Six Days, Forty Years Ago

Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of the beginning of the Six Day War. Richard Chesnoff, writing in the Daily News, remembers:

I was one of the handful of foreign correspondents who reached the front during that monumentally brief battle. I was in Sinai on the first day, then returned north and managed to enter Gaza just as that benighted city was falling to Israel’s largely civilian tank corps. Then it was on to Jerusalem.
Like anyone who believes in the justice of Israel’s existence, I was deeply relieved by its victory on June 10. I had heard the bloodthirsty Arab threats of a new Holocaust. I had seen the “Kill the Jews” posters in Gaza schools. I had seen the bunkers and mass graves that Israel had been forced to dig in expectation of invasion, if not defeat.
Yet, as we mark its 40th anniversary, it’s become fashionable in some circles to rewrite the history of the Six-Day War. Radicals, so-called “humanitarians” and others who love to hate Israel now claim that what was essentially a war for survival was in fact just an excuse for Zionist imperialism. Even serious journals like Britain’s The Economist say that while the war may have been necessary, it has ultimately proven “a calamity for the Jewish state.”

We also got an email today from Hillel Zaremba of CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) alerting us to a brand new web site, run by CAMERA: The Six-Day War. I’ve only had time to begin exploring the site, but it looks like a great introduction to the events of 1967 and their aftermath. Follow the link to explore The Six-Day War; here is what the front page looks like; click to enlarge:

My recollection of the Six Day War is that everyone I knew supported Israel and was gratified by its quick and overwhelming victory. This wasn’t ethnic solidarity; I grew up in a town in South Dakota that had two Jewish families. Somehow there was a little more moral clarity then.
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