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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Arabs' Plot to Squash Israel Since 1967

Nadene Goldfoot
In 1967, all the Arab countries surrounding Israel attacked her and lost, much to their shock.  After all, the odds were that they would win for sure.  How could this tiny Jewish state win such an attack as theirs?  To add insult to their injury, Israel won the war in 6 days! 

On May 15, 1967, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops had begun moving into the Sinai and massed near the Israeli border.  By May 18th, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.  Then Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force to withdraw on May 16th and they did.  It was Secretary-General U  Thant that obeyed Nasser without bringing the situation to the attention of the General Assembly as his predecessor had promised.  On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israelis and to ships bound for Eilat, Israel.  He was ready for war against Israel, he thought.  He challenged Israel daily.  "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel." he was quoted.  In 1956 the USA gave Israel assurances that it recognized Israel's right to the Straits of Tiran's access.  In 1957, 17 maritime powers said at the UN that Israel had a right to use the Strait.  The blockade violated the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, adopted by the UN on the Law of the Sea on April 27, 1958.  This closure was the casus belli in 1967.  Israel's attack was a reaction to this Egyptian first strike.  President Johnson acknowledged this after the war on June 19, 1967. 

The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon were poised on the borders of face the challenge, and standing behind them were the armies of Iraq, Algeria,  Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation.   President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words:  "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified.  This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948.  Our goal is clear:  to wipe Israel off the map."  On June 4, Iraq joined the alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.  Approximately 250,000 troops (nearly half in Sinai), more than 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft ringed Israel. 

Israel was prepared and had been on alert for 2 weeks.  The country was mobilized.  June 5th, Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt.  Israel asked King Hussein of Jordan not to attack saying Israel would not unless he did first, but he went ahead anyway and ordered the shelling of West Jerusalem. 

At the end of the 6 days, Israel conquered enough territory to triple the size of the area it controlled, from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles.  Israel won the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and allowed Israel to unify Jerusalem.  It cost Israel the lives of 777 young men  with 2,586 wounded.  This was like the USA's  loss in 8 years of fighting in Vietnam by proportion. 

In August 1967, the Arab leaders met in Khartoum at their Summit Conference and produced four goals to rid themselves of Israel.
  1.  No peace with Israel.
  2.  No negotiations with Israel.
  3.  No recognition of Israel.
  4.  Insistence on rights of "Palestinian people in their own country." 

Since then they have had the goal of causing Israel to:
  1. Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines without negotitating with Israel
  2. Get Great Powers to pressure Israel.
  3. Use UN security Council resolution 242 (from 22 Nov 1967) to impose a settlement.
       a. Resolution calls for "a just and lasting peace, in which every state in the area can live in security."
       b. Calls for "the withdrawal of IDF from territories occupied in the recent conflict."
          ("withdrawal from all the territories" had been deliberately omitted from the resolution by its sponsors.  Interpreted by Arabs as though it required a complete Israeli withdrawal.)

Israel has had to insist that it makes no prior conditions, and that everything will be open for discussion in the negotiations.  It is obvious that Israel has a few positions on where the secure borders ought to be.  In fact, Israel has returned most of the Sinai to Egypt but must remain in control of Sharm el -Sheikh so as to prevent Egypt from closing the Gulf of Eilat for a 3rd time and that it also be linked territorially to Israel.  Sinai must be demilitarized.  Since February 2011 Israel has had to sign an agreement for a limited period with Egypt to allow two Egyptian battalians (hundreds of soldiers and officers) there to guard the gas pipe lines which bring gas to Israel and Jordan which have been attacked 8 times already by Beduins.

  Israel left Gaza completely, lock, stock and barrel only to see it turn into an aggressor's dream-the staging ground for attacking Israel constantly with missiles, mortars and rockets.  Where it could make peace with Egypt before the Arab Spring, it did not happen with the Arabs. 

Israel needs peace within secure borders that are defensible.  The pre-1967 lines seemed to constitute a temptation to a potential aggressor.  Israel has offered to negotiate with the Arab Governments a true peace.
This is why Netanyahu took time to explain to Obama why going back to 1967 lines was going against Israel's acceptance.  There has been much deviance against Israel using this type of rhetoric.  He needed to understand the past problems that it invoked.  Also, one can see that the goals of the Arab nations have not changed since 1967 or before that period.  In fact, with the Muslim Brotherhood's muscles, they have become worse.  The fatwa (religious edict) out by their leader, Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic theologian now living in Qatar,  is to kill all Jews.  What gives him credence is that he is one of the Islamic world's leading Sunni clerics.  In other words, he is no "small potatoes."  He has the ability to instill manic behavior in his followers. 

Resource: Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Dr. Mitchell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb
Facts About Israel  from Division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem

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