‘NYT’ perpetuates myth Israel was ‘fighting for its very survival’ during 1967 war

Israel/Palestine
on 130 Comments

On January 25, the New York Times posted an article by their Israel correspondent, Jodi Rudoren, about a new Israeli film, Censored Voices, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend. Directed by Mor Loushy, Censored Voices is “the latest in a series of movies by leftist Israeli filmmakers who have won awards abroad by presenting harsh looks at their own society.” The film deals with Israeli war crimes committed during the 1967 war between Israel and Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. But while Rudoren’s article performs a valuable service in drawing attention to the film, it also perpetuates one of the main myths about that war.

Based largely on interviews with Israeli soldiers—conducted in 1967, and heavily censored at the time—Censored Voices documents Israeli soldiers “summarily executing prisoners and evacuating Arab villages in a manner that one fighter likened to the Nazis’ treatment of European Jews.” Israeli atrocities in that war have been known for quite a while, but film is certainly a more powerful medium than newsprint.

The film (which I haven’t yet seen) seems important, and especially useful at a time when the Israeli military is under investigation for atrocities committed in its recent Gaza assaults. It is increasingly hard for anyone to believe that Israeli soldiers are “blessed with special moral values,” in the words of a 1995 statement from the office of then-Prime Minister (and 1967 Chief of Staff) Yitzhak Rabin. Rudoren’s article also provides the significant information that even Censored Voices was censored and hence doesn’t tell the full story of the war crimes that occurred: “Israel forbids the filmmakers to reveal how much they were forced to change, and the military censor’s office refused to discuss it.”

But Rudoren and apparently Loushy give an extremely inaccurate context for the atrocities committed in 1967. Rudoren describes that war as one in which Israel “started out fighting … for its very survival.” The film, says Rudoren, could lead to fodder for Israel’s critics if “viewed without consideration for the existential threat Israel faced at the time.” The movie, she writes, “does make clear the imminent threat to Israel —and then the stunning turnabout that military historians have long considered a marvel.” And Loushy is quoted as saying that “This is the story of men who went out to war feeling like they had to defend their life, and they were right, of course….”

But they were not right, and nor are Rudoren or Loushy.

Yes, Israeli soldiers, like much of the world, believed at the time that Israel faced an existential threat, as Arab armies poised on Israel’s borders while Radio Cairo broadcast bloodcurdling threats. But military and intelligence leaders in both Tel Aviv and Washington knew better.

Consider the testimony of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a member of the cabinet in June 1967:

“In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

Or that of General Matti Peled, one of the twelve members of the Israeli Army’s general staff in 1967:

“I am convinced that our General Staff never told the government [of Levi Eshkol] that there was any substance to the Egyptian military threat to Israel, or that we were not capable of crushing Nasser’s army which had exposed itself, with unprecedented foolishness, to the devastating strikes of our forces…. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary for our ‘defense’ against the Egyptian threat….To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence not only insults the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to Zahal [the Israeli Army].”

Or that of General Ezer Weizman, chief of operations in 1967 and later a prominent rightwing politician, who declared that “There never was a danger of extermination,” and that this hypothesis “had never been considered in any serious meeting.”

Or that of Haim Bar-Lev, Deputy Chief of Staff in 1967, and later a cabinet member: “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six-Day War and we had never thought of such a possibility.”

Or that of 1967 cabinet member Mordecai Bentov, a member of the leftist Mapam Party, who voted against launching the war in 1967 because he was convinced that political and diplomatic means of avoiding war had not been exhausted: “This whole story about the threat of extermination was totally contrived, and then elaborated upon, a posteriori, to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.”

The same view was held in Washington. On May 26, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara “said that the U.S. agreed with the Israeli view that Israel would prevail in a conflict, even if hostilities were initiated by Egypt.” The chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff “General Wheeler restated the American view of Israel’s military superiority and said that, although we recognize that casualties would be greater than in 1948 and 1956, Israel would prevail.” President Lyndon Johnson “said … if Israel is attacked, our judgment is that the Israelis would lick them,” and told the Israeli foreign minister “if the UAR attacks ‘you will whip hell out of them.’” The CIA predicted not only that Israel would win, but the day on which they would do so.

The evidence is thus overwhelming that Israeli policymakers did not go to war in response to an existential threat. Why does all this matter today? If Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and Gaza (as well as the Golan Heights) were all inadvertent consequences of a war against an existential threat, then Israeli responsibility for the occupation is somewhat mitigated.

Of course, even if Israel had been forced to go to war by an existential threat, it still would have had choices. It could have offered Palestinians the option of an independent state of their own or a binational state. Justice was always possible. Indeed, every year since 1967 Israel has had the choice of whether to seek to reverse the occupation and seek security through building ties to Palestinians rather than by extending their oppressive occupation, and it has consistently chosen the latter. In the same way, every year since 1947 Israel had a choice of whether to welcome back the refugees or to accelerate their dispossession. Again, Israel has consistently chosen the latter. Nevertheless, knowing what happened in 1967 is important because the absence of an existential threat undermines the chief Israeli talking point for its ongoing occupation.

On June 5, when Israel launched its offensive, Prime Minister Eshkol publicly declared that Israel had no territorial ambitions and Defense Minister Dayan told his troops, “Soldiers of the IDF, we have no objectives of conquest.” When later that summer U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk reminded Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Eshkol’s statement, Eban “simply shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘We’ve changed our minds.’” [1] But in fact, we know that several key Israeli policymakers wanted to acquire more land before the first shot was fired. The Minister of Labor, Yigal Allon, wrote an article before the outbreak of fighting in which he stated we “must not cease fighting until we achieve total victory, the territorial fulfillment of the Land of Israel.” [2] Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told his wife the evening before the war, “We have to take back Jerusalem.” [3] And more generally David Ben Gurion had been saying since 1949 that Israel’s failure to conquer East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the War of Independence was “a lamentation for generations,” a phrase used by many Israeli politicians over the subsequent 18 years. [4]

Did Israel occupy these lands simply as bargaining chips for peace? Hardly: almost immediately it annexed East Jerusalem; expelled several hundred thousand Palestinian residents of the occupied territories, and began moving settlers into the occupied territories [5]—a policy their legal advisor told them was in contravention of international law. This is what you do when you are interested in creating “facts on the ground” for permanent border changes, not bargaining chips for peace.

All this history is occluded by Rudoren’s gloss of the 1967 war as representing an existential threat to Israel. To be sure, Rudoren didn’t have to present in her news story a full historical analysis of the 1967 war, with a careful assessment of all the evidence. But to offer up the pro-Israel myth as if it were undisputed fact is simply propaganda.

Notes

1. Dean Rusk, As I Saw It (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990), p. 388.

2. Michael Brecher with Benjamin Geist, Decisions in Crisis: Israel, 1967 and 1973 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), p, p. 100. The article was published after the war but written before.

3. Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem: the Six Days That Changed the Middle East (New York: Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1984), p, p. 195.

4. Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (New York: Vintage, 2001), p. 321.

5. Morris, Righteous Victims, pp. 327-29. See also Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005, translated 2007), pp. 523-42.

About Stephen R. Shalom

Stephen R. Shalom is a co-editor of New Politics and a member of New Jersey Peace Action. He teaches at William Paterson University in NJ, where is director of the Gandhian Forum for Peace & Justice.

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130 Responses

  1. just
    January 29, 2015, 1:54 pm

    Huge, important article.

    Many thanks, Stephen for your attention to this. This false victimology and narrative needs to be destroyed in order for justice to happen.

    (My guess is that Miko Peled write/speak about this, too)

    • Giles
      January 29, 2015, 2:02 pm

      How anyone with a grain of common sense and integrity can believe Israel was fighting a defensive war in 1967 is beyond me.

      Israel struck first, fought the entire war outside her borders, easily won the war in six short DAYS (not years, months, or even weeks), and began moving Jewish settlers onto the conquered land less than a month after the fighting stop. An occupation that continues to this very day.

      This was quite a transparent land grab.

      • oldgeezer
        January 29, 2015, 2:29 pm

        I would love to see a list of battles Israel has ever been involved in inside it’s bordes.

      • just
        January 29, 2015, 2:33 pm

        oldgeezer~ which/what “borders”?

        You funny!

      • eljay
        January 29, 2015, 2:49 pm

        >> Giles: How anyone with a grain of common sense and integrity can believe Israel was fighting a defensive war in 1967 …

        Zio-supremacists don’t have common sense, but they do have “common sense” and a penchant for re-defining words:
        – morality becomes “goal + methods”; and
        – defensively becomes “aggression, theft, occupation and colonization”.

        Ta dah!!!

      • Retired Catholic
        January 30, 2015, 3:35 pm

        Why isn’t there any mention of the attack on the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship monitoring plain language IDF transmissions that indicated the IDF was murdering POWs and civilians that fell into there hands. I was there, nearby the Liberty. Israelis new full well it was an American Naval Vessel. They tried to sink the ship and kill the entire crew, unsuccessfully.

      • RoHa
        January 30, 2015, 7:57 pm

        RC, those prisoners and civilians were just Arabs. Nothing for NYT readers to be concerned about.

      • seafoid
        February 1, 2015, 1:25 am

        Tail risk is funny. It destroys companies and empires but most people aren’t aware of it. The rot goes all the way to elites. Goldman sachs was more or less bankrupt in 2008.
        The bots can spin about nasser and existential threats but the risks they have built on their zionist balance sheet are bigger now and anyone who points them out is hounded.

        Their model says Palestinians are worthless scum and everything they do is built around that fact.
        They can’t turn the clock back to 1967 any more than Citibank can go back to leverage of 8.
        It is all or nothing.
        This is real world, not diaspora fantasy or torah jazz riff. And there is no such thing as a free lunch.

        It is nobody else’s fault.

      • PofTarsus
        February 5, 2015, 6:17 pm

        eljay….. “Political language can be used to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”
        — George Orwell, 1946

  2. Boomer
    January 29, 2015, 2:09 pm

    Thanks for this analysis. It shows that Israel (even when censored) can discuss this subject more candidly than the MSM in the U.S. The Israeli limited candor creeps into MSM via this in NYT, which is progress of a sort, but undercut by the lack of candor–even distortion–which you describe.

    A full discussion of that era would need to include Israel’s development of nuclear weapons (aided by material and knowledge from the U.S.), its attack on the Liberty, etc. Things well known at this site, but also not mentioned in the MSM.

    • just
      January 29, 2015, 2:20 pm

      It bears repeating, Boomer!

      “The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War.[3] The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship.[4] At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nmi (29.3 mi; 47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.[1][5]”

      (wiki)

      Never, ever forget their aggression toward all.

      Watch: “The Day Israel Attacked America”

      • RockyMissouri
        January 30, 2015, 10:32 am

        Thank you … They matter.

      • Retired Catholic
        January 30, 2015, 3:40 pm

        I was aboard an American submarine that was nearby engaging in the same activities, spending time watching the relevant coast line through periscopes and eaves dropping as well. First word out was that it was a Soviet attack and we were put on a war footing.

      • just
        January 30, 2015, 6:41 pm

        Nice to “see” you again, Retired Catholic.

        Thank you, RockyMissouri.

      • Marnie
        January 31, 2015, 4:25 am

        Wow. Thanks for posting this, I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. This is beyond disgusting. Guards posted at the hospital rooms of the wounded sailors to make sure no one could get their story. The traitors in Washington who continue to place the interests of the SoI before the interests of Americans have a well-established history of this behavior. How much longer are Americans going to go along with this “special relationship”.

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2015, 8:54 pm

        “First word out was that it was a Soviet attack and we were put on a war footing.”

        Another words, our special buddy, Israel, came very close to starting WW3 for the US. Some friends.

  3. hophmi
    January 29, 2015, 2:49 pm

    “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

    This old chestnut is from a Begin speech to Israel’s war college. It is dishonest to quote this line to support the view that Israel did not face an existential threat in 1967 when the very next line of the speech is:

    “This was a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term. The government of national unity then established decided unanimously: We will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation.”

    The rest of your piece doesn’t prove your point either; saying Israel had the stronger hand hardly proves that Israel wasn’t threatened.

    It’s fairly clear that Israel took the West Bank, Gaza, and Sinai primarily as bargaining chips. Sinai they returned to Egypt as part of the Camp David Accords. Israel offered to return the land in exchange for peace almost immediately, and was met with the Arab League’s three no’s at Khartoum: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel. While there was some settlement of the West Bank, there were 30 settlements built between 1967 and 1977, and a total of 5,000 settlers when Begin became Prime Minister, and they were created in strategic areas where fighting had been heavy to protect against further incursions. Begin greatly accelerated the process by giving support to ideological settlers. But the original motive was strategic and until 1977, solving the conflict with a land-for-peace formula would have been relatively simple from the standpoint of dealing with the settlements.

    • Keith
      January 29, 2015, 4:51 pm

      HOPHMI- “This old chestnut is from a Begin speech to Israel’s war college. It is dishonest to quote this line to support the view that Israel did not face an existential threat in 1967….”

      Not as dishonest as you singling out the Begin quote while ignoring the Peled quote. What does he say?

      “I am convinced that our General Staff never told the government [of Levi Eshkol] that there was any substance to the Egyptian military threat to Israel, or that we were not capable of crushing Nasser’s army which had exposed itself, with unprecedented foolishness, to the devastating strikes of our forces…. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary for our ‘defense’ against the Egyptian threat….To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence not only insults the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to Zahal [the Israeli Army].”

      He says that there was no existential threat to Israel and that Israel knew it could crush Nasser’s army right from the get-go. American intelligence concurred that it would be a totally one-sided war, regardless of who attacked first. Compared to the surrounding Arab states, Israel was overwhelmingly powerful militarily. Yet you dishonestly (what else is new?) try to justify this instance of Israeli aggression. I might add, that Israel had US support and approval in their plans to attack and destroy Nasser, the symbol of Pan Arabism and a thorn in the side of both militarist nations.

    • tree
      January 29, 2015, 6:17 pm

      Israel offered to return the land in exchange for peace almost immediately, and was met with the Arab League’s three no’s at Khartoum: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.

      Your statement is just another bit of hasbara, not a true rendering of history.

      From Avi Raz, former Israeli journalist, now history professor at Oxford University:

      “The Generous Peace Offer that was Never Offered: The Israeli Cabinet Resolution of June 19, 1967

      Historically, and to a considerable extent currently, Israel’s official line has been that despite persistent attempts to make peace with its Arab neighbors there was no one to talk to on the other side. In public and academic discourse, the cabinet resolution of June 19, 1967, which was adopted a bare nine days after the guns of the Six Day War had fallen silent, has frequently been put forward as proof of Israel’s desiref or reconciliation: its government, the argument goes, offered Egypt and Syria the territories they had lost in the war in return for contractual peace,but the magnanimous initiative met with an immediate rebuff from the belligerent Arabs. The story of the rejected “generous peace offer” makes a very strong case for a peace-seeking Israel and for Arab animosity toward the Jewish state. But an investigation into the matter reveals that the “generous peace offer” was never offered, and that the Israeli cabinet passed the June 19 resolution mainly as a diplomatic maneuver. Its principal objective was to win the United States’ support against an uncompromising Soviet drive for a United Nations resolution demanding Israel immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the territories occupied in the war.

      The purpose of this essay is twofold. One is to show that the story of the“generous peace offer” of June 19, 1967 is unfounded. The second is to examine how the myth of the “generous peace offer” came into being. The article first explores the aim of the Israeli cabinet resolution; then it inquires whether Israel asked the Americans to transmit the resolution to Egypt and Syria; and finally it investigates whether the resolution reached Cairo and Damascus and whether it was rejected by them. In tracing the creation of the myth, it will emerge that the key figure was Abba Eban, Israel’s foreign minister between
      1966 and 1974. His words at the time, as recorded in recently declassified official papers, are at odds with his retrospective versions that gave birth to the myth of the “generous peace offer.” But as the author of the tale Eban had many followers, particularly among scholars. By repeating and recycling the story unchallenged, these writers have turned it into accepted wisdom.”

      Much more fascinating reading at link:

      http://www.academia.edu/2545518/_The_Generous_Peace_Offer_that_was_Never_Offered_The_Israeli_Cabinet_Resolution_of_June_19_1967_Diplomatic_History_vol._37_no._1_January_2013_

      And a big hat tip to Zofia for posting this link in an earlier thread.

      It should also be noted that Israel’s “offer”, never actually transmitted to either Egypt or Syria, was only to return the Egyptian Sinai and the Syrian Golan Heights. There was never an Israeli offer to return either the West Bank or Gaza Strip, and they were specifically excluded in the offer that the Israelis made to the US.

      An apt analogy of this “generosity” would be if I had forced your neighbor out of his house and you continued to protest and refused to make peace with my theft. Then I attack you and take over your garage and parts of your house. Then I “generously” offer to return the parts of your house I have taken, if you will accept the fact that your garage is now mine as is your neighbor’s house. Real generous, eh? What lover of piece wouldn’t accept such a felonious offer?

      • just
        January 29, 2015, 6:28 pm

        Beautifully done, tree! (Thanks to Zofia)

        “”By repeating and recycling the story unchallenged, these writers have turned it into accepted wisdom.””

        This is the essence of so much…now the false narrative is FINALLY being dispelled.

      • Keith
        January 29, 2015, 7:30 pm

        JUST- “This is the essence of so much…now the false narrative is FINALLY being dispelled.”

        Don’t hold your breath. Useful lies never go away. I can almost guarantee that down the road Hophmi will resurrect this little piece of propaganda. And if he doesn’t, someone else will. Poor Tree has had to correct the record numerous times. She probably feels like Sysyphus.

      • yonah fredman
        January 29, 2015, 8:10 pm

        And the three No’s of Khartoum, is that a lie too?

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 8:27 am

        @ yonah fredman “And the three No’s of Khartoum, is that a lie too?”

        Nope. But what of ’em yonah?

        Typically, it’s blown out of all proportion by Israel in another bullsh*t attempt to demonize the Arab states and waved about as if it is somehow evidence of Arab non-co-operation by idiots like …. well …. like yourself quite frankly. When in fact they were quite justified.

        The three No’s are based on the legal status of Israeli sovereign extent, Israel’s illegal activities in non-Israeli territories and Israel’s legal obligations to the law, the UN Charter and the relevant conventions Israel has ratified..

        http://wp.me/pDB7k-18N The three no’s of the khartoum conference. “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel”

        Right, wrong? Just, unjust? Reasonable? Biased? Antisemitic? Most importantly, what were the conditions that prompted the Arab states to adopt this stance?

        2. The conference has agreed on the need to consolidate all efforts to eliminate the effects of the aggression on the basis that the occupied lands are Arab lands and that the burden of regaining these lands falls on all the Arab States.
        3. The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country.

        This is simply a reflection of UNSC res 476 1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;
        No peace with Israel: While territory sovereign to Egypt was under Israeli occupation the two states were technically at war. In the eventual Egypt Israel Peace Treaty Israel was first required and agreed to withdraw from all Egyptian territory before peaceful relations were assumed.
        No recognition of Israel: There is no legal basis for demanding recognition.
        A) States plead for recognition
        B) ” ..in the view of the United States, International Law does not require a state to recognize another state; it is a matter for the judgment of each state whether an entity merits recognition as a state. In reaching this judgment, the United States has traditionally looked of the establishment of certain facts. The United States has also taken into account whether the entity in question has attracted the recognition of the International community of states.” There are numerous UN Member states who do not recognize other UN Member States.
        All states are never the less required to show “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”. This is reflected in UNSC res 242
        No negotiations: Israel is in breach of numerous UNSC resolutions, International Law, the UN Charter, relative conventions. There is no legal requirement for negotiations. For example the words ‘negotiate’, ‘negotiations’ do not appear in UNSC res242 on which the Egypt Israel Peace Treaty is based. Israel was and still is required to adhere to the law, negotiations or not. Egypt and Jordan were correct in refusing negotiations while Israel was in breach of its legal obligations in respect to their sovereign territory.
        The signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was by default an act of recognition and; after Israeli withdrawal peaceful relations were assumed. Likewise with Jordan. Both are examples of what UNSC res 242 was formulated to achieve. The end of hostilities between UN Member States.
        However, while Israel occupies non-Israeli territories in Palestine, the Golan Heights, Shebaa Farms, the Alghajar village UNSC res 425 and UNSC res 426, Israel is technically at war and those states have a right to “restore” sovereignty over their territories. Professor Stephen M. Schwebel / Elihu Lauterpacht

        The Palestinians meanwhile are under no legal obligation to sign a peace agreement with an Occupying Power, to recognize an Occupying Power or to negotiate with an Occupying Power. Negotiations mean only one thing, the Palestinians forgoing some of their legal rights so that Israel may keep non-Israeli territory illegally acquired by war, illegally annexed and illegally settled by Israel since 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time)

      • eljay
        January 30, 2015, 8:44 am

        >> talknic: The Palestinians meanwhile are under no legal obligation to sign a peace agreement with an Occupying Power, to recognize an Occupying Power or to negotiate with an Occupying Power.

        Pallywood no want peace and negotiate with Zio-supremacy? Why Pallywood not like Zio-supremacy? Zio-supremacy very sad. :-(

    • Misterioso
      January 29, 2015, 8:32 pm

      Utter nonsense.

      You’re repeating an often stated myth.

      After Israel launched the 1967 war it DID NOT offer to withdraw from occupied Palestinian lands, i.e., the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) or the Gaza Strip. It did, however, offer to withdraw from Syria’s Golan Heights, Egypt’s Sinai and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms, only to promptly reverse itself weeks before the Arab League’s Khartoum Conference. Israel then commenced construction of illegal settlements in the Golan and West Bank and illegally annexed East Jerusalem and illegally extended its city limits. Hence, the Arab League’s entirely justified so-called “three no’s” accompanied by a declaration to pursue Israel’s withdrawal through diplomatic means.

      • yonah fredman
        January 29, 2015, 9:39 pm

        misterioso- Could you please link to the Israeli statements marking a turnaround on the issue of withdrawal from Sinai and the Golan before Khartoum. You infer that settlements were built in the Golan before Khartoum. I doubt that Israel’s turnaround occurred before Khartoum and I doubt that settlements were begun in the Golan before Khartoum. Please clarify.

      • tree
        January 30, 2015, 6:34 am

        For yonah:

        From Avi Shlaim’s “The Iron Wall”:

        The cabinet decision of 19 June remained a closely guarded secret in Israel. Even the chief of staff was not told about it. Rabin only learned about the proposal from his American colleagues after he had taken off his uniform and become ambassador to Washington. Moreover, the ministers who made the decision soon had second thoughts… Both in private and in public, ministers began to talk about the necessity for retaining some of the land, especially in the Golan Heights. Military leaders led by General Elazar made the case on security grounds for keeping a substantial part of the Golan Heights. The views of the military influenced the politicians. As early as mid-July the politicians started approving plans for the building of Jewish settlements on the Golan Heights. In doing so, they reversed their own policy and embarked on the road to creeping annexation. The decision of 19 June became a dead letter even before its formal cancellation in October.”

        page 254

        Kibbutz Golan, later Merom Golan, was founded in the Golan Heights on July 14, 1967, less than 6 weeks after the end of the 6 Day War, and more than 7 weeks BEFORE the Arab Summit’s Khartoum Resolution on September 2, 1967.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merom_Golan

      • tree
        January 30, 2015, 7:33 am

        To further clarify , for those who didn’t read the linked article, here is the exact wording of the June 19th Israeli cabinet resolution:

        Cabinet resolution 563 of June 19,1967, obtained under the Freedom of Information Law from Israel Cabinet Secretariat, Jerusalem (ICS):

        The decisions of the Ministerial Committee appointed as per Cabinet Resolution No.561 of 11 of Sivan 727(19.6.67) – approved by the Cabinet in Resolution No. 563 of the aforementioned date.

        1. Israel’s Position Regarding the Territories Held by the IDF [Israel Defence Forces]

        DECIDING:

        A. Egypt:
        Israel proposes to sign a peace treaty with Egypt based on the international border and the security needs of Israel. According to the international border, the Gaza Strip is located within the territory of the State of Israel.

        The peace treaty will require:

        (1) Guaranteed freedom of navigation in the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Solomon [Aqaba];

        (2) Guaranteed freedom of navigation in the Suez Canal:

        (3) Guaranteed freedom of flight over the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Solomon[Aqaba];

        (4) Demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula.

        Until a peace treaty with Egypt is signed, Israel will continue to keep the territories it currently holds.

        B.Syria:
        Israel proposes to sign a peace treaty with Syria based on the international border and the security needs of Israel.

        The peace treaty will require:

        (1) Demilitarization of the Syrian Plateau [Golan Heights] now held by IDF troops;

        (2) An absolute guarantee of non-interference with the flow of water from the sources of the River Jordan to Israel.

        Until a peace treaty with Syria is signed, Israel will continue to keep the territories it currently holds.

        C. To defer the discussion of the position regarding Jordan.

        D. Refugees:

        (1) Establishing peace in the Middle East with the concomitant regional cooperation will open opportunities for an international and regional settlement of the refugee problem;

        (2) To defer the discussion of ways to settle the refugee problem.

        That’s it folks. Not very generous at all. And its clause about “the security needs of Israel” was obviously meant as a loophole that would allow Israel to keep portions of the SInai and Golan Heights. And of course, it insisted that both become demilitarized if they were to be returned to their respective countries. Its also clear from the resolution that Israel had no intention of relinquishing either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.

        And here is the exact wording of the Khartoum Resolution, which was NOT as response to the Israeli Cabinet Resolution, which was never conveyed to the Arab Summit, or to either Egypt or Syria. It was a response to the outcome of the 6 Day War and its aftermath, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, as well as hundreds of Syrians and Egyptians from Golan and the Sinai. Its aftermath also included the establishment of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan (and later in the Sinai), the physical destruction of several villages in the West Bank, and the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian refugees from the war who were met with “shoot to kill” orders when they tried to return to their homes in the West Bank.

        Khartoum Resolution:

        1. The conference has affirmed the unity of Arab ranks, the unity of joint action and the need for coordination and for the elimination of all differences. The Kings, Presidents and representatives of the other Arab Heads of State at the conference have affirmed their countries’ stand by and implementation of the Arab Solidarity Charter which was signed at the third Arab summit conference in Casablanca.

        2. The conference has agreed on the need to consolidate all efforts to eliminate the effects of the aggression on the basis that the occupied lands are Arab lands and that the burden of regaining these lands falls on all the Arab States.

        3. The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country.

        4. The conference of Arab Ministers of Finance, Economy and Oil recommended that suspension of oil pumping be used as a weapon in the battle. However, after thoroughly studying the matter, the summit conference has come to the conclusion that the oil pumping can itself be used as a positive weapon, since oil is an Arab resource which can be used to strengthen the economy of the Arab States directly affected by the aggression, so that these States will be able to stand firm in the battle. The conference has, therefore, decided to resume the pumping of oil, since oil is a positive Arab resource that can be used in the service of Arab goals. It can contribute to the efforts to enable those Arab States which were exposed to the aggression and thereby lost economic resources to stand firm and eliminate the effects of the aggression. The oil-producing States have, in fact, participated in the efforts to enable the States affected by the aggression to stand firm in the face of any economic pressure.

        5. The participants in the conference have approved the plan proposed by Kuwait to set up an Arab Economic and Social Development Fund on the basis of the recommendation of the Baghdad conference of Arab Ministers of Finance, Economy and Oil.

        6. The participants have agreed on the need to adopt the necessary measures to strengthen military preparation to face all eventualities.

        7. The conference has decided to expedite the elimination of foreign bases in the Arab States.

        end

        A quote from the Wikipedia entry on the resolution:

        “Avi Shlaim has argued that Arab spokesmen interpreted the Khartoum declarations to mean “no formal peace treaty, but not a rejection of peace; no direct negotiations, but not a refusal to talk through third parties; and no de jure recognition of Israel, but acceptance of its existence as a state” (emphasis in original). Shlaim states that the conference marked a turning point in Arab-Israeli relations, noting that Nasser urged Hussein to seek a “comprehensive settlement” with Israel. Shlaim acknowledges that none of this was known in Israel at the time, whose leaders took the “three no’s” at face value.[11]

        In the event, indirect negotiations between Israel, Jordan and Egypt eventually opened through the auspices of the Jarring Mission (1967-1973), and secret direct talks also took place between Israel and Jordan, but neither avenue succeeded in achieving a meaningful settlement, setting the stage for a new round of conflict.”

        The secret talks between Jordan and Israel began in July 1967. The indirect talks through the Jarring Mission began in November of 1967, so Shlaim’s interpretation of the resolution seems to be the correct one.

    • talknic
      January 30, 2015, 3:44 am

      @ hophmi ” It is dishonest to quote this line to support the view that Israel did not face an existential threat in 1967 when the very next line of the speech is:

      “This was a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term. The government of national unity then established decided unanimously: We will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation.””

      No hophmi, the ” the very next line of the speech” is dishonest. Israel attacked in 1966 and was censured by the UNSC for it, it’s on the official record. Not that facts so incriminating are ever mentioned at Ziostoolschool.

      The ’67 was a war to keep hold of territories already illegally acquired by war by Israel by 1949 http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk and to acquire even more territories.

      “It’s fairly clear that Israel took the West Bank, Gaza, and Sinai primarily as bargaining chips”

      You’re full of poop pal. Claiming occupied territory as Israeli. Illegally annexing, assisting Israelis to illegally settle in permanent structures, building infrastructure, illegally selling them non-Israeli land, taxing them for the non-Israeli resources they used? Your fantasies must be so much fun

      “Sinai they returned to Egypt as part of the Camp David Accords.”

      It was withdrawal BEFORE peaceful relations were assumed. Read what ISRAEL agreed to with Egypt. http://wp.me/pDB7k-ZZ

      “Israel offered to return the land in exchange for peace almost immediately”

      bullsh*t buster. Israel was required by law to withdraw.

      “and was met with the Arab League’s three no’s at Khartoum: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel

      Quite rightly. 1) Recognition is not mandatory, there are no laws requiring recognition. 2) Without withdrawal peace cannot be assumed. 3) Israel is required to adhere to the law, negotiations are not a legal requirement

      “While there was some settlement of the West Bank, there were 30 settlements built between 1967 and 1977, and a total of 5,000 settlers when Begin became Prime Minister, and they were created in strategic areas where fighting had been heavy to protect against further incursions”

      I see… Human shields WOW!! A stupid admission like that could get you fired or even assassinated

      “…. the original motive was strategic and until 1977, solving the conflict with a land-for-peace formula would have been relatively simple from the standpoint of dealing with the settlements”

      Nonsense. The settlements have always been to purposefully make it harder.

      • ritzl
        January 30, 2015, 5:24 am

        Thanks talknic. I haven’t said it in a while.

        I learn a lot from you.

      • tree
        January 30, 2015, 7:42 am

        Did you notice this little hidden hasbara gem in hophmi’s reply, talknic?

        …they were created in strategic areas where fighting had been heavy to protect against further incursions

        Further??! The only incursions made during the 1967 war were made by Israel. Jewish settlements wouldn’t stop further Israeli incursions. They would only encourage them, which is why they were created in the first place.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 12:05 pm

        @ ritzl It’s a pleasure.

        I learned heaps from Hostage. I do hope he’s OK

        @ tree They’re always at it. I have no time or sympathy for propagandists

      • just
        January 30, 2015, 12:21 pm

        I have a very strong feeling that Hostage is educating folks all over~ here, there, and everywhere, as always.

        Those kind of smarts can’t be reigned in easily.

        Thanks to all for the education, the forum, and the continued diligence of all of the great folks @ MW.

    • CigarGod
      January 30, 2015, 8:52 am

      How do you get people to become so fearful that they fear for their very existence? Simple…for 20 years you bulldoze villages and squeeze people between, starving, terror and fleeing for their lives…until they…and their friends stand up and say…no more. Yeah, then you have something real to fear….but instead of regaining your sanity…and humanity…you double down and attack them.

    • Donald
      January 30, 2015, 10:06 am

      “t is dishonest to quote this line to support the view that Israel did not face an existential threat in 1967 when the very next line of the speech is:”

      I’ve seen both lines given before and no, the second line doesn’t support the idea that Israel faced an existential threat. It’s a boilerplate rationalization. Nasser’s aggressive rhetoric gave Israel a golden opportunity to attack and claim it was self-defense. They would crush his military and eliminate the threat that they thought he posed. So in Begin’s eyes, this was “self defense in the noblest sense of the term”, which is a backhanded acknowledgment of what he had just said, that it wasn’t self defense in the normal sense of the term. But there was no immediate threat, though of course the average Israeli citizen thought there was at the time.

      And after the war, Egypt did try to obtain return of the land, but it was Israeli intransigence that finally led Sadat to attack in 1973. And it worked–Israel’s complacency was ended as the Egyptian army, though defeated, gave a very good account of itself.

      • Donald
        January 30, 2015, 10:51 am

        I should have read the rest of the thread first, as tree and others have this covered in much more detail than I was willing to look up again. I’ve read Shlaim and Hersh’s biography of Kissinger, but the details aren’t on the tip of my tongue.

        I hope someone wrote the public editor at the NYT with the details. I was bothered by this piece, but it would have taken many hours for me to write a letter with at least some of the necessary facts all properly cited.

    • David Gerald Fincham
      January 31, 2015, 4:12 pm

      hophmi: after the 1967 war, Israel established settlements for Jewish Israeli citizens in the Gaza strip, West Bank, Golan Heights, and Sinai, while holding them under military occupation. A military occupation may be justified by the need for a forward defense of borders. Moving civilian population into such military zones makes them human shields, and shows the contempt which successive Israeli governments have had for their own population. Israel’s motivation in establishing such settlements is to steal the occupied territories from the Palestinians and the Arab neighbours.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2015, 1:11 pm

        “Moving civilian population into such military zones makes them human shields, and shows the contempt which successive Israeli governments have had for their own population.”

        Thanks for stressing that point Mr. Fincham, and thanks for commenting.

        And I do believe the settlers actually pay for the privilege. Don’t they “buy property” in those territories?

      • oldgeezer
        February 1, 2015, 2:47 pm

        Even today Israel refers to these settlements as part of their defense.

        Despite the repeated allegations against the Palestinians it is Israel that use human shields. Both Israeli and Palestinian. Often children.

        The state of Israel has no respect for human life and it’s only value is for propaganda. Just as they saw 9/11 as a good thing on a political basis for their continued oppression and theft I’m sure they see the death of individuals through terrorist attacks only in terms of how it can be used to further their illegal activities.

      • talknic
        February 2, 2015, 8:01 am

        @ Mooser
        “And I do believe the settlers actually pay for the privilege. Don’t they “buy property” in those territories?”

        Indeed. It’s a sorry state when their state sells its citizens real estate in territories not yet belonging according to Israeli statements to the state.

        Say … if the state ripped off its non-Jewish citizens in the same manner, they could probably afford to pay a decent salary to their poor impoverished PM so his wife wouldn’t have to supplement their income by collecting empties

  4. OyVey00
    January 29, 2015, 2:51 pm

    Lol the eyepatch!

    • bintbiba
      January 30, 2015, 7:33 am

      Thanks from me too Talknic. For sure all of us here learn a lot from you (Those that wish to learn, that is!! )

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 1:00 pm

        @ bintbiba No problem.

        I had to come to terms these last few years with my health preventing a more active role, so took to writing hoping to at least inform.

        They’ll never allow me to enter Israel or Palestine now :-)

  5. jon s
    January 29, 2015, 3:08 pm

    In the photo , the General on the right -with sunglasses- is Rehavam Ze’evi, not Uzi Narkis.

    • amigo
      January 29, 2015, 3:53 pm

      In the photo , the General on the right -with sunglasses- is Rehavam Ze’evi, not Uzi Narkis. – jon s

      So what , you,ve seen one war criminal , you,ve seen em all.

      • jon s
        January 29, 2015, 3:59 pm

        Amigo, sure, why bother getting your facts straight? Why not just hate ’em all?

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2015, 4:16 pm

        “Amigo, sure, why bother getting your facts straight? Why not just hate ‘em all?”

        Because, let’s see, Rehavam Ze’evi was the one was constantly trying to hold them back, and in fact, refused to participate in the war?

        Besides, “Jon s”, we read all kinds of stuff from militant Zionists here every day, in real time, reacting to current events. Do you think they can be defined as ‘likeable’? Go talk to them.

        People are, as you may know, entitled to form opinions and draw conclusions.

    • amigo
      January 29, 2015, 4:29 pm

      “Amigo, sure, why bother getting your facts straight? Why not just hate ‘em all? -“jons

      It only took one google search to come up with the goods on this racist bigotted so and so.

      The Israeli minister for tourism Rehavam Zeevi, who has been assassinated aged 75, was so rightwing that he barely remained within the outer perimeter of political acceptability. He advocated the “transfer by agreement” of 3.3m Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza to the 21 Arab nations of the region. This policy, he argued, would “cure a demographic ailment”. Somewhat slyly, last February he reminded liberal detractors that it was the Labour party that had invented and carried out the first “transfer” of Arabs, in 1948.

      There were moments, however, when Zeevi’s rationalist mask slipped, as when he condemned Arabs working illegally in Israel this year as “lice” and “cancer”. On various occasions he called George Bush senior an “anti-Semite and a liar”; Yasser Arafat a “viper” and “war criminal”; while former Labour prime minister Ehud Barak was plainly “insane”.

      Hours before being sworn in as tourism minister last March, he vowed to quell the Palestinians’ second intifada by finding their “weak spots and pressing them until they come to us on all fours begging for a ceasefire”. In April, Zeevi called on the military to destroy Arafat’s house.

      http://www.theguardian.com/news/2001/oct/18/guardianobituaries.israel

      I always get my facts straight jons .Unlike you who sought to defend this criminal racist bigot.

      • just
        January 29, 2015, 6:11 pm

        @ amigo “I always get my facts straight jons .”

        That you do, amigo! And therein lies the gulf~ fact vs fiction.

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 11:05 am

        “And therein lies the gulf~ fact vs fiction.”

        You guys are harsh! Try and remember, “Jon s” always adds a layer of evasive piety to the mix.

      • jon s
        January 31, 2015, 3:24 am

        “Unlike you who sought to defend this criminal racist bigot. ”

        An outright lie from Amigo.

        All I did was point out a factual error , that one of the men in the photo is Zeevi, not Narkis.
        How does that constitute defending Zeevi, who really was a vile character?

        And I’m surprised that the Mondoweiss editors haven’t yet corrected the caption.

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2015, 9:02 pm

        “How does that constitute defending Zeevi, who really was a vile character?”

        How is simply bringing up how he is and his record of service to Zionism attacking him?

        Besides, Zeevi’s actions were G-s-given commands, and instrumental in bringing G-d’s plan for the Jewish people to fruition. I would think you would be proud of the man, and I hardly think of you of a person who would go against G-d!

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2015, 9:31 pm

        “The Israeli minister for tourism Rehavam Zeevi, who has been assassinated aged 75”

        Oy vey is mir I told him over and over, “Zeevi, don’t overbook so much! But he wouldn’t listen”

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2015, 1:13 pm

        Sorry, sorry, it got away from me for a minute there.

  6. jon s
    January 29, 2015, 3:55 pm

    And the full quote by Menahem Begin is this:

    “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.

    This was a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term. The government of national unity then established decided unanimously: We will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation.

    We did not do this for lack of an alternative. We could have gone on waiting. We could have sent the army home. Who knows if there would have been an attack against us? There is no proof of it. There are several arguments to the contrary. While it is indeed true that the closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of aggression, a causus belli, there is always room for a great deal of consideration as to whether it is necessary to make a causus into a bellum.”

    • oldgeezer
      January 29, 2015, 3:58 pm

      Recently disclosed documents shows the military advice was that Egypt was at least two years away from being able mount an aggresive action.

      It was not self defense in any sense of the word let alone a noble effort.

    • Mooser
      January 29, 2015, 4:22 pm

      “This was a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term.”

      Menachem Begin said that? You mean that Menachem Begin, the Israeli guy? Him?
      Wow, will wonders never cease, or what? Of all people, Menachem Begin! Gosh, “Jon s” if I handna read it, I never woulda believed it! Well, I guess the truth had to come out sooner or later. But who would have ever thought….

      And any man who says Menachem Begin ever uttered a self-serving untruth will have to fight me!

      • tree
        January 29, 2015, 6:48 pm

        Yep, Mooser, whenever I think of Menachem Begin, I immediately think of the Irgun’s “noble self-defense” at Deir Yassin.

        ( And of course, also at the King David Hotel, and various and sundry Arab fruit stands and cafes and other public places which were the recipients of Begin’s “noble self-defense”, i.e. terrorist bombs, in the 1930’s and 40’s.)

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 11:11 am

        I think “Jon s” says the name “Menachem Begin” over and over, in orotund tones, shortly before going to sleep each night.

    • Brewer
      January 29, 2015, 4:43 pm

      “closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of aggression ”

      Oh?
      An act that affected just 5% of Israel’s shipping?
      An act of aggression that Nasser immediately referred to the U.N. (and the World Court) for mediation and declared a moratorium on any belligerent acts in the Straits. The compromise solution offered by U Thant was rejected by Israel by the way.

      Sorry Jon. The facts have been known for decades. Surprised you haven’t come across them. Begin’s statement (and dozens of others) shows the “Straits” cassus up for what it was.
      Time you read Image and Reality.
      Very interesting page here:
      http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3188&context=lcp

      • yonah fredman
        January 29, 2015, 5:01 pm

        I do not believe that the 6 day war was a war of survival. Israel could have survived without going to war. But to ignore the series of events from the false report of Israeli troops gathering on Syria’s borders that was spread for whatever reason by the Soviets, Nasser’s dismissal of the UN troops and U thant’s feckless overnight acceptance of that dismissal, to the closing of the straits of tiran (if not legally an act of war, then certainly accepted by the powers who guaranteed the end of the 56 war that it was a political act of war), to the alliance between Nasser and Hussein of Jordan, there is no way to ignore the causes of the war, unless you are willingly blind. Nasser was playing chicken, and he got what he asked for.

      • tree
        January 29, 2015, 6:43 pm

        So, yonah ,are you blind to the violent Israeli attack on Jordanian sovereignty at Es Samu in October of 1966, or the Israeli provocation in the Syrian DMZ that culminated in the IAF violating Syrian airspace and shooting down a Syrian MiG over Damascus?Are you blind to the fact that Nasser only asked the UNEF forces to leave from the Sharm al Sheikh area which had no border with Israel. Do you know thatU Thant decided to remove all of them from Egypt entirely and at the same time offered to re-position them the Israeli side of the border but Israel refused, as they had refused since 1956 to allow UNEF on its soil?

        Are you blind to the fact that the self-defense pact between Egypt, Syria, and Jordan was a direct result of Israel’s earlier attacks against both Jordan and Syria?

        Are you aware that Egypt considered the Straits part of its own territory, that this was accepted at the time in international law, and thus was entirely within its rights as a sovereign nation? Do you know that Egypt offered to have its rights in this case adjudicated in international courts, but Israel refused?

        Or do all the “causes” you can see point toward any other nation but Israel, the one that attacked and committed war crimes, murder and ethnic cleansing. Are you selectively blind?

        Nasser was playing chicken, and he got what he asked for.

        Nasser wasn’t asking for war. And your statement is pretty hateful considering how many people lost their lives and their freedom because of Israel’s decision to go to war and conquer more territory. You seem to ooze hatred at everyone these days. Is that easier for you than admitting that your precious Jewish State has been a nightmare for everyone?

      • RoHa
        January 29, 2015, 7:13 pm

        Let us not ignore Israel’s continual provocation and encroachment on the DMZ between Israel and Syria, either.

        The facts are that Israel started shooting first, even though Israel was not in danger and the Israelis knew Israel was not in danger. Claims of a pre-emptive strike fail.

      • just
        January 29, 2015, 7:23 pm

        +1 again and again, tree!

      • yonah fredman
        January 29, 2015, 8:03 pm

        tree- what a pleasant tone you have. do you actually spit while you are writing or are you able to communicate spit without physically doing so?

        yes, israeli actions in 1966 were aggressive and contributed to the atmosphere of tension in the region.

        Egypt and Syria (meaning their peoples) and the West Bank and Gazans did not deserve the war, but it was Nasser who brought it on, and I think that is rather clear historically.

        Do you deny that the Soviets lied about the Israeli troops? Do you deny that the western powers assured Israel of free passage through the straits of tiran before israel agreed to withdraw in 57?

        And your thing about Jordan signing a treaty with Egypt, as if that had nothing to do with the war, how many historians agree with that piece of crap?

        Nasser wanted… actually I have no idea what Nasser wanted to do (nor do I learn any more about his motivations from your rant). Maybe he thought he could get some advantage without firing a shot. Maybe he believed in some general who thought that this was a good idea. Maybe the soviets just led him up to this and he didn’t think it through. In any case he got what he deserved even if millions of people suffered as a result of his saber rattling. Maybe he was just saber rattling because of his misadventures in Yemen and he got carried away with his own rhetoric.

      • oldgeezer
        January 30, 2015, 12:13 am

        @yonah
        “yes, israeli actions in 1966 were aggressive and contributed to the atmosphere of tension in the region.”

        Yes yonah. And you’ve also stated that you don’t believe the war was a war of survival.

        It was an aggressive war. An aggresive war is the ultimate war crime.

        I, for one, am very glad you have admitted that Israel is guilty of the ultimate war crime. It is the ultimate war crime in order to recognize the value of the life of all humans. I’m sad that you don’t recognize that value and can’t add 2 plus 2.

        Please don’t ask me, or other people who do respect those values, to accept you as an equal or anyone worthy of any respect until you can do those two things and, as well, work to correct the damage caused by that crime.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 5:29 am

        @ Brewer
        // “closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of aggression ”//

        “An act that affected just 5% of Israel’s shipping?”

        It was never tested, never enforced. No Israeli ships were ever stopped, searched and/or prevented passage through the Strait.

      • tree
        January 30, 2015, 9:17 am

        yonah, as usual the spit’s all in your head. You’re angry because I mentioned violent acts on Israel’s part that led to the War that you omitted while ranting about other people’s “blindness”. And so you project that anger of yours onto others and heap scorn upon them. C’est la vie. Yonah without his insults and his anger just wouldn’t be yonah, would he?

        So let me get your viewpoint straight. Israel attacked Egypt, and Syria and Jordan, twice over, stole their territory, refused to return it, ethnically cleansed over two hundred thousand Palestinians, issued shoot to kill orders for those Palestinians trying to return to the West Bank (just as it had done to Palestinians after 1948), and immediately started moving Jewish settlers into the territories it stole, but none of this is Israel’s fault. It all gets blamed on Nasser, who “made them do it”? Israel has no agency of its own and cannot be held responsible for its own actions? What exactly is the purpose of that “self-determination” shtick if Israel is incapable of acting of its own volition?

        Do you deny that the Soviets lied about the Israeli troops?

        I don’t think they lied. David Hirst in “The Gun and the Olive Branch”, using Moshe Menuhin’s book as the source, states that, 5 years after the fact, “General Ezer Weizmann, one of Israel’s bluntest soldiers, conceded: ‘Don’t forget that we did move tanks to the north after the downing of the aircraft.’ ” Likely Israel did so because they expected some sort of retaliation against its violation of Syria airspace and the shooting down of the Syrian Migs over Damascus in April, but it was a threatening move on their part nevertheless.

        I also know from reading both Morris and Shlaim that in early May 1967 Israel did also issue a verbal threat of invasion against Syria.

        Do you deny that the western powers assured Israel of free passage through the straits of tiran before israel agreed to withdraw in 57?

        The tacit diplomatic agreement was that Egypt retained the right to consider the Straits of Tiran as their own territory and as such to restrict its passage, but that as a practical matter it would refrain from doing so under peaceful conditions. And Israel was only given that concession because it was so insistent on remaining in the Egyptian Sinai in 1956 and refused to budge. The UN was adamant that Israel should not be given an assured legal right of passage as the result of its offensive war against Egypt in 1956. Thus Egypt was within its rights to declare the Straits off limits in May of 1967. And as Finkelstein pointed out, only one Israeli ship had actually bothered to pass through the Straits within the last year, and Egypt never even enforced the blockade after it was announced.

        And your thing about Jordan signing a treaty with Egypt, as if that had nothing to do with the war, how many historians agree with that piece of crap?

        Jordan and Egypt and Syria signed a self-defense pact. Considering the fact that Israel had attacked Egypt in 1956, Jordan in 1953 (Qibya) and 1966 (Es Samu) and Syria in April of 1967 (shooting down two Migs over Damascus), what exactly was so terrible about them signing a self-defense pact? Care to explain? Israel gets to rely on the world’s superpower for its weapons and protection, but its out of bounds for 3 Arab States who have been previously attacked to agree to a self-defense treaty?

        Actually quite a few historians agree that Israel was attempting to provoke a war by its actions, and finally just decided to start one instead. It attacked Egyptian planes on the ground in Cairo while the Egyptian ambassador was in Washington, D.C., negotiating with the Americans to end the dispute over the Straits. It ain’t “crap” just because you wish it to be.

        Nasser wanted… actually I have no idea what Nasser wanted to do

        I rest my case. Even you admit your mind-reading is just a crock of shit. You want to blame someone other than Israel so Nasser is your chosen target and “he had it coming” no matter that the facts don’t support you.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 9:18 am

        @ yonah fredman “tree- what a pleasant tone you have. do you actually spit while you are writing or are you able to communicate spit without physically doing so?”

        tch tch tch, how revealing. You really are a nasty piece of work. There’s no thing what so ever in tree’s post to deserve your vile response.

        “Egypt and Syria (meaning their peoples) and the West Bank and Gazans did not deserve the war, but it was Nasser who brought it on, and I think that is rather clear historically”

        It’s not clear at all. Sovereign states are allowed at any time, to move their troops ANYWHERE within their own territory, with the tips of their toes and tanks up to half way across the thin pencil lines that delineate their borders.

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 11:14 am

        Yonah, for G-d’s sake, don’t mention “spitting”! I do not want to see that You-Tube video again! Ixnay on the expitting-say, Yonah! Nuf’ said?

        Just read the replies to Yonah. Wow! That is clear, factual and concisely written responses like Mother used to make!

      • yonah fredman
        January 30, 2015, 5:38 pm

        tree- There was plenty of blame to go around in the year leading to the 6 day war. the dynamics of Israel’s military bent under ben gurion and continuing under eshkol are factors. but in fact the drumbeat to war that began about the 15th of May was some kind of stupid gamble by someone on the Soviet or Arab side that there would be a benefit from this saber rattling and ultimately this is what led to the war. to pretend that merely referring to Israel’s post 67 sins is sufficient to exculpate the Soviets and Nasser indicates a type of bias. The cause for that bias on your part is known by you. of course i infer that the bias is related to your favoritism towards Vidal and Lindbergh. But i do not know that for a fact.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 11:42 pm

        LOL. The propaganda attempts never stop. It’s so transparent

        @ yonah fredman ” in fact the drumbeat to war that began about the 15th of May”

        The drumbeat to war was being played long before the 15th of May yonah!

        On April 1, the Security Council passed a far more innocuous suggestion seeking a truce between the Jews and Arabs. It was on that date that Ben-Gurion, acting on the recommendation of Yigael Yadin, the Haganah** commander of operations, transformed the Haganah, until now a defensive militia, into an offensive fighting army.

        The civil war in Palestine in the months leading up to the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was exacerbated by Plan Dalet and the offensive Jewish fighting army.

        By the time of Israel’s declaration Jewish forces were already occupying territory “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”, a violent process that didn’t pause.

        At exactly 00:01 May 15th 1948 ME time, when Israel’s proclaimed boundaries took effect, the civil war became a war waged by the State of Israel on what remained of Palestine (’48). Which is precisely why there are no UNSC resolutions against any Arab state for attacking Israeli forces in non-Israeli territory and; it’s precisely why the UNSC resolutions call for “peace in Palestine”, not ‘in Israel’ and it’s precisely why the UN is not biased against Israel, especially having afforded Israel hundreds of opportunities to adhere to its legal obligations via hundreds of UNSC resolutions emphasizing binding International Law

      • yonah fredman
        January 31, 2015, 4:19 pm

        tree- to add to what i wrote yesterday. the legal and historical question as to whether the closing of the straits of tiran is legally an act of war is interesting and not irrelevant, but not the entire story. because lives of millions have been affected by the 67 war i understand that it is the cause of much grief and as such to say, “nasser got what he deserved” seems to indicate that the millions got what they deserved and they did not.

        but your refusal to condemn nasser, nor even to say a negative word about him, indicates a bias, an anti historical bias. of course given today’s arab world where islam is ascendant, a secularist like nasser comes off looking good. but in fact, he was a dictator a demagogue and an adventurist. he wanted to control the entire middle east. what was his little fiasco in Yemen all about?

        But back to Israel. rather than the legal question i think we should at least shine the light for a second on game theory. (probably misusing the term, when all i mean is strategy.) ask 1000 strategists: given the history and the players, what should nasser have expected as a result of the three acts: 1. kicking out the UN, 2. closing the straits of tiran. and 3. signing a treaty with jordan and 999 if not 1000 would answer that he should have expected war.

        your whitewash of nasser indicates your bias. your attempt to dismiss the treaty with Jordan as “why not? what’s wrong with a treaty?” indicates your bias. signing of treaties in the midst of a crisis is not something that can be treated with a “why not?” attitude unless you are ignorant of history (which is not the case) or a biased person (that’s the case.)

        as for my bias: i am 100% pro zionism up to 1945. it saved many cousins of mine. any alternate history would have to include zionism intact up until 1945 for that personal reason. that’s my bias.

        to talknic- I’m sorry for writing May 15th without specifying the year. the famous may 15th is 1948 and it was natural to assume that i was referring to the birth of Israel, but i was referring to the celebration of the birth of Israel 19 years later, when nasser began his brinksmanship which resulted in the war.

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2015, 9:12 pm

        of course i infer that the bias is related to your favoritism towards Vidal and Lindbergh. But i do not know that for a fact.”

        Yonah, I may have to call the Medical Board on you! Look, bubelle I’m certainly a guy who thinks laughter is the best medicine, but I think you are trying to slip me an overdose!

        “the bias is related to your favoritism towards Vidal and Lindbergh”

        Okay, “Lindbergh” of course, is the aviation pioneer, who espoused Facism and anti-Semitism during the 30’s. But Gore Vidal?? As the Russian Mother said, bidding her son goodbye as he left to fight the Czar’s wars in Crimea: “And what have the Jews ever done to him?”

        And I gotta ask, do you think you are being clever with this “Lindbergh and Vidal” bullshit? You look awfully cowardly and stupid, but clever, no.

      • tree
        February 1, 2015, 9:03 pm

        Yonah, I’m not sure where this will land but it is a response to your comments addressed to me of Jan 30 and 31 :

        “to pretend that merely referring to Israel’s post 67 sins is sufficient to exculpate the Soviets and Nasser indicates a type of bias.”

        Yonah, for you to pretend yourself that I was “merely referring to Israel’s post 67 sins’ is either the height of lazy and incompetent reading on your part, or more likely an obvious bias of your own which you refuse to see and instead project onto others.

        The first points I mentioned were specifically about Israel’s military actions against Jordan and Syria in the months and weeks BEFORE Israel attacked Egypt in 1967. Did you not read my first response to you that mentioned Israel’s attack on Es Samu, Jordan in November 1966 and Israel’s provocation in the DMZ and their violation of Syrian airspace in shooting down 2 Syrian MiGs over Syrian territory in April 1967? Or were you too busy getting offended at imagined flecks of spittle to actually read the words I wrote?

        As to what I wrote about Israel’s actions after the war, and specifically after the June 19 Israeli resolution BUT prior to the Khartoum resolution, this was specifically in response to your false assumption that Israel didn’t found any Jewish settlements in the occupied Golan prior to the Khartoum resolution. I responded that the Israeli cabinet ministers were second guessing their un-communicated resolution to give back part of the Sinai and Golan Heights within a matter of weeks and gave proof there was at least one Jewish settlement founded in the Golan Heights less than 4 weeks after June 19th and a full 7 weeks before Khartoum. In case you forgot it, here was your statement, to which I responded:

        You infer that settlements were built in the Golan before Khartoum. I doubt that Israel’s turnaround occurred before Khartoum and I doubt that settlements were begun in the Golan before Khartoum.

        So its the height of dishonesty on your part to pretend that my factual response to your false assumption was “merely” intended to “exculpate” Nasser, when it was clearly offered to refute your false assumption, which was itself a product of your own bias.

        In an earlier comment in response to Hophmi, I responded on the actual contents of the secret June 19th Israeli cabinet resolution since he falsely stated that it was conveyed to the Arab States when it wasn’t, and falsely implied that the resolution called for giving back the West Bank and Gaza as well as all of the Sinai and Golan Heights, which it most certainly did not.

        The cause for that bias on your part is known by you. of course i infer that the bias is related to your favoritism towards Vidal and Lindbergh. But i do not know that for a fact.

        Good Lord, you are obsessed with two dead people, and two dead people that have no relevance to the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. You haven’t a clue what I’m saying but you keep implying some wacky ulterior motive which only makes you sound like a nutcase.
        .
        You want to know my bias? I’m am biased against lying, against double standards, against making false accusations, against bigotry and injustice. One of the things that flat out hit me in the face when I started researching the history of Palestine/Israel is how much Israel lies – about nearly every historical fact. I blame it on the sociopathic Ben-Gurion and the fact that his lies were so successful that it became the standard for Israeli governments ever after and so much so that they started to believe their own shit.

        but your refusal to condemn nasser, nor even to say a negative word about him, indicates a bias, an anti historical bias.

        Yonah, your whole premise was that Nasser, or the Soviets, or both, were most responsible for the 1967 war. I disagree and I have numerous logical reasons for my disagreement, most of which seem to have either been ignored by you, or gone over your head.. I have no particular “favoritism” or love for Nasser, I just don’t think that he was responsible for the 1967 war, just as I have no “favoritism” towards Saddam Hussein. But the fact that both of them were dictators (and from what I have read Hussein was many degrees worse than Nasser, who was no saint himself ) does not negate the fact that Nasser was no more responsible for Israel’s attack on it in 1967 than Hussein was responsible for the US’s attack on Iraq in 2003. I’ve tried to explain this concept to you numerous times that defending someone against what I believe to be a unfair or false accusation is in no way an endorsement on my part of everything they have ever done, nor is it an indication of some undying “love” or “favoritism” on my part. I suspect you are entirely incapable of understanding this point because this kind of thinking is totally at odds with yours. Your sense of identity leads you to double standards when it comes to Israel and Jews, which is a product of your own favoritism,so you assume that everyone thinks the way you do.

        Case in point is your “defense” of your belief that Nasser, not Israel, was primarily to blame for the war.

        You list only 3 things that Nasser did, nothing that Israel or any other party did, and then presuppose that an overwhelming majority of hypothetical strategists would agree with you. That’s called stacking the deck. (Or cherry-picking if you prefer.) Here are most of the relevant points I consider in assigning responsibility for starting the war

        1- Israel attacked Es Samu in Jordan, destroying most of the village, and killing 15 Jordanian soldiers and 4 civilians. This happened in November, 1966. Jordan did not respond militarily, most likely because of a military weakness compared to Israel. Egypt was criticized for not coming to Jordan’s aid.

        2- The IDF provoked an incident that resulted in Israel both violating the DMZ with Syria and then violating Syrian airspace itself, shooting down 2 Syrian MiG jets, one over Damascus, over 50 miles into Syrian territorial airspace.This happened in April 1967.

        3 -Syria threatened a response, which was met by even stronger statements from Israeli officials in mid-May threatening a full-scale invasion. Israeli tank formations were temporaily relocated near the Syrian border. The Soviets may or may not have overstated their numbers when reporting this to Egypt.

        4. Nasser asked UNEF forces to leave Egyptian territory and closed the Straits of Tiran. U Thant offered to place UNEF on the Israeli side. Israel refused.

        5. Egypt agreed to adjudicate whether it had the right to close the Straits as its territorial water (its less than 7 nautical miles wide) in an emergency hearing at the World Court. Israel refused.

        6.- Nasser tentatively agreed to a proposal to temporarily cease implementation of the blockade if Israel would agree to temporarily cease sending its ships through it while the case was adjudicated.(Other non-Israeli ships carrying “strategic cargo” to Israel would not be stopped by Egypt.) Even though Israel had not sent an Israeli ship through the Straits in over two years prior to the closure, it again refused the compromise.

        7-Nasser agreed to a reconstitution of EIMAC to patrol the border (Egypt Israel Mixed Armistice Commision) at the suggestion of the UN. Israel refused.

        7-Jordan and Egypt signed a self-defense pact in late May..

        8-The Egyptian Vice-President agreed to meet with US negotiators in Washington D.C. to defuse the crisis. Israel was aware of this scheduled meeting.

        9. Israel attacked Egypt, destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground in a surprise attaclk.

        Given all those elements, as well as the fact that Israel made no attempts to return the West Bank and Gaza, and in fact by resolution on June 19th explicitly refused to do so, I don’t see why any strategist worth his or her salt wouldn’t agree with me that Israel was intent on attacking regardless of what Nasser did or didn’t do. Thus logically Israel was to blame for the 1967 war just as it was responsible for the early attacks. That you keep insisting on placing primary blame for the war on Nasser despite the continual aggressive actions by Israel and the conciliatory ones by Nasser just further illustrates your double standards with respect to Israel.

        As for the Jordan-Egyptian self-defense treaty, it was just that – a treaty that promised that one would aid the other if either of them was attacked. Given that both countries had been attacked by Israel at earlier points in their history, a self-defense pact seems entirely within bounds, and most needed exactly when there is a crisis, as a possible deterrent against an attack. Or do you also blame Britain for Nazi Germany’s attack on Poland, when it signed a defense pact with Poland? If only Britain hadn’t agreed to come to Poland’s aid, World War II wouldn’t have started? It was all Britain’s fault?

        signing of treaties in the midst of a crisis is not something that can be treated with a “why not?” attitude unless you are ignorant of history (which is not the case) or a biased person (that’s the case.)

        I strongly suspect that Britain signed a treaty with Poland during a crisis because it believed that such a treaty might deter Nazi Germany from attacking Poland, thus possibly averting WWII. It obviously didn’t succeed, but again, why should they have not tried it anyway? In other words “why not?” and why are you insisting that asking that question is an indication of bias, when it clearly is not?

        Again, this is a double standard on your part. If the situation were reversed and Jordan had attacked Israel twice without any military response by Israel, would you say the US was primarily at fault if it signed a mutual defense pact with Israel when Jordan then attacked Israel again? No, of course not. You would place the blame squarely on the aggressor, Jordan, in this hypothetical case. You can’t see logic past your own biases.

        Unfortunately, even Egypt, Syria and and Jordan together could not mount a serious deterrent to the determined attack by Israel.

      • yonah fredman
        February 2, 2015, 9:02 pm

        tree- It gladdened my heart to learn that your only bias is a bias against lies. But apparently your Minster of Truth was on vacation when you appointed your Minister of Analogies. Any analogy between the peace treaty signed by Hussein in Cairo on May 30, 1967 and the treaty between Poland and England in August of 1939 was guided by some bias other than truth.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2015, 9:28 pm

        “Any analogy between the peace treaty signed by Hussein in Cairo on May 30, 1967 and the treaty between Poland and England in August of 1939 was guided by some bias other than truth.”

        Probably an analogy guided by Lindbergh, with Vidal along for the ride!

      • yonah fredman
        February 2, 2015, 9:43 pm

        tree- Let me get this straight- Saddam Hussein blameless vis a vis the war against him by the US. Are you referring to Gulf War I or Gulf War II.

      • tree
        February 3, 2015, 6:40 am

        Are you referring to Gulf War I or Gulf War II.

        Try reading for comprehension, yonah. You might even be able to answer your own question if you did.

        I quote from my comment: “… the US’s attack on Iraq in 2003.” Think you can figure out which war I was talking about? Yes I was talking about the 2003 Iraq War, not the 1990 Gulf War. Hussein was responsible for the Gulf War because he attacked and occupied Kuwait for no legitimate or justifiable reason. Just as the US was responsible for the 2003 Iraq War because it attacked and invaded Iraq for no truthful, legitimate or justifiable reason . And just as Israel was responsible for the 1967 War because it attacked Egypt for no legitimate or justifiable reason. To justify a physical attack on another country, the bar must be set very high, and in those three instances the bar was not reached,nor was it even close to being reached. Its not a popularity contest, and the standards don’t change just because you or anyone else thinks its OK if the “good guys” did it. If you attack another country without an overwhelming just reason, then, ipso facto, you are not the “good guys” in that instance, and no matter whether the leader of the attacked country is a nice guy or an ogre, the fault lies with the attacker, unless there are very strong moral reasons to excuse and explain such an attack.

        Any analogy between the peace treaty signed by Hussein in Cairo on May 30, 1967 and the treaty between Poland and England in August of 1939 was guided by some bias other than truth.

        Your opinion, which frankly carries no weight with me sans any compelling fact or reason, which you have not provided. If you have some logic or facts to to back up your opinion then state them. Otherwise your statement is worth nothing, and is merely a pronouncement of your own bias. The fact is that Israel had already attacked Jordan and had attacked and threatened to invade Syria. It was entirely logical ( and moral) for King Hussein to seek a defense pact with a stronger country like Egypt to attempt to protect Jordan from Israel. Likewise for Syria. Your bias doesn’t allow the surrounding Arab states to band together to protect themselves from attack from the militarily stronger and more aggressive Israel, but you have no qualms about the stronger military party, Israel, getting assistance from the even stronger US, despite its aggressive behavior towards its neighbors. You don’t judge things on the facts but rather on your loyalties and your prejudices.

        To ignore the effect of Nasser’s assertions and indeed of Cairo’s radio broadcasts on the Israeli public … to pretend that Nasser’s moves did not have an effect is quite clearly untrue.) The pressure placed on the Israeli public by Nasser was quite real.

        Again, you exhibit a double standard. Israeli officials threatened a invasion of Syria of “great size and strength” on radio broadcasts and in newspaper reports, PRIOR to Nasser’s radio speeches and yet you only mention Nasser’s speeches and not the earlier ones made by Israeli officials, including Rabin and Eshkol. And you fail to mention what even Michael Walzer admits: namely that Nasser repeatedly made clear in his speeches that he had no intention of attacking Israel first, and his threats were addressed to what he claimed Egypt would do IF Israel attacked Syria or Egypt or Jordan. In other words, his threats were intended, without success, to discourage any attack, not to start one. Even Israeli officials admit that they knew that Egypt was not planning to attack Israel. And yet all you allude to is Nasser’s threats and the Israeli public’s fear. No thought on your part about Israeli threats and Arab public fear, and no thought on your part to the attempts at a diplomatic solution agreed to by Nasser, but opposed by Israel.

        If the Israeli public was really listening to what Nasser was saying, they should have feared Israel attacking Egypt more than Egypt attacking Israel. Its entirely likely however that Israeli officials and Israeli media distorted or mistranslated Nasser’s speeches in order to drum up fear and support for what Israel had already planned to do well before Nasser’s speech. Just as the US public was plied with false threats of Iraqi WMD’s and all the rest by the Bush Administration and complicit US media in order to drum up support for our own invasion (and yes, I mean in 2003.)

      • Walid
        February 3, 2015, 8:09 am

        “Hussein was responsible for the Gulf War because he attacked and occupied Kuwait for no legitimate or justifiable reason. ”

        Of course there’s no justifiable reason for Saddam to have jumped on Kuwait, aggression is aggression. but in his own mind, he had plenty of reasons for doing it and some part of the blame is due elsewhere. He was an asshole to have done it, but it wasn’t as simple as his getting up on the wrong side of bed and deciding to invade Kuwait. The Gulf states were not any less A-H’s for having baited him into doing it and Bush I didn’t help either when he initially looked the other way when Saddam was supposed to grab only the border area where the Kuwaiti slant digging/stealing was going on. He was the good guy when he was doing the US’ and Gulf’s dirty work in Iran during 8 years but when it ended, they all gave him the finger.

    • talknic
      January 30, 2015, 3:52 am

      @ jon s ” While it is indeed true that the closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of aggression, a causus belli, there is always room for a great deal of consideration as to whether it is necessary to make a causus into a bellum.”

      The closing of the Straits of Tiran was never tested, never enforced, there was no aggression.

      • just
        January 30, 2015, 9:38 am

        Great heaps of thanks to talknic and tree.

      • Mooser
        January 30, 2015, 11:20 am

        “Great heaps of thanks to talknic and tree.”

        You can say that again!

      • yonah fredman
        February 2, 2015, 9:07 pm

        Saber rattling is a form of aggression too. Maybe unrecognized by a court of law, but very real in the life of a country like Israel in May of 67. To ignore the effect of Nasser’s assertions and indeed of Cairo’s radio broadcasts on the Israeli public, is certainly accurate from a legal point of view. (Courts of law would not allow it into evidence. But these laws of evidence do not reflect the laws of cause and effect and to pretend that Nasser’s moves did not have an effect is quite clearly untrue.) The pressure placed on the Israeli public by Nasser was quite real.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2015, 9:20 pm

        “The pressure placed on the Israeli public by Nasser was quite real.”

        The “Israeli public” makes the decision how and when to go to war? Don’t be absur….Oh forget it, Yonah. Maybe Lindbergh and Vidal barnstormed through Palestine, creating panic among the Zionists. They didn’t know whether to acculturate or assimilate!

    • pjdude
      February 1, 2015, 12:29 am

      FYI your mixing singular and plural in your latin i’m fairly certain it either be casus bella in the singular and cassi belli for the plural. funny how you should mention casus bella for reasons because you like whining about the palestinians histility but by your own admition live in a settlement that provides a legit casus bella to the palestinians.

      • RoHa
        February 1, 2015, 4:41 am

        Actually, pj dude, “belli” is genitive singular of ” bellum “, and it means ” of war”. The term of art is “casus belli”. According to my Collins Latin Gem Dictionary (which I still have from High School) “casus” (4th declension) means “fall, downfall, event, chance, accident, misfortune, death, opportunity, end of a period of time, and grammatical case.” So “casus belli” means “event of war”. Not surprising, then, that I and others frequently write “causus belli” (cause of war) by mistake.

      • MHughes976
        February 1, 2015, 12:14 pm

        Casus belli – a bringing-on of war. Casus is of the 4th declension, where the nominative plural is spelled the same as the singular, though the final syllable is long, so spelled ‘casus’ and maybe pronounced ‘casoose’ by Caesar and Cicero, who lived through a few of them. If you wanted to make it ‘of wars’ the plural of the genitive belli is bellorum.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2015, 11:32 am

        The caption still hasn’t been corrected. “

        “Jon s” wants everybody to get the right blood label!

  7. joemowrey
    January 29, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Another fine example of the kind of blatant propaganda practiced by Rudoren and the Times. This is propaganda 101, a clever and often-used technique. Drop a few criticisms of Israel, or salt an actual fact or two into your article, then surround it with false justifications and outright lies. This accomplishes three objectives.

    First, it gives the appearance of “balanced” coverage. The Times can point to these articles and say, “See, we criticize Israel.” Second, it excuses and even justifies crimes committed by Israel with the old “They had no choice” defense. Third, it promotes a mythology which can then be quoted by other news sources and taken as fact because, after all, it’s from the NYT. The writer is knowingly seeding misinformation for future use.

    One of Rudoren’s predecessors, Ethan Bronner, was also particularly skilled in this technique.

    It’s articles like this that completely discredit the notion that the Times only slants its coverage of Israel because of the pressure it receives from the Right. No one bullied or pressured Rudoren to tell this lie or use this misinformation technique. She did it on her own. And if there is some suggestion that Rudorin doesn’t know the truth about the 1967 war (an idea which is truly impossible to believe, given the fountain of information available to her on this subject) then the next question has to be, how could someone this ignorant of the facts be allowed to serve as Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times?

    The answer is, she was hired expressly because of her willingness to obfuscate the truth and promulgate myths and lies. That is her job, and it has always been the job of the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times.

    This is why it is imperative that we quit quoting the Times on this and many other subjects. Their publication is littered with so many lies and so much misinformation, we reference their writing at our peril. And by quoting them and pretending they are a reliable source, we only legitimize and enable their continued program of propaganda and misdirection.

    • hophmi
      January 29, 2015, 4:14 pm

      “The answer is, she was hired expressly because of her willingness to obfuscate the truth and promulgate myths and lies. That is her job, and it has always been the job of the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times.

      This is why it is imperative that we quit quoting the Times on this and many other subjects. Their publication is littered with so many lies and so much misinformation, we reference their writing at our peril. And by quoting them and pretending they are a reliable source, we only legitimize and enable their continued program of propaganda and misdirection.”

      I love it when anti-Israel activists copy CAMERA techniques and rhetoric.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2015, 4:56 am

        @ hophmi “I love it when anti-Israel activists copy CAMERA techniques and rhetoric”

        Uh?

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2015, 11:28 am

        Wait a minute, it just hit me. I am not very observant at all, but should Yonah and Hophmi be posting on Shabbos? Has Rebbe. Schneerson ventured an opinion on this?

        Posting on Shabbos: Tref, or safe?

      • CigarGod
        February 1, 2015, 11:43 am

        I’ve noticed the same thing. But, I’m torn…it almost seems like a good thing.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2015, 1:21 pm

        “But, I’m torn…it almost seems like a good thing.”

        I’m not sure, but I don’t think a thing (and, of course, everybody’s got a thing, but some don’t know how to handle it, as I’m sure you’ve heard) needs to be necessarily “good” or “bad” to be banned on the Sabbath, it just needs to be banned on the Sabbath.

        Except of course, the saving of life, which takes precedence over all religious considerations.

        And, then of course, there’s Super-Bowl Sabbath!

      • CigarGod
        February 1, 2015, 1:34 pm

        Ah, yes…my freudian slipoids. I don’t exactly remember when I realized that I was giving birth to tricky new life-forms. Hooking up means something entirely different to kids half my age…and it took me a long time to understand why I sometimes I received a look of terror in return for an invitation to…hookup…or a goose and a grin…each response having an opposite effect on my thing.

      • RoHa
        February 1, 2015, 9:21 pm

        “Hooking up means something entirely different to kids half my age”

        Hmmmph! People half my age are too old to understand what their kids are saying

    • MRW
      January 30, 2015, 11:57 am

      This and the Iraq coverage (especially NYT’s) are why newspapers aren’t trusted anymore, and why newspapers have declined. It’s certainly NOT the internet, which is simply a delivery system.

      The laughable point is that owners/editors think people didn’t or couldn’t catch on. The idea that people–citizens–would avoid a genuine truth-telling organ on paper because they couldn’t get it on their device is one of the great arrogances and self-deceptions of the 21st c. so far.

      News editors and owners have created their own demise.

  8. lysias
    January 29, 2015, 5:05 pm

    Somebody at the NYT needs to reread (or read for the first time?) Thucydides, with his distinction between pretext (prophasis) and cause (aitia).

  9. irishmoses
    January 29, 2015, 7:13 pm

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Prof. John Quigley’s masterful and definitive legal analysis of the 6 Day War, The Six-Day War and Israeli Self Defense: Questioning the Legal Basis for Preventative War Cambridge Press 2013, http://www.amazon.com/Six-Day-War-Israeli-Self-Defense-Questioning/dp/1107610028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422576603&sr=8-1&keywords=the+six-day+war+and+Israeli+Self+Defense+Quigley.

    This is a must-read as are all of Prof. Quigley’s legal writings on the I-P conflict.

    • MRW
      January 30, 2015, 12:01 pm

      So are Alan Hart’s three-part series on Zionism. He was there covering the ’67 war. His three-volume books are full of remarkable details. He was covering the event for a British network and is not relying on memory. He has the footage.

  10. irishmoses
    January 29, 2015, 7:33 pm

    I attended a talk by Ilan Pappe at UCLA a couple of years ago. He said Israel had planned the capture and occupation of the West Bank well in advance of 1967 and had the complete structure and organization of the planned military government in place several months before the Israelis started the war. The conquest of the West Bank was no accident.

    It is ludicrous to suggest Israel felt threatened by Egypt in 1967. In the 1956 Suez Crisis war, it had overwhelmed the Egyptian army and taken all of Sinai with little effort. The goal was always the acquisition of Greater Israel. The clever hasbara narrative, little David Israel fighting off the Goliath Arab hordes is there to obfuscate that reality.

  11. irishmoses
    January 29, 2015, 7:40 pm

    Quigley’s discussion of preventative war and how the US used that doctrine post 9-11, in his book I cited above, shows how the acceptance of Israel’s phony justifications for its 1967 war led to the undermining of the principal that defensive war is justified only when attacked or when attack is an imminent threat. Neither applied to Israel’s actions in 1967.

  12. Kathleen
    January 29, 2015, 11:53 pm

    Important piece. Had heard in detail from a history professor at Ohio.U. several decades ago that Israel’s claim that Egypt started that fight was total hooey. Israel has been using the “existential threat” argument for quite some time. Now with Iran.

    Too bad Ruderon chooses to perpetuate this myth. However not surprised.

    Will you be submitting this analysis to the New York Bloody Times?

  13. dmm
    January 30, 2015, 12:06 am

    As silly an article as any I’ve seen here on Mondoweiss… and that’s pretty silly. To take just two idiotic statements:

    1) “Israeli soldiers ‘summarily executing prisoners and evacuating Arab villages in a manner that one fighter likened to the Nazis’ treatment of European Jews.” Apparently our young writer is unfamiliar with the concept of war. Executing prisoners is something that happens routinely in virtually ANY war… even we Americans did it in WW II… it’s a battlefield necessity, unfortunately… and completely unremarkable except to the Drama Queens of the left.

    Then, this bilge:

    2) “Indeed, every year since 1967 Israel has had the choice of whether to seek to reverse the occupation and seek security through building ties to Palestinians rather than by extending their oppressive occupation, and it has consistently chosen the latter.” Truly the most moronic statement possible from a member of the human species, no? In 2005, as everyone knows, Israel gave Gaza to the Pals, lock, stock and barrel, in a move meant EXACTLY “to reverse the occupation and seek security through building ties”. Didn’t work, did it? The Hamas animals began firing rockets that same year, forcing Israel’s hand to create a blockade.

    Mr. Shalom is the very caricature of a self-hating Jew… in this case, with walnuts for brains as well.

    • Mooser
      January 30, 2015, 12:07 pm

      Them’s some high aspirations you got for Judaism and Zionism, mister. Good stuff! You just keep on insisting on Judaism’s and Zionism’s right to kill people. That’s always worked out well for a people who form a large fractional part of the earth’s population, with an absolutely explosive birthrate, who can sustain any war-loss or genocide and keep on ticking.

    • talknic
      January 30, 2015, 10:43 pm

      @ dmm 1st let me thank you for affording yet another opportunity to show genuinely interested readers just how two faced, hypocritical, deceitful and dishonest supporters of Israel’s illegal expansionist policies can be.

      The dis-service you do is much appreciated. Please, please, post more …

      ” Apparently our young writer is unfamiliar with the concept of war. Executing prisoners is something that happens routinely in virtually ANY war… even we Americans did it in WW II… it’s a battlefield necessity, unfortunately… and completely unremarkable except to … “ … International Law via the Hague Conventions, which one would have thought the most moral army in the world might uphold given the outcry and gnashing of teeth from supporters of Israel’s illegal facts on the ground when Israeli agents are summarily dispatched in war. But according to you it’s all OK. You will hold that point in mind … right?

      ” In 2005, as everyone knows, Israel gave Gaza to the Pals”

      LOL. As you think you know you stupid stupid person! In fact, no territory has ever been legally acquired by Israel since the Israeli Government proclaimed Israel’s extent in order to be recognized http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf , it wasn’t Israel’s to give pal.

      ” in a move meant EXACTLY “to reverse the occupation and seek security through building ties””

      So why didn’t Israel also relinquish control over Palestinian airspace, territorial waters and the Gazan border with Egypt?

      “The Hamas animals began firing rockets that same year, forcing Israel’s hand to create a blockade.”

      1) A people reacting to 67 years of occupation and over a hundred years of colonization might be “animals” to a Nazi

      Say … You’re not a Nazi are you?

      2) Only an Occupying Power has the right to make military incursions into another entity’s territory without censure from the UN. Only an Occupying Power has the right to control the airspace, territorial waters and all border crossings of another entity, including BTW those between Gaza and Egypt via the 2005 agreement and Peace Treaty with Egypt
      3) Israel maintained control over Palestinian airspace, territorial waters and the Gazan border with Egypt BEFORE imposing the blockade
      4) A blockade is illegal according to the Israeli narrative https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Egypt%20illegal%20blockade%20straits

      “Mr. Shalom is the very caricature of a self-hating Jew… in this case, with walnuts for brains as well”

      Rather hilarious coming from someone who comes here revealing themselves to be a bigoted hypocrite for all to see.

      Keep up the good work champ

    • Shingo
      February 1, 2015, 5:21 am

      Mr. Shalom is the very caricature of a self-hating Jew

      Whereas you’re the very caricature of a blood thirsty, war crazed, racist supremacist Ziotroll.

      In 2005, as everyone knows, Israel gave Gaza to the Pals, lock, stock and barrel, in a move meant EXACTLY “to reverse the occupation and seek security through building ties”.

      Bullish&t. That’s the discredited has bars version. Everyone with a brain and an education knows they Israel withdrew the settlers from Gaza to reinforce the occupation and continue the occupation if Gaza on the cheap. As Sharon’s advisor, Dov Weisglass revealed, Sharon’s plan was to “suspend the peace process in formaldehyde”.

      The Hamas animals began firing rockets that same year, forcing Israel’s hand to create a blockade.

      You left out the party that Israel began shelling Gaza the day after they withdrew, firing 7,700 shells into Gaza over the following 10 months.

      Has started fail!!

    • RoHa
      February 1, 2015, 7:16 am

      “Mr. Shalom is the very caricature of a self-hating Jew ”

      Why do you think he hates himself? From the article it looks though he doesn’t like Israel very much. Since you are a supporter of Israel, he might not like you. But I can’t see anything to suggest he doesn’t like himself.

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2015, 11:37 am

        “Mr. Shalom is the very caricature of a self-hating Jew ”

        At this point, old “dmm” breaks into a chorus of “I am the Very Model of a Modern Right-Wing Zionist”!

    • lysias
      February 1, 2015, 5:51 pm

      “Israeli soldiers ‘summarily executing prisoners and evacuating Arab villages in a manner that one fighter likened to the Nazis’ treatment of European Jews.” Apparently our young writer is unfamiliar with the concept of war. Executing prisoners is something that happens routinely in virtually ANY war… even we Americans did it in WW II… it’s a battlefield necessity, unfortunately… and completely unremarkable except to the Drama Queens of the left.

      It’s true that soldiers of the U.S. Army executed POWs whom it should have preserved under the law of war in WWII. Veterans who were involved have told me as much. But, even though generals tolerated it and looked the other way, it was never official policy.

      And anyway, that’s just captured enemy soldiers that U.S. soldiers illegally killed. I’m unaware of them having illegally killed civilians. In WWII, that is.

  14. concernedhuman
    January 30, 2015, 3:29 am

    June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”,

    This is the same tactic israel follows till date and recent when israel attacked and killed 6 Lebanese and a Iranian general.

    Israel attacks, provokes and escalates …US then says “israel has right to defend it self”.

  15. talknic
    January 30, 2015, 9:37 am

    @ Stephen R. Shalom “Yes, Israeli soldiers, like much of the world, believed at the time that Israel faced an existential threat, as Arab armies poised on Israel’s borders …”

    Shows how insidious Israeli propaganda is. It’s been pushed into every corner by incessant repetition.

    Arab armies were poised on their own borders. Whereas Jewish forces under Plan Dalet were already outside of Israeli territory the moment Israel’s boundaries came into effect at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf . They’re still outside of Israel.

    In fact Jewish forces have been outside of Israel longer than the State of Israel has been in effective existence!

  16. Donald
    January 30, 2015, 10:12 am

    This is a pattern I’ve seen before–when Israel is criticized, the writer sometimes uses this as an opportunity to reinforce some other element of hasbara. It’s psychologically brilliant–the very fact that Israel is being criticized in the article lends credibility to the false claim in Israel’s favor.

    You see this in other subject areas too-I gather some people are saying that “American Sniper” is in some sense an antiwar film because it shows the toll the war took on American soldiers. I don’t intend to watch the film, but suppose it is true–then that means that the film’s falsehoods about the war will seem more credible to American viewers, because of its seeming “honesty” about the costs of the war (to Americans, not to Iraqis).

    • Donald
      January 30, 2015, 10:59 am

      More proof that I needed to read the whole thread before commenting, as joemowrey made this point already. But it’s probably worth repeating.

    • American
      February 1, 2015, 12:45 pm

      ” It’s psychologically brilliant–the very fact that Israel is being criticized in the article lends credibility to the false claim in Israel’s favor. ”

      I dont see it as psychological brilliant…not when its easily seen by any one with minimal reading skills. …and its an old trick.

  17. Kay24
    January 31, 2015, 6:18 am

    Moshe Dyan was a horrible thief, and he pillaged Palestinian excavation sites, and pillaged it, for his own personal gain, and perhaps in an effort to wipe all traces of Palestinian history. Zionists must have some evil in their DNA.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1986/05/14/arts/dayan-legacy-prompts-dispute-on-antiquities.html

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/02/archaeological-pillaging-gaza.html#

  18. MHughes976
    January 31, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Whether Israel ‘was fighting for its very survival’ (FVS) depends in great part on what these words are taken a) to mean factually and b) to imply ethically.
    Stephen RS understands FVS as ‘fighting in circumstances where there was a serious chance of its dismantlement’ – and he is absolutely right, given all the evidence he cites and given common knowledge, that in this meaning the statement is untrue.
    Others might mean ‘fighting in circumstances where the unpredictable just might have happened and where rhetoric about Israel’s dismantlement was heard’ – in this meaning the statement is true. There was beyond doubt or denial a lot of angry rhetoric – of course angry rhetoric is often used by people who have every intention of compromise. But underlying this rhetoric, whatever the readiness for compromise, was the belief that the Palestinians excluded in 48 had every right to return to their homes as full citizens, the procedure that would have dismantled Israel, and that it would be just for military means to be used for that end. Who could doubt that almost everyone in the Middle East at the time held to this belief?
    On the other side stood the Zionist belief in prior and overriding Jewish rights in the Holy Land, not in some of it but in all of it – again, subject to such compromise as might be practically necessary.
    In the meanwhile, many in the wider ME have defected from the Palestinian cause as it was understood then: the Saudi peace plan, which concedes all the 48 conquests, is the plainest example of this. On the other side, the Zionists have seen less and less necessity for compromise: as we have seen lately from the Kerry Dealings, there is no final settlement – on the table and being proposed as just and reasonable – coming from Israel, which prefers ‘to live without a solution’.
    FVS in the sense where it is true does not imply that Israel’s cause was just. They were fighting, with only minimal immediate risk to themselves, to sweep aside, divide, shatter and render powerless any force, even any idea, that 48 could be reversed. To a very great extent they succeeded. The question would be how just that objective was.

    • MHughes976
      January 31, 2015, 3:35 pm

      Just to add that Hobbes’ view that war exists in any ‘tract of time when the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known’ seems reasonable – but the problem is distinguishing the will to contend from mere displays of emotion and rhetoric, which are not acts of will. Hobbes implies that the one who starts the war is not necessarily the one who shoots first but the one who decides first. Did Nasser decide on war before Eshkol and Dayan? Unless he was a complete idiot – which few who rise to leadership of major countries really are – he cannot have done. He was of course driven to displays of emotion and rhetoric in order to preserve his precarious political position. I think he played with fire but that is very much not the same as making a decision.

      • RoHa
        January 31, 2015, 11:33 pm

        “Hobbes implies that the one who starts the war is not necessarily the one who shoots first but the one who decides first”

        There are a couple of problems with that, as I am sure you are aware.

        First, when it comes to apportioning blame in practice, there is the question of how we can tell who decided on war first. This will not always be easy.

        Second, suppose I decide to wage war upon San Marino.* However, being lazy, I do nothing about it. I do not summon my generals, call out the army, or issue declarations of war.

        After a couple of months, the far less dilatory Sammarinese, for their own reasons, decide to wage war upon me. Within hours of the decision, their massive air force is bombing my presidential palace.

        In such circumstances, “shoots first and didn’t have to” seems like a pretty good rule of thumb.

        (*And who could be more deserving, with their smug serenity and their Esperanto-speaking institute of science?)

      • MHughes976
        February 1, 2015, 12:33 pm

        I suppose, RoHa, that if I intercept a letter from the San Marino militarists saying ‘We attack on the day of the Grand Prix!’ there might be reason to start blasting away on the day before. But these ideas are rather fantastic and I’m sure that your rule of thumb is in all but fantastic circumstances something like a sacred duty. We should, that is, set the standard for Hobbes’s ‘sufficient knowledge’ almost insuperably high. Our own self-interested interpretation of someone else’s intentions is not sufficient knowledge – I think you made that point in a comment on Rashomon recently.
        And I guess, talknic, that lying in aggressive war in almost as essential as shooting.

      • RoHa
        February 1, 2015, 8:03 pm

        Hence Aeschylus, “in war, truth is the first causalty.

        Just before Iraq War 1, the BBC produced a play called “The War That Never Ends”. It was a retelling of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian Wars with a bit of Plato thrown in. Interspersed were bits of news broadcasts, so that Thucydides would tell us “at this time, the Athenians declared…” followed immediately by (e.g.) Thatcher/Major/Bush saying pretty much the same thing.

        Here is you tube version.

        Brilliantly done. Very depressing. (Not that much isn’t.)

      • RoHa
        February 1, 2015, 8:16 pm

        I haven’t had time to go through that version in detail, but it seems not to have the bits of news broadcasts.

    • talknic
      January 31, 2015, 6:56 pm

      @ MHughes976

      “But underlying this rhetoric, whatever the readiness for compromise, was the belief that the Palestinians excluded in 48 had every right to return to their homes as full citizens, the procedure that would have dismantled Israel, and that it would be just for military means to be used for that end. Who could doubt that almost everyone in the Middle East at the time held to this belief?”

      The same people who officially accepted UNGA res 181 without reservation and enshrined it in the Declaration, also planned and had Plan Dalet executed dispossessing hundreds of thousands of non-Jews within and outside of the Jewish state’s allotted territories, disallowing the return of Israeli Arabs, wrote this “We appeal – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions”

      Are we to believe they didn’t know what they were doing? Put quite simply, they lied to achieve their objective, for which there is no justification!

  19. jon s
    February 2, 2015, 11:10 am
  20. jon s
    February 5, 2015, 3:54 pm

    The caption still hasn’t been corrected.
    So much for accuracy and fact-checking, Journalism 101.

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