Netanyahu: Israel to keep security control over West Bank

JAAFAR ASHTIYEH

Egypt and Jordan have penned peace agreements with Israel, contrary to popular perception, largely as a result of Israel's victory in the Six-Day War.

Knowing that Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and other Arab nations were preparing a coordinated attack against Israel, Israeli leaders took the tough decision to strike pre-emptively. The worldwide community regards all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories to be illegal and a major obstacle to Middle East peace. The wisdom of holding territory and ruling indefinitely over a hostile Palestinian population has been debated since the end of the fighting in 1967.

Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.

The Arabs didn't provoke war with Israel in 1967 to achieve Palestinian independence. Jewish holy sites that had been inaccessible to Jews during the prior nineteen years were restored to Israel, and the relief and euphoria felt in Israel and throughout the Jewish world were powerful and palpable.

The Palestinians seek a future state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital. And the American has to help us because the American was saying from the Six-Day War that the settlement is an obstacle to peace, but they have done nothing to stop it. A future Palestinian state became a given.

There was, to be sure, a "Palestinian" movement. Nothing in the Middle East would ever be the same.

"D-Day is approaching", proclaimed Shukairy on May 27, 1967.

Three years on, 33,000 people remain displaced by this war. A few days later he was even more explicit.

Shukairy's rhetoric was typical.

Still, scholar Norman Finkelstein says, no academic today, regardless of his or her political affiliations, believes that Israel was under existential threat.

The guns had just gone silent in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 when U.S. President Lyndon Johnson jumped in to play the role of peacemaker. In little more than an hour, Israeli jets obliterated almost all of the Egyptian air force, followed by similar destruction in Jordan. The goal, instead, was to wipe out Israel.

The anniversary of the Six Day War has highlighted the divisions within Israeli society, where many on the right will celebrate the existing political reality that a peace agreement with the Palestinians seems now unrealistic, while others are calling for a renewed push to find a negotiated settlement.

It was Menachem Begin, the proud nationalist, who partnered with Sadat, culminating in an historic peace in 1979 that still holds, and which led to a similar peace pact with Jordan in 1994.

"Once you are in control of the lives of millions of people without equal rights, then you are not serious about democracy", Professor Yedidia Stern, Vice President and researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute told The Media Line. Jews all over the world feared a second Holocaust. Across the country, thousands of graves were dug in preparation for the bad slaughter to come.

But that victory came at a cost.

As many as 46 of the 240 Israeli aircrafts were destroyed in action.

And neither would Israel.

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