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Thread: 1967 - Israel's Wasted Victory

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    Default 1967 - Israel's Wasted Victory

    The Economist, 24 May 07: Forty Years On
    ...Forty years of conflict have convinced most Palestinians and Israelis that they are best off separating into two states. Yet they seem incapable of getting there.

    Though most Israelis have come to accept that the Palestinians should have independence, most still think they are not automatically entitled to it, but first need to earn it by providing Israeli security. For their part, though most Palestinians are willing to let Israel exist if it leaves them alone, most think armed struggle of some sort is justified as long as it continues to occupy their land and kill suspected militants and innocent bystanders alike. Neither side has ever had a leadership willing to override those views.

    In the meantime the Israeli settlements that dot the West Bank like holes in a Swiss cheese keep growing. The measures that protect them from Palestinian extremists, such as special settler-only roads and hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks, stifle the West Bank's economy and drive even more Palestinians to extremism....

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    Peace can only come from hardliners, after a sea of blood, sanctioned by a perceived strong America.

    It's how the Oslo peace accords came about. With a triumphant America flush from the Gulf War able to force a tired Israel and weakened PLO from the First Intifada to make a peace of sorts.

    Look at the Israeli-Egyptian peace after the Yom Kippur War between Sadat and Begin.

    With a fatally weakened Olmert presidency, anarchy in the Territories and a perceived weak America, nothings going to happen for a while yet.

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    In my opinion, the war left Arab war refugees that the other Arab countries kept trapped as a thorn in the side of Israel. After the war, Israel did everything it could to protect and provide safe harbor for Jewish refugees in Arab countries. The aggressors of that war should still be made to pay. All territories claimed by Israel after that war should be swept clean of the generations of Arab refugees and sent to Arab countries where the Arabs will be forced to do what they should have done to begin with, which is take responsibility for biting off more than they can chew. Had Israel done this to begin with we wouldn't be seeing the problems we are witnessing today. Historically, that territory was Jewish land before it became Palestine. Theoretically, there is no Palestine and there are no Palestinians. However, there is the original modern day Israel and what the Arab lost as a result of the war that Israel has every right to maintaining as she wish. The Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and the West Bank shouldn't exist at all with Arab interests. The Arab nations tried to destroy Israel to the ground and lost. "To the victors goes the spoils of war." Period. The fallacy of the Six Day War, or as the Arabs call it, "The Setback", is that it gave Arab extremists a handle to hold on to that has led to all this strife in the entire region. Had Israel been aggressive after the conflict as they were during the conflict the victory would have been whole and the situation in the Middle East would be quite different today. So, in that respect, it was a wasted victory. But Israel isn't the only nation to blame. The United Nations, led by the United States did everything they could to set up a human catastrophe that we are still paying for to this day. When it comes to the Middle East there should never be any sort of settlement after a coalition of aggressive Arab nations are totally defeated. We already know what happens when the opposite is applied.
    Last edited by Culpeper; 05-26-2007 at 04:31 AM.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the war left Arab war refugees that the other Arab countries kept trapped as a thorn in the side of Israel. After the war, Israel did everything it could to protect and provide safe harbor for Jewish refugees in Arab countries. The aggressors of that war should still be made to pay.
    There are any number of scholarly works that refure this simplistic view. No frontline Arab country "trapped" Palestinians. To the contrary, they wanted them either back in Palestine or dispersed. Many took the latter route; may did not. Two civil wars broke out as a result of refugee concentrations. One was in Jordan in 1970; the next was in Lebanon in 1975.

    Historically, that territory was Jewish land before it became Palestine. Theoretically, there is no Palestine and there are no Palestinians. However, there is the original modern day Israel and what the Arab lost as a result of the war that Israel has every right to maintaining as she wish. The Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and the West Bank shouldn't exist at all with Arab interests.
    If by you mean King Saul and David, there were people there when the Israelites conquered the area. The "no Palestinians" is a long term Zionist propaganda tool that was in play decades before Israel became a country. At ome stage, the Zionist movement claimed there were no people living in the region.

    Neither side wears a white hat in this struggle. To state the the US has left Israel twsting in the wind is absurd.

    Regards,

    Tom

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    Arab culture has centuries old traditions of raiding, kidnapping, piracy and assassination. Not to mention vicious internal wars. The outcome of the 1967 war may give a target and a rallying cry to Arabs everywhere but in my opinion it didn't create the various foreign and domestic crises that continually assail the middle east. Mind, the occupation of Palestine and Iraq isn't helping anything.

    In my opinion, the Economist article starts from the flawed assumption that there was some opportunity for peace to be wasted. Had Israel withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Sinai and Golan Heights their state would simply have been a better target. Had they thrown out the Palestinians they still would have been assailed by PLO exiles who simply would have had more power in neighboring Lebannon and Jordan. Their current course of action has ended in today's craptastic situation.

    Frankly, I think the concept of "peace" in that region of the world is a little strained. It implies that once Israel and the Palestinians hammer out their differences there will be no fighting and everyone can go back to the natural state of happy and loving coexistence. Actually, in the middle east it appears that peace itself is the unnatural state - simply an unstable pause between wars.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Simplistic is correct. Keep it simple. Trying to please everyone after the Six Day War was a mistake made by the United Nations and the United States had a heavy hand in the matter. So, it is not absurd. It is a fact. Your tendency to over empathize with the Arabs in this area is a fault and far from scholarly. It is what it is. If you think I'm wrong than how do you suppose all those Arabs ended up staying in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and so forth to starve. You want Israel to be their welfare state no different than the very countries that tried to destroy Israel to begin with. A coalition of Arab countries, supported and armed by the Soviet Union, tried to destroy Israel. The areas in question were lost by this coalition. The people in these areas needed a name. Palestinian. And that is all it is is a name fore these people are a generation of nothing more than Arab refugees from that war. And you think these Arab countries had no responsibility for these people? Israel should have sent them straight to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Israel would still be having a problem but not one concerning occupied territories full of unemployed people that hate them and bent on destroying Israel. I wonder what you thought about Israel immediately after the Six Day War.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    Simplistic is correct. Keep it simple. Trying to please everyone after the Six Day War was a mistake made by the United Nations and the United States had a heavy hand in the matter. So, it is not absurd. It is a fact. Your tendency to over empathize with the Arabs in this area is a fault and far from scholarly. It is what it is. If you think I'm wrong than how do you suppose all those Arabs ended up staying in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and so forth to starve. You want Israel to be their welfare state no different than the very countries that tried to destroy Israel to begin with. A coalition of Arab countries, supported and armed by the Soviet Union, tried to destroy Israel. The areas in question were lost by this coalition. The people in these areas needed a name. Palestinian. And that is all it is is a name fore these people are a generation of nothing more than Arab refugees from that war. And you think these Arab countries had no responsibility for these people? Israel should have sent them straight to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Israel would still be having a problem but not one concerning occupied territories full of unemployed people that hate them and bent on destroying Israel. I wonder what you thought about Israel immediately after the Six Day War.
    Culpepper,

    The conflict did not start in 67. It started in the 1920's and 1930s. The US role after WWII was relatively neutral; as a result the first source of arms for the new state of Israel was the Soviet Union via Czechoslovakia when the Soviets has a passing fancy that the left-wing Israelis might become a player, a fancy soon dismissed. US support for Israel remained relatively neutral through the 1956 War when Israel, France, and the UK conspired to take the Suez Canal. LBJ on the eve of the 67 War started to open up the arms supplies to Israel and turned on the spigot afterwarrd, replacing France as Israel's number one supplier by 1973. All of this took place in the Cold War and the Soviets took the other side. 1978 and Camp David marked the end of the Cold War in the Middle East because it took two key players Israel and Egypt off the battlefield. Since 1978 the US has been spending close to 10 Billion a year in keeping the two nations at peace.

    As for the refugees, they are just that refugees, They have stayed refugees because it keeps their status before the UN and the world as refugees. The use of the term Palestinian Arab predates the creation of the State of Istrael; its use over time to represent a Palestinian people is exactly the pattern taken by the Zionist movement and creating an Israeli people. Where the report that started this thread pointed to wasted victory was in dealing with the reality of a Palestinian people, especially on the issue of settlements in the territories. Looking at an issue in total is not a fault. In 1967 I was 14. Like most Americans at the time, the 6 Day War was a blip to me on the back drop of the Vietnam War. I have also studied the region for 27 years. I have taught both sides in the same classroom I have lived among both sides and seen the conflict up close.

    Nothing in the Middle East is simple.

    Regards

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 05-27-2007 at 08:44 PM.

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    Tom

    It is "Culpeper" like in "Culpeper Courthouse". Not like the football player.

    These occupied territories were not Palestine prior to the Six Day War. They belonged to the nations that tried to destroy Israel in 1967. As you well know, this was the third time since 1948 that certain Arab nations had tried to destroy the Israelis. I was eight years old in 1967 and I could see the problem certain decisions would cause afterward. And I had the distraction of an older brother fighting as a Marine in Vietnam. As far as I'm concerned the wasted victory for Israel is simple enough for a child to figure out. Had Israel said, "Enough is Enough" than there would be no occupied territories. There would be no "Palestinians". These Arabs would have been assimilated into the population of Israel's neighbors and so forth. Refugee fallout would today be an Arab nation problem and not an Israeli problem. Instead, these Arab nations lost territory and abandoned people in defeat and left them behind for Israel and the rest of the world to deal with. So, we give them a name and state they deserve their own country? This is Israel's wasted victory. Naming the 1967 conflict, "The Six Day War" is as misleading as calling the people of the resulting occupied territories, "Palestinians". The Arabs got the name right. "The Setback".
    Last edited by Culpeper; 05-26-2007 at 10:53 PM.

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    Culpeper,

    We will have to agree to disagree.

    Tom

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    From previous threads on this message board, Mr. Odom seems to come at the Arab-Israeli side from a moderately anti-Israeli position. His stance seems to be that the foreign "Zionists" have invaded a country and that their claim on the land is inferior to the "Palestinians". We will not change such Arabist views on this thread. However, in fairness, i do believe we should be clear that there was nothing like a "Palestinian" nation up til the 1960s, just about the time when the Arabs realized that painting the conflict as "Israel vs. Palestinians" would appeal much more than "Israel vs. Arabs". It's as if Nazi Germany decided that the Sudeten Germans living in Czechoslovakia required a new nation known as "Sudetenland" to achieve self-government. Oh wait, they did do that

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    Tom has the historical right of it.

    Trying to tar LTCOL Odom with some sort of anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist brush because he doesn't buy the founding myths of the Israeli state is a favorite tactic of extremists on the Israeli side. Thankfully their arguments have been mostly refuted by Israelis more interested in facts rather than polemics.

    The wiki article on the origins of Palestinian nationalism is informative.

    Even before the end of Ottoman administration, Palestine, rather than the Ottoman Empire, was considered by some Palestinians to be their country. One of the earliest Palestinian newspapers, Filastin founded in Jaffa in 1911 by Issa al-Issa, addressed its readers as "Palestinians".[9] Evidence of Palestinian conceptions of Palestine as a distinct country within the Ottoman Empire can be found in another Palestinian newspaper, al-Karmel, which on 25 July 1913, wrote: "This team possessed tremendous power; not to ignore that Palestine, their country, was part of the Ottoman Empire."[10]

    The idea of a unique and separate Palestinian state was at first rejected by most Palestinians. The First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations (in Jerusalem, February 1919), which met for the purpose of selecting a Palestinian Arab representative for the Paris Peace Conference, adopted the following resolution: "We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds."[11]

    After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the French conquest of Syria, however, the notion took on greater appeal. In 1920, for instance, the formerly pan-Syrianist mayor of Jerusalem, Musa Qasim Pasha al-Husayni, said "Now, after the recent events in Damascus, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine".

    Similarly, the Second Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations (December 1920), passed a resolution calling for an independent Palestine; they then wrote a long letter to the League of Nations about "Palestine, land of Miracles and the supernatural, and the cradle of religions", demanding, amongst other things, that a "National Government be created which shall be responsible to a Parliament elected by the Palestinian People, who existed in Palestine before the war."

    Conflict between Palestinian nationalists and various types of pan-Arabists continued during the British Mandate, but the latter became increasingly marginalised. The most prominent leader of the Palestinain nationalists was Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. By 1937, only one of the many Arab political parties in Palestine (the Istiqlal party) promoted political absorption into a greater Arab nation as its main agenda. During World War II, al-Husayni maintained close relations with Nazi officials seeking German support for an independent Palestine.[citation needed] However, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War resulted in those parts of Palestine which were not part of Israel being occupied by Egypt and Jordan.

    The idea of an independent nationality for Palestinian Arabs was greatly boosted by the 1967 Six Day War in which these lands were conquered by Israel; instead of being ruled by different Arab states encouraging them to think of themselves as Jordanians or Egyptians, those in the West Bank and Gaza were now ruled by a state with no desire to make them think of themselves as Israelis, and an active interest in discouraging them from regarding themselves as Egyptians, Jordanians, or Syrians.[citation needed]

    Moreover, the natives of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip now shared many interests and problems in common with each other that they did not share with the neighboring countries.

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    Default Stick to Issues

    Thanks for that Teqila.


    AdmiralAdama,

    I am perfectly happy to debate issues and history. We can even agree to disagree. I will not suffer your applying labels to me or any other council members based on a surface read or understanding of my views, background, or writing. Labels as you apply them are simply a tactic of diversion.

    Stick to issues.

    Regards,

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    These occupied territories were not Palestine prior to the Six Day War. They belonged to the nations that tried to destroy Israel in 1967.


    There is virtually no real historical arguement that supports this contentions. Tom Odom is right. He is not coming at it from a pre-determined position. Palestine is much older than many give history credit for. Arabic/Aramaic for Palestine is Filistine (historically now the Gaza strip) ... In fact the Persians named the whole place Philaestina which incorported old Filistin, Judea and Samaria.

    Palestine didn't belong to the nations that were trying to destroy Israe. Remember those "Arab" lands were held together under the Ottman empire until WWI... the British and French drew the false lines of what is now Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, etc... so don't blame the locals for herding sheep and fishing and had dotted lines imposed on them (just like the Iraqis!). Until the Balfour Declaration in 1917 these people all lived together from the iron age, through the Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Abassids, the Europeans Crusades (who killed Jews and Moslems with equal delight) and the Ottomans who came in the 16th century.

    Hey... arguing historically that Jews once had a kingdom there in 600 BC and they hold now the right to kill anybody who objects or who had liuved on that land in the intervening 2600 years is like arguing the Serbs should get an empire and oppress a million Moslems because they lost a battle in Kosovo 600 years ago. However hsitory has favored Israel and they now have a nice, prosperous land with that horrible Maccabe beer.

    Facts as they exist now: Israel is a defacto Jewish state. Done. Not going away. But in 1967 they didn't really face the threat they made us all believe ... -on paper maybe but not actually in the field which is why they won so quickly. The Arabs were a rhetoric-based "aggressive Arab force"... the core of the Egyptian Army was mainly in Yemen at the time, so it was just bluster. Israel doesn't do bluster well. Blitzed the nations around them to disarm them and took what they could and ended the threat... until 1973. It took Egypt/Syria invading to show they they could be defeated militarily and so Camp David led them to make nice with their neighbors Egypt and Jordan.

    However, the West Bank and Gaza they are occupied in 1967 is and shall remain the space of the decendants of the locals who have always lived there ... they are now referred to as Palestinians, both Moslems and Christians. Palestinians/Druze and Hashemite bedouins living in Israel are called Arab Citizens of Israel. In fact so many Arab Jews emigrated to Israel from Arab nations (Yemenis, Persians, Jordanians, Syrians, Moroccans, Kurds, Palestinains, Iraqis, Saudis, Egyptians, etc) they are called Mizrahi Jews- ... they constitute 35-40% of the population. So are we talking about people, nations or religion?

    Its not about which position you come from its about what the facts of the matter are. I grew up Catholic in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood and Hebrew & Yiddish were my first foreign langauges, but as an American Arabist and geo-political realist one can't take sides even if one likes Israel, you gotta look for a solution for the 9 million Palestinians. Its only fair and it could solve numerous regional and global political problems for all of us.

    Israel knows it cannot keep up the occupation. A free, democratic, non-HAMAS run Palestine (because Israel isolating Arafat and the moderates was a HUGE strategic mistake... they gave Palestine to HAMAS) is what we are all after. Israel can use the manpower for industry and Agriculture and Palestinians can use the money for TVs, Coke and advanced university degrees which is what they are known for ... they are the most educated people in the Middle East.

    However, if you oppress a people long enough (with 75% male unemployment) they revolt. Ask the Romans about the Zealots and their group the al-Sikariat or better yet ask the British about the Stern Gang and Irgun terrorist groups. Even Arafat admired them as nationalist fighters and modeled the PLO after them.

    Unfortunately its all fact... how one chooses to interpret those facts is where we get conflict and disagreement, but the facts remain.
    Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Thanks for that Teqila.


    AdmiralAdama,

    I am perfectly happy to debate issues and history. We can even agree to disagree. I will not suffer your applying labels to me or any other council members based on a surface read or understanding of my views, background, or writing. Labels as you apply them are simply a tactic of diversion.

    Stick to issues.

    Regards,

    Tom

    All this went down while I was writing one post? I gotte be more succinct!
    Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    I can't wait for this thread to melt down, like every other internet argument about Israeli/Palestine does. As soon as someone posts something from Joan Peters, I am out of here.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    No one has an answer for the Arab victims Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq left behind? The people who we now refer to as "Palestinians" and I refer to as a generation of refugees. There has been several very insightful posts on this thread and no one can answer the question. So, lets just enable Hamas and Fatah and give it name. There is nothing we can do about it now so I guess the entire point is moot. As I mentioned before, Israel did everything it could for her own refugees in these Arab nations after the conflict. We don't give them a name. Boat drinks for everyone.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    Boat drinks for everyone.
    ... and on this proposal I am easily swayed!
    Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993

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    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAdama View Post
    From previous threads on this message board, Mr. Odom seems to come at the Arab-Israeli side from a moderately anti-Israeli position. His stance seems to be that the foreign "Zionists" have invaded a country and that their claim on the land is inferior to the "Palestinians". We will not change such Arabist views on this thread. However, in fairness, i do believe we should be clear that there was nothing like a "Palestinian" nation up til the 1960s, just about the time when the Arabs realized that painting the conflict as "Israel vs. Palestinians" would appeal much more than "Israel vs. Arabs". It's as if Nazi Germany decided that the Sudeten Germans living in Czechoslovakia required a new nation known as "Sudetenland" to achieve self-government. Oh wait, they did do that
    I believe you have much to add here. Please do so without labelling approaching an ad hominem attack as the primary venue for adding it.

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    By all accounts and reports, it appears fatah and hamas are on the verge of full scale war with each other. This may be more vestiges of history than the raw conflict of grabbing for power since vested interests go way beyond the triangle of the US, Israel and the palestinians, whoever the latter might really be. I doubt the loyalty and committment of neighbors to the 'palestinians' has changed one bit and they are still aligned with the same players despite the infighting. Personally I think Israel's traditional and historical culpability is somewhat exonerated in light of the serious escalation between hamas and fatah.

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    Council Member AdmiralAdama's Avatar
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    Apologies for an inauspicious beginning here.

    The Arab refugees of 1948 were similar in ethnicity, religion, and language with their surrounding brothers. Indeed, millions of refugees occured in the post WWII era. ALL of these refugees were resettled in neighboring countries except for the "Palestinians" who were kept in "refugee camps" and supplied with money from the UN and propaganda from their leaders, who supported the Nazis in WWII, btw.

    If the Palestinians were a "people" how come we never heard this before 1948? How come there was no "intifada" against the Egyptians and Jordanians who were "occupying" the "Palestinian" lands?

    And if all the "Palestinians" want is a state, how come they didn't grab the opportunity in 1939? Or 1948? Or 1967? Or 2000? How come the PLO was created in 1964, before the gains of 1967?

    We see in the anarchy of Gaza today that the "Palestinians" do not want a state. They want to destroy Israel, as the Hamas charter lays out. This same desire to destroy Israel motivated the Arab invasion in 1948 and the genocidal Arab talk of 1967, and the sentiment continues today. Sometimes we should take what our enemies take seriously -- both in the 30s in Germany and today with Islamist supremacism.

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