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A look at history - the 1967 six day war
In reading an article written in 1968 on the results of the Six Day War that took place six months earlier and number of striking points jumped out at me.
The article was: Lewis, Bernard.
The Arab-Israeli War: The Consequences of Defeat. Foreign Affairs 46:321-335 January 1968.
The first point that stood out was the seldom reported influence of the Soviet Union in engineering the crisis. The defeat of the Arab states was a result of over estimation of the Arabs, under estimation of Israel and Bernard Lewis argues, of an irrational element that arose from Soviet antisemitism and classical stereotypes of the Jews and as a result of the Jewish state.
The author also noted that Israel took two lessons form the war, the first, was that it can't rely on others for its protection. A lesson already learnt in the 1948 war of independence. The other lesson he lists is that "they could not trust the United Nations, where their enemies has an inbuilt position of advantage", he adds that:
"the Soviet Veto in the security council is always available to the Arabs, even on the most trivial matters; the combination of Communist bloc, and the quaintly names "nonaligned" states in the General Assembly is sufficient to prevent any solution acceptable to Israel, if not to enforce one acceptable to the Arabs."
This theme, was pickd by my many other sources in 1968 and 1969. Lets examine a few...
This was also reflected by Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban when he said,
"If the Arabs table a motion tomorrow that the earth is flat... they can count on at least 40 votes"
The Times editorial on July 5, 1969 also held this view of the united nations and supported Abba Eban's comments noting that:
"Israel['s]... objection that the United Nations attitude is one-sided is valid. The sheer numerical strength in the United Nations of the Arabs and other third-world countries favourable to them, not to mention the communist block, means that there will always be an anti-Israel majority there. It is perfectly clear, for instance, that the continuing fighting across the Suez Canal is entirely the fault of the Egyptians, but a United Nations vote is unlikely ever to condemn... [the U.A.R.]. ...If...[Israel's policy on Jerusalem] is a provocation, and illegal, then so are the daily bombardments across the Canal, and the United Nations should either condemn both equally or neither."
A few months later, after Israel flew six miles into Lebanese territory to bomb a terrorist base that was launching attachs again her, an editor in the New York Times (Aug. 28, 1969) noted that:
The "United Nations Security Council has once again demonstrated its one-sidedness and dramatized its ineffectiveness on the most explosive immediate problem confronting the world. The Council's resolution, specifically condemning Israeli reprisals against Lebanon but delivering only an indirect slap at the escalating Arab guerrilla attacks on Israel, will not help to check the alarming drift toward a new Middle East war. . . . [I'ts failure specifically to condemn the guerrillas will only confirm Israel in the conviction that it can never expect fair treatment from the Council and will spread further the fear that United Nations machinery has become all but useless in this conflict."
The refusal of the UN to condemn attacks on Israel and fairly lay the blame on the Arab agressors is what gave rise to the 2006 Lebanon war between Israel and Hizbollah. A refusal to take note of the missiles raining down on Israel today from Palestinian controlled territories and to treat these as acts of agresson and terrorism, does nothing to prevent a further escalation in the Middle East.
If it were not for hostility it causes Israel, the fact that so few are aware of the mechnics that have led to so many anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations would be funny. I have heard it claimed that Israel MUST be at fault, just look at the number of UN resolutions against it. Israel was not the cause of the 1967 Six Day War, and it is not the cause of instability in the region today. The sooner the world puts a stop to terrorism and applies proper presure to those countries like Iran and Syria who promote and fund it, the sooner we may see peace in the Middle East.
I'd like to leave with one more quote. After a terrorist hijacked an EL AL flight on 23 July 1968 (the only successful hijacking on an Israeli plane), Abba Eban was asked why Israel did not take the matter to the United Nations. He replied:
I am sometimes asked... why did we not go to the Security Council after the Athens attack. Well, I would like to tell you what our decision-making process is. We did the exercise, we present our complaint. It is considered. It would have been rejected because they have Algeria and Pakistan and the Soviet Union and Hungary and even if you did not, you have the [Soviet] veto. What would be the effect of Israel complaining about her attack on her airlines, complaining to the highest international organ and being rebuffed? Would this not be interpreted as the legitimisation of the attack on the Israeli aircraft in the name of what is called the Palestine struggle? This is why we didn't go to the Security Council after the Algerian affair [of the hijacking of an El A1 airliner in July 1968. Because of the power structure we would have failed and then it would have been said that the international community approves the kidnapping of aircraft provided that the reason is the Palestinian reason.
Two thoughts arise from this quote, is the United Nations really equiped to handle Iran and her nuclear ambitions and desire to destroy Israel? And should Israel really have had to protect passenger planes with six armed guards on each flight, multiple layers of security before bording, and cabin staff trained in martial arts? Perhaps the answer to the second question is, yes, after all it was Israel the US turned to for help after the September 11 hijackings. And it was Israel the UK turned for help in better securing Heathrow airport, an airport where another terrorist attack against Israel was foiled. In the failed attempt, a pregnant Irishwoman unknowingly carry three pounds of plastic explosives with her as she tried to board an El Al flight. The explosives has been planted on her by her fiancé who was taking a seperate flight. Israeli security checks uncovered the explosives. Now you know why they ask if you packed your backs yourself. In this case too there was evidence of "Syrian involvement" - one can hardly be surpised.
Returning to the Six Day War... a new website full of historical facts, personal accounts, and resources ranging from videos to source documents was recently launched to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. The site, which can be visited at: www.sixdaywar.co.uk is well worth a look and packed with so much material you are sure to learn something new. Not only has the site organised material already on the web, it has contributed an amazing amount of new material not found else where, including material that is yet to appear in print. A massive effort, and a brilliant result.
Zionism On The Web