The six day war 1967 - Responsibility of the Arabs or Israelis?

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The six day war 1967 - Responsibility of the Arabs or Israelis?

Post  FRXXXOM on Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:21 pm

(Not quite sure where to post this under)

The Arab-Israeli conflict is very interesting to me, I have done a bit of research but I would like to hear your thoughts and educate myself more about the Six day war in 1967.

It took only six days for Israel to defeat the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria but over the last 40 years, the legacy of the war has shaped the conflict into what it is today. Some people think Palestine had it coming because of the Arabs hostility to the State of Israel and Israel's stance was that it was just defending its land.

How much of war was the responsibility Syria, Jordan and Egypt, Israel or even the USSR or America?

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Re: The six day war 1967 - Responsibility of the Arabs or Israelis?

Post  Admin on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:32 pm

Of course my knowledge of the situation is not exhaustive, but I think that each player is culpable in its own right. I don’t really like to place blame, but this might give you an idea of who was responsible for what.

To begin with the Soviet Union, some people go as as far as to say that the Six Day War was the result of a Soviet scheme to eliminate the Israeli nuclear facility in Dimona. I find this claim a bit radical, but it’s unarguable that Soviet geopolitical interests helped to shape the way the war played out. The Soviets tried to exploit anti-Israel sentiments to generate support for themselves within Arab nationalism. They fed false information to Syria that Israel was militarizing its border, which led to arms build ups in Syria and Egypt. And they provided many of these weapons. Of course, Syria was not reluctant to fight, and they made outright threats to Israel’s interests in other ways such as their redirecting of water from the Jordan River, which was one of the many conflicts that led up to the war.

Egypt was the most influential Arab player in creating war, given that they were more or less the powerhouse of the Arab world, and Nasser was overly eager to fight. His inability to accept the inherent unfairness of the creation of Israel is characteristic of Arab nationalism and was manifest in actions such as the closing of the Strait of Tiran and the nationalization of the Suez Canal (which was not entirely but in part due to Israel). These decisions led to the Suez Canal crisis, which precipitated the Six Day War. Needless to say, Nasser made all of these moves because he wasn’t shying away from the prospect of war with Israel.

When it comes to Jordan, I find the country a bit harder to pin down. From what I know, Jordan was engaged in diplomatic discussion with Israel before the outbreak of war. King Hussein was not interested in picking a fight, but unfortunately his country had accommodated many Palestinian refugees as well as militant groups, like Fatah, which goaded Israel. It is not outrageous to suggest that if Jordan hadn’t gone to war with Israel, it would have experienced its own civil war because of that pressure. (Think about how Palestinians and Palestinian-Israeli interests played a role in the Lebanese Civil War.)

I don’t necessarily like the precedent that the war set, because Israel’s victory bred a sort of self-indulgence. They are now unarguably the military power in the region and in my opinion are too enthusiastic in asserting that fact. They seem to have lost interest in diplomacy (not that Palestine or other Arab states are incredibly eager to be diplomatic) and prefer to use a “show of force.” I do see evidence of this sort of behavior at the time of the Six Day War, a sort of preemptive message often targeting civilian interests, such as the Kafr Qasim massacre and the incident at Samu. Of course Palestinian militant groups were also brutal.

Overall, I don’t think anyone can really argue with the fact that Israel was exercising self defense, but their role and stability has also shifted since then, especially with great American support. I know I’ve sort of meandered away from the question of the Six Day War, but it’s of course hard to isolate certain events without noting the patterns that surround them. And in conclusion, if forced to answer your title question, I'd say "Arabs" on this incident.

Anyway, that turned out to be longer than I intended. And please correct me if I’ve gotten anything wrong!

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