Ever notice how the Times will happily publish any claim by an Israeli spokesman, regardless of its relationship to facts? Note today’s op-ed by ambassador Michael Oren: “Will Egypt Be a Partner in Peace?” It would take a while to discuss thoroughly the record between Israel and Nasser in the early years, and the story is somewhat complicated. But any honest account would HAVE to include the 1955 Gaza Raid, (Sharon-led Israeli companies killed 37 Egyptian soldiers in a raid) the 1954 Lavon Affair (an attempted Israel false-flag terrorism operation in Egypt, designed to short-circuit Anglo-American overtures to Nasser), and of course the Suez invasion of 1956. None of which appear in Oren’s account.
The Israeli attitude towards the early Nasser regime might be exemplified by the words of defense minister Pinhas Lavon, spoken in a Mapai Central Committee meeting of 1954. If one looked at war from a military point of view, “Today would be better for us than tomorrow, and tomorrow would be better than the day after tomorrow. . . I cannot say I do not want war. I say, I want it, and I wish there was a situation in which there were no Englishmen and no Americans, and there were only us and the Arabs and we could do that.” (The Iron Wall, Avi Shlaim, p. 100)