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Six Days And Forty Years

Far too few Americans realize (or remember) that what we now call the 'Palestinian Territories' was nothing of the sort merely four decades ago. The West Bank was precisely that, Jordanian territory on the western bank of the Jordan River. And the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt proper. But an ill-conceived plan to smash Israel on all fonts in 1967 resulted in Israel pushing back the her attackers and minimizing her border exposure to aggressors. Friday, Charles Krauthammer provided the public with an excellent three-minute history primer on the Six Days that Changed Everything.

It is hard to exaggerate what it was like for Israel in those three weeks [before the Six Day War]. Egypt, already in an alliance with Syria, formed an emergency military pact with Jordan. Iraq, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco began sending forces to join the coming fight. With troops and armor massing on Israel’s every frontier, jubilant broadcasts in every Arab capital hailed the imminent final war for the extermination of Israel. “We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants,” declared PLO head Ahmed Shuqayri, “and as for the survivors — if there are any — the boats are ready to deport them.”

In conclusion, he reminds as the 40th anniversary approaches this June:

The world will soon be awash with 40th-anniversary retrospectives on the war — and on the peace of the ages that awaits if Israel would only return to June 4, 1967. But Israelis are cautious. They remember the terror of that unbearable May when, with Israel possessing no occupied territories whatsoever, the entire Arab world was furiously preparing Israel’s imminent extinction. And the world did nothing.

If you missed it Friday, read it today.