Six-Day War

Topics: Israel, Six-Day War, West Bank Pages: 3 (1098 words) Published: May 5, 2013
IT'S RARE for one discrete historical event occurring over a few days to have an impact that persists for decades. Israel's 1967 Six Day War--from June 5 to June 10, 40 years ago this week--is just such an event. Though perhaps not immediately apparent at the time, the war's aftermath cast a huge shadow over the Middle East and the world. During the war, Israel's high-tech military routed the forces of Jordan, Egypt and Syria, and began the occupations of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. The war thrust onto the world agenda all of the issues still at the center of Middle Eastern politics today. Israel began one of the world's longest-running military occupations, which continues to be one of the greatest sources of Arab resentment against not only Israel, but its main cheerleader, the U.S. Israel's military prowess decisively shifted the U.S. into the pro-Israeli camp in the Middle East. Plus, the Israeli occupation created the context for a "peace process," the seemingly never-ending quest of Israel to trade occupied land for "peace"--in other words, recognition of Israel by Arab governments. The outcome of the Six Day War also contributed to a historical narrative--largely based on myth--that has colored Western perceptions of Israel and the Middle East since. The image of plucky little Israel, threatened with destruction, winning a smashing victory in a pre-emptive war against its more powerful neighbors, has become commonplace. Yet subsequent historical research has shown that Israel was well aware of its military superiority over its neighbors, and that its long-term strategic plans in the region led it to goad its neighbors into a war it knew it would win. In a 1997 New York Times interview, Moshe Dayan, defense minister during the 1967 war, explained that Israeli settlers' "greed for the land" led them to provoke the Syrian army to shoot at them, opening the way for the Israeli invasion and seizure of the Golan Heights....
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