At the risk of my blog becoming an unofficial ‘GoldbergWatch’, i wish to take our friend Jeffrey to task again for yet more deceitful authorship.
You’ll be glad to hear its only a short post from Goldberg, however it is quite large in the manner of its dis-ingenuousness. Have a read of this –
Mahmoud Abbas, in particular, doesn’t seem — these days especially — interested in putting himself in the shoes of Israelis, when he declares that the occupation of his people’s lands dates back 63 years — namely, to the creation of Israel itself, not the Six Day War, which was provoked by the allies of the Palestinians, and then lost by the allies of the Palestinians.
Aside from Jeffrey’s ridiculous assertion that the victim should try to empathize with the victimizer, why on earth is Jeffrey incredulous at the idea of a Palestinian viewing the Israeli occupation of his land as beginning in 1948. Thats the year when the Jewish Agency and Ben-Gurion declared statehood on top of Palestine, against the wishes of the indigenous (and overwhelming majority) population. Having already de-constructed the received wisdom of this event. Palestinians have every right to view that year as the beginning of the occupation. Here in Ireland many claim we have had an 800 year occupation by our larger neighbour to the east.
I’m afraid Jeffrey is unaware of the fact that he doesn’t get to dictate to the victims of occupation, precisely when the start date of that occupation is from. Now to the meat of Jeffrey’s nonsense. That ‘Palestinian allies’ started the Six Day War in 1967. That Goldberg is still making this claim shows how deceitful he really is.
The common claim by Israeli nuts with regard to the Six Day War is that Nasser closing he straits of Tiran was a casus belli. Unfortunately for them it was not as only 5% of Israeli trade went through Eliat, so bang goes that theory. Also important to remember that Egypt had refused to sign the 1958 Geneva Conventions on the Territorial Sea and Conitguous Zone because it didn’t agree with the defitnion of ‘strait’. The US secretary of State at that time John Foster Dulles agreed on the “plausibilty from the standpoint of international law” with regard to Egypt’s stance. Also as Egypt and Israel had been in a state of war since 1948, Egypt was well within its rights to prevent shipping to a belligerent state.
Now Nasser was also open to solving the crisis diplomatically, Israel was not. He was up for restarting the 1956 armistice agreements, Israel wasn’t. Nasser was up for going to the World Court for arbitration, Israel refused.
Another claim by people like Goldberg is that by expelling the UNEF troops from his side Nasser was also declaring war, however Nasser was simply bringing himself into line with Israel who had actually refused to countenance any UNEF on it’s side of the divide. Bearing in mind, Nasser only wanted a redeployment of a smaller force which would still have had observation over the straits, but UN Secretary General U Thant refused hence the full expulsion. Again, this does not amount to a declaration of war.
Nasser was also up for mediation in the US to resolve the crisis, unfortunately as recalled by the then US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, Israel was not –
‘They attacked on a Monday, knowing that on Wednesday the Egyptian vice-president would arrive in Washington to talk about re-opening the Strait of Tiran. We might not have succeeded in getting Egypt to reopen the Strait, but it was a real possibility.’
Another UN official of the time, Sir Brian Urquhart recalls (in his memoirs) Israel refusing UN Secretary General U Thant’s proposed idea of a 2 week moratorium on the issue of the Straits of Tiran
‘Israel, no doubt having decided on military action, turned down U Thant’s ideas‘
Now lets look at the admissions of Israeli leaders with regard to 1967 –
“The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail, and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.” (Mordechai Bentov )
“The danger of Israel’s extermination was hardly present before the Six-day war.” (General Yeshayahu Gavish)
“I do not believe Nasser wanted war. the two divisions he sent into the Sinai on May 14th would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” (General Rabin )
“There was no danger of annihilation. Israeli headquarters never believed in this danger.”(Chaim Herzog)
“In June l967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (Menachem Begin)
I have encountered this ‘Arabs started the Six Day War’ argument so many times that, the debunking of it has become a choir at this stage. See here and here (where i posted as porkchopxpress). It amazes me in this day and age, with all the since released evidence to the contrary, that supposedly educated folks like Jeffrey Goldberg persist with propagating long debunked falsehoods.
Give it a rest folks, change the record, your nonsense doesn’t wash.