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Keeping the Balance

Heroes Remember

The Force Commander, at the time, who had gone through a Finnish course commander back to a Swede, Villein said " I want you to stay on as a Senior Liaison Officer", so even though there was a deputy chief of staff, Austrian at this time, he said " No, you've done it for two years and I want you to carry on." Because we had done a number of things with the parties not the least of which of exchanging prisoners and bodies and so forth. So you would, with both societies you have to prove yourself and you have to establish credibility, you got to establish trust, you got to remain neutral and at the same time my Israeli colleague and my Syrian colleague, who hated each other's guts I might add, they were at war with each other, basically they were the same, they had kids. So we could switch off from a professional discussion and "by the way Linda's here, you and .... I forgot her name... are free for dinner, sir," and then we wouldn't talk business. You could separate that providing you had the balance, because if you did it with one and not the other, the intelligence system would know that, they knew exactly when I went into Tel Aviv, who I was seeing and who I was talking to.

Mr. Ethell describes remaining neutral in his position as the Senior Liaison Officer between the Israelis and Syrians.

Donald Stewart Ethell

Donald Stewart Ethell was born in July 1937 and was raised in Victoria, BC. His father was a Veteran of both the First and Second World Wars. His mother was a nurse. He and his sister attended boarding school because of his parents' jobs and he was only home at Christmas and during the summer. His mother passed away when Mr. Ethell was 10 years old.

When he enlisted, Mr. Ethell joined the Queen's Own Rifles in Calgary. After several years of serving as an infantryman he was recommended for the officer training. Mr. Ethell graduated from the program and rose to the rank of Colonel. He went on to command Canadian, and United Nations, forces in various missions all over the world. In the mid 1990s, Col. Ethell retired with over thirty-five years of distinguished service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Donald Stewart Ethell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Suez Crisis
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

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