39 Years Later, ElBaredei's War?
1967 was not so long ago. In fact, to many the memories of that year are still fresh, especially to a historian. At History News Network, Dr. Judith Klinghoffer recalls the event that defined the year, wondering if history is simply repeating itself.
Then, Nasser challenged the UN by demanding that it withdraw the UNEF forces positions between Israel and Egypt as part of the UN negotiated deal which led to Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the Sinai after the 1956 war. The Security Council responded by sending Secretary General U Thant to discuss the Egyptian demands. While U Thant was on his way to Cairo, Nasser escalated the crisis by announcing the closure of the Straits of Tiran.
Instead of turning around U Thant not only went, agreed immediately to withdraw all the UNEF forces from Egypt and issued an appeal for a cooling off period on terms which, the horrified Ralph Bunch complained, placed him "in position of effectively endorsing the blockade and fully implementing it without any further effort by Nasser." The Six Day War became known as U Thant's War.
Her post is recommended reading today.
(Dr. Judith A. Klinghoffer is a senior research associate in the department of Political Science at Rutgers University, Camden. She is the co-author of International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights and the author of Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences.)