Scott Weiner 34
5 April 2013
I, Aya Kantorovich, affirm that I have completed this assignment in accordance with the Code of Academic Integrity.
This paper questions the primary reason for the 1967 Six Day War in Israel. From a realist perspective, Israel’s Defense Force military intervention into surrounding Arabic countries resulted from the competition of states to acquire nuclear weapons, while from a liberal perspective, the military intervention was in response to the instability both within the nation and internationally. After analyzing evidence regarding both hypotheses, the liberal perspective aligns accordingly with Israel’s military intervention in 1967. The reader will be directed through Middle Eastern history leading up to 1967, a relevant literature review, two key hypotheses, an analysis of these hypotheses, and finally a brief conclusion of all stated information.
The Six Day War was sparked by Israel acquiring nuclear warheads and the failure of the United Nations to maintain a neutral environment on the Strait of Tiran. This came in accordance with recent interactions between the United States and Israel in 1956 during the Suez Crisis that also led to strained relationships with the United Nations (Thomas 127). During the Suez Crisis, both the UN and the US advised Israel against attacking Egypt because of the Egyptian brigade on the Strait of Tiran. The events leading up to the blockade were an effect of Egypt’s plan of nationalizing the Strait of Tiran, a main economic passageway for Israel in the Red Sea. The President of Egypt at the time, Gamal Abdal Nassar, was interested in further strengthening the country’s military supplies, and therefore inquired about purchasing military weapons from the US. However, Eisenhower was unable to grant permission for selling weapons to Egypt due to the fear that Egypt would use the weapons against Israel. Therefore, Egypt turned to the Soviet Union and invested in weapons, creating tension, an alliance between Israel, France, and Britain and a joint agreement to attack with Israel left to deal with the consequences from both the US as well as the UN (Thomas 127). In 1965, Egypt called a ‘casus belli’, a term coined as an intention towards war, if Egypt found that Israel did in fact hold nuclear weapons; leading the United States to openly showed support to safeguarding for Israel’s Dimona, a nuclear research center funded by France. After this event, the drive towards war strengthened as Egypt discovered that Israel ordered nuclear weapons from France, resulting in a strong alliance between the Soviet Union and Egypt. Leading up to May 1967, Syria continued to support guerilla wars in Israel while Egypt prepared to attack. Subsequently, on May 17, 1967 Egypt removed the UN buffers on the Israeli borders as well as the presence of UN Emergency Forces in the Red Sea around the Strait of Tiran. Immediately following, there was an extreme escalation of tension as Israel waited until America opened the Strait; dividing decision making into two groups-the military and the government. The current Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol wanted to approach a plan of action to wait for the United States to intervene, however, the military high forces heavily pushed immediate action. Finally, Moshe Dayan was appointed the new Minister of Defense and opted for an early war in June of 1967 (Aronson). By early June, President Johnson agreed to take on the brigade in the Strait as well as hold off the Soviet Union, however, tension broke out beforehand and on June 5, Israel started attacking air force bases in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. With complete air control, Israeli forces preceded to storming the Sinai, invading all the way up to the Suez Canal in four days. By June 7, Israel controlled Gaza, the West Bank, and the Old City of Jerusalem. Lastly, on June 9, Israel stormed the Golan Heights capturing the area in two days. The war ended with a casualty of...