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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day and the Six Day War

Nadene Goldfoot
June 6, 1944 is remembered today as D Day.  It is the day that the USA landed on the beaches of Normandy which amounted to the largest amphibious landing ever recorded  to end the 2nd World War.  It was a lesson to us all of the inhumanity of all wars.  That was 68 years ago.  It had started for the USA on December 7, 1941.

June 5 to June 10, 1967 is also remembered as the Six Day War in Israel, one of the never ending processions of wars that the little country has had to fight since May 14, 1948. That was 45 years ago.   This is what had happened according to Israel.

A little background first between those involved.  Arab terrorist attacks grew more frequent.  In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel.  In 1966, 41 raids occurred.  In just the first 4 months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched. Also, Syria shelled Israeli tractors on the shore of the Sea of Galilee from the Golan Heights, provoking a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down 6 Syrian MiGs.  Then in May, the Soviet Union---which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt---gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack.

1.  Syria, Egypt and the Soviet Union spread false reports of Israeli forces concentrations on the Syrian frontier.  They ignored reports by the UN that no such concentrations existed.  The UN was right there with on-the-spot reports.

2. May 15th, Israel Independence Day-The false reports were used by Egypt as a pretext for concentrating the bulk of its army in Sinai--90,000 men and 900 tanks.  May 18th-Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.

3.  Nasser of Egypt demanded the UN emergency force, there since 1956,  to withdraw and they did on May 16th. It was Secretary-General U Thant  that complied to the demand.  This meant that the barrier between Egypt and Israel was no more.  The Voice of the Arabs proclaimed on May 18th said no more complaining about Israel to the UN and they would use total war now, resulting in the extermination of Zionist existence.  Syria's Defense Minister Hafez Assad was enthusiastic with an echo of the same on May 20th.  

4.  Then Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all navigation destined to Israel and called for WAR.

5.  Led by Egypt, the Arab States formed a war pact against Israel.  The armies of Jordan, Iraq and Syria began to concentrate their forces along the frontiers with Israel.  The Jordanian Army was placed under the command of an Egyptian officer.  Arab leaders affirmed publicly their intention to destroy Israel.  President Nassar made a speech on May 26th saying:  THE ARAB PEOPLE WANT TO FIGHT.  WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THE RIGHT DAY WHEN WE WOULD BE FULLY  PREPARED...ETC.  .

6.  Israel waited for 3 weeks from May 15th for international action to stop the escalation and remove the threat, but the Powers to be and the UN were incapable or unwilling to act.  On June 5th WAR broke out. During this time Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily.  "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27th.

7.  Israel destroyed the armies that had massed along its frontiers and menaced its vital centers.  Cease-fire lines were established along the Suez Canal, the Jordan River and the Golan Heights.  The Straits of Tiran were open again for navigation.  Jerusalem was re-unified, meaning the walls dividing it came down which had been put up by Jordan illegally.  .

Forty-five years ago today, the Six-Day War began and was a time when Israel's existence was most precarious.  One Jewish pundit, Jeffrey Goldberg has tried to use the theme that this famous victory was a defeat because we then wound up with the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).  He's advocating that Israel needs to withdraw all Jews from there even without a peace accord.  We have already lived through that same act with Gaza, and got nothing but shelling since we withdrew from there.  Jonathan Tobin, on the other hand, says that as long as the goal of Israel's foes is its destruction and not merely withdrawal, one must realize that we are trying to survive and look at the situation through our eyes, not the world's perceptions.  After all, it was the world-even including the USA, that told Israel to sit back and wait to be attacked, which is what they're all preaching today.  "Until there is a change in the Palestinian political culture that would allow them to live in peace alongside a Jewish state, peace is impossible."  If this is not a truism, I'd like to hear your idea.  The sad state of affairs is that Israel hungers for peace.  They want peace and have done all the leading towards a peace, all the giving into the demands.

Facts about Israel, Division of Information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem
Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.  by Mitchell G. Bard, Joel Himelfarb

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