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By Ari Lieberman
June 5, 2013 marks the 46th anniversary of the Six-Day War. On the morning of June 5, 1967 at 7:45 a.m., Israeli Mirage III, Super Mystère and Vautour fighter-bombers swooped over the Mediterranean toward airbases in Egypt and in less than three hours, destroyed the bulk of the Egyptian air force. A similar fate awaited the air forces of Jordan, Syria and Iraq.
In six glorious and decisive days, the Israel Defense Forces bested the might of the combined Arab nation and sent them scurrying with their tails between their legs. So overwhelming was Israel’s victory that the Arabs, shamed by their own ineptitude and cowardice, attempted to concoct a story claiming that Israel was assisted by U.S. and British offshore aircraft carriers. Israeli intelligence intercepted communications between Egypt’s Nasser and Jordan’s King Hussein whereby the two, almost comically, tried to coordinate their storylines. Naturally, once the Israelis published the scheming exchanges, the full thrust of Arab mendacity came to fore.
The Six-Day War was actually a continuation of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Israel decidedly won that war as well where the odds against her – 50 million versus 650,000 – were even more staggering than in 1967. Despite their overwhelming superiority in tanks, aircraft and artillery, the Arabs could not “save Palestine,” a phrase commonly employed by Arabs when talking to Western audiences in an effort to couch genocide (against Jews) in more palatable terms.
Yet the Arabs, inspired by a hateful and deviant strain of Islam could not accept the infidel – Jews no less – in their midst. And so despite agreeing to an armistice with the Jewish State, the Arabs kept the proverbial pot simmering, adjusting the flames of hate higher or lower depending on their respective domestic situations. For the Arab governments of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the rest of the sorry lot, the fictitious and self-perpetuating Palestinian “refugee crisis” proved useful in deflecting attention away from their own corruption and venality. As for the Palestinians, their intransigence surpassed all and their maximalist attitude is best summed up by PLO chief Ahmed Shukairy’s pre-Six-Day War boast, “We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and as for the survivors – if there are any – the boats are ready to deport them.”
There is nothing that unites the Arab world more than Jew-baiting. The Arab world with all of its internecine strife and political back-stabbing periodically takes a breather to focus their spent energies on the hated “Zionist entity” AKA, the Jews. This was the case in 1967. Yemen was in the midst of a vicious civil war with Egypt sending troops and military aid to one reactionary side while the Saudis, for some reason or another, supported the side that Egypt wasn’t supporting. The Syrian Baathists were busy trying to overthrow the Hashemites of Jordan, while the Iraqis were engaged in their own brand of usual mischief making.
But suddenly, the Arab world turned its head toward Israel and realized that while the Nasserites, the Baathists, the Hashemites, the Royalists, the revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries were killing each other off, the Israelis were busying themselves with building, creating and inventing. And so, on May 15, 1967 the Arabs, led by Egypt shifted gears to focus on those pesky Jews who had the temerity to create a thriving country in their ancestral land.
Most who are acquainted with military history are familiar with the provocative actions taken by the Arab nations in the three weeks leading up to the war – the massive Arab military deployments, the closure of an international waterway to Israeli shipping, Egypt’s expulsion of UN peacekeeping buffer troops from Sinai and the blood-curdling rhetoric that accompanied each successive Arab act of belligerency. The Arabs were hell-bent on going to war and finishing off what Hitler couldn’t and no act of diplomacy, capitulation or appeasement would have reversed their convoluted trajectory.
On June 5, 1967 Israel showed the world how a determined nation with just 2.5 million people could defeat in convincing fashion an aggressor forty-four times its size. For the Arabs, the Six-Day War is a sensitive issue, so sensitive in fact that they refuse to refer to it by that name, preferring instead to call it the June War, as if somehow that obfuscates the fact that they were defeated in a mere six days. However, for the civilized world, the Six-Day War will be remembered as a war where the few overcame the many and where civilization triumphed over those who still live in medieval backwardness.