June 5 marks the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War of conquest. Any objective examination of that war, and the events leading to and following it, make clear that the dominant narrative in the United States is reality turned upside down. It is “fake news” that is perpetrated on the public by the corporate media continually, right up to the present day.
The Six Day War began on June 5, 1967. Israel launched the war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan with what could correctly called a “sneak attack,” although it is never referred to that way here. In the vocabulary of imperialism, there was one “sneak attack” in history, that was, of course, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.
U.S. corporate media sometime refers to the Israel lightning assault on Egypt, Syria and Jordan as a “pre-emptive” strike, implying that Israel was about to be attacked, and only headed it off by attacking first, and was thus acting in self-defense.
Israel, as this one goes, was surrounded and about to be attacked by a “sea of Arabs” – another favored and demonizing expression common in the corporate media. So, as this false narrative goes, Israel had no choice but to launch massive air, land and sea assaults on neighboring countries, conquering the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, Egypt’s the Sinai Peninsula and Syria’s Golan Heights. Israel has held on to all those areas except Sinai for the past half-century.
In the opening hours of its attack, Israel destroyed the Egyptian and Syrian air forces, basically determining the outcome.
A war of conquest – testified to by Israeli leaders after the fact
Most of the mainstream media, along with Israel’s apologists in the United States, propagated the notion that the war was a rerun of the biblical “David versus Goliath” battle. Israel was pictured as the heroic underdog, with God once more on its side.
The misnamed, U.S.-based “Anti-Defamation League,” which has long served as propagandist for the Israeli regime, said that “Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt,” suggesting that it only did so to avert annihilation.
None other than the extreme right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later exposed the utter falsity of such claims. Fifteen years after the war, in an Aug. 2, 1982, speech to the Israeli National Defense College, Begin said: “We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him [Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser].”
It was not just Begin who exposed the myth. Ten years earlier, Gen. Mattiyahu Peled, one of the Israeli commanders in the 1967 Six-Day War, told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz: “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only a bluff, which was born and developed after the war.”
In 1997, Israel’s minister of defense at the time of the Six-Day War, Moshe Dayan, talked to the New York Times about the events leading up to the war on the Syria-Israel front. He stated that the Israeli kibbutz (cooperative farm) residents in the area wanted to take over the rich farmland of Syria’s Golan Heights: “They didn’t even try to hide their greed for that land.”
Describing Israel’s tactics on its border with Syria, Dayan told the Times:
“We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was. … The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war [June 9, 1967], were not a threat to us.”
By the 1967 war, Israel succeeded in achieving its long-held objective of expansion. The remaining 22 percent of historic Palestine—the West Bank and Gaza—was conquered by Israel’s surprise attack, along with Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
More than 35,000 Arabs were killed, many of them burned to death by Pentagon-supplied napalm bombs. Thousands more were wounded. Most of the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian air and armor forces were destroyed in the opening days of the surprise attack. The Israeli army drove more than 90,000 Syrians and Palestinians out of the Golan Heights, an agriculturally rich region north of the Sea of Galilee.
Many of the Syrian villages and Golan’s main city, Quneitra, were bulldozed by the Israeli military. Israeli settlers began arriving in Golan in July 1967. In 1981, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed a law annexing the Golan Heights. The continuing occupation of Golan, as well as the West Bank and Gaza, defies scores of United Nations resolutions.
Loss of land in Palestine under Israeli occupation
Israel’s long-sought “second round”
Israeli leaders had been seeking a “second round,” that is another war to expand their territory, since the formation of their state in 1948.
Moshe Dayan, a young military officer and protégé of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was quoted by a Tel Aviv-based U.S. diplomat in 1949 as saying: “Boundaries-Frontier of Israel should be on Jordan [River]. … Present boundaries ridiculous from all points of view.” To achieve that aim meant taking over the West Bank.
In the first years after their expulsion, Palestinians frequently crossed the illegal and artificial border separating the territory under Israeli control from the West Bank, usually to return to their stolen lands and homes. Most often this happened during the planting and harvest season. Smaller numbers returned as groups of fighters, or fedayeen, seeking to continue the struggle. Israeli army orders were to kill any “infiltrators,” including those who were unarmed.
In response to fedayeen operations, the Israeli army would often carry out large-scale “retaliation.” The aim was not only to punish – “retaliation” actually meant provocation. The intent was to get Jordan, then administering the West Bank, to react militarily, which could then be used by Israel as a pretext for a new war of conquest.
In October 1953, a unit of the Israeli military under the command of war criminal and future prime minister Ariel Sharon carried out one such assault on the small border village of Qibya, wiping out the entire population of 69 people, mostly women, children and elderly men, many of whom were burned alive inside their homes. The Israeli forces suffered no casualties.
The Qibya massacre elicited world condemnation, but not the new war with Jordan that Israeli leaders were seeking as a pretext to seize the West Bank.
Israel’s next major attempt at territorial expansion came in 1956, when the Israeli, British and French governments met in secret to plan a new war on Egypt. The three each had their own objectives.
When the progressive government of Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956, the British ruling class’s reaction was rabid fury. The canal was a central symbol of British imperial power. It was also the key economic route to the British colonies and neo-colonies in Asia and East Africa.
The French government believed that overthrowing the Egyptian government would strike a lethal blow to the Algerian Revolution.
Israel’s aim was to vastly expand its territory.
The 1956 War and Ben-Gurion’s ‘fantastic proposal’
From Oct. 22 to 24, 1956, a secret conference was held in Sevres, near Paris, to put the final touches on the war plans. Ben-Gurion surprised the other leaders present by presenting what he called a “fantastic proposal” for the complete reorganization of the Middle East. Jordan, he suggested, was not a viable state and should become part of Iraq—which was still under British domination—with one condition: The new Iraq would have to agree to resettle all the Palestinian refugees from 1948 on the East Bank of the Jordan River. The West Bank, minus the Palestinians living there, would become part of Israel. (Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall, New York, 2001, p. 172)
Next, Ben-Gurion proposed, Israel would take over southern Lebanon up to the Litani River. The rest of Lebanon would become a “Christian state” with the restoration of French domination. Lebanon had been a French colony until 1943.
The Nasser government would be overthrown, the Suez Canal would be “internationalized,” and British influence would be restored in Egypt. This would mean, in effect, British control of the canal. Israel would take over the Sinai Peninsula, the Straits of Tiran, and the Gulf of Aqaba leading to the Red Sea.
The downfall of Nasser, according to the Israeli plan, would undermine both the Pan-Arab movement and the Algerian Revolution, to the benefit of all three conspiring states.
Israel’s territory would be tripled in size by this plan. And while Ben-Gurion himself called the plan “fantastic,” he was dead serious about it.
Ben-Gurion’s proposal was too overreaching for the imperialist leaders of Britain and France. The plan they agreed on, however, was only slightly less ambitious.
On October 29, 1956, the tri-partite alliance attacked without warning. Israeli forces quickly swept across the Sinai, and British troops re-occupied the Suez Canal Zone. Ben-Gurion euphorically proclaimed that Sinai and Gaza would become “part of the third kingdom of Israel.”
But it was not to be. The 1956 Suez War was seen widely as a blatant attempt to resurrect colonialism—especially in the Middle East, but also across the world. Israel was widely condemned as a pawn of imperialism.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union responded swiftly and strongly to the Tripartite Invasion—but for very different reasons. The Eisenhower administration reacted furiously for not having been informed in advance by either its imperialist allies or Israel.
More fundamental than any emotion was the U.S. ruling class’s opposition to the restoration of British and French imperial power in the strategically key and oil-rich Middle East. From World War II to the present day, every administration—including Eisenhower’s—has held U.S. domination of the region as a central objective.
Nor would Washington tolerate Israel serving as a proxy for other imperialist powers. The message was sent to the Israeli government that if it did not withdraw from Egypt, all aid from official sources as well as private fundraising efforts in the United States would be cut off. Further, the United States would allow Israel to be expelled from the United Nations.
Soviet premier Nikolai Bulganin warned the British, French and Israeli governments that his country would unleash rocket attacks on their cities if they did not immediately withdraw. These warnings had to be taken very seriously, particularly because Eisenhower had ordered the withdrawal of the U.S. protective nuclear shield over the three countries.
Facing such irresistible pressures, the invading powers were forced out. As they withdrew, the Israelis waged a scorched-earth campaign, destroying every road, railroad and structure of any value in Egypt’s Sinai.
For the Israelis, while their “third kingdom” would have to be put on hold, significant gains were made from the episode. Israel acquired both vital military aid and the beginning of a nuclear weapons program.
The 1956 Suez War led within a very short time to Israel being brought fully into the U.S. camp. By its next war against the Arab world in 1967, Israel was closely aligned with and supplied by the U.S. military, and gained territory it had long been seeking.
Aftermath of 1967 – Rise of the Palestinian Resistance
With the conquest of the remaining 22 percent of Palestine in 1967, it appeared that the fate of the Palestinian people had been sealed. But in a seeming paradox, the Six Day War led to the rise of the Palestinian resistance movement and new wave of popular radicalization across the region.
Until the 1967 war, organizations such as Fatah- Palestine National Liberation Movement, and the Arab National Movement led by George Habash, had placed their main hope for the liberation of Palestine with the Arab armies. The outcome of the war brought that period to a close. In 1968, Fatah and two organizations which emerged from the ANM, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine, took control of the Palestine Liberation Organization and launched mass resistance against the occupiers.
Since then, the struggle has continued in many forms and the vicious Israeli repression funded by the U.S., has taken an enormous toll. The dispossession of the Palestinian, the killings, systematic torture, the illegal settlements, the house demolitions, the destruction of olive and fruit groves, the theft of water, the lethal blockade and isolation of Gaza, the apartheid practice of the right of return, the apartheid roads, the apartheid everything – continue day after day.
Since the 1967 war, according to the Addameer prisoner rights organization, 800,000 Palestinian men, more than 40% of the adult male population, have been imprisoned. Today, there are more than 6,300 Palestinians in Israeli prisons – every one of them held in violation of international law. And there are 0 Israelis held in Palestinian prisons. If that were the one and only fact one knew about the conflict there, one would know who is the colonizer and who is the colonized, who is the oppressor and who are the oppressed.
The Palestinian liberation struggle continues under the most difficult conditions. Many times since 1948, the Palestinians have been counted out, but they have never surrendered.
Note: Historical material in this article is taken from Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire. PSL Publications, 2009.
Originally published on 2017-06-07
Author: Richard Becker
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]
Churchill’s famous dictum about the Soviet Union, that it was “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” is arguably just as applicable to Srebrenica. July 11 this year will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of that landmark event of the Yugoslav wars which the late Prof. Edward Hermann, speaking somewhat less poetically than Churchill, had called “the greatest triumph of propaganda at the close of the twentieth century.”Whether we choose to view Srebrenica as a criminal investigation to sort out who and at whose direction executed prisoners of war, or as a political provocation to lay the groundwork for ...
Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific ...
During the early 1960s, apartheid South African diplomats were increasingly concerned their country’s plummeting reputation would affect relations with America. In one notorious incident, of March 1960, South African police shot dead 69 black protesters in Sharpeville, a township about 40 miles from Johannesburg.
Such atrocities sparked protests against the racist regime on the streets of England, America’s great ally, which surely did not go unnoticed in Washington. Aware of the changing climate, South Africa’s dignitaries pleaded with their American counterparts for continued assistance. They need not have worried that the earth’s dominant power would desert them.
As long as the United ...
1. Catholic extermination campsSurprisingly few know that Nazi extermination camps in World War II were by no means the only ones in Europe at the time. In the years 1942-1943 also in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under their dictator Ante Pavelic, a practicing Catholic and regular visitor to the then pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children!In these camps – the most notorious was Jasenovac, headed by a Franciscan friar – orthodox-Christian Serbians (and a substantial number of Jews) were murdered. Like the Nazis the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims in kilns, alive ...
It is worth noting that 6 out of these 7 countries (with the exception of Lebanon) identified by General Wesley Clark “to be taken out” are now the object of President Trump’s ban on Muslims’ entry to the US: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Iran and Yemen.
All of these countries are on the Pentagon’s drawing board. These countries have been directly or indirectly been the object of US aggression (Global Research Editor).
General Wesley Clark. Retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.
Complete Transcript of Program, Democracy Now.
Today we spend the hour with General ...
The armed conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Serbian forces started in 1992 with the KLA attacks on Serbian police officers, non-Albanians that lived in Kosovo and Albanians loyal to Serbia (Johnstone, 2002; Kozyris, 1999). This low level conflict escalated in 1996 with the KLA attacking refugee camps as well as other civilians and policemen resulting in dozens of innocent deaths (Johnstone, 2002; Kozyris, 1999). At this point of time and all up to late 1998, the KLA was regarded as a terrorist organisation (Gelbard, cited in Parenti, 2000:99; Jatras, 2002; Johnstone, 2002; Kepruner, 2003; Rubin, cited in ...
As I have noted before in Strategic Culture Foundation, the infant Trump Administration is engaged in a life and death struggle with the Deep State, the mainstream media (MSM), all of the Democrats in Congress, and a lot of the Republicans too. One issue lies at the heart of the struggle: the determination of Trump’s enemies not to allow any sort of warming of ties between Washington and Moscow.
Day after day the MSM run story after story alleging, with no evidence whatsoever, that Trump is a puppet of Vladimir Putin, who stole our election to put Trump in the White House. ...
The Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center is pleased to announce a new book, Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, 1913-1923. Edited by George N. Shirinian. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2017. 433 pages.The final years of the Ottoman Empire were catastrophic for its non-Turkish, non-Muslim minorities. From 1913 to 1923, its rulers deported, killed, or otherwise persecuted staggering numbers of men, women and children in an attempt to preserve “Turkey for the Turks,” setting a modern precedent for how a regime can commit genocide against its own citizens in pursuit of political ends, while ...
Professor Doctor Asem Khalil, Ph.D. in Constitutional and International Law, Associate Professor of Law of Birzeit University, West Bank, speaks of ways to consolidate the Palestine State, and definitely end Israeli crimes against humanity in the Palestinian territories.
Edu Montesanti: Dear Professor Doctor Asem Khalil, thank you so very much for granting this interview. How do you evaluate the meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15? “I’m looking at two-State and one-state” formulations, President Trump said during a White House news conference with Mr. Netanyahu. “I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with ...
The conflict that raged throughout the former Yugoslavia was met by a wall of silence when it came to important issues. These important issues apply to America and the United Kingdom supporting Islamists in a brutal civil war in Bosnia and then installing a new nation by ignoring international law in Kosovo. Also, is it credible to believe that the vast majority of major news agencies and national governments did not know about thousands of Islamists in Europe who were sent to slit the throats and behead Orthodox Christians?
After all, if the reality of what really happened in Bosnia and ...
America’s war of expansion over Mexico, backed by newspapers and politicians, has repercussions to the present day.Reflecting on his life while dying of throat cancer in 1885, the former US President Ulysses S. Grant said the Mexican-American War was, “the most wicked war in history. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign”.Grant had first-hand experience as he himself fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), then as a junior officer in his mid-20s. Less than two decades later, he rose to prominence as one of the most important ...
On the eve of President Obama's April 2016 visit to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Congress began debating the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), that would, inter alia, allow the families of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue the Saudi government for damages. Also in April 2016, the New York Times published that a 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks had found that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. The commission's conclusions, said the paper, were specified in a report that has not been released publicly. ...
If Trump can defeat the oligarchy and save America, he can go down in history as Trump the Great.
Liberals, progressives, and the left-wing (to the extent that one still exists) are aligning with the corrupt oligarchy against president-elect Trump and the American people.
They are busy at work trying to generate hysteria over Trump’s “authoritarian personality and followers.” In other words, the message is: here come the fascists.
Liberals and progressives wailed and whined about “an all white male cabinet,” only to be made fools by Trump’s appointment of a black male and two women, one a minority and one a Trump ...
In his militarist lust he was near lunacy; his ignorance: profound; he was, in many respects, conventional—numbingly conventional—on Washington’s global role. That was John McCain.
This was a man who, post-9/11, promoted measures expected to boost foreign terrorism. “Within hours” of that morning’s carnage, he made himself “leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan,” to countries—like Iraq—with no Qaeda ties, where revenge, really, would be aggression. On CNN, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on “Face the Nation” he pushed for assaulting Iraq, stressing the “need to keep telling the American people” about Saddam’s menace, to ...
When the civil war in Ukraine started, the question that arised is whether there are similarities between Ukrainian and Yugoslavian civil wars. So let’s compare these two countries, one that is falling apart – Ukraine and the other one that doesn’t exist anymore – Yugoslavia.Multinational countryYugoslavia was a multinational country with different national and ethnic groups coexisting together and two dominant nations Serbs and Croats. Ukraine is also quite a diverse country with Ukrainians, Russians (around 20% of Ukrainian population) and few minorities (Rusyns, Romanians, Hungarians) living together. Once the Yugoslavia collapsed, in a newly created ex-Yugoslav republic Croatia and ...
There are 3 Apartheid Israel-related centenaries this week, namely (1) the victorious 31 October 1917 charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba that led to conquest of Palestine by Britain and massive famine, (2) the nefarious and racist UK Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 that gave Palestine to Zionists as a Jewish Homeland as an inducement to help keep Russia in WW1, and (3) commencement of the Palestine Genocide (2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or imposed deprivation, 1.9 million, since WW1).
History ignored yields history repeated and genocide ignored yields genocide repeated . Anniversaries are useful ...
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
So the moment we’ve been holding our breaths for a week finally came. In the end, I am mighty glad that this particular strike seems more like the impotent thrashing of the neocon snake that didn’t dare to attack places where Russian servicemen were likely to be killed, than it does the start of World War III. For the moment, at least, thank God.
But the fact that it was a fairly limited strike — compared to what it might have been — in which the majority of missiles failed to hit their targets, having been eliminated by Soviet-era air defences, ...
A picture taken on July 4, 2018 from the Israeli-annexed Syrian Golan Heights shows displaced Syrians from the province of Daraa staging a protest (top L) calling for international protection, in the Syrian the village of al-Rafid, near the border fence with Israel. / AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREYWith the recent failed bid by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab League at the UN security council, to try and end Israelis’ occupation of Palestinian land and to create a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, it seems an appropriate moment to review the situation for Palestinians since 1915.What ...
Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started. Fourteen years ago, after the negotiation conferences in Rambouillet and Paris between 6th and 23rd February 1999, the global media informed the general public that “the Serbian delegation did not accept the offered agreement and rather qualified it as null and void”, while indicating that allegedly the so-called Contact Group for Yugoslavia stood behind the agreement. This body consisted of ...
Unwrapping the Riddle of Srebrenica
American Unlimited Imperialism: Syria
Israel is Militarily, Geostrategically and Culturally Tied to the US
(Only) Three Examples of the 20th Century the Roman Catholic Church Atrocities of Genocide
Global Warfare: “We’re Going to Take out 7 Countries in 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran”
The Kosovo War: “Humanitarian Intervention” or Undeclared War Against Yugoslavia?
Establishment Struggles to Maintain Anti-Russian Narrative as the Ice Starts to Crack Under Them
Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, 1913-1923
Palestine: There’s no Conflict, There’s an Illegal Occupation
Bosnia and Kosovo: Radical Islam, Organ Trafficking and Western Mainstream Media Bias
America’s Forgotten War with Mexico
Article in Saudi Daily: U.S. Planned, Carried Out 9/11 Attacks – But Blames Others for Them
Eight Reasons Why Ukraine is New Yugoslavia
100th Anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement
Selective Solidarity with the Victims of Terrorism
Why Theresa May Must be Impeached
The Harvesting of Palestine. The Zionist Project Prevails?
The NATO-Aggression Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999