Demystifying Myths of the Six-Day War | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Demystifying Myths of the Six-Day War

The war that Israel initiated in June of 1967 became the stuff of myths and legends on many levels. Now, after fifty one years it may be time to unravel and demystify what took place during those fateful six days in June. There is the myth of the existential threat which called for Israel to engage in a preemptive strike which started the war, then there is the myth of the greatness of the Israeli army and its remarkable abilities, and there is a claim which one can argue is also a myth, that it was this war that changed the face of the Middle East forever. Then, there is an even greater myth and that is that Palestine was occupied as a result of the 1967 war. That the West Bank and The Gaza Strip, which are no more than two small parts of Palestine artificially created when Israel was established, are The Occupied Palestinian territories, as opposed to two areas within occupied Palestine. It can be no coincidence that most immediately after the war of 1967 these areas were named “The Occupied Territories” and the fact that the greater part of Palestine had been occupied for almost twenty years at point had somehow slipped the collective memories of all but the Palestinians themselves.

It was almost immediately after the war that liberal minded Zionist figures like Uri Avneri, Meir Pa’il and my own father, Matti Peled – who was a general and a member of the Israeli army high command in 1967 – began talking about the Two State Solution as a solution to the question of Palestine. However, they did not mean the partition of Palestine into two states as was mandated by the November 1947 United Nations resolution, resolution 181. They had something very different in mind. They and others like them saw an opportunity to solve the Palestinian question by dividing the country on terms that were far more favorable to Israel. The Two State Solution they envisioned meant a small, weak and demilitarized Palestinian state on 22% of Palestine that would be totally dependent on Israel.

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