Tuesday, June 05, 2007

40 years after the Six Day War

Nice post from the blogger Yid with LID discussing the Egyptian military buildup that led to the Six-Day War. Somehow the war is considered an act of aggression by Israel even though Egypt had violated the Suez War ceasefire by remilitarizing the Sinai and forcing US and UN peacekeepers to leave that area. With Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt all fighting Israel, only by the perverse revisions of historical fact endemic to Middle East history can Israel somehow wind up as the aggressor.

By why let facts get in the way of one's hoped-for reality?

And the Arab reaction to the military thrashing their countries so roundly deserved set the stage for the next 40 years of war and terror, as David Meir-Levi explains:

A few days after the UN cease fire of 6/11/67, Abba Eban, Israel’s representative at the UN, made his famous speech. He held out the olive branch to the Arab world, inviting Arab states to join Israel at the peace table, and informing them in unequivocal language that everything but Jerusalem was negotiable. Territories taken in the war could be returned in exchange for formal recognition, bi-lateral negotiations, and peace.

Israel wanted peace. Israel offered land in exchange for peace. As Lord Carendon, the UK representative at the UN, noted with considerable surprise after Abba Eban’s speech, never in the history of warfare did the victor sue for peace -- and the vanquished refuse.

Twice within a few weeks of the war’s end, the USSR and the Arab Bloc floated motions in the UN General Assembly [note -- General Assembly motions are not subject to US veto like Security Council resolutions -- TKM] declaring that Israel was the aggressor. Both motions were roundly defeated. At that time, the world knew that the Arabs were the aggressors, and that Israel, victim of aggression, had sued for peace both before the war and after their amazing victory.

* * *

Rather than respond to Israel’s invitation, the Arab states met in Khartoum, Sudan, for a conference in August, 1967. They unanimously decided in favor of the now famous three Khartoum “NO’s”: No recognition, No negotiation, No peace. This was only round 3. The Arab world could suffer many more defeats before its ultimate victory. Israel could suffer only one defeat. Better that Israel hold on to the territories taken in the war. Better that the refugees continue languishing in their squalor and misery. Better that the Arab states re-arm for round 4…than to recognize Israel’s right to exist or negotiate toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

With the Khartoum “NO’s”, the Arab world forced Israel to unwillingly assume control over the approximately million Arabs living in the West Bank, Golan Heights, Sinai and Gaza Strip.

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