After the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, tensions between the newly founded Jewish state and the Arab states were at an all time high, but it wasn’t until May and June of 1967 that tensions would turn volatile. The region was in a state of anarchy with multiple states competing for power within the region. Actions by leaders of both states made the already convoluted situation harder to interpret, and would ultimately lead to one state’s action. During those months, Arab nations, more specifically Egypt, began to impose trade restrictions, massing forces upon Israel’s border, and disputing Israeli water rights on the Jordan River. These actions began to bring forth the reasons as to why Israel, while greatly outnumbered, decided to attack the Arabs that were amassed on their borders. In an Offensive Realist world, international theorists try to predict where conflicts will arise based on a world that consists of states trying to gain power, where nation’s intentions are masked, and a world that is enveloped in anarchy. This essay analyzes the actions of the Arab nations that surrounded Israel prior to the Six Days War in 1967. From these events prior to the Six Days War, a preemptive attack was launched by the Israeli’s, thus starting the Six Days War. The international relations theory of Offensive Realism predominately explains why Israel attacked Egyptian forces in the Six Days War in 1967. When looking deeper into the historical background of the Six Days War it is evident that Security Dilemma, or the basic logic of Offensive Realism, explains why Israel decided to attack Arab forces. This paper will also analyze the events leading to the Six Days War using the Constructivist Theory. This theory would also help to explain the events of single individuals and some major groups within Israel and relate them to the attack on Egyptian forces. It will also analyze the key individuals, groups, and movements within the Arab world in order to explain the Israeli reaction to the heated events surrounding the Six Days War. Ultimately, this paper will compare and contrast the application of Offensive Realism and Constructivism applied to the Six Days War in 1967. It will provide evidence as to why both theories apply to this situation, but point out areas in which one theory does not cover. Through this evidence it will become clear as to why Offensive Realism best explains the actions by the Israelis. Historical Background
Under the United Nations Resolution 181 two states were to be created. These two states were to be the Israeli and Palestinian nations. With this creation the Arab nations throughout the Middle East would be sent into an uproar which would ultimately lead to what the Israelis call the War for Independence. This war from 1947-48 would ultimately leave the Israelis victorious and would be the leading reason as to why the Palestinian state would never be established. The Arab defeat would leave the Arab world with a desire for revenge. The events closest to the Six Days war are what lead to the question as to why the Israelis decided to attack the Arab forces massed upon their border. The actions preceding the Six Days war are best told out of chronological order starting with the actions by the Egyptian President Nasser. On May 14, 1967, President Nasser sent several hundred Egyptian soldiers into the Sinai Peninsula. Two days later, on 16 May, he sought and succeeded in the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) from Egyptian soil. Lastly, on the night of 22–23 May, Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping. Following these actions, Nasser began to make a series of speeches that were calling for an anti Zionist movement within the Arab World. He also pressed for the creation of the Palestinian state which essentially meant the annexation of the relatively new Israeli state. With this call to the Arab world, he would call for the destruction of Israel, but he...
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