Israel provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and it was not fighting for survival

Middle East
on 98 Comments

I am old enough to remember clearly how the Six-Day War was reported at the time. Just about everything we were told then was wrong, as the major historians of the period all acknowledge today. Let’s start with how the crisis was covered as it happened, 50 years ago:

* Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leader of Egypt, was portrayed as a dangerous demagogue, widely popular across the Arab world, who wanted to destroy Israel. The Western press regularly demonized him, and he was easily the most recognized Arab leader until Saddam Hussein.

* In May 1967, Nasser made his move. He ordered the United Nations to remove peacekeeping troops from the Sinai peninsula, where they had been serving as a tripwire to prevent conflict between  Egypt and Israel.

* Next, Nasser escalated by closing the Straits of Tiran to international shipping, blockading Israel’s southern port of Eilat, which started to strangle the country.

* Meanwhile, Nasser was plotting with other Arab states, chiefly Syria and Jordan, to launch a joint invasion and push Israel into the sea.

* Israel’s very existence was in danger. Therefore, Israel launched a “preemptive” attack on June 5, fearing that it had no choice if it were to survive.

* Fortunately, despite the odds against Israel, it won in only 6 days.

* To protect itself against another onslaught, Israel occupied the Sinai, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank. The occupation was the purely accidental consequence of a fight for Israeli survival.

This Mainstream Narrative remains unchallenged in the popular imagination, 50 years later. Just the other day, a New York Times reporter stated as fact that in 1967, “Israel defied annihilation by its Arab neighbors.”

Norman Finkelstein, the distinguished scholar, has done as much as anyone to uncover the truth about the Six-Day War. In a wide-ranging interview in his Brooklyn office, he refuted the Mainstream Narrative point by point. You can find his detailed revisionist account in a chapter of his now classic Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, supplemented by another work: Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End. Finkelstein is known as combative, a man who has not been afraid to fight for the truth, despite damage to his career along the way. But what’s also vital to recognize is that he is a serious scholar, Talmudic in his intensity, and that no one has ever successfully challenged his research.

Norman Finkelstein, May 2, 2017, in his office in Brooklyn.

[We will run the entire interview with Finkelstein this weekend.]

Finkelstein emphasizes that no genuine academic today, whatever their political orientation, endorses the Mainstream Narrative. He starts by identifying what he has called the “Two Biggest Lies.”

* The truth is that Nasser and the other Arab leaders had absolutely no intention of invading Israel in June 1967.

* And Israel’s existence was never in the slightest doubt, as both Israeli and American leaders knew that Israel could easily win any conflict, even against a coalition of  Arab states.

Finkelstein insists we cannot understand the Six-Day War without going back 11 years, to the 1956 Suez Crisis. That year, the Egyptian leader, Nasser, nationalized the Suez Canal — and Israel, Britain and France launched an unprovoked joint invasion of Egypt to seize the waterway back. But the United States, under President Dwight Eisenhower, opposed the attack, and pressured the tripartite invasion force to withdraw and leave the Canal to Egypt. Suez was a catastrophe for all three invading nations, and British Prime Minister Anthony Eden was forced to resign. Meanwhile, Nasser’s reputation in the Arab world, and across Africa, Asia and Latin America, rose to new heights.

Norman Finkelstein argues that the historical record shows that in 1967 Israel yearned to complete its failed mission of 1956. First, he says, Israel’s “primary goal was to neuter Nasser, to deliver a death blow to these uppity Arabs, and finish off what was called radical Arab nationalism.” He goes on that Israel’s government had a “secondary goal” — “to conquer the lands they had coveted but didn’t manage to seize in ’48: East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan.”

Israeli leaders had only one big doubt: what would America do? If Israel did attack, would the United States force another humiliating climbdown, as in 1956? Or would Washington look the other way?

Finkelstein challenges the Mainstream Narrative’s account of the specific events in the months leading up to the war. His analysis is not at all unusual, and is shared to a great extent by other scholars. He argues that the facts show that Israel was not peacefully minding its own business, but instead regularly and violently provoking its Arab neighbors. In November 1966, in the largest military action since the Suez invasion, Israel attacked the West Bank town of Samu, then under Jordanian rule, killing 18 Jordanian soldiers and destroying 125 homes. Israel continued instigating along its border with Syria in April 1967, triggering an aerial battle in which 6 Syrian planes were shot down, including one over Damascus. Voices in the Arab world started to accuse Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leader of the Arabs, of standing by and doing nothing.

So Nasser did tell the United Nations to remove the peacekeeping troops from Egyptian Sinai, mainly so he could be seen to be taking some action. But Finkelstein points out that Israel could have asked for UN peacekeepers to be placed on its side of the border, which would have maintained the tripwire. Israel did no such thing.

Nasser’s closing of the Straits of Tiran has been similarly distorted in the Mainstream Narrative. Finkelstein explains that Nasser may actually have had the legal right to close the Straits, that he probably did not intend to maintain the closure, and that he offered to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice, but Israel refused. And Israel would not have choked overnight, but got 95 percent of its imports through its other ports and had a several months’ reserve supply of oil.

Meanwhile, Finkelstein says, Israeli diplomats descended on Washington, D.C. to find out if the United States would give them a green or at least an amber light. Finkelstein has looked through the historical record, and here is a summary of what he found:

* The U.S. agreed with Israel that Nasser had no plans to attack.

* The U.S. agreed that Israel would easily defeat Egypt on the battlefield, either alone or with any combination of other Arab nations.

* And the U.S. tacitly gave Israel permission to start the war, or at least indicated there would be no repeat of Eisenhower’s repudiation after the 1956 Suez invasion.

Once Israel attacked first, Finkelstein says the conflict should more aptly be called the Six-Day Walkover. “In fact,” he says, “the war did not last six days; it lasted closer to six minutes. Once Israeli planes in a surprise blitzkrieg knocked out the Egyptian air force still parked on the ground, the war was over. . . If the war lasted longer, it was only because Israel wanted to conquer the Egyptian Sinai, the Jordanian West Bank, and the Syrian Golan Heights.”

Finkelstein does recognize that the Israeli public did believe the Mainstream Narrative, took to heart the lies and distortion their government was feeding the world, and genuinely feared the Arab states wanted to push them into the sea. He explains that the Israeli government “figured the Israeli people would give their all if they feared their backs were up against the wall. The leaders were culpable twice over; they provoked the crisis and then launched an unprovoked attack.”

Once the war ended, in the United States it was treated as a lark, a thrilling adventure. After Israel occupied the Egyptian Sinai, jokes circulated: “See the Pyramids. Visit Israel.”

But it was no joke for the at least 18,000 people who died in the fighting: 10,000-15,000 Egyptians; 6000 Jordanians; 1000-2500 Syrians; and nearly 1000 Israelis.

Israel did win its immediate war objectives; Nasser’s image was severely damaged, and he died three years later, with his brand of Arab nationalism greatly discredited. Israeli soldiers did occupy the West Bank, Sinai and the Golan.

Whether the occupation, now shuddering into its 51st year, has been good for Israel is still to be decided by history.

About (((James North)))

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98 Responses

  1. hophmi
    June 2, 2017, 8:57 am

    And by office, we mean bedroom in Coney Island.

    I’m curious; do you guys ever think about the fact that claiming that the US predicted Israeli victory is a silly line of argument? The US predicted victory in Vietnam too. And in Iraq.

    If 5% of America’s oil and food supply were suddenly cut off by a hostile actor, you better believe that America, the wealthiest country on Earth, would be all over the culprit like white on rice.

    • (((James North)))
      June 2, 2017, 10:02 am

      You don’t even make a feeble effort to challenge Norman Finkelstein’s facts: Israel provoked the war, and was never in existential danger.

      • Jerry Hirsch
        June 2, 2017, 2:04 pm

        James, Finklestein makes a rather feeble argument by his ommission of the fact that Israel’s oil supply was completely blocked off by the closure of the Strait of Tiran. It’s foolish for him to say 95% of Israel’s imports were still available when the lack of oil would soon make them 100% undeliverable.

        Any nation that had such a critical energy source cut off would have no choice but to remedy the situation by any means necessary. Nasser had no intention of negotiating with a country it refused to acknowledge so the only choice Israel had was war.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2017, 2:36 pm

        “Any nation that had such a critical energy source cut off…”

        And a real awareness of Israel’s lack of strategic fuel reserves and internal resources of production never hit them until just that moment. Must have been a hell of a shock.

      • YoniFalic
        June 2, 2017, 2:49 pm

        As evil as I consider Israel, Zionism, and Zios to be, I am not sure that Israel provoked or was the sole provocateur of the 1967 war even if Israel took full advantage of circumstances.

        Egypt requested a redeployment of Sinai peace keepers so that Egypt could send troops to the war in Yemen. Instead of redeploying the UN peace keepers (as had been done before in a similar situation), U Thant removed the peace keepers and created a confrontation that need never have been. I have never understood U Thant’s motivation, but at that point Egypt was practically forced to blockade Israel, which is a criminal white racist genocidal settler colonial invader entity, whose existence must be opposed by every decent human being and by every state that respects international law.

        The Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba are not international waterways, and sovereign states like Egypt have an international legal obligation to deny passage to ships flying the flag of a criminal genocidal state like Israel.

      • Keith
        June 2, 2017, 7:48 pm

        JERRY HIRSCH- “James, Finklestein makes a rather feeble argument by his ommission of the fact that Israel’s oil supply was completely blocked off by the closure of the Strait of Tiran.”

        What bullshit! What incredible chutzpah! Do you have any quotes/sources to back up your ludicrous statement? Common sense tells us that Israel would never allow itself to become vulnerable to an Egyptian cut-off of its oil supply. In actuality, no shipments were stopped. Had they been, the shipments could have been re-routed through Haifa. Besides, the US virtually guarantees Israeli access to oil.

        What next? A claim that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a tragic mistake? Speaking of which, below is a quote from a long article on CounterPunch on this very topic, followed by a link for those unfamiliar with the reality of this deliberate attack and subsequent cover-up.

        “There’s another factor. The Liberty was positioned just off the coast from the town of El Arish. In fact, Ennes and others had used town’s mosque tower to fix the location of the ship along the otherwise featureless desert shoreline. The IDF had seized El Arish and had used the airport there as a prisoner of war camp. On the very day the Liberty was attacked, the IDF was in the process of executing as many as 1,000 Palestinian and Egyptian POWs, a war crime that they surely wanted to conceal from prying eyes. According to Gabriel Bron, now an Israeli reporter, who witnessed part of the massacre as a soldier: “The Egyptian prisoners of war were ordered to dig pits and then army police shot them to death.” (Jeffrey St. Clair) http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/02/infamy-at-sea-israels-attack-on-the-uss-liberty-50-years-later/

      • talknic
        June 2, 2017, 10:20 pm

        @ Jerry Hirsch June 2, 2017, 2:04 pm

        “James, Finklestein makes a rather feeble argument by his ommission of the fact that Israel’s oil supply was completely blocked off by the closure of the Strait of Tiran. It’s foolish for him to say 95% of Israel’s imports were still available when the lack of oil would soon make them 100% undeliverable.”

        The threat to blockade was never challenged by any ship, thereby never enforced. A blockade is only a blockade if it actually stops shipping

        “Any nation that had such a critical energy source cut off would have no choice but to remedy the situation by any means necessary.”

        Like importing thru the Mediterranean which was NOT under any blockade

        ZioPoop is meaningless here

      • Mayhem
        June 2, 2017, 10:50 pm

        YoniFalic you are dead wrong (as usual).
        The Camp David Agreement signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979 emphasises the right of freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba. Article V of the agreement reads: “The Parties consider the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba to be international waterways open to all nations for unimpeded and non-suspendable freedom of navigation and overflight. The Parties will respect each other’s right to navigation and overflight for access to either country through the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba.”

      • MHughes976
        June 3, 2017, 6:03 am

        I think Yoni has a point about ‘sole provocateur’. It was clear enough at the time that what were then called ‘guerilla’ attacks on Israel were occurring and that there was much Israeli response, notably at Samu, which the British Government called ‘disproportionate’. Nasser, the great champion of what we then called ‘Arab nationalism’ , was doing nothing much – an indication of his lack of confidence, which must be noted in interpreting later events. He was obviously coming under intense pressure to do something which at least looked menacing. The closure of the straits, plus rhetoric whose nuances inevitably got lost as concern and excitement mounted, did look menacing, so in a sense provocative. What alternative could he have had?
        Israel then took the decision to fire the first shot. There was no concealment of that: everything was justified in terms of pre-emption, which is not the same as defence. Pre-emption is action while the opponent either has not made his decision or still has time for a change of mind. It is still a form of undeclared war, which is something too dangerous to be approved.
        Nasser must have been hoping for a diplomatic triumph of some sort as a reward for his show of determination – even acknowledgement of his legal rights over the straits, even if he made no further short term effort to use them, would have been a great coup and would have moderated Israel’s readiness to deal with everything by disproportionate response. He must have become overconfident as it began to look as if Israel’s Western backers were preparing to negotiate with him. Meanwhile popular pressure had forced Jordan to leap into his arms.
        I think that the only thing that has become much clearer since is the extent of Soviet rather than just popular pressure on Nasser, putting him in a really tight corner, in the early stages, matched by complete uselessness when the balloon had gone up.

      • mig
        June 3, 2017, 11:49 am

        Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968
        Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, Document 108

        108. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel

        Washington, June 1, 1967, 11:08 p.m.

        “”The real question was what Nasser was doing and there is no sign yet that he was bent on enforcing his announced blockade. Harman said there was a simple explanation for that. No ships had come through the Gulf to Eilat since May 23. Rostow asked him to check this statement. Our information was that at least two ships had passed through for Eilat recently.””

        http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d108

        Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968
        Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, Document 90

        90. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

        Washington, May 28, 1967, 11:30 p.m.

        “I have noted that the government of the United Arab Republic has not yet taken armed action to carry out its policy of closing the Strait.”

        http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d90

        http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/ch1

      • Jackdaw
        June 3, 2017, 12:03 pm

        The feeble effort is Norman’s. He has never examined the national archives of any of the Arab States, therefore, he knows nothing about their intents.

        But captured Egyptian and Jordanian war orders show that both countries intended to annihilate the Jewish civilian populations that would have fallen under their control (had Israel not launched her pre-emptive attack).

        Egypt and Jordan, were treaty bound to each other and had a shared military defense. Not surprising that they had a shared annihilation program in store for Jewish civilians.

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4968426,00.html

      • mig
        June 3, 2017, 11:53 pm

        Jackdaw, it doesn’t matter what was intention of Egypt and Jordan. It doesn’t give a right to occupy, land theft and oppression of Palestinians. Pre-emptive strike? There is no such a thing as pre-emptive strike. Either you start a war or don’t. Captured orders? Before or after the war those were captured? If that is the fact, then where those proofs are hiding? Some opinion in Ynet isn’t a proof of anything.

      • Jackdaw
        June 4, 2017, 12:13 am

        @mig

        All the annihilation rhetoric, and the orders to kill Israeli civilians, had context. Egypt had been gassing to death hundreds of Yemeni civilians caught up in Yemen’s civil war. The gas attacks had been going on for years and the world did nothing. Now imagine you’re and Israeli Jew, and the Arab armies are surrounding you and coalescing for war and calling for your annihilation.

      • RoHa
        June 4, 2017, 5:38 am

        It is time for me to put on my pedant’s hat* and re-visit the distinction between preventative attacks and pre-emptive attacks.

        A preventative (or “preventive”) attack is one that attacks a potential enemy before that presumed enemy has intiated any attack, before any attack is know to be imminent, before any such attack is know to have been planned. The aim is to inhibit the presumed enemy’s ability to mount an attack.

        A pre-emptive attack is one made to anticipate an attack that is intended and under way, but has not yet been delivered.

        During a war these concepts are not problematic.

        The enemy has an Air Force base on Plunk island. No attack has yet been mounted from that base, nor is there any sign that an attack is intended, but I send my marines to capture the base to make sure that no attack will come from there. This is a preventative attack.

        The enemy is mustering tanks and troops on my southern flank. I bomb the tanks before the muster is completed. This is a pre-emptive attack.

        But if there is no war, it gets a bit trickier.

        Some cases are clear. County A is building up its forces. Eventually, and perhaps soon, they will be strong enough to defeat my forces. I attack country A to make sure it doesn’t get the chance to defeat me. This is a preventative first strike. It is not morally permissible.

        But some are not so clear. Country A has its army lined up in invasion formation right on my border. If they really are going to attack, it is permissible for me to make a pre-emptive attack.
        The trouble is that it is very difficult to be sure that a first strike is pre-emptive, since it is difficult to be certain that the enemy’s manoeuvres will actually turn into a real attack. If no actual invasion was intended, my first strike will be aggression, and not permissible.

        Furthermore, even if a state of war officially exists, but there is no fighting going on, and no immediate prospect of fighting, a pre-emptive attack to start the fighting would not be permissible. For example, it would not be permissible for either North Korea or South Korea to mount such an attack. Similarly for Liechtenstein and Prussia.

        Of course, in 1967 the Israelis knew that no attack was imminent.

        (*I took it off for a couple of minutes, and felt naked without it.)

      • zaid
        June 4, 2017, 10:52 am

        Jackdaw

        Since zionazis lie like we breathe, i would like a link to the documents he cites in Arabic.

      • hophmi
        June 4, 2017, 6:38 pm

        Israel provoked the war in the same way a bullied victim provokes a beating by finally hitting the bully.

      • echinococcus
        June 4, 2017, 8:55 pm

        Israel provoked the war in the same way a bullied victim provokes a beating by finally hitting the bully

        That’s very original, Hophme. I wonder why nobody has yet hit upon this brilliant idea of selling a brutal colonial invader as being bullied by the locals. I bet it will work like a charm.

      • stopthelie
        June 6, 2017, 5:18 pm

        what lie started the war? The existential threat that Israeli leaders acknowledged didn’t exist? this did not start the war. it may have provided Israeli soldiers the determination to win but it DID NOT start the war.

        the lie that started the war was the lie the Russians told Egypt and Syria and then the actions Egypt took … don’t pin it on Israel when you know it is not the truth. no one disputes Egyptian action prior to the official first shot.

      • Keith
        June 6, 2017, 8:16 pm

        STOPTHELIE- “what lie started the war?”

        Who started this war of choice? According to Guy Laron a Senior Lecturer in International Relations Department at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of “The Six Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East”-

        “For Israel, the Six Day War was a war of choice. It did not have to fight it. The main reason that Israel went to war was the incessant pressure that the general staff applied on the cabinet. Israeli generals sensed the enemy’s immense weakness and wanted to use this opportunity to strike a deadly blow. For over a decade, the Israeli army had perfected plans for a swift offensive that would allow it to conquer significant chunks of Arab territory. Another key aim of Israeli war plans was to trap Egyptian forces in northern Sinai and turn that area into a killing zone. Peled, the Israeli general, let the cat out of the bag four decades ago when he wrote: “When we were mobilizing all out forces… this power was necessary to eliminate definitively the Egyptians.” https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/06/was-israel-under-existential-threat-in-june-1967/

    • eljay
      June 2, 2017, 10:27 am

      || hophmi: … If 5% of America’s oil and food supply were suddenly cut off by a hostile actor, you better believe that America, the wealthiest country on Earth, would be all over the culprit like white on rice. ||

      Aggressor-victimhood is a tough gig, but Israel and the U.S. are up to the task. It’s just one of their many “shared common values”.

    • Donald Johnson
      June 2, 2017, 10:36 am

      Imagine how the Palestinians in Gaza feel, if a 5 percent cutoff of imports is reason enough to start a war that kills 18,000 people.

      • eljay
        June 2, 2017, 10:55 am

        || Donald Johnson: Imagine how the Palestinians in Gaza feel, if a 5 percent cutoff of imports is reason enough to start a war that kills 18,000 people. ||

        That’s a very valid point. Unfortunately hophmi’s Zionist “logic” – which states that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them – will simply reject it as invalid.

      • Donald Johnson
        June 2, 2017, 11:08 am

        That’s a big part of the problem, at least in the US. Lack of empathy.

    • Misterioso
      June 2, 2017, 4:52 pm

      hophmi

      For your much needed edification:

      The June 1967 War:
      At 7:45 AM on 5 June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt and thereby, Jordan and Syria who each shared a mutual defense pact with Egypt. The attack took place just hours before Egypt’s VP, Zacharia Mohieddine, was to fly to Washington for a prearranged June 7th meeting with the Johnson administration to defuse the crisis between Egypt and Israel based on an agreement worked out in Cairo between Nasser and Johnson’s envoy, Robert Anderson. In a cable sent to Johnson on May 30, Israel’s PM Eshkol promised not to attack Egypt until June 11 to give diplomacy a chance to succeed. However, on June 4, when it heard about the June 7th meeting and the distinct possibility that it would rule out war, Israel’s cabinet ordered its armed forces to attack Egypt the next day. In short, the war was another massive land grab by Israel.

      Prime Minister Menachem Begin, former Minister without portfolio in PM Levi Eshkol’s cabinet, while addressing Israel’s National Defence College on 8 August 1982: “In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (New York Times, 21 August 1982)

      Meir Amit, chief of Israel’s Mossad: “Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war.” (Dr. Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality)

      Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” (Le Monde, 25 February, 1968)

      Prime Minister Eshkol: “The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military buildup there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up south of Israel.” (Yediot Aharonot, l8 October 1967)

      Robert McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defence: “Three separate intelligence groups had looked carefully into the matter [and] it was our best judgment that a UAR attack was not imminent.” (The Vantage Point, Lyndon Johnson, p. 293)

      An article published in the New York Times (4 June 1967) just hours before Israel attacked notes that Major General Indar Jit Rikhye, Commander of UNEF in the Middle East, “who toured the Egyptian front, confirms that Egyptian troops were not poised for an offensive.” (Dr. Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality…, p. 134)

      On May 26, in reply to Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s assertion that according to Israeli intelligence, “an Egyptian and Syrian attack is imminent,” Secretary of State Dean Rusk dismissed the claim and assured Eban that Israel faced no threat of attack from Egypt. On the same day, during a meeting at the Pentagon, Eban was also told by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his aides that “…Egyptian forces were not in an aggressive posture and that Israel was not opening itself to peril by not attacking immediately. The contrary was true, Eban was told.” (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, pp. 140-41)

      BTW, as the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) Commander, Major General Idar Jit Rikhye, revealed, Nasser was not enforcing the blockade of the Tiran straits: “[The Egyptian] navy had searched a couple of ships after the establishment of the blockade and thereafter relaxed its implementation.” (Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality, p. 139)

    • Emet
      June 5, 2017, 1:30 am

      Finklestein fails to mention that at the time there was a US arms embargo on Israel. Israel did not win the war based on US weapons. So implying that the US had Israel’s back is an out and out distortion (or lie) by Finklestein. The Arab armies greatly outnumbered Israeli forces in planes, tanks and foot soldiers. To imply that Israel was confident in victory can only be driven by an agenda driven hate for Jews and the Jewish State.

      • Keith
        June 5, 2017, 9:53 am

        EMET- “…at the time there was a US arms embargo on Israel.”

        “Embargo” is a little strong, don’t you think? That the US preferred that Israel receive most of its planes and tanks from France and Britain hardly constitutes an embargo. At the time of the 1967 war, Israel was vastly superior military to the Arabs. Furthermore, the US would have militarily intervened if Israel was facing defeat.

        EMET- “…To imply that Israel was confident in victory can only be driven by an agenda driven hate for Jews and the Jewish State.”

        The assessment of an easy Israeli victory was made by both US and Israeli intelligence. This is well known. I provide a link to a Finkelstein interview where he discusses this. http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/06/04/finkelstein-in-video-interview-what-really-happened-in-1967/#sthash.CghkaTbf.dpuf I become aware of this from Noam Chomsky many years ago. The outcome of the “war” rather speaks for itself. The notion that a correct assessment of the balance of forces constitutes “hate for Jews and the Jewish State” is typical Zionist twaddle.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 5, 2017, 10:48 am

        The notion that a correct assessment of the balance of forces constitutes “hate for Jews and the Jewish State” is typical Zionist twaddle.

        however, this assessment (“can only be driven by an agenda driven hate”) could be a result of a colonialist mental delusion, psychosis, paranoia or personality disorder. if that’s the case no amount logic or evidence is likely to make much difference. someone should look into the long term societal repercussions of identifying with too much zionist twaddle (ziocaine alert). coupled with the lack of empathy, greed and sadistic impulses, while it might be “typical” for colonialist, it’s still a danger to others.

      • Talkback
        June 5, 2017, 2:42 pm

        Annie: “however, this assessment (“can only be driven by an agenda driven hate”) could be a result of a colonialist mental delusion, psychosis, paranoia or personality disorder.”

        Zionist pathological narcissism.

      • Emet
        June 6, 2017, 5:15 am

        There I was thinking that if you shoot straight and hit your target, that the object on the receiving end will suffer serious damage. But Finklestein, Keith, and Annie corrected this distortion for me. Many thanks. The fact that the Arab tanks outnumbered Israeli tanks 3 to 1 then had little impact on the war as the Israeli tanks would have survived anyhow. I suppose this is also true about the aircraft. Israel must have been absolutely sure that their planes could not be shot down and its pilots would win every dogfight. And being outnumbered 600 planes to 200 gave the Israeli’s loads of confidence even though failure would have meant the end of the Jewish state. So Israel must have been the side that wanted the war. Now I understand.
        Or are you telling me that the Arabs could not shoot straight?

      • Keith
        June 6, 2017, 10:17 am

        EMET- “And being outnumbered 600 planes to 200 gave the Israeli’s loads of confidence even though failure would have meant the end of the Jewish state.”

        Are you about to give us a country by country order of battle? You are going to need to do more than simply state 600 planes versus 200 planes as if your word is gospel. As Finkelstein (and others) have noted, Israel destroyed Egypt’s entire air force in the first hour, a rather clear indication of overwhelming military superiority. Or was it a divine miracle? The planes were destroyed on the ground in a sneak attack, hardly an indication of the Arabs preparing for conflict. Israel has a long history of wildly exaggerating existential threats as a pretext for military conquest, and the Six Day War was no exception. I don’t know if you actually believe what you are saying or not. If so, it is yet another example of the power of self-serving mythology to completely overwhelm rationality.

      • talknic
        June 6, 2017, 11:17 am

        @ Emet June 6, 2017, 5:15 am

        “There I was thinking ..”

        Very funny

        “that if you shoot straight and hit your target, that the object on the receiving end will suffer serious damage.”

        Not if the other side shoots you first. Logic pal, you should try it sometime. All of Israel’s wars, by its own admission, have been preemptive

      • MHughes976
        June 6, 2017, 12:01 pm

        Jeremy Bowen did a survey of 67 for the BBC from the vantage point of 07 and mentions that the British intelligence assessment was that ‘an Arab victory is inconceivable’, supporting this with reference to a similar American document. He also mentions the superb self-confidence of the Israeli generals, who surely did not take a different view. No one who remembers 67 would doubt the basic truth of this: such were the opinions held by well informed people and such were the realities that these people recognised. There must have been at least some sufficiently professional people on the ‘Arab’ side who were aware of the same realities just as clearly.
        That doesn’t mean that there were no acts on that side deserving to be called provocative. Nasser had to rattle his rusty sabre or lose his reputation. Bowen speculates, plausibly enough, that an Israeli onslaught on him would lead to great power intervention giving him a political victory as it had in 56. It doesn’t mean that there were no reckless hotheads and no inflamed public opinion deceived by the wild boasts of leaders and official journalists, again mentioned by Bowen.
        That in turn doesn’t mean that Israel wasn’t embarking, with great confidence, on a programme of ferocious response – think Samu – that rightly attracted the term ‘disproportionate’. Firing the first shot in an so far undeclared international war is a disproportionate response to tension and provocations, raising the level of violence way beyond – out of proportion with – what it has been. Even if it pre-empts – RoHa has mentioned the difference between pre-emption and prevention – the intention of the other side to attack later it goes beyond self-defence. One thing it pre-empts, indeed annihilates, is the possibility that the other side can be dissuaded.
        The trouble with archives – it’s much the same with WW1 – is that every bit and piece gets interpreted to suit the reader’s preconceptions. Still, there’s something very clear and distinct about the big picture.

      • MHughes976
        June 6, 2017, 12:20 pm

        Bowen doesn’t speculate for himself that a military setback might be turned into political victory, but that Nasser thought that this might be the way things went.
        As to hitting and damaging the target and being pre-empted by the opponent – I think that happened to Abdul Abulbul Amir and Ivan Skavinsky Skavar. They both perished! To survive your accurate shot the opponent needs to be be armoured. In some contests prejudice is very good armour.

      • Emet
        June 7, 2017, 4:13 am

        MHughes976: What precedent would have given the Israeli’s the confidence that victory would be assured. Was it the overwhelming victory in 1948? Well, it could not have been this as there was no such victory for Israel. The Old City in Jerusalem remained in Jordan’s hands so it is obvious that Israel did not dominate here. Was it in 1956 in the Suez Campaign? Could not have been that either. Could it have been the years of cross border raids by the Arabs? Could cross border raids give any insight into how a full on war would turn out? I don’t think so.
        And as far as Jeremy Bowen, well what more can I say? Jeremy has a proven track record of being unbiased and if Jeremy says so then it must be true. Of course in 1967 they had sophisticated satellite imagery and spies all over the place and intelligence agencies always get things right. Even the report that Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

      • Keith
        June 7, 2017, 10:54 am

        EMET- “Was it in 1956 in the Suez Campaign?”

        That was a major factor. In 1956, Israel crushed the Arab armies easily, only withdrawing from the huge territories it conquered when the US and Russia both issued ultimatums which caused Israel to withdraw. That is why in 1967 Israel made sure that it more-or-less had US approval before launching their easy victory. There is no way they would have launched their attack unless confident of victory. After 1967, their confidence turned to arrogance as they ignored Sadat’s warning that he would attack to recover the Sinai.

        OR books sent me an e-mail statement from Norman Finkelstein in regards to what to expect from you Zionists. I have copied it in its entirety to show how accurate his prediction of your behavior is.

        “June 5 is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, when Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

        Brace yourself for a big propaganda blitz!

        You’re going to be told that the Arabs were eager to attack Israel, that Israel faced an existential threat, that Israel unintentionally “came to” occupy Palestinian lands.

        But that’s a pack of lies.

        Basing himself on the findings of all US intelligence agencies, which were closely monitoring the situation, President Lyndon B. Johnson told Israel at the end of May 1967: “Our best judgment is that no military attack on Israel is imminent” and even if, against all odds, the Arabs do attack, “You will whip the hell out of them.”

        On June 1, the head of Israeli intelligence, who was in Washington, acknowledged that “There were no differences between the US and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its interpretation.”

        So, there you have it: America and Israel agreed that Egypt wasn’t going to attack and that, even if it did, Israel would win a crushing victory.

        But Israel nevertheless unleashed a surprise blitzkrieg on Egypt.

        What’s more, when Israel subsequently invaded and occupied the West Bank and Gaza, it wasn’t an accident.

        All of these facts are firmly established in the scholarly literature, but few of them are known to the broad public.” (Norman Finkelstein)

      • MHughes976
        June 7, 2017, 12:10 pm

        Well, Emet, I have not heard that Bowen was accused of inaccuracy in his citation of the British judgement on the ‘inconceivability’ of Israeli defeat or that anyone has questioned his view that the Israeli military leadership was very confident: I think that anyone who was around at the time (were you? do you not have that impression?) will remember that aspect of the situation. Their confidence and the British military assessment were abundantly justified. Recent events would not have given them pause: there had been no successful resistance or retaliation for the Samu raid and the Israeli Mirages had won a masive and humiliating victory over the Syrian Migs. Things were shaping up, of course, into one of the great Soviet defeats in the proxy battles of the Cold War.
        I don’t deny that in matters of that kind things can always go wrong for the best forecasters and planners, so there wasn’t complete absence of risk. And there were indeed provocations – actions with an overt ‘bring it on!’ message – from both sides. I still think that there must have been sensible and objective observers on the anti-Israel side who could see that they had no military options. However it’s possible that Nasser and some others started to believe their own (or Soviet)!propaganda at the worst moment for them. Not that their state of mind made their victory the least bit more of an objective possibility.
        My own vivid recollections – perhaps memory plays tricks, but here I don’t think so – include
        Dayan on Nasser – ‘this shows that he is a paper tiger, at least as far as conflict with our forces is concerned’. Sometimes arrogance – Caesar-style – can be magnificent. This wasn’t a hard won discovery, it was what he had always known. Also the massive outburst of sympathy and support for Israel in the West (well, my bit of it – middle class and student England) from end to
        end (well, almost) of the political spectrum. That had not quite been expected and its vehemence surprises me looking back. The existentialist Israeli argument, admitting and glorifying the firing of the first shot, was not just welcomed but celebrated. A few years later a well-received philosophy book, Michael Walzer’s Just and Unjust Wars – perhaps you know it – rallied people who may have been doubting.
        To me that first shot is the decisive thing and the existentialist argument is (I’ve been trying to say why in other posts) morally misleading.

      • Emet
        June 7, 2017, 4:46 pm

        Keith and MHughes: Stating that the American could accurately predict anything at that time is a bit of joke would you not say? Even in recent history they are still making major mistakes. They could not predict Japan attacking Pearl Harbor so why give them any credit? And the same regarding the Arab Spring? Now get real for a second. Norman knows this but tends to ignore it.Israel was 9 miles wide at the time. NINE miles wide. The largest armies every assembled in all of history, had assembled on Israels borders at the time. The largest armies every assembled in the equivalent space that is, in all of history.
        To think that Israeli’s were planning their after war party prior to the war is …? I cannot find the words for this stupidity in thinking.
        Israel had one option to defeat the Arabs and Muslim armies, and that was by a preemptive attack. War was already declared by the blocking of the shipping lanes by Egypt. International Law is not consistent and goes many ways, especially when Israel is mentioned. It’s called antisemitism.

      • Keith
        June 7, 2017, 6:39 pm

        EMET- “Keith and MHughes: Stating that the American could accurately predict anything at that time is a bit of joke would you not say?”

        Since Israeli intelligence concurred with the assessment, I can only conclude that it is a joke only to you. And the intelligence assessment was highly accurate, wasn’t it? And then there is Guy Laron’s assessment that “The main reason that Israel went to war was the incessant pressure that the general staff applied on the cabinet. Israeli generals sensed the enemy’s immense weakness and wanted to use this opportunity to strike a deadly blow.” At this stage of the game, only a Zionist apologist would maintain that Israel faced an existential threat in 1967.

        EMET- “They could not predict Japan attacking Pearl Harbor so why give them any credit?”

        Actually, the Roosevelt administration was aware that an attack on Pearl Harbor and/or the Philippines was highly likely, but chose to wait for it to occur to facilitate the US entry into WW II. The only surprise was the effectiveness of the Japanese attack. The Americans didn’t think the “Japs” would be as good as they were due to racist stereotypes. And, like the Six Day War, this is well known among dissidents but not the general public due to extremely effective propaganda. You, for example, have yet to provide an even remotely acceptable analysis regarding the balance of forces. You obviously can’t so you try to bait and switch. Real intelligence estimates are rarely made public. Public announcements by intelligence officials are almost always pretexts and rationalizations. The record is clear to those who care to look. The official mythology is also there for those who choose to deceive themselves.

      • MHughes976
        June 8, 2017, 9:30 am

        Agreeing with Keith’s general argument – we don’t always see eye to eye! – and noting that Dayan’s reference to Nasser as a paper tiger – a phrase recently popularised by Mao – was reported, not far from my memory of it; Dayan was great theatre, on this very day, June 8, 1967. A paper tiger is something that may look scary but should not and should never have roused any real fear.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    June 2, 2017, 9:01 am

    One of the reasons I began following developments in the Middle East has to do with the happenstance that I was away from Atlanta visiting my grandfather (with little to do but read) in June, 1967. In that part of Georgia, the television reception with a rotating antenna was much better for the Augusta and Macon stations than it was for the Atlanta stations, but since the programming of the Augusta and Macon stations was not up to Atlanta standards, the television was seldom used.

    This time though, as luck (or not) would have it, one of the two Augusta stations preempted its daytime programming with the deliberations by the UN General Assembly of proposals that might lessen the likelihood of war between Egypt and Israel. I very much enjoyed watching several days of this, and I was very disappointed when I got up on June 5 and the station had reverted to its customary daytime programming because the UN General Assembly deliberations had been suspended due to Israel having, during the night, bombed the Egyptian air force on the tarmac in Egypt. Needless to say, I did not at all see Israel’s action(s) as defensive.

    All told, this made quite a lasting impression (unfavorable as to Israel) on me!

    • Emet
      June 6, 2017, 7:17 am

      If you got your news from one source, then what do you expect, balance? The belief that impartial reporting exists, and ever existed, is a fools belief. My question to you is, do you know what transpired in the period before the war?
      Try “http://www.sixdaywarproject.org”

      • talknic
        June 6, 2017, 11:29 am

        Try “http://www.sixdaywarproject.org”

        Why? It’s a propaganda site!

        Israel was attacking Jordanian territories in 1966

        UNSC Resolution 228 of 25 November 1966
        The Security Council,

        Having heard the statements of the representatives of Jordan and Israel concerning the grave Israel military action which took place in the southern Hebron area on 13 November 1966,

        Having noted the information provided by the Secretary-General concerning this military action in his statement of 16 November 1/ and also in his report of 18 November 1966,2/

        Observing that this incident constituted a large-scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel,

        Reaffirming the previous resolutions of the Security Council condemning past incidents of reprisal in breach of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan and of the United Nations Charter,

        Recalling the repeated resolutions of the Security Council asking for the cessation of violent incidents across the demarcation line, and not overlooking past incidents of this nature,

        Reaffirming the necessity for strict adherence to the General Armistice Agreement,

        1. Deplores the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action of the Government of Israel on 13 November 1966;

        2. Censures Israel for this large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan;

        3. Emphasizes to Israel that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that, if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts;

      • Emet
        June 7, 2017, 4:16 am

        talknic, in order to get to the truth and work things out for yourself, you need to actively search out information on both extremes. If you limit your knowledge to one side, as you consistently display in the your comments, then don’t expect to understand what really went down. Mondoweiss is also a “propaganda” website, is it not?
        Your comments about cross border raids by Israel into Jordan does not give an historical perspective. What else was going on at the time. What raids were being carried out from Jordan into Israel.
        And talknic, please don’t forget to mention that prior to 1967 Israel did not have any settlements in the West Bank and Jordan controlled the holy sites. This did not stop the attacks against Jews from happening. So today’s story that stopping settlements will bring peace, is a load of bull, and you know it, but not brave enough to say it.

      • Talkback
        June 11, 2017, 4:56 pm

        Emet: “And talknic, please don’t forget to mention that prior to 1967 Israel did not have any settlements in the West Bank and Jordan controlled the holy sites. This did not stop the attacks against Jews from happening.”

        Maybe, just maybe this “attacks” were because of the Jewish hostile takeover of 78% of Palestine? Zionist massacres, expulsion, disposession and looting? Keeping Nonjews in Israel under military law until 1966? Preventing the rest to return which should have been citizens of Israel according to international law?

        “So today’s story that stopping settlements will bring peace, is a load of bull, and you know it, but not brave enough to say it.”

        You are not honest enough to say that Zionist settler colonialism was war from the get go and will always be.

      • talknic
        June 12, 2017, 12:39 am

        @ Emet June 7, 2017, 4:16 am

        “talknic, in order to get to the truth and work things out for yourself, you need to actively search out information on both extremes. If you limit your knowledge to one side, as you consistently display in the your comments,”

        The UNSC presented all sides

        “Mondoweiss is also a “propaganda” website, is it not?”

        Nothing like a propaganda website. Propaganda relies on gullibility

        “Your comments about cross border raids by Israel into Jordan does not give an historical perspective.”

        A) They weren’t my comments. B) it was a full scale attack. C) It was a UNSC resolution reminding Israel of its obligations to binding agreements, International Law, the UN Charter all of which Israel ignored. There are NO COMPARABLE UNSC resolutions against any Arab state for ‘what else was going on at the time’

        “What raids were being carried out from Jordan into Israel.”

        Jordan, the neighbouring Arab States and occupied Palestinians had and still have a legal right to attempt to expel any Israeli forces from non-Israeli territories in the region

        ” please don’t forget to mention that prior to 1967 Israel did not have any settlements in the West Bank and Jordan controlled the holy sites. “

        So what? You have a non argument, typical ZioIdiot style.

        Israel AGREED in the 1949 Armistice Agreement that Jordan was the Occupying Power over the West Bank and controlled the Holy sites. The West Bank was from 1948 until 1967, legally annexed to Jordan by request of the majority of the legitimate population of the West Bank. In 1967 Jordan including the West bank was a UN Member State and High Contracting Party.

        BTW Since 1948 Israel has had illegal settlements in territories the Israeli Government itself claimed on May 22nd 1948 were “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”. Territories that have not been legally annexed to the State of Israel by any legal document or agreement with Palestine, even though Palestine has by declaring its own state shown willingness to cede those territories to Israel.

        “So today’s story that stopping settlements will bring peace, is a load of bull, and you know it, but not brave enough to say it”

        Problem…. I’ve never made such a claim. Reason being is because Israel won’t agree to anything. Israel wants wants more

  3. Maghlawatan
    June 2, 2017, 9:50 am

    The ironic thing is that the decision to occupy the 22% is now an existential threat to the future of Israel.

  4. Paranam Kid
    June 2, 2017, 9:55 am

    In 2010 Jeremy R. Hammind wrote a short essay on the same subject, demonstrating that the war was NOT pre-emptive. What I find most convincing in his essays are the words of 2 of israel’s PMs, Yitzhak Rabin & Menachem Begin.

    YR to French newspaper Le Monde: “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start an offensive against israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    MB in a speech: “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.”

  5. JustJessetr
    June 2, 2017, 10:19 am

    “Nasser’s closing of the Straits of Tiran has been similarly distorted in the Mainstream Narrative. Finkelstein explains that Nasser may actually have had the legal right to close the Straits, that he probably did not intend to maintain the closure, and that he offered to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice, but Israel refused. And Israel would not have choked overnight, but got 95 percent of its imports through its other ports and had a several months’ reserve supply of oil.”

    “May have had” does not mean he DID have the right.

    “But got 95% of…” Then NF is not a general, nor is he a citizen of a country that has ever been threataned with invasion. No one, absolutely no one would remain still when 5% of their income is held hostage. Not even 1%. And yes, that includes Palestinians.

    If the mainstream narrative doesn’t convince you that Israel would have been invaded, then just go with the most convincing sources I’ve ever found: the Arab narrative.

    The Arab forces intent to invade Israel.
    The October War, Memoirs of Field Marshall el-Gamasy of Egypt. El-Gamasy, Mohamed Abdel Ghani.
    “The crisis had been precipitated by intelligence from Syria, and the USSR, on Israeli troop concentration on Syria’s border. This intel was not accurate, but despite the personal disclaimer by…Fawzi, Egyptian troops were rushed into Sinai for the stated purpose of helping Syria in the event of an Israeli attack.”
    “One might ask if the political leadership was fully aware of the situation when it asked for a pullout of UN forces and closed the Straits, since both actions clearly and inevitably led to war…And if those facts were known, was it right or acceptable for the armed forces to be pushed into a war for which they were unprepared?”
    “With great bitterness, I must admit that Egypt was not at the time ready for war…I see no reason to play down the factors which led to the defeat.”
    “It appears that Field Marshall ‘Amer ignored the report [from Fawzi] and did not take it’s recommendations [against closure of the Straits] into account when, in May 1967, he agreed to the closure of the Straits of Tiran, which led to war.”
    “With great bitterness, I must admit that Egypt was not at the time ready for war. Several senior commanding officers had been seriously concerned about the poor state of the army which by 1967 had become a victim of the difficult conditions and circumstances in which it had to operate. If I admit this quite frankly, it is because I see no reason to play down the factors which led to the defeat.”

    On the Arab governments openly planning and calling for war, and that Israel was surrounded by armies…

    Arab World: Political and Diplomatic History. Menachem Monsoor, May.
    Radio Damascus: “The war of liberation will not end except by Israel’s abolition.”
    Nasser, addressing trade unionists: “If war comes it will be total and the objective will be Israel’s destruction…” (May 24-26, 1967)

    BBC, Daily Report, Middle East, Africa, and Western Europe
    Shuqayri, PLO chairman pledging loyalty to Hussein: “We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and for the survivors—if there are any—the boats are ready to deport them!”
    Hussein: “All of the Arab armies now surround Israel. The UAR, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan, and Kuwait…There is no difference between one Arab people and another.”
    President ‘Aref of Iraq: “Our goal is clear—to wipe Israel off the face of the map. We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”

    Six Days of War. Michael B. Oren
    ‘Amer, talking with Shuqayri: “…soon we will be able to take the initiative and rid ourselves of Israel once and for all.”

    • Mooser
      June 2, 2017, 12:07 pm

      ” Then NF is not a general, nor is he a citizen of a country that has ever been threataned with invasion”

      I see the chicken-soup hawks have landed. They’re out standing in their field.

    • lyn117
      June 2, 2017, 12:28 pm

      So a lot of Nasser’s rhetoric was prefaced with “If war comes,” “If we’re attacked”

      Nasser, as quoted in http://www.sixdaywar.co.uk/crucial_quotes.htm, a Zionist site:

      “…I gave my instructions to all UAR forces to be ready for action against Israel the moment it might carry out any aggressive action against any Arab country. Due to these instructions our troops are already concentrated in Sinai on our eastern border. For the sake of the complete security of all UN troops…I request that you issue your orders to withdraw all troops immediately. [5] – written request from Nasser to Commander UNEF (Gaza)

      “The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression. We welcome the battle we have long awaited. The peak hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel.” – Cairo Radio

      In other words, Nasser even in his bellicosity, mostly didn’t propose to initiate the war. He proposed to annihilate Israel if it attacked. On the other hand, Israel had attacked across its borders many times.

      • Talkback
        June 5, 2017, 2:44 pm

        And Israel NEVER allowed UNEF troops on its side of the borders.

      • stopthelie
        June 6, 2017, 5:24 pm

        what lie started the war? The existential threat that Israeli leaders acknowledged didn’t exist? this did not start the war. it may have provided Israeli soldiers the determination to win but it DID NOT start the war.

        the lie that started the war was the lie the Russians told Egypt and Syria and then the actions Egypt took … don’t pin it on Israel when you know it is not the truth. no one disputes Egyptian action prior to the official first shot.

        LYN17 – you say “On the other hand, Israel had attacked across its borders many times.” – this is because those neighboring countries allowed terror attacks to come from within their border and also provide supplies and ammunition to terrorist within…totally acceptable. if Mexico would allow armed groups to plant car bombs and fire rockets on Texas and California, you think the USA is not within its rights to go in and put a stop to it?

      • oldgeezer
        June 6, 2017, 9:42 pm

        @stopthelie

        Israel beloved the attacks were coming from Syria yet attacked innocent civilians in Jordan. Israel prefers to kill civilians and then pat themselves on the back while claiming victim hood.

        Oh and why were the attacks being perpetrated? Israeli terrorism and mass slaughter of civilians. Ethnic cleansing and other vile crimes against humanity. Criminal actions of a rogue outlaw state.

      • MHughes976
        June 7, 2017, 2:47 am

        If Israel’s leadership knew that they were not facing an existential threat then they had no existentialist case for starting a war.

    • MHughes976
      June 3, 2017, 6:19 am

      I’ve been looking at the CIA account of the origins of the war and the ‘total destruction’ speech is mentioned. That phrase was, it seems, immediately followed by ‘if they want war…’. I don’t deny that Nasser was fanning flames, though the flames had bern lit on the Syrian border with Israel and he can’t have been bursting with confidence.

      • MHughes976
        June 3, 2017, 8:23 am

        But then I don’t think there is ever a truly defensive war – never mind who fires the first shot or what the opponent intends – whose objectives include making a fundamental change in matters of sovereignty and overthrowing a once accepted status quo. Both 48 and 67 brought about changes of that kind not just as a matter of temporary convenience or need but as a fundamental fulfilment of the objectives defined by the Zionist view of Jewish rights. It’s possible to assert that these wars were not defensive but were still justified – another matter.

  6. yonah fredman
    June 2, 2017, 10:50 am

    Existence is not the only thing that an army fights for. There is a dynamic to having an army arrayed opposite its enemies. Nasser wanted to have his way. To force a crisis. Not a word here about the soviets passing false data to Nasser about massed Israeli forces about to invade syria. this is as one sided as anything michael oren ever wrote. a sound bite, when a book is needed.

    A strong army surrounded by enemies is a recipe for a war.

    • Maghlawatan
      June 2, 2017, 11:43 am

      I can’t retrieve it right now but an officer was quoted in Ha’aretz a while ago. He used to think that there was an order to things but he realised that armies exist to fight even if there is no rationale . And that is what the IDF does. It runs an occupation and the occasional turkey shoot rather than do the rational thing , downsize and move Israel away from paranoia.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2017, 11:59 am

        “Existence is not the only thing that an army fights for.”

        There’s always world domination as an ultimate goal to keep the rank-and-file motivated, too.

  7. Maghlawatan
    June 2, 2017, 11:40 am

    Israel’s only enemy is itself.

  8. yonah fredman
    June 2, 2017, 12:38 pm

    Regarding the major confrontation state, Israel did well going to war, which led to a peace treaty with Sadat ten years (and one war) later. Before 67 there was tension with Egypt and after 77 there has been minimal tension. The war against Egypt was a success.

    • Paranam Kid
      June 2, 2017, 1:04 pm

      Plus, in addition to its fraudulent fondation in 1948 & the concurrent land grab, it managed to steal more Palestinian territory, which in turn allowed it to install a NAZIonist apartheid system on the quiet. A great success indeed.

    • Maghlawatan
      June 2, 2017, 1:50 pm

      Most Egyptians despise Israel as was richly demonstrated in 2011 after the collapse of the Mubarak junta when the Cairo embassy was surrounded. All the neighbours hate Israel, the fruits of 70 or so years of Israeli regional diplomacy. I don’t think the war was a success .

      • Mayhem
        June 2, 2017, 11:24 pm

        @maghlawatan, the surrounding Arab states would love to see a rapprochement with Israel and the opportunity to share in Israel’s innovation and technology revolution. For Middle East Peace, Look to Israel’s Arab Partners

      • Mooser
        June 3, 2017, 1:00 pm

        “the opportunity to share in Israel’s innovation and technology revolution “

        That would be so cool. I always wondered how they kept that little light over the ark burning 24/7. That’ll knock that Arab oil right into second place.

    • Mooser
      June 2, 2017, 2:28 pm

      “The war against Egypt was a success.”

      You somehow survived it, “yonah”. What could be more successful than that?

    • talknic
      June 3, 2017, 12:13 am

      A thoroughly twisted ZioMind is amazing to behold!

      @ yonah fredman June 2, 2017, 12:38 pm

      “Regarding the major confrontation state, Israel did well going to war, which led to a peace treaty “

      Go to war, occupy other folks territory, for a peace treaty. Interesting theory

      “Before 67 there was tension with Egypt”

      Yes. Israel was occupying Arab territory outside of its borders

      ” and after 77 there has been minimal tension.”

      Except for the fact that Israel was occupying Egyptian and other Arab territories.

      ” The war against Egypt was a success”

      Sure, tell it to the families of those who died, completely un-necessarilly. No-one gained anything. Israel was required to withdraw from all Egyptian territories before peaceful relations were assumed with Egypt.

      MORE @ http://wp.me/pDB7k-ZZ

    • CigarGod
      June 3, 2017, 9:46 am

      Shock, heat, fragmentation, and effects on structures and human life.
      The dust hasn’t even settled and Yonah is just about ready to brag on a successful cherry tomato crop.

  9. Ossinev
    June 2, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Israel is a state whose very life blood is lies,distortions,falsehoods,false accusations. The list is endless:
    https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/06/17/top-ten-myths-about-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/

    Underpinning it all and increasingly dominating its political agenda is a belief among Zionists that Jews are the “Chosen People” and that they are de facto superior to other human beings and are entitled to oppress, brutalise, torture and murder as they see fit as God has given them his blessing. They will when cornered or challenged blatantly use the Holocaust which came about as a result of this strain of thinking as some sort of justification for their actions.

    They actually see themselves as God`s pioneers.

    Civilised human beings see only scumbag murdering liars.

    • Mayhem
      June 2, 2017, 11:26 pm

      @Ossinev, you spout pure anti-semitism and nobody at MW could even care .

      • Mooser
        June 3, 2017, 1:15 pm

        “@Ossinev, you spout pure anti-semitism and nobody at MW could even care”

        “Mayhem”, you are mixing up anti-Zionism and antisemitism. They are not the same thing.

      • Citizen
        June 3, 2017, 2:50 pm

        I don’t think it’s abnormal to see how often both Israel’s and the USA’s spokes claim they are special, more entitled nations, always acting for the betterment of all of mankind; does anyone here? In WW2, the USA showed it had some evidence for this claim; since then, not so much. Israel’s similar claim is based on no evidence at all that I can see. Anyone?

  10. Brewer
    June 2, 2017, 4:26 pm

    My understanding is that Nasser told the U.N. that the peace keepers were occupying positions essential to Egypt’s defense. The U.N. agreed and sought Israel’s permission to re-deploy to their side of the border. The Israelis refused.
    From memory, the authoritative reference is “War and Peace in the Middle East” by the delightfully named Odd Bull – not as one might think, a native American but from Norway where “Odd” is a common Christian name.

    • Mayhem
      June 2, 2017, 11:34 pm

      UN Peace Keepers are a sorry joke. Their record in preventing conflict is shockingly poor. The recent war in Sudan is a case in point. It would not have been sensible for Israel to invite these no-hopers to protect their side of the border.

      • mig
        June 3, 2017, 12:06 pm

        Prevent a conflict is in the hands of opposing sides, not UN Peacekeepers.

      • talknic
        June 3, 2017, 1:10 pm

        @ Mayhem June 2, 2017, 11:34 pm

        “UN Peace Keepers are a sorry joke. Their record in preventing conflict is shockingly poor.”

        Israel’s record in starting conflicts is much better

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2017, 11:43 am

        Here, “Mayhem”, listen and learn.

  11. talknic
    June 2, 2017, 10:30 pm

    UNSC Resolution 228 of 25 November 1966
    The Security Council,

    Having heard the statements of the representatives of Jordan and Israel concerning the grave Israel military action which took place in the southern Hebron area on 13 November 1966,

    Having noted the information provided by the Secretary-General concerning this military action in his statement of 16 November 1/ and also in his report of 18 November 1966,2/

    Observing that this incidentconstituted a large-scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel,

    Reaffirming the previous resolutions of the Security Council condemning past incidents of reprisal in breach of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan and of the United Nations Charter,

    Recalling the repeated resolutions of the Security Council asking for the cessation of violent incidents across the demarcation line, and not overlooking past incidents of this nature,

    Reaffirming the necessity for strict adherence to the General Armistice Agreement,

    1. Deplores the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action of the Government of Israel on 13 November 1966;

    2. Censures Israel for this large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan;

    3. Emphasizes to Israel that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that, if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts;

    Until such time as a ZioIdiot can put up similar UNSC resolutions against ANY Arab state (all by 1966 were UN Members) for allegedly attacking Israel, tell ’em they’re spouting bullsh*t! Israel started all its wars, none of which were fought in Israeli territories ( May 22nd 1948 “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

  12. Maghlawatan
    June 2, 2017, 10:36 pm

    What matters about 1967 is what sort of precedent it created. Every Israeli martial démarche is similar in this respect. Israel has been trying to reshape the rules of war for some time. Behind all the warmongering is the assumption that Israel will always have the qualitative edge and America”s back. Forever is very long.
    And when the 2 conditions no longer pertain what sort of protection will Yossi Israeli have? SFA.
    The other thing is that the Zionists built their shangri-la on an invasion route. This is the real reason behind 1967. Israel is literally indefensible.

    • Citizen
      June 3, 2017, 3:04 pm

      Trump promises he will supplement latest $38B with missile defense upgrade and to make sure Saudi Arabia’s newly purchased arsenal will remain inferior to Israel’s despite the gigantic amount Saudi’s are spending.

  13. Sibiriak
    June 3, 2017, 5:43 am

    The 1967 war can only be undertood within the context of Israeli strategic expansionism

    Israel was slowly but surely creating a crisis with Syria by provoking incidents along the border with the ultimate purpose of grabbing land .

    Syria had embarked on a project to divert the Haztbani river; Israel wished to destroy that project, but did not want to initiate aggressive action that would damage its relationship with the West. The IDF developed a strategy of taking non-military actions to provoke a Syrian military response, then retaliate with military action to destroy the diversion project. On two occasions the Israeli air force attacked the diversion project, and by February 1966 work on the diversion project was stopped. Syria then began to give indirect support to the PLO.

    Yet, the Israeli military activity along the border continued and even escalated throughout 1966. Using similar tactics for triggering incidents, the Israelis continued to provoke the Syrians. The IDF responded disproportionately every time the Syrians opened fire on Israeli tractors working in the DMZs or on police boats disguised as fishing boats getting close to the northeast shore of Lake Kinneret.

    […]

    In a rare and revealing interview ten years after that period, Moshe Dayan discussed this pattern of Israeli behavior with the journalist Rami Tal (1997).

    DAYAN: I know how at least 80% of all those incidents there [along the Israeli-Syrian border] got started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let us talk about 80. It worked like this: we would send a tractor to plow some place in the demilitarized zone where nothing could be grown, and we knew ahead of time that the Syrians would shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to move deeper [into the DMZ], until the Syrians got mad eventually and fired on it. And then we would activate artillery, and later on the air force. […]

    Rami Tal: I am quite stunned by what you are saying. And for what was all this?

    DAYAN: Well, looking back, I can’t say there was a well-defined strategic conception on this issue. Generally speaking, I’ll tell you this. When the War of Independence ended, we signed armistice agreements with the Arabs. We were smart enough to understand that these agreements were not peace agreements, but we were not smart enough to understand that the armistice agreements that had been signed under the auspices of the UN and which were supported by the great powers . . . were very serious agreements that form something with a significant political value.

    What do I want to say by this? We thought then, and it lasted for a long time, that we canchange the armistice lines by a series of military operations that are less than war, that is, to snatch some territory and hold on to it until the enemy would give up on it.

    Zeev Maoz, “Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security and Foreign Policy ” (emphasis added)

    Basically, Israel was slowly but surely creating a crisis with Syria by provoking incidents along the border with the ultimate purpose of grabbing land .

    At a deep level, three key factors created a historical vector toward war:

    1) Israel was absolutely not willing to accept the ’49 armistice lines as a permanent border and wished to grab more of “Eretz Israel”.

    2) The Arab states were not willing to accept an expansionist Zionist state.

    3) There was a substantial power asymmetry between Israel and the Arab states (accentuated by Israel’s decision to embark on a nuclear weapons project in the early 1960’s, aided by France et al.).

    Israel had the power to expand and it chose to do so via various methods, including war.

    • Keith
      June 3, 2017, 10:25 am

      SIBIRIAK- “The 1967 war can only be undertood within the context of Israeli strategic expansionism”

      Part of that context includes the destruction of pan-Arabism, seen by both Israel and the US as a threat to their strategic objectives. This was seen as critical to ensure American control of the Middle East oil reserves. The six day war also was a watershed in regards to Jewish-Zionist power in the US.

      • Maghlawatan
        June 3, 2017, 4:17 pm

        The 67 war only made sense if the Palestinians all left. Last time I looked they hadn’t.
        The other thing is that the roots of 67 go back to 56 if not earlier. Egypt has been ruled by a junta since 1956 because of Israel. Ignore Morsi.
        Egypt is now a failing state. IsraeL will be hit with the aftershocks.
        Violence is not “good for the Jews”. Yes, it is possible but it generates awful long term consequences . I would have stuck with the singing and the dancing .

      • Sibiriak
        June 4, 2017, 12:23 am

        Keith, good points. Obviously my analysis was far from comprehensive. Arab Nationalism, oil geopolitics, Cold War rivalries, Israeli expansionism, U.S. Zionist power/ideology –there are various historical vectors converging in the ’67 war.

        Finkelstein, in the North/Weiss interview article says:

        But once the US in effect gave Israel the green (or amber) light at the end of May and early June, Israel did a repeat performance of ‘56. Its primary goal was to neuter Nasser, to deliver a deathblow to these uppity Arabs and finish off what was called radical Arab nationalism.

        Their secondary goal was to conquer the lands they had coveted but didn’t manage to seize in ’48: East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan. Tom Segev’s book, 1967, is not great, but it does copiously document Israel’s expansionist territorial aims on the eve of ‘67.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/06/six-day-war-finkelstein/

      • Keith
        June 4, 2017, 11:31 am

        MAGHLAWATAN- “The 67 war only made sense if the Palestinians all left.”

        Nonsense! The Six Day War was a pivotal event in the history of Israel and Zionism. It established Israel as the dominant military power in the region while simultaneously administering a death blow to pan-Arabism. It also cemented US government support for Israel as a counter to Arab nationalism. Perhaps even more significant, it resulted in the enthusiastic acceptance of Zionism by American organized Jewry, along with the loyal support of Israel by American Jewish Zionists.

      • Keith
        June 4, 2017, 12:13 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “Obviously my analysis was far from comprehensive.”

        Any comment on a complex topic will of necessity not be comprehensive. My comment was intended merely to add some information to yours. As for the Finkelstein interview, I thought it was impressive, however, he seems to be ignoring the impact the 1967 war had on American organized Jewry and American Zionism, something Finkelstein alluded to in “The Holocaust Industry,” which I recommend to those who haven’t read it. A quote in reference to the 1967 war: “Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as spokesmen for American imperial ambitions.” (p24) I have come to believe that Israel cannot be fully understood without reference to Israel’s and Zionism’s impact upon the American Jewish Zionist elites. Israel behaves, to a significant degree, in a manner consistent with how American Jewish Zionist fat-cats desire it to behave. Furthermore, Zionist based “kinship” solidarity has had a significant impact upon Jewish Zionist material success. There seems to be a rather complex dynamic at work here which I discuss in “Perverse Triangle.” http://saskck.blogspot.com/2010/02/

      • Maghlawatan
        June 4, 2017, 1:54 pm

        It was stupid, Keith. Apartheid is dogshit. And they had to destroy their society so the occupation could fly. I don’t even think buying off Egypt was a strategic success. The embassy was surrounded in 2011.
        1967 proved that Palestine was the wrong site for the project. And they are still whining about legitimacy.

      • Keith
        June 4, 2017, 2:26 pm

        MAGHLAWATAN- “It was stupid, Keith.”

        From the perspective of the 99%, you and I may agree that militarism, empire and hegemony are “stupid,” but for the 1% with their psychopathic desire for power, there is a logic to it. And while the majority of Israelis would likely be better off without the occupation, it serves the interests of the Israeli and American Zionist fat-cats. The US and Israel are both militaristic warfare states. I don’t like it, but I am aware of the logic of empire and strategic maneuver within the global political economy. In other words, the 1967 war and occupation makes sense to those elites who benefited from it.

      • Maghlawatan
        June 4, 2017, 4:50 pm

        Israel, the project, was never rational. It is pure emotion.
        1967 was marinated in messianism. Emotion to the power of insanity.
        Sure they keep it going now but so many costs are not accounted. WhaT are the chances the Zionists make a better job of it than the whites of Rhodesia? Israel is like a mixture of Tammany Hall and the crusades.
        However you slice it Israel is a Brazilian wax on the western most edge of Asia. And they brainwash their own kids.

  14. Vera Gottlieb
    June 3, 2017, 10:20 am

    I hope to live long enough to see israel pay for all this. Treating the Palestinians the way the Nazis treated the Jews. What did the Palestinians do to deserve this?

    • aloeste
      June 4, 2017, 6:03 pm

      doubt your grandchildren’s grandchildren see that… they shouldn’t have lost the war. it’s all king hussein’s fault….

      • eljay
        June 5, 2017, 10:55 am

        || aloeste: doubt your grandchildren’s grandchildren see that … ||

        Yup, there’ll be nothing to see for a Thousand Years.

  15. James Canning
    June 3, 2017, 3:08 pm

    Israel, and the US, knew Nasser did not intend to attack. The US set up Israel’s 1967 attack on Egypt.

    • stopthelie
      June 6, 2017, 5:26 pm

      Mr. Vanning – stop reading comics as your source of information – can’t be more wrong….read about Russian involvement with the ARAB countries before you make further wrong commnmets

  16. A very central part of this article and all subsequent posts is missing. It is that is in 1967 Israel was a nuclear power. By definition, nuclear powers don’t loose wars where their survival is in question. So then, any posturing from a nuclear power that it’s survival is in question from a non-nuclear power are ludicrous. More then ludicrous actually, to say that Israel was indeed fearful of its survival only goes to show that era of fake news is not new and goes back a very long ways. That Israel got it’s citizens to believe they were under dire circumstances is indeed true. That they were in dire circumstances is a complete lie. As we continue to know, fear of the other and manipulations by those in power to create fear are very potent tools to create justifications for prejudice and war.

  17. Maghlawatan
    June 6, 2017, 4:13 pm

    I was reading about fractals. Patterns that reoccur in life at different levels both physically and emotionally. Could be a Jew thinking about Gazans or the whole of Israel”s Jews. Fractals repeat over time. And Israel won 1967. But football teams rise and fall. And so will Israel. And when it does lose a war there will be no mercy. Because Israel is merciless

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