Beaufort: the Novel

51oyHauNYjL._SL160_AA115_.jpgBeaufort is a novel. It was written by Ron Leshem and published in 2005 in Israel. Its original Hebrew title was Im Yesh Gan Eden (If There is a Heaven).

Beaufort is also a Crusader fortress in southern Lebanon, about 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) to the south-south-west of the village of Arnoun. Between 1982 and 2000, the Beaufort Castle and surrounding areas were used as a base and observation post by the IDF.

This story is a first person narrative. Erez Liberti, a twenty-two yearl old officer, remembers the time he spent in Beaufort first trying to prevent Hizbullah terrorists from bombing northern Israel then co-leading the IDF official withdrawal from Lebanon.

It is a complex book in that it neither pro nor anti war but displays, through the eyes and words of a young man who is not particularly articulate and subtle, the complexities of war and the mounting fear of these young men who found themselves in perilous situations while feeling that nobody understood what they were living. It shows how ordinary young men are transformed and altered in such a hostile environment, especially as some of their friends get killed and the feeling of death begins to pervade their lives.

The French translation is excellent; apparently the English one is too.

One thought on “Beaufort: the Novel

  1. We saw the movie. Well done, though you have to have a stomach for war movies where folks you meet and get to know then get killed. It is not specifically Israeli; you never meet the enemy. Little Jewish content, other than some men davening in one scene.

    I understand it is very hard for armies to stay put, like they needed to do here; the training is to push forward or retreat, being on the move. Who wants to be a sitting duck.

    If you are in Galil, you look up and see Lebanon. “Gvul Lefanecha”, border before you, is posted often.

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