30 July, 2021

Six Days That Created A Paradigm For Middle Earth

The Six-Day War split and recast power centres in West Asia, shaped jehadism, consigned Palestinians to a harrowing fate and deepened Israel’s self-justificatory, racist paranoia

An Israeli armoured unit moves forward as trucks carry Egyptian POWs near El Arish, Sinai, during the Six-Day War in 1967
Photograph by Getty Images
Six Days That Created A Paradigm For Middle Earth

An Early Clash

  • Before the Six-Day War was the seven-day war—the 1956 Suez War between Egypt and Israel. Harassed by Jordan on the east and Egypt in the West, and backed by England and France amid the Suez crisis, Israel struck in Sinai on Oct 29, stunningly overrunning it by Nov 5. A UN ceasefire ended hostilities. 


Fifty years ago, in early June, in just six days, the Israeli armed forces destroyed the armies of the neighbouring Arab states. This victory ended for all time any possibility of the Jewish homeland being obliterated by its dispossessed Semitic kinsmen, the Palestinians, on whose territory this homeland had been forcibly erected. The Arabs refer to the creation of Israel and the defeat of the Arab armies in 1948 as the Naqba, ‘Catastrophe’, and the 1967 defeat as Nasqa, ‘Setback’. But, in fact, the latter is the real catastrophe for the Arabs, the Israelis and for West Asia.

In 1967, no Arab leader really wanted war or was ready for it: as...

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