The Palestinians all over the world remember the date of 5 June as the Palestinian Nakseh “Palestinian Setback”, when in 1967 the Zionist Jewish colonial armed forces launched their third aggression war against Arab states in what became known as the “Six-Days-War”.
The first Arab/Zionist war took place in 1948 when the Zionists occupied almost 78% of Palestine, and the second war took place in October of 1956 when the Zionist newly established colony; Israel, joined France and Britain in the Tripartite Aggression mainly against Egypt after the Egyptian President, then Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized the Suez Canal.
The Six Days War resulted in the Israeli occupation of the rest of Palestine, the Egyptian controlled Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula all the way through to the eastern bank of Suez Canal, and the Syrian Golan Heights.
The Israelis claim that the Six Days War was their defensive pre-emptive war against what they claim as Arabs’ aggressive postures and accumulation of forces in preparation for an assault on Israel. The reality is that this war was just another phase of the Zionist expansionist colonial project of establishing their Greater Israel in the Middle East.
Israelis had planned and prepared for their third war since the end of their second. Yet they were hesitant because of lack of intelligence about the new Russian MiG-21 fighter planes the Arab states; Egypt, Iraq and Syria, had acquired. In 1966, the Mossad was finally able to bribe an Iraqi fighter pilot, Munir Redfa, with $1 million to defect to Israel flying into a MiG-21. After analyzing and studying the Russian technology and devising methods of counterattack, the Israelis felt confident of their victory. All what they needed in 1967 was a seemingly legitimate excuse to launch their attack. At the time, Levi Eshkol was occupying both positions of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Israeli military generals and security chiefs put pressure on Eshkol to form a new National Unity Government with Menahem Begin’s Herut party and to concede to General Moshe Dayan the position of Minister of Defense.
Once in position Moshe Dayan, Chief of the General Staff, Yitzhak Rabin, Menahem Begin, and many other generals were eager to proceed with the Zionist colonial project. According to Livia Rokach’s book “Israel’s Sacred Terrorism”, the Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett pointed to this eagerness in his personal diaries of May 1955 quoting Moshe Dayan saying:
“Israel must see the sword as the main, if not the only instrument with which to keep its morale high, and to retain its moral tension. Towards this end it may, no – it must – invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge … And above all – let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space.”
Moshe Dayan started his provocation-and-revenge method against Syria on the northern border by sending some military equipment deep into the demilitarized zone. On 11 of May 1977, Dayan bragged about this provocation to “The New York Times” saying:
“We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was.”
These provocations escalated, and on 11 of April 1967, the Israeli Mirage fighters shot down six Syrian MiG-21 planes two of them right over the capital, Damascus. The Israeli continuous provocations and the air battle gave the Arabs the impression that the Israelis are going to attack Syria at a time of their choosing.
Egypt and Syria had signed a Defense Agreement in November 1966 in an attempt to deter Israeli aggression. With the Israeli aggressive actions on the Syrian border, Egypt had to come to Syria’s aid. Egyptian President, Nasser, had to do something to help Syria but to avoid further escalations that might lead to a full-blown war. He decided to send a message to Israel that Egypt stands with Syria. In the hope to intimidate Israel into leaving Syria alone, Nasser instructed the UN peacekeepers, stationed in Sinai since the end of the 1956 Tripartite Aggression, to evacuate the area. He also closed the Straits of Tiran, and sent two military divisions into Sinai right up to Israel’s border.
Although expecting a more aggressive move from Egypt, Israeli generals decided to, still, take advantage of this move to launch their planned war claiming self-defense although the contrary was obvious to everybody, as many Israeli officials stated later on. In his book “The Fateful Triangle” Noam Chomsky quoted Menahem Begin as saying: “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
Chief of Logistical Command during the war, General Matetiyahu Peled, stated the following in a political literary club in Tel Aviv in 1972: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.”
He also stated in a radio debate: “Israel was never in real danger, and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel. Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war.”
Le Monde (February 28, 1968) reported Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Chief of the Staff in 1967, as saying: “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it.”
The Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar reported in 14 April 1971 a statement made by Mordechai Bentov, a member of the 1967 new National Unity Government as saying: “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”The annexation of new Arab territory was indeed the real goal for the Israeli officials. Levi Eshkol sent his Foreign Minister, Aba Eban, to consult with the American President, Lyndon Johnson, who seemingly gave his green light. On the morning of 5 June, Israel launched its war of aggression against the unprepared Arab countries. After destroying Egyptian fighter planes while still on the ground, the Israeli air force gained air superiority that proved to be devastating to the Arab armies. The Israeli army fought its way south until the eastern bank of Suez Canal. In two days, they occupied the whole West Bank to the Jordan River. Then they directed their aggression towards Syria occupying the Golan Heights.
As an eyewitness, I myself watched one battle over the control of the road from Jerusalem south to Bethlehem and then to Hebron. My town, Beit Jala, is situated on a hill overlooking Jerusalem and the road south. The battle raged on an opposite hill and I could clearly see the explosions and the smoke, and at times some of the soldiers. The Jordanian artillery shells whistled overhead and exploded on the hill, but with little damage and plenty of smoke. The Israeli planes came down and dropped their Napalm bombs burning the whole top of the hill.
A Jordanian military camp was situated in a strategic location on the top of the hill not far away from my home, and overlooking a very large area. During the first day of the war, we witnessed the Jordanian soldiers being transported out of the camp, seemingly heading towards the battlefield. We cheered. Later on, we discovered that the small caravan of these soldiers headed away from the battlefield south towards Hebron, and from there through a desert road were driven all the way to Jordan.
We learned that there were orders to withdraw all the Jordanian soldiers back to the West Bank of Jordan. Only few dedicated Palestinian soldiers decided to stay to defend their local homes and families. Once their ammunition was spent, they were either killed, taken prisoners, or ran away. All this while Jordanian King Hussein was broadcasting on the radio his urging the local residents to “get them (the Israeli soldiers) with your teeth, get them with your finger nails …” He knew very well that the locals were not armed at all.
The mayors of Beit Jala, Bethlehem, and Beit Sahur towns sent drivers all over the towns telling residents to raise the white flag as surrender in order to avoid any fatality to the residents. Later mayors receive a military order to evict the whole towns. The mayors rushed to meet the military commander to convince him not to force eviction. The eviction orders were cancelled apparently due to the importance of these Christian communities to the outside world.
Eviction, though, was enforced against other communities especially in the Palestinian refugee camps. First generation Palestinian refugees, who lost their homes in 1948, found themselves, and their children, refugees without homes again in 1967. Those, who stayed in their homes, are subjected to Israeli graduated ethnic cleansing scheme, whose intensity is increasing with every newly elected Israeli government that seems to be more anti-Palestinian than the previous one.
This Israeli ethnic cleansing includes increase theft of Palestinian land to build more Israeli colonies, house demolitions, persecution, imprisonment, discrimination, settlers’ terror, and deprivation of the most basic human rights. There are roughly 6.5 million Palestinians still living in Palestine under this Israeli oppressive occupation. They are restricted to only 8.7% of the historic Palestine without real sovereignty. On the other hand, there are also roughly 6.5 million Israeli Jews living in Palestine. The vast majority of them are foreign immigrants from other countries. They have access to 91.3% of the land and enjoy total sovereignty over it.
There are other 7.2 million Palestinians forced into diaspora. The majority of them are living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Almost 5 million of them are registered refugees with UNRWA in 59 official refugee camps. Many of these camps are threatened by ISIS terrorist group and its affiliates. ISIS is created, financed, and armed mainly by the Zionist occupied and controlled American administration and by Israel.
The Zionist project is now in full swing and is threatening the safety of the whole Middle Eastern region and thus the safety of the whole world. No country would be spared if this project is not confronted and not halted.
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|Allen L. Jasson|
|William John Cox|