Barack Obama’s 1967

Posted on October 8, 2009. Filed under: Israel |

US President Barack Obama’s inspirational speech at the UN included more than a few passages about the Middle East conflict. He expressed the hope for “a just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine, and the Arab world,” a wish shared by all Israelis. Upon closer look at some of the president’s statements, several question marks arise.

The speech didn’t, for instance, mention Islamic fundamentalism or Jihadism, the principal reasons for instability in the Middle East and beyond. Nor did it condemn the Arab world’s refusal to acknowledge the Jewish people’s right to a state of its own. No less problematic, the reference to ending “the occupation that began in 1967” puts history on its head, as it implies, perhaps unintentionally, that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is the cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This clearly inverts cause and effect.

As the writer and historian Simon Schama wrote, history should endeavor “to disentangle fact from fable,” also reminding us that one of America’s Founding Fathers, John Adams, had said “Facts are stubborn things.” Well, the facts regarding the conflict in the Holy Land, though often deliberately or inadvertently distorted or ignored , are indeed “stubborn.” Terrorist activities against Israel had started years before the “occupation,” and the PLO committed to the destruction of the Jewish state was founded in 1964

NO LESS important in the factual and historical sense are the actual antecedentsĀ of the “Six-Day War” which resulted in the “occupation” to which the president’s speech referred.

On May 13, 1967 the Egyptian dictator Gamel Abdel Nasser announced that two Egyptian divisions would move into the Sinai Peninsula bordering on southern Israel – contrary to international agreements, US commitments and UN guarantees. Caving in to Nasser’s blustering, the then UN Secretary U Thant agreed to remove the UN emergency force from the area.

The next day, Egyptian armored and infantry columns crossed the Suez Canal and started moving towards the Israeli frontier. Shortly after, Cairo announced that it would block all shipping to the port of Eilat, Israel’s only maritime outlet in the south, while Egyptian Mig21 war planes began flying over Israeli territory including the Dimona area. Concurrently, Syrian and Iraqi forces were ordered to prepare for an assault on northern Israel. The minimum strategic aim of the Egyptians, as was revealed later, was to cut off Israel’s Negev from the rest of the country – but Nasser himself, in both public and secret statements, left no doubt that his ultimate aim was the complete annihilation of the State of Israel.

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One Response to “Barack Obama’s 1967”

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Let’s be fair about the causes of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

As you will read, there are many issues leading to the war. Here is just one. There were numerous continued border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbours for over 30 years. Neither Arabs or Jews were living peacefully.

In the spring of 1967, the Soviet Union fed the Syrian government false information that Israel was planning to invade Syria; Syrian officials informed the Egyptian government.

On May 22, Egypt responded by announcing, in addition to the UN withdrawal,[72] that the Straits of Tiran would be closed to “all ships flying Israeli flags or carrying strategic materials”, with effect from May 23.

On June 5, 1967, Israel launched a preemptive attack.

Red the rest of the wiki for the rest of the story.

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