No amount of warning, however shrill, ever quite prepares a people for the air-raid siren's scream. The first wail is always difficult to believe. In Cairo, last week, it scarcely disturbed the morning bustle of the bazaar, or the gossip of black-clad women clucking along the banks of the muddy Nile. No matter that only the night before, President Gamal Abdel Nasser had welcomed Iraq to the Egypto-Jordanian alliance against Israel, and proclaimed: "We are so eager for battle in order to force the enemy to awake from his dreams and meet Arab reality face to face." Fixed in their own routine, the residents of Nasser's capital listened to the unfamiliar sound of the siren and continued—for a time—to go about their business.
In Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city, the reaction was much the same—and with better reason. Only days before, new Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, the dashing, one-eyed
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