everything and surrender nothing. Ari tells the radio man to send a message that Gan Dafna expects an attack in force before tomorrow night. He asks them to hurry; they have 300 children and eight guns. Jordana comes in and says the commander refuses to return their weapons because it would only provoke violence. He won’t interfere in local affairs anymore except to punish troublemakers. Ari says the border is alive with armed Arabs. Taha warned them to evacuate before tomorrow night. He asks how many children they have under thirteen, and a woman tells him about 150. He says they will have to take them to Beth Amal tonight secretly by going around the valley. A man says the children cannot cross Mt. Tabor in the daytime much less at night, and half may die. Ari says it is better than having them all killed here. He orders Dov to organize outside the fence and Jordana inside.
They wake up the children and tell them to get dressed. They meet in the dining hall. Kitty gives a shot and puts little masks over the mouths of small children who are carried on the backs of bigger children. After the children have left the room, Kitty asks Ari to help her. He says he wants her to stay here in case they need a nurse. She reminds him that every 15-year-old girl here is a nurse. He does not want her mixed up in this. She says she is with him or not, and this is his choice. He says she can come along and kisses her.
Outside Ari and Kitty are carrying a child on their backs. He tells the children to go two by two holding hands so that no one gets lost. They are going close to the border, and so no one is to say a word. Ari opens the gate, and they walk in the dark on a trail.
Dov has a rifle and sees two Arabs and fires two shots at them.
Ari sees a fire and a destroyed truck.
A convoy of trucks arrives at Gan Dafna, and Karen asks Ben Ami how many men he brought. He says only two to a truck, but from the outside it looks like an army. He asks where Jordana is, and they find each other and kiss.
Karen goes to Dov outside and says sixty Palmachniks came, and he can go back now. He says he stays until he is relieved. He tells her to stay down and says he killed one Arab three hours ago. He tells her to go back, but she says she is fifteen now. She asks him to love her and says she is not afraid. He says when things are over, he will marry her. They kiss. He insists that she go back. On her way back an Arab grabs her.
In the morning a man comes to relieve Dov and says that Ari got back.
Dov comes into the dining room, and Ari at a table says they are going to make an attack before they have a chance to move. Dov says they will never be stronger than they are right now. Dov asks if they have seen Karen, and Jordana says she sent them all to bed hours ago. Ari assigns Dov to patrol Gan Dafna while they move out so that they are not surprised. David will attack them from the rear while his group advances on them directly through the olive grove. They go out with rifles.
Ari tells the man at the outpost that nothing seems to be moving over there. The man says they have not made their morning prayers either. Ari tells him to cover him, and he advances with the others. They move through the village. Ari sees Taha hanging from a gate by a star of David. There is also a swastika painted on a wall. He orders a man to help him cut him down, and he carries the body.
A young man finds Karen’s body and shows it to Dov who cries over her.
The forces return from the abandoned village with the body on a stretcher, and it is buried with Karen’s body. Ari says who they are and notes that they have no kadi to pray for Taha’s soul nor a rabbi to pray for Karen. He says Taha should have lived a long life and died as an old friend. He asks why Karen who lived so purely had to die so young. He says they should be used to senseless killing and the world’s insanity, but he says he will not get used to it. He wants to howl like a dog so that the whole world will hear it and never forget it. He says it is appropriate that these two should lie side by side in the same grave because they will share the earth in peace. He says that is not enough. He vows over their bodies that the day will come when Arabs and Jews will share in a peaceful life in this land they have always shared in death. He calls Taha his dear friend and brother and Karen a child of light and a daughter of Israel.
The trucks leave Gan Dafna.
This drama portrays Jews soon after the holocaust trying to regain their self-esteem as a people by finding a place where they can govern themselves. In this story many used the nonviolent method of a fast to gain their objective at the risk of their own lives. Many in the pioneering communities of Palestine also lived peacefully. Yet in the struggle against the British government and the Arabs those fighting for Israel could join a military group or more radical fighters who use terrorist methods. These options led to many conflicts, and all of these things are seen from the perspective of an American nurse who is drawn in by the love she feels for two people.