On This Day in 1967.
After a period of relative peace in the Middle East, Palestinian guerrilla groups, supported by Egypt and Syria, started a series of attacks on the Israeli border in 1965.
These were followed by Israeli reprisals and a gradual build-up of Arab military forces around Israel's border.
The Second Arab-Israeli war that began on 5 June 1967 ended on 10 June and became known as the six-day war - it changed the face of the Middle East conflict.
At the end of the war Israel had succeeded in almost doubling the amount of territory it controlled.
Israel seized Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in the south and the Golan Heights from Syria in the north. It also pushed Jordanian forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israeli forces evicted Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip in August 2005 and began to demolish some settlements on the West Bank as well.
Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab nations that have made peace with Israel since 1967.
On 27 May the President of Egypt, Abdel Nasser, declared: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight." [emphasis mine]
A message for President Obama:
Yes, this was top of the British pop charts in this week in 1967. Are you paying attention, Mr Obama? I am reminded of an expression that goes something like:
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.Bibi Netanyahu (Before Mr Netanyahu's meeting with BHO):
Israel appreciates President Obama’s commitment to peace. Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israelis and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state.
That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress. Among other things, those commitments relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines. Those commitments also ensure Israel’s well-being as a Jewish state by making clear that Palestinian refugees will settle in a future Palestinian state rather than in Israel.
Without a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem outside the borders of Israel, no territorial concession will bring peace. Equally, the Palestinians, and not just the United States, must recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and any peace agreement with them must end all claims against Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will make clear that the defense of Israel requires an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River. Prime Minister Netanyahu will also express his disappointment over the Palestinian Authority’s decision to embrace Hamas, a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction, as well as over Mahmoud Abbas’s recently expressed views which grossly distort history and make clear that Abbas seeks a Palestinian state in order to continue the conflict with Israel rather than end it.
Mr Netanyahu (after his meeting with BHO):
Reality check? Sometimes, reality BITES. Pay attention, Mr. Obama!
For another important perspective on this week's events - with background - go to Monkey In The Middle: How to destroy a Friendship.
Check out Snooper's column, too: Dear Israel - We The People apologize for The One.