Christian Party wrote:
----- Original Message -----
"It is beyond all honest doubt that ... Arab governments ... methodically prepared and mounted an aggressive assault designed to bring about Israel's immediate and total destruction." Abba Eban, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations 1967 (Eban, "Statement to the General Assembly by Foreign Minister Egan, 19 June 1967," quoted in Medzini, Israel's Foreign Relations, 2:803.
Facts of the 1967 Israeli-Arab war: As in the 1956 war, Israel started the fighting in 1967 by a surprise attack against Egypt. Once again, as in 1956, the Israelis deceived the United States. Foreign Minister Abba Eban personally assured U.S. Ambassador to Israel Walworth Barbour that Egypt had attacked first.1 (Since the war, however, Israel's leaders--unlike many of its supporters in the U.S.2--have openly admitted that Israel was the attacker and, moreover, that Israel faced no immediate threat to its existence.
Menachem Begin, while prime minister in 1982, said the a967 war was one of "choice," that "we decided to attack him [Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser]." Ezer Weizman, father of the Israeli air force and later defense minister, said in 1972 that there was "no threat of destruction" from the Arabs. General Mattityahu Peled, a former member of the general staff who later became a dove, said in 1972: "To claim that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel's existence not only insults the intelligence of anyone capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is an insult to Zahal [the Israeli army]." And Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin said in 1968: "I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it."3
David Ben-Gurion said he "doubt[ed] very much whether Nasser wanted to go to war."4 Moreover, the combined intelligence services of the United States had concluded just before the war that Israel faced no imminent threat and that if attacked could quickly defeat any Arab state or combination of Arab states.5
Israeli cabinet member Mordecai Bentov revealed in 1972 that Israel's "entire story" about the danger of extermination" was "invented out of whole cloth and exaggerated after the fact to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.6
1. Wm. B. Quandt, "Lyndon Johnson and the June 1967 War: What Color Was the Light?" The Middle East Journal, Spring 1992.
2. John Law, "A New Improved Myth," Middle East International 12 July 1991
3. All quotations in this paragraph are from Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison, 153-54. Also see Richard B. Parker, "The June War: Whose Conspiracy?," Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1992; Nakhleh, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, 897.
4. Rabin, The Rabin Memoirs, 75. Also see Shelton L. Richman, "'Ancient History':U.S. Conduct in the Middle East since World War II and the Folly of Intervention," Cato Institute pamphlet, 16 August 1991, 20.
5. Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, 140.
6. Quigley, Palestine and Israel, 170.
7. Embassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, telegram 3928 (secret), 5 June 1967 (declassified 13 December 1982), quoted in Green, Taking Sides, 218-19.
8. Moskin, Among Lions, 308
9. Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, 233.
10. Nyrop, Israel, xix. Also see Epp, Whose Land is Palestine?, 185; Foundation for Middle East Peace, Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories, July 1991.
11. Halibi, The West Bank Story, 35-36. Also see Hirst, "Rush to Annexation: Israel in Jerusalem," Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1974; Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, 289-90.
12. Neff, Warri ors for Jerusalem, 213; Bar-Zohar, Embassies in Crisis, 220.
Material from Finley, Deliberate Deceptions
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