Israel’s attack on Egypt in June ’67 was not ‘preemptive’

It is often claimed that Israel’s attack on Egypt that began the June 1967 “Six Day War” was a “preemptive” one. Implicit in that description is the notion that Israel was under imminent threat of an attack from Egypt. Yet this historical interpretation of the war is not sustained by the documentary record.

The President of Egypt, then known as the United Arab Republic (UAR), Gamal Abdel Nasser, later conveyed to U.S. President Lyndon Johnson that his troop buildup in the Sinai Peninsula prior to the war had been to defend against a feared Israeli attack.

Israel's June 5, 1967 surprise attack on Egypt resulted in the obliteration of Egypt's air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.
Israel’s June 5, 1967 surprise attack on Egypt resulted in the obliteration of Egypt’s air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.

In a meeting with Nasser, Johnson’s special envoy to the UAR, Robert B. Anderson, expressed U.S. puzzlement over why he had massed troops in the Sinai, to which Nasser replied, “Whether you believe it or not, we were in fear of an attack from Israel. We had been informed that the Israelis were massing troops on the Syrian border with the idea of first attacking Syria, there they did not expect to meet great resistance, and then commence their attack on the UAR.”

Anderson then told Nasser “that it was unfortunate the UAR had believed such reports, which were simply not in accordance with the facts”, to which Nasser responded that his information had come from reliable sources (presumably referring to intelligence information passed along by the USSR).

Nasser added that “your own State Department called in my Ambassador to the U.S. in April or May and warned him that there were rumors that there might be a conflict between Israel and the UAR.”

U.S. intelligence had indeed foreseen the coming war. “The CIA was right about the timing, duration, and outcome of the war”, notes David S. Robarge in an article available on the CIA’s website.

On May 23, Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms presented Johnson with the CIA’s assessment that Israel could “defend successfully against simultaneous Arab attacks on all fronts … or hold on any three fronts while mounting successfully a major offensive on the fourth.”

In an document entitled “Military Capabilities of Israel and the Arab States”, the CIA assessed that “Israel could almost certainly attain air supremacy over the Sinai Peninsula in less than 24 hours after taking the initiative or in two or three days if the UAR struck first.”

Additionally, the CIA assessed that Nasser’s military presence in the Sinai was defensive, stating that “Armored striking forces could breach the UAR’s double defense line in the Sinai in three to four days and drive the Egyptians west of the Suez Canal in seven to nine days. Israel could contain any attacks by Syria or Jordan during this period” (emphasis added).

Although the Arabs had numerical superiority in terms of military hardware, “Nonetheless, the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] maintain qualitative superiority over the Arab armed forces in almost all aspects of combat operations.”

Johnson himself told the Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, “All of our intelligence people are unanimous that if the UAR attacks, you will whip hell out of them.”

Israel meanwhile claimed that it was “badly outgunned”, apparently presuming, Robarge writes, “that Washington accorded its analyses such special import that US leaders would listen to its judgments on Arab-Israeli issues over those of their own intelligence services.”

Yet “Helms had the Office of National Estimates (ONE) prepare an appraisal of the Mossad assessment”, which stated: “We do not believe” that the Israeli claim of being the underdog “was a serious estimate of the sort they would submit to their own high officials.”

Neither U.S. nor Israeli intelligence assessed that there was any kind of serious threat of an Egyptian attack. On the contrary, both considered the possibility that Nasser might strike first as being extremely slim.

The current Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael B. Oren, acknowledged in his book “Six Days of War“, widely regarded as the definitive account of the war, that “By all reports Israel received from the Americans, and according to its own intelligence, Nasser had no interest in bloodshed”.

In the Israeli view, “Nasser would have to be deranged” to attack Israel first, and war “could only come about if Nasser felt he had complete military superiority over the IDF, if Israel were caught up in a domestic crisis, and, most crucially, was isolated internationally–a most unlikely confluence” (pp. 59-60).

Four days before Israel’s attack on Egypt, Helms met with a senior Israeli official who expressed Israel’s intent to go to war, and that the only reason it hadn’t already struck was because of efforts by the Johnson administration to restrain both sides to prevent a violent conflict.

“Helms interpreted the remarks as suggesting that Israel would attack very soon”, writes Robarge. He reported to Johnson “that Israel probably would start a war within a few days.”

“Helms was awakened at 3:00 in the morning on 5 June by a call from the CIA Operations Center”, which had received the report “that Israel had launched its attack” and that, contrary to Israel’s claims that Egypt had been the aggressor, Israel had fired first.

Yitzhak Rabin, who would later become Prime Minister, told Le Monde the year following the ’67 war, “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledged in a speech in 1982 that its war on Egypt in 1956 was a war of “choice” and that, “In June 1967 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.”

Despite its total lack of sustainability from the documentary record, and despite such admissions from top Israeli officials, it is virtually obligatory for commentators in contemporary mainstream accounts of the ’67 war to describe Israel’s attack on Egypt as “preemptive”.

[Correction, August 26, 2014: as originally published, Yitzhak Rabin in this article was quoted as saying “The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war.” Rabin’s actual statement was: “The two divisions which he sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start an offensive against Israel.” The misquote has been corrected. This does not affect the substance of the article or the purpose for using the quote here. Rabin goes on in the interview to note that additional divisions were moved into the Sinai after closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Rabin’s explanation for this, however, is not that Nasser intended to attack Israel. On the contrary, he stated that, “judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture to be a casus belli.” In other words, the reason additional forces were sent into the Sinai, in Rabin’s assessment, was because Nasser feared Israel might attack Egypt. A translation of the interview from the French original can be found here.]

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Jeremy R. Hammond

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Jeremy R. Hammond is an award-winning political analyst, editor and publisher of Foreign Policy Journal, and author. His new book is Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Read the first chapter FREE at ObstacleToPeace.com! 

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  • Dov Pollock

    The first problem with your supposition is with the Egyptian closing of the straits of Tiran. That is an act of war. The second problem is the ordering out of Sinai of the U.N. troops by Egypt. If Egypt feared an attack from Israel, it would be illogical to remove the U.N. troops, especially as such an act would be seen as an additional act of belligerency both by Israel and any objective third party. Then we have the war pact with Jordan and Syria, Egypt massing troops on the border with Israel, the mass anti-Israel government organized demonstrations in Egypt accompanied by Nasser’s declarations to obliterate Israel. It is also somewhat specious to claim in hindsight that the CIA assessments indicated that Israel could defend itself. It should be remembered that Israel was a country in its virtually non defensible pre June 4 1967 borders, being faced with imminent attack on several fronts. Not only Israelis but all supporters of Israel feared that Israel was on the brink of extinction. Israel even begged King of Hussein of Jordan to cease hostilities after the war with Egypt broke out in fear of not being able to maintain a second front. The pre-emptive strike by Israel came only after weeks of acts of belligerency and acts of war by Egypt combined with public declarations by Nasser that Israel was about to destroyed.

    • Adib Barsoum

      I agree with you on all counts. This article by Jeremy Hammond is uninformed nonsense.

      • Kindly point out any error in fact or logic in the article. Thanks.

        • Dantes1812

          Clearly Dov Pollock proved you wrong.

    • Bottom line: Israel knew Egypt was not going to attack and Israel fired the first shot.

      • Are you retarded?
        Dov Pollock smartly describes the situation. Closing the Straits of Tiran, act of war; war has started and Israel can retaliate in any kind abiding by the laws of war. If Egypt wasn’t to attack Israel it wouldn’t have replaced the UN peacekeeping troops in Sinai, Egypt’s intention was clear, to strike Israel.

        Pacts with Jordan and Syria, just made it crystal clear that Egypt and these other two countries were preparing for a major war. Israel’s borders being very vulnerable it had to act first and act quickly.

        Israel, the only safe haven for Jews were in an existential threat and thus acted as any other nation would do. If you deny these, or think that Egypt ousted the UN peacekeeping troops to defend itself against an Israeli offense, you must be crazy or just plain stupid Jeremy.

        You say Egypt was not going to attack, which is false it was training the army and demonstrating mock invasions for days, it was. And yes, Israel did fire the first shot and I am glad it did, so is every other people who would not like to see Israel’s destruction.

        • Israel’s attack on the morning of June 5 was not self-defense against armed attack and hence was an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime”.

          Like you said: “yes, Israel did fire the first shot”.

          As for UN peacekeeping troops, you are omitting the part of the story where the proposal was made for the UN forces would be redeployed to the Israeli side of the border and Israel refused — an odd choice for a nation fearing a first strike from Egypt.

          Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Nasser had no interest in war, which assessment was concurred with by the CIA, which pointed out that Egyptian forces had taken up defensive positions in the Sinai.

          • Steamdude

            OLD intelligence. I think you’ve reduced yourself to semantics to defend your argument.

          • If you have evidence that Israel’s intelligence assessment that Nasser had no interest in bloodshed and was not insane changed, you are welcome to produce it.

          • Nick Bassett

            So if Nasser wasn’t planning to attack Israel, how was he planning to destroy the country as he had promised all his Arab brothers?

          • scottindallas

            how did Israel hit planes on the tarmac in a counter attack? Why did Israel shoot out the life boats of the USS Liberty?

    • Jrew Richards

      Just because Israel claims that closing the Straits of Tiran is an act of war does not make it so. After Nasser closed them, and Israel complained, he offered to have the matter adjudicated to adduce it’s legality. Had Israel agreed to have the matter looked into, and Nasser was found to be in the wrong, then Israel would have had a case. Under International Law, all diplomatic avenues must be sought before any talk of the legality of a war.

      • “After the 1956 campaign
        in which Israel conquered Sharm el-Sheikh and opened the blocked
        Straits, it was forced to withdraw and return the territory to Egypt. At
        the time, members of the international community pledged that Israel
        would never again be denied use of the Straits of Tiran.
        The French representative to the UN, for example, announced that an
        attempt to interfere with free shipping in the Straits would be against
        international law, and American President Dwight Eisenhower went so far as publicly to recognize that reimposing a blockade in the Straits of Tiran
        would be seen as an aggressive act which would oblige Israel to protect
        its maritime rights in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.”

        • Statements from the French representatives or US presidents do not change the definition of “aggression” under international law.

          Aggression is the use of armed force in international relations.

          The question of who the aggressor was in the 1967 war is not a matter of opinion. It is a question of fact. Was Israel’s surprise attack on Egypt on the morning of June 5 an act of self-defense against armed attack?

          No.

          Ergo, it was itself an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime”, as defined at Nuremberg.

          • Steamdude

            Is it still an act of aggression if it’s in response to an act of aggression. Wouldn’t a blockade be seen as an act of aggression?

          • No. Aggression is the used of armed force. Egypt did not use armed force against Israel. Israel used armed force against Egypt.

          • Steamdude

            Isn’t a blockade the use of armed force? You’re twisting yourself into knots to try to defend your skewed journalism.

            Did the Egyptians invite the peacekeepers over for a nice tea before they kicked them out? The use of armed force wasn’t involved there?

          • Bindar Dunit

            Dayan was critical of his govt because it had no political plan for conducting that war. After the war he launched a scathing attack about the conduct of the war in Knesset committee.No clear political plan with guidelines how far to go….PM gave the army orders for a war of 72 hours only, and the Straits of Tiran were not included in the original plan he approved. “It’s absurd” said Dayan. (from Eitan Haber’s Today war will break out: the reminiscences of Brig.Gen.Israel Lior, aide de camp to PM Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir 1987 p,64-65.

          • A blockade could involve the use of armed force. But simply announcing that the straits were closed to Israeli shipping was not the use of armed force against Israel.

            As for UNEF, the question you should be asking is: why Israel didn’t accept its redeployment to its side of the border?

            And the withdrawal of UNEF involved no use of armed force on the part of Egypt, no. It was a simple request. The UN complied.

          • Kenneth Hammond

            Until a blockade is enforced by military force then no actual blockade exists.

          • scottindallas

            so, you agree that we initiated war with Japan, and Iran. Great to get you solid on that. And, that makes you at war with Palestine, thus all their “terrorism” is totally legitimate. Got it

          • Dunkenstein

            You’re moving the goalposts in order to demonize Israel. A typical tactic. Blockading a country’s home port is indeed an act of war, be that country Israel or any other.

          • I’ve explained international law to you. You reject international law to defend Israel’s aggression.

          • Bindar Dunit

            @dunkenstein…….you mean a “blockade” as israel has foisted on people of Gaza for Seven Years? they control any food or materials coming into Gaza port…violently control it…shooting fishermen in small dinghies casting their nets. Blockade as an act of war against an Occupied people without any defense whatsoever…attacked by 2nd largest military in the M/E…(Turkey is 1st). a defenseless people who live without electricity, drinkable water or safety contrary to all the Geneva Convention laws about the rights of Occupied people. you’re nuts

          • sabelmouse

            and words/definitions are utterly meaningless.

          • Kenneth Hammond

            If that was the case then Israel’s blockade of Gaza would legitimate Hamas’s response as a bona fide act of retaliation against Israeli aggression.

          • Les Brown

            I wish to point out that Article 3(c) in the UN “Definition Of Aggression” and adopted by the UN General Assembly, says:

            Article 3 “Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of article 2, qualify as an act of aggression:

            (c) The blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by the armed forces of another State;
            You have seriously made a big mistake in this omission. Such an omission calls into question the bias and scholarly nature of your work.
            In other words, it’s just another bloody rant against Israel.

          • I wasn’t familiar with that resolution, so thanks for that information. You are misrepresenting its applicability to the situation in 1967, however. To start with, that is not international law. Secondly, Egypt’s declaration was that Israeli shipping would not be permitted through Egypt’s territorial waters. Thirdly, the blockade was not actually enforced.

          • scottindallas

            again, you have us inititating (starting) war with Japan over our oil embargo that lead to Pearl Harbor, and we’ve been at war with Iran for nearly 40 years, and you’ve been at war with Palestinians constantly since the Nakba. That means there are zero Palestinian terrorists. Got you down

  • JHY
  • Ludvikus

    In the presence of Hitler, only an idiot would not fire “the first shot.” OK, so Nasser wasn’t Hitler – but that’s only because he had no Cyclone-B. so he was forced to announce that he would drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. But with your kind of analysis, irrespective of your facts, you would say that that does not mean they would necessarily drown, right. We should have waited until the dawning began, right? Everyone knows Israel fired the first shot – it was the correct thing to do.
    From the very beginning the position of the Arab and Muslim world was to maintain their Palestinian “brothers” as refugees in places like Gaza. And Gaza even didn’t belong to Egypt – it was Palestine. The policy of Egypt was to wait until it was strong enough to defeat Israel. But by your stupid rules, Israel should have waited until Egypt was strong enough to attack, right? Your disappointed that Israel didn’t loose – because it didn’t play by your rules of national, or genocidal, destruction, right?

    • Ludvikus, let me know when you are actually able to produce an argument to support your view.

  • badbear

    The person firing the first shot is always the aggressor and loses the moral high ground in a war. The defender’s response is always to a provocation. No one wins a war unless you consider the loss of human life a win. Real heroes hate and despise war. Only a warmonger could love it. The only winning move in this chess game is not to play.
    We should take the advice of great generals such as Washington, Butler and Eisenhower and mind our own business. General Smedley Butler, “The Fighting Quaker”, the most highly decorated U.S. Marine in history in his day was no pacifist. He adamantly opposed getting involved where we didn’t belong but if America was threatened, he was a tenacious bulldog defending his turf. That should be our policy. Not war for oil, contracts, land, power, politics, etc…

    • Stef Delarge

      You should mind your own business, you are an ignoramous. Everytime Israel defends itself and is about to crush it’s aggressor enemies (I suppose Israel attacked in 1948 and 1973 too according to you), wimps like you tell Israel to stop. After the cowardly Egyptians and Syrians surprise attacked Israel on their holiest day Yom Kippur, when most Jews were in Synagogues praying, Israel turned the tide, and genius General Ariel Sharon surrounded the entire Egyptian 3rd Army for destruction, at which point dorks like you pleaded with your government to rescue Egypt from destruction, because they failed to destroy the Jews which you hate. Your pain will linger, as the Jews will continue to top every field; technology, physics, medicine, law, entertainment. They started Hollywood, Las Vegas, Google, Facebook. You inferiority complex causes you to manufacture a false reality so you can live with yourself for your failure as a human being. Don’t fret with this dose of reality, as you will have another chance in your next life to be decent, and end your hatred of those who contribute more to humanity than you can ever hope.

      • scottindallas

        on 73 was initatied by Arabs. Read Plan Dalet and Gimmel to learn about the forethought that went into the Nakba

  • CustomersMan

    The fact that Israel was the aggressor means that all the land claimed is illegal and must be given back along with reparations and interest ASAP.

    And we’re still providing every ounce of fuel, delivered to Israel’s doorstep, free of charge.

    These backstabbing pricks should be cut-off at once. It can’t happen soon enough for me.

    • CustomersMan, that is incorrect. Whether Israel was the aggressor or not, its occupation of Palestinian land is illegal.

      • Was the attack of Israel by 5 Arab countries in 1948 legal? No. It was a crime against peace, and all the territories Egypt and Jordan captured during that war (WB and Gaza) were held illegally as well. Israel’s occupation of the WB in 1967 is not illegal, because it is in effect due to UN SC Res. 242 and 338. These territorial holdings must be resolved through negotiations – something Arabs and Palestinians refused to do for decades since 1967.

        • Israel initiated a war of aggression on June 5, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”.

          You should take the time to actually read UNSC Resolution 242, as you have a very strange understand indeed of what it says (you’re repeating in large part Israel’s own invalid unilateral interpretation). It notes that it is inadmissible under international law for states to acquire territory by war and thus, in keeping with that principle, calls on Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied during the war. It does not condition withdrawal upon a final border agreement (that is, it most certainly does not require the Palestinians to negotiate on borders while under foreign military occupation and while that occupying power continuously prejudices the outcomes of said negotiations).

          • UN SC 242 states:

            1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

            (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

            (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

            It clearly says application of BOTH of these principles – a withdrawal from “territories” AND termination of claims. It intentionally doesn’t say withdrawal from ALL territories. How then can you have termination of claims without withdrawal from all territories?! ONLY by negotiations

          • Also, Israel did not attack Jordan, so Jordan perpetrated the “supreme international crime” which led to the Israeli conquest of the WB

          • Michael Rorer

            First, Israel has a peace treaty with Egypt and Jordan, so the status of Sinai and West Bank can be addressed. Sinai was returned, it is time to resolve the WB issue.
            —- more interestingly,
            this is actually true that Israelis, with help of. scored a great diplomatic success in removing, in the last moment, the article ‘THE before ‘occupied territories’. Now some Israeli lawyers and politicians, as well as supporters abroad, interpret this clause as ‘some’, or ‘any’. In other words, even withdrawing from one square kilometer supposedly satisfies the requirement according to Israel interpretation. Which renders the whole article meaningless and contrary to the intent of the document. Very clever, to the point of absurdity. Not surprisingly, outside of the circle of unconditional friend of conservative Israeli Gov this twisting of common sense is met with disdain.

      • Bindar Dunit

        Not to overlook the still occupied /stolen Syrian Golan Heights, one of the most fertile areas/with water resources in the region…However it has proved strategic for IDF as they’ve had medical units set up there since 2013, according to an interview with Brig.Gen.Herzog…who explained that they’ve been treating Nusra and AQ fighters in the cc.Golan at least 2 yrs. Implementing the Yinon plan…

  • Brasco

    A lot was going on before and during the 1967 War and we will never know what really happened and why it happened. From my reading two items come to light. The first is that the war was conducted to secure Israels nuclear weapons program and second the war could have easily ignited WWIII.

    Before the war Russian Mig25s were overflying the Negev nuclear research facility.

    During the war there was allegedly a Russian Echo class sub off of Israel’s coast waiting for orders to nuke Israel, the USN launched a nuclear armed strike towards Egypt that was recalled, and the Americans and Israelis together were executing something called Operation Cyanide that involved the USS Liberty.

    It took close to 50 years for the CIA to admit it’s part in bringing the Shah to power. Maybe in 2017 we will find out more about what was going on then.

  • richard braverman

    Jeremy, I, for one, am interested in the duplicitous role of the Johnson administration. From day one in office, Johnson did everything possible to change the direction of his predecessor and tilt American policy in a one-sided direction towards Israel. As the anti-Kennedy, he allowed (or ignored) the symbiotic relation between elements of the CIA and Mossad. He went out of his way to arm Israel to the teeth and, unlike JFK, he covertly supported Israel’s drive for nuclear weapons. Why Nasser would confide with this individual only confirms how far he was out of touch. As you have indicated the best source for proof of Israel’s premeditated expansionist policy in the Six Day War can be garnered from the hundreds of quotes from high Israeli officials who openly stated that it was a war of choice. Maybe they knew their friends in the Western press would never allow the myth to die. As the saying goes, if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
    ..
    PS> If Operation Cyanide existed it must have been justification for the murder of 34 US Sailors and the maiming of 174 others on that fateful day on 8 June 1967 by Israeli forces who probably either needed cover for their mass execution of Egyptian prisoners of war (POWs) or their coordinated (?) attempt to blame the Egyptians for the intended sinking of the vessel. As I said, the duplicity of the Johnson administration was and is astounding.

    • Richard, I happen to be researching U.S. policy following the June war and up to the passage of UN resolution 242. What is clear to me is that Johnson’s decision to renew arms sales to Israel was based on the considerations that a) business as usual should continue (military-industrial complex) and b) the USSR was arming Arab states hostile to Israel. The U.S. was also arming Arab states, but refused to renew arms sales to Jordan and other states Israel also viewed as hostile. In other words, it was perceived to be in the best interests of the U.S. (as defined by policymakers) to tilt towards Israel.

      I don’t know about covert support for Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Johnson’s duplicity and treachery with regard to Israel’s sinking of the USS Liberty is indeed astounding.

      • Richard Braverman

        Jeremy, as you are aware, Israel has, over the years, worked with many sympathetic actors in numerous western governments to steal nuclear materials to support her illicit weapons program. One of the most egregious incidents occured between 1957-1965 when over two hundred pouns (kilograms?) of material was stolen from a processing facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The bulk of that material was taken during the first two years of the Johnson Administration, which made no attempt to prosecute those involved. The theft was supported by far to many government officials who either as part of policy or loyalty to the Jewish state sought to ensure the delivery of weapons grade material. To show how relevent this material is today, arlen spector, in his last act in office, is currently attemtping to clear the name of Mr. A Shapiro who was point on the project some 45 years ago. ( see http://www.forbes.com/feeds/businesswire/2010/07/06/businesswire142042372.html)

    • Bindar Dunit

      or to blame the Soviets who were in the area monitoring events…

    • Dunkenstein

      He went out of his way to arm Israel to the teeth>>….Had he not the Arab armies would have overrun Israel and we would have witnessed the second holocaust of Jews in just over 20 years. The Arabs intent without a doubt was the utter annhilation of the Jewish state.

      • scottindallas

        no, no evidence of that, and Rabin and Shamir say, you need to be honest with yourselves and admit that Nasser didn’t want war.

  • Ed Ciaccio

    Jeremy, now that you bring it up, how do you see Israel’s attack on the U.S.S. Liberty fitting in with Israel’s attacks on Egypt and Syria?

    • Ed, I’m not sure I understand quite what you’re asking, but my response is that I think the most likely explanations for the attack are that Israel a) wanted to cover up massacres on the ground in Egypt and at the same time b) hoped the U.S. would think Egypt attacked the Liberty and come in on Israel’s side.

      • Dunkenstein

        You probably also believe that the Bush regime planted bombs in the WTC in order to start a war with Afghanistan.

        • No, but the fact you are unable to produce an actual argument is instructive.

  • aparatchik

    What was Nasser’s medium/long-term plan vis-a-vis Israel? Did the Israelis have no basis for suspecting his future belligerence against Israel? Why was Nasser so foolish as to block Israeli shipping and remove the UN peacekeepers?

    • No, Israelis had no basis for suspecting Egypt would attack Israel — as per their own intelligence assessment and subsequent acknowledgments by Rabin, Begin, etc. As for Nasser’s foolishness, it was in no small part because when Israel had attacked Samu, Jordan prior to the June war, Egypt did nothing to come to Jordan’s aid. Jordan then accused Nasser of being spineless and such, so Nasser apparently felt he needed to do some things to save face.

      On the peacekeepers, it’s worth noting that Israel — had they actually felt threatened — could have accepted them on their side of the border. Yet they rejected them as they planned their own surprise attack against Egypt.

      • aparatchik

        So why did Israel attack Egypt?

        • Land.

          • aparatchik

            Sinai? So why did Israel give it back without a fight?

          • To get Egypt to give up on fighting for Palestinians’ rights in Gaza and the West Bank. The 1979 peace treaty removed Egypt from Israel’s equation.

          • Larisa

            I wonder what the heck this guy makes of Rabin. Or those huge pro-peace rallies during his time and their very public support.

            Or of Dayan giving control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf in the interest of good relations, for that matter. Dayan’s ex-wife’s best friend being Suha Arafat’s mother must confuse the heck out of him, if he was aware of either of those facts or wasn’t choosing to ignore anything that doesn’t suit his narrative of the Evil Zionist Boogeyman monolith in which every member of the Knesset has Netanyahu’s face plastered on their shoulders.

            The idea that one can write books about how evil Zionism without even being able to define the word is so amusing. Screenshotted this incredibly basic mistake on Hammond’s part and will share it widely. You’re like an anti-feminist who says that feminists hate men. I guess that communications degree didn’t teach you much about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

          • Larisa

            “Trying to deny the Zionist desire for the land is downright bizarre. We live in something called reality. It’s like trying to deny that socialists wish to use government force to expropriate and redistribute wealth.”

            How is it possible, Hammond, for Zionism to require by its very nature expansionism beyond the green line for some Greater Israel carved out of its neighbours, when it is possible and indeed very common to be an anti-occupation Zionist? Apparently you think that if one considers oneself a Zionist (believes in the right of Israel to exist) that it means that one must be nefariously coveting one’s neighbours’ lands as well.

            You’re telling us that Zionism by its very nature requires wanting to expand beyond the Green Line (which is legally ours). So no, you clearly do NOT know what Zionism is, which is actually pretty hilarious. Project Censored must really not be fussy.

            Those frequent pro-peace rallies in Israel must confuse the heck out of you. Did you think that those people were anti-Zionist? Or that they’re lying about criticizing their government and wanting to see a peaceful 2SS?

            How does this contradiction even fit into your head? I’m guessing that with your heavy case of confirmation bias, it’s not really been a problem.

            Incidentally, Israel has offered to return the Golan to Syria in the past and was told that they would take it back but not offer peace in exchange. So much for land-greed. I’m sure if they keep the land, they’re land thieves, and if they give it back, it just proves even MORE that they are land thieves! Really bright, Hammond. Everything Israel does is just yet more evidence of its inherent evil? All roads lead to one forgone conclusion, huh ;)

          • Where did I argue that every Zionist by definition must favor, e.g., settlement expansion?

            You’re arguing with yourself.

          • Larisa

            Green-line Israel is actually a legally recognized country, as you’re well-aware, so I don’t see how that’s relevant. Zionism obviously does not need to mean expansion beyond those borders.

            I love Hammond-logic though.

            Invade the Sinai and the Golan because of expansionism.
            Give the Sinai back for peace? Proof of expansionism.
            Keep the Sinai? Proof of expansionism.

            Give the Golan back for peace? (Has been offered, Syria rejected it but said sure, they’ll take the Golan back) Proof of expansionism.
            Keep the Golan? Proof of expansionism.

            Give Gaza back under international pressure and with the support of most of Israel? Proof of expansionism… and so on. (Whereas, of course, Hamas stating time and time again that they will never make a permanent peace with green-line Israel and will always intend to conquer it, is not proof of expansionism, because presumably if Israel drops the siege and pulls out of the WB, Hamas will change their mind.)

            It must be wonderful to be so certain of your conclusions that you’ve lost the ability to think critically, so that all possible actions Israel could take just demonstrate to you how right you are, even when your own sources clearly disagree with your interpretation of events ;) You’re like the pro-Palestinian mirror image of Joan Peters. Good to see such hacks exist on both sides! Taking soundbites out of interviews (and omitting crucial details from them, nonetheless!) to try to back up specific claims when a few sentences later the same interviews clearly deny your entire premise. Highly amusing.

          • You don’t see how it’s relevant that the state of Israel that exists today was established by ethnically cleansing the native inhabitants from the land?

            I, for my part, cannot even begin to comprehend how it is possible not to see the relevance of this fact.

            Elsewhere, you falsely attribute logic that is your own to me. I’ve no time or interest in debating strawmen.

          • What is it you think I should make of Rabin?

            Zionism is the political movement to establish a “Jewish state” in Palestine.

            To do this required ethnically cleansing 750,000 Arabs from Palestine.

            And you’re trying to argue Zionism isn’t about desire for the land?

            Let’s try to be serious.

          • “Zionism is the political movement to establish a “Jewish state” in Palestine…To do this required ethnically cleansing 750,000 Arabs from Palestine.”

            No. It didn’t “require” it – that’s a complete perversion of history. Unless you’re will to claim that Palestinian nationalism “required” the adoption of Nazi ideology, as was readily adopted by the political and religious leader of Arabs in Palestine, Haj Amin al Husseini. Or that it “required” the intentional massacre of dozens of innocent Jewish civilians.

            Fact is that Zionism brought a tremendous population GROWTH for Palestinians (before they started the civil war against Jews):

            “The general *beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare* is illustrated by the fact that the *increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development*. A comparison of the Census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase per cent. in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 per cent.” (Peel Commission Report of 1937, Page 129)

            “[The Arab population] has risen since 1920 from about 600,000 to about 950,000 [in 1937] … Those are remarkable figures, especially in view of the general belief that the population of Palestine under the Ottoman regime was more or less stationary.” (Peel Commission Report of 1937, Page 125)

            If not for Arab violence and aggression, and Arab intransigence for ANY compromise, Palestinian Arabs would still live today where they lived in 1947. But it was Palestinians Arabs who started the civil war and forced the Jewish community to defend itself. And it was Arab genocidal rhetoric against Jews (let me remind you, only 2 years after the holocaust), and Arab aggression that led to the result you describe. There are two sides to this conflict, and you disingenuously put all the blame on the Jews.

          • Yes, establishing a demographically “Jewish state” in Palestine most certainly did require ethnically cleansing the Arab population.

            This is a simple logical truism, unlike your vain attempts to draw a parallel example.

            But if it helps you to have someone else point out this logical truism for you…

            “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did,
            a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here…. There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were
            war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands…. There are “circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing….
            That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population….”

            — Israeli historian Benny Morris

          • “Yes, establishing a demographically “Jewish state” in Palestine most certainly did require ethnically cleansing the Arab population.”

            Not if the millions of Jews who were slaughtered in Europe were allowed to immigrate to Palestine (which they were not, due to Arab pressure (terror), and in direct violation of the League of Nations’ Mandate given to Britain)

          • What an extraordinary argument, that it was only because Jewish immigration into Palestine was limited by the Mandatory Power that it was therefore necessary to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Arab population to establish the state of Israel.

          • What’s extraordinary is that you systematically distort historic facts to fit into your false narrative.

            It was necessary for Jews to ensure their survival by defending themselves from an Arab war of aggression and extermination against them.

          • you systematically distort historic facts to fit into your false narrative.

            You are welcome to try to support that assertion with an argument.

            Since you haven’t presented one, I’ll simply note once more for the record that you just acknowledged that to establish Israel as a “Jewish state” required the ethnic cleansing of the majority Arab population.

          • “What an extraordinary argument, that it was only because Jewish immigration into Palestine was limited by the Mandatory Power that it was therefore necessary to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Arab population to establish the state of Israel.”

            There. That’s the distortion of historic facts that I corrected with this:

            “It was necessary for Jews to ensure their survival by defending themselves from an Arab war of aggression and extermination against them.”

            But you simply ignored this fact, and went on distorting what I said.

            If you want to “note for the record” that I claimed that a “Jewish state” required the ethnic cleansing of the majority Arab population – go ahead. But please don’t forget to note the context – that Palestinian nationalism required the extermination of the Jews in Palestine (as Haj Amin al-Husseini strived to do). Unless you include that in that note of yours you’d be ones again distorting the facts.

          • “to establish Israel as a “Jewish state” required the ethnic cleansing of the majority Arab population”

            Also, while you’re on the subject, Abbas explicitly stated that: “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.”

            Does that not mean that the establishment of a “Palestinian State” requires the ethnic cleansing of Jews?

            Let’s also not forget that ALL the Jews in the area controlled by Arabs were ethnically cleansed in the 1948 war. Does that not mean that establishing the “Arab State” required the ethnic cleansing of even a minority of Jews?!

            Also, since nearly a million Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Middle East, does that not mean that Arab nationalism requires the ethnic cleansing of Jews?

          • Larisa

            incidentally, Hammond, if Zionism by nature requires expansionism of a nature of Greater Israel, etc. (wanting to keep hold of the Palestinian territories, or steal from its neighbours) than how is it possible for anti-occupation Zionists to exist? Green-line Israel is internationally recognized territory, and Zionism is (in case you’ve forgotten, which apparently you have) the belief that Israel has the right to exist, therefore it is entirely possible (and very, very common) to find Zionists who believe in the right of a safe Israel and free Palestine.

            I’m interested to know what YOUR personal definition of Zionism is, since the “reality” you speak of (that being a Zionist means being a nefarious land-grabber) is apparently quite far removed from the actual reality.

            Pro-peace Zionists must REALLY fly in the face of your “reality”, but I suppose if you have no academic qualifications regarding the conflict or even history in general, and have apparently only been following the conflict since you took an interest in 9/11 just over a decade ago, that it’s not entirely surprising that you would make such nasty, demonizing generalizations about a chapter of this conflict that likely happened not only before you started following it, but before you were born. Hmmm.

          • You’re still arguing with yourself.

          • aparatchik

            So why didn’t Israel just kick out the WB/Gaza Arabs in 67 if what they wanted was land? I heard that Dayan told them to stay and gave the Temple Mount to the Waqf. How does this fit with Israel wanting land?

          • They did expel many Palestinians in ’67.

            I don’t understand your question. I think the question is more appropriately: In what way does Israeli policy since it’s inception not fit with desire for the land?

            I mean, how much proof does a person really need? You’ve got the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Arabs in ’48, the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory since ’67, the illegal colonization of the illegally occupied Palestinian territory, and so on.

            It’s like asking for proof that water is wet.

          • Peter Petrelli

            Someone like you will blame Israel no matter what she does unless she does what you wish & simply commit national suicide. Closing the straits was an act of war, period! Beyond that Egypt was very vocal about her intentions to drive the Jew to the sea. I can never understand people like you. Israel is our only ally in the hostile middle east, does antisemitism really blind you to such basic truths? Why shouldn’t America support the only democracy surrounded by a league of tyrants, dictators, fanatics, & madmen?

          • Goodstuff

            So when the Arab legion invaded the Old City of Jerusalem (war of independence), exiled the Jews and desecrated every last Synagogue, was that not a land grab?

          • How does this follow from what I said? You are engaging in strawman argumentation. I welcome you to address my actual comment.

          • It did. I don’t know the figure off the top of my head, but further ethnic cleansing occurred in the ’67 war, 750,000 Arabs having already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine from 1947-49.

            How does that fit in with Zionism not being about a desire for the land?

            Let’s be serious.

          • aparatchik

            The fact is that Israel did not expel all or even most of the Arabs in 67, when she clearly could have. Why not? Why did Dayan tell them to stay? If Israel was only interested in land then this action was totally illogical, no?

            In 48, Israel also showed that she wasn’t totally au fait with ethnic cleansing, as one fifth(?) of the arab population remained along with druze, bedouin, circassians, armenians and others. How many of the 700,000 arabs who left did so due to Israeli action and how many left of their own accord or under the orders of their leaders or as a result of miscalculated arab propaganda http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Ata-hY9WQ is open to debate.

            Jordan on the other hand did an excellent job of ethnically cleansing Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem of Jews.

            The fact that Israel could give back a piece of territory the size of Sinai with its potential mineral resources for a promise of peace (that might well die with Mubarak) also suggests to me that real estate isn’t Israel’s #1 priority.

          • If the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Arabs does not constitute evidence to you that the Zionists were interested in taking the land for themselves, I don’t know what facts could possibly convince you, aparatchik.

            As for the claim that Arabs left “under the orders of their leaders”, this is old Zionist propaganda, for which there is no evidence. The video you provide only discusses the false claim that rapes had occurred. It was the massacre itself, by Zionist terrorists, that frightened many Arabs into fleeing their homes. Many others were forced from their homes.

            “Focusing primarily on Plan D (Dalet , in Hebrew), conceived on March 10, 1948, Pappe demonstrates how ethnic cleansing was not a circumstance of war, but rather a deliberate goal of combat for early Israeli military units organized by David Ben-Gurion, whom Pappe labels the “architect of ethnic cleansing.” The forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians between 1948 and 1949, Pappe argues, was part of a long-standing Zionist plan to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. Framing his argument with accepted international and U.N. definitions of ethnic cleansing, Pappe follows with an excruciatingly detailed account of Israeli military involvement in the demolition and depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arab inhabitants.”

            http://www.amazon.com/Ethnic-Cleansing-Palestine-Ilan-Pappe/dp/1851684670

            The author is Israeli, BTW.

            Your claim that the West Bank and East Jerusalem was “ethnically cleansed” by Jordan is nonsense. Funny you should deny the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Arabs from what became Israel while also making this claim. I can’t help but wonder if you have a prejudice…

            Israel did not withdraw from the Sinai for peace. Israel withdrew from the Sinai to remove Egypt from the equation, so it could more freely continue to occupy and illegally colonize the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

          • Ram

            Jeremy. The cleansing of E Jerusalem of Jews and the destruction of their many Synagogues is a fact, yet you dispute it. However, that is not what debunks your article. The very mention of Ilan Pappe seals your fate!! If the blocking of the Straits of Tiran, along with all the other actions of Syria, Jordan and Egypt do not amount to a serious threat and, logically, an act of war, I class you as definitely being on the wrong side of Israel.

          • …yet you dispute it.

            I’ve neither to interest nor the desire to respond to strawman arguments. You are welcome to address what I’ve actually written.

            I don’t know what “being on the wrong side of Israel” means, but the fact remains that the 1967 war began on the morning of June 5 when Israel launched an attack on Egypt (not vice versa) despite its own intelligence assessing that Nasser had no interest in war.

          • rtk

            Neither do I have the desire to prolong a discussion with a man who remains intent on focusing on technicalities rather than realities.

          • “technicalities”? ROFLMAO!

          • Larisa

            So we took the Sinai out of a desire for land, and then returned it out of a desire for land?

            Wow, apparently we’re so nefarious that absolutely any path we take indicates our evil nature! Impressive. If we didn’t return it, we’d be monsters, if we returned it, it’s just further proof of what monsters we are. I get the feeling you’d be able to turn an Israeli baby’s kuck nappy into evidence of how evil the Zionists are

          • So we took the Sinai out of a desire for land, and then returned it out of a desire for land?

            This was neither my argument nor follows from it.

            Israel took the Sinai out of a desire for land, but was forced to withdraw as holding onto the Sinai became politically infeasible. The peace treaty with Egypt also removed Egypt from the conflict so Israel could carry on with its occupation of Palestine, likewise stemming from its desire for the land.

            Trying to deny the Zionist desire for the land is downright bizarre. We live in something called reality. It’s like trying to deny that socialists wish to use government force to expropriate and redistribute wealth.

          • Larisa

            Apparently you’re unaware what the word Zionism means, which is odd for someone writing for such an illustrious publication. Zionism = believing that Israel has the right to exist. One can be an anti-occupation Zionist who is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine.

            Lobbing everyone into the extreme right-wing camp shows surprising ignorance on your part, and it’s interesting that you feel you have the qualification to tell a group of people who you are clearly very much against what they REALLY believe. It’s rather like anti-feminists telling feminists that they hate men. God knows what Yesh Atid threatening to leave the coalition if the peace talks fails must have gone down as in your head and how you interpret that as not genuinely wanting peace. Or the huge pro-peace movement during Rabin’s days. Perhaps they’re all lying? Insert conspiracy here? Hmmm.

            Your interpretation of what the desires are of a group of millions of people, whom you are not a part of and you are against, is not “reality”. It’s sad to see someone who claims expertise on this subject even suggesting that one’s interpretation is inalienable fact. Even a 1st-year history student would be expected to know better than that. Seems more to me like you’ve already drawn your conclusions and are fitting the facts to suit them. How do you manage to get to be an award-winning journalist without even being able to define the word Zionism (the belief that Israel has the right to exist) accurately and instead presenting it as a lying, extremist monolith? Sad what passes for journalism these days.

          • How you arrive at the conclusion that I’m unaware of what Zionism is is beyond me.

            I also don’t know what you mean saying I’m “Lobbing everyone into the extreme right-wing camp”.

            “Perhaps they’re all lying? Insert conspiracy here?” I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

            I can’t respond to nonsense, so I’ll just repeat what I said: Israel took the Sinai out of a desire for the land, and trying to deny the Zionist desire for the land is downright bizarre.

          • Goodstuff

            All the land taken from Egypt was given back.

            Jordan attacked Israel, Israel fought them back taking the West Bank and Old Jerusalem which holy site were ravished by the Arab Legion during the previous war exiling Jews from the city.

            Israel acknowledged they striked first therefore handing over Sinai and Gaza (Egypt did not want Gaza – Arab League policy to not give Palestinians a home in Arab Lands. However they accuse Jordan of attacking them therefore any land Israel won defending itself against Jordan is then not subject to the same laws as with the case with Egypt.

            So your argument that Israel attacked Egypt for land is inaccurate, seeing as they begged Jordan not to intervene.

          • Yes, Israel eventually withdrew from the Sinai. Your point? Like I said, Israel — not Jordan, and not Egypt — launched the 1967 war, a war of aggression, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international law”, for territorial conquest.

            Hence its efforts to establish Jewish settlements in the occpied Sinai, not to mention in Gaza and the West Bank.

        • scottindallas

          they didn’t just attack Egypt, they attacked all her neighbors, taking land from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, while destroying Palestine. Did you miss Israeli land lust? This is how they did it in the Nakba ”

          “1. Self-defense against invasion by regular or semi-regular forces. This will be achieved by the following:

          A fixed defensive
          system to preserve our settlements, vital economic projects, and
          property, which will enable us to provide governmental services within
          the borders of the state (based on defending the regions of the state
          on the one hand. and on blocking the main access routes from enemy
          territory to the territory of the state. on the other).

          Launching
          pre-planned counter-attacks on enemy bases and supply lines in the
          heart of his territory. whether within the borders of the country
          [Palestine] or in neighboring countries.”
          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html
          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

        • scottindallas

          war crimes, and crimes against humanity, YEA!!!

          6. Blocking the main enemy transportation routes.

          a) The main enemy
          transportation routes which link his lands to the lands of the state,
          such as roads, bridges, main passes, important crossroads, paths, etc.
          must be blocked by means of: acts of sabotage, explosions, series of
          barricades, mine fields, as well as by controlling the elevations near
          roads and taking up positions there.

        • scottindallas

          Destruction of
          villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the
          debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to
          control continuously.

          Mounting search and
          control operations according to the following guidelines:
          encirclement of the village and conducting a search7 inside it. In the
          event of resistance, the. armed force must be destroyed and the
          population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.

          The villages which
          are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the
          fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary.
          In the absence of
          resistance, garrison troops will enter the village and take up
          positions in it or in locations which enable complete tactical control.
          The officer in command of the unit will confiscate all weapons,
          wireless devices, and motor vehicles in the village. In addition, he
          will detain all politically suspect individuals. After consultation
          with the [Jewish] political authorities, bodies will be appointed
          consisting of people from the village to administer the internal
          affairs of the village. In every region, a [Jewish] person will be
          appointed to be responsible for arranging the political and
          administrative affairs of all [Arab] villages and population centers
          which are occupied within that region

      • Larisa

        Nasser had said in the previous month “the sole method we shall apply against Israel is a total war which will result in the extermination of
        Zionist existence”. I think that’s good reason to suspect that Egypt would attack Israel. In hindsight we could dismiss this as the usual sabre-rattling, but I can understand why it was considered relevant. When you tell your neighbour you are going to invade their country and destroy it, even if you don’t have the capability to do so and are just trying to impress Jordan, I think it’s still understandable if the neighbour does take it at face value.

        • You can express your opinion that there was “good reason to suspect that Egypt would attack Israel” all you want, but the fact remains that Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Nasser was not insane, as he would have to be to intend to do so. The US intelligence community agreed, pointing out that Egypt’s military had taken up defensive positions in the Sinai and correctly predicting that Israel would start the war.

          • Larisa

            So Nasser saying he was going to exterminate us via total war wasn’t a reason to think that war was coming?

            When someone says they want to destroy your country and kill your people, that’s usually cause for concern.

        • scottindallas

          did you see what Plan Dalet said?

          “4. Mounting operations against enemy population
          centers located inside or near our defensive system in order to
          prevent them from being used as bases by an active armed force. These
          operations can be divided into the following categories:

          Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the
          debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to
          control continuously.

          Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines:
          encirclement of the village and conducting a search7 inside it. In the
          event of resistance, the. armed force must be destroyed and the
          population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.”
          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

          The villages which
          are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the
          fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary.

          In the absence of
          resistance, garrison troops will enter the village and take up
          positions in it or in locations which enable complete tactical control.
          The officer in command of the unit will confiscate all weapons,
          wireless devices, and motor vehicles in the village. In addition, he
          will detain all politically suspect individuals. After consultation
          with the [Jewish] political authorities, bodies will be appointed
          consisting of people from the village to administer the internal
          affairs of the village. In every region, a [Jewish] person will be
          appointed to be responsible for arranging the political and
          administrative affairs of all [Arab] villages and population centers
          which are occupied within that region.

        • scottindallas

          (c) Deployment in Major Cities

          3. Occupation and control of all isolated Arab
          neighborhoods located between our municipal center and the Arab
          municipal center, especially those neighborhoods which control the
          city’s exit and entry roads. These neighborhoods will be controlled
          according to the guidelines set for searching villages. In case of
          resistance, the population will be expelled to the area of the Arab
          municipal center.

          4. Encirclement of
          the central Arab municipal area and its isolation from external
          transportation routes, as well as the termination of its vital services
          (water, electricity, fuel, etc.), as far as possible. ,

          • scottindallas

            (e) Enemy Cities Will Be Besieged according to the Following Guidelines:

            1. By isolating them from transportation arteries by laying mines, blowing up bridges, and a system of fixed ambushes.

            2. If necessary, by
            occupying high points which overlook transportation arteries leading
            to enemy cities, and the fortification of our units in these positions.

            3. By disrupting
            vital services, such as electricity, water, and fuel, or by using
            economic resources available to us. or by sabotage.

            4. By launching a
            naval operation against the cities that can receive supplies by sea,
            in order to destroy the vessels carrying the provisions, as well as by
            carrying out acts of sabotage against harbor facilities.

        • scottindallas

          funny land description from the Jewish Plan Dalet “3. Attacking enemy bases in his rear, both inside the country [Palestine] and across its borders.”

  • Great article. Of course its true.
    Isn’t treachery and duplicity the hallmarks of Pollard&Co?! Next they’ll claim that Vanunu was wrong too and they’ve no nuclear weapons. Maybe that they didn’t deliberately attack the USS Liberty, killing 34 and wounding 170 innocent US servicemen.
    They are deficient in the loyalty gene, never having had any use of it. There are signs now that they’ll soon bring down their Samson temple, the Knesset, home of “democracy for Jews”. Innocent, truthful Zionists? Double Oxymoron!

    • Larisa

      Do “Zionists” have different genes from other Jews? That’s interesting, I didn’t think of support of the existence of Israel as a genetic trait. You should probably just say Jews and drop the pretense of not being a bigot ;) And what should we be loyal for, the way that a large chunk of the world enthusiastically killed us while the rest of the world said “meh” and took in only a small number of refugees? Would you like a thank-you card? Please tell me now that the Allies were fighting the Nazis to save the Jews, that’d be hilarious. I’m so amused at the high horse you’re on.

      Also, re: your comment about Vanunu, I’m pretty sure that Israel trying to convince the world it has no nuclear weapons wouldn’t be in its best interest. I mean really, duh.

      • scottindallas

        no, it’s Jews who lust for their Arab neighbor’s land, not all Jews are bit by the Zionism bug, but for those that are, it’s pretty rabid. I’m critical of US policy, in the same way I’m critical of Israeli policy. Lame deflection, lame strawman, lame ad hominem–sophist!

  • scott

    I saw David Robarge’s speech on C-Span and searched and searched, asked the State dept for transcripts all to no avail. I’m glad to find this account. I found this account while searching for the State Dept. memos I read at that time (what 3-4 yrs ago) where in all of Johnson’s cabinet knew Israel was the aggressor. Funny, now I can’t find those State Dept. memos anymore. But was delighted to find this and David Robarge finally quoted.

    I didn’t read your article, I know the up shot. Did you address that the war was initiated to preempt Johnson from meeting with Nasser’s #2? The other telling fact in this war was the Israeli shooting of the life rafts of the Liberty–there is no excuse for that even if they thought that dirty Egyptians were in those dingies.

    • Bindar Dunit

      There is no way any (sophisticated) military could have ‘misread’ Identifying features of the USS Liberty….with its giant American flag & ID numbers on its bow -visible clearly during the sunlit hours of the Israeli air & sea attack on the Liberty 8 June 1967…”claiming it confused it with a 1929 Egyptian mule hauler.”….neither Liberty’s ID, shape, size, insignia, speed or high tech antennae…Jane’s Military Ship ident. materials were available to Command and control…& declassified transcripts of an IAF pilot who refused to bomb ( obvious American) target & he returned to base.
      Congress in their routine fashion genuflected to their paymasters – never produced a genuine investigation into that attack.
      Our American (heroic) surviving crew of the Liberty forced to bear the burden of silence for 40+ yrs –
      Yes, they also machine gunned the yellow life rafts as the survivors were attempting to save wounded from the decks…wounded or burned from the napalm dropped on the sunning sailors who had ‘waved’ to the low flying Israeli helicopters earlier. All before their savage Navy fired 2 torpedos into midship killing more sailors.
      There are insufficient words to describe the loathing US Vets retain.

    • scottindallas
  • buddy

    Not to mention of course Israel’s invasion of Sinia in 1956 in collusion with UK and France prior to 1967 sneak attack.
    The later would provide Nuclear technology aid that Israel would turn into WMD.
    Sabbotage operations against UK and US targets in Egypt using recruitted Egyptian Jews(a folly for Egypt’s Jews) during mid fifties would also constitute an act of war. See operation Susannah,(The Lavon Affair).
    Captured Israel spy, Wolfgang Lotz was infiltrated into Egypt in early 60’s,posing as rich German horsebreeder plotted strike targets for Israel;s coming attack on Egypt in 1967.

    • Indeed!

      • scottindallas

        and the USS Liberty in that war. James Bamford’s “Body of Secrets” covered many of the Israeli war crimes committed during that war. An essential read for more than that

  • No, Peter, I would not blame Israel for starting the ’67 war if it hadn’t done so by launching a surprise attack on Egypt on the morning of June 5.

    I do not agree that Egypt’s closing of the straits, as condemnable as that may have been, justified Israel’s resort to violence.

    Finally, it isn’t “antisemitism” to criticize the US for financially, militarily, and diplomatically supporting Israel’s violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people, and the answer to the question of why the US shouldn’t go on doing so is self-evident.

    • If you claim that Israel’s actions during the war in 1947 (a war which, by the way, Palestinian Arabs themselves started) prove that Israel wanted to “manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state” how come Plan D was only in effect in some areas (where the IDF encountered Arab violence) and not in others? Also, it is not true that all these Palestinian Arabs were forced out, since a large number fled on their own.

      How do you contrast it with the fact that nearly all Jews (almost 1,000,000) who lived in Arab countries were ethnically cleansed? These Jews did not start any civil wars against the Arab countries they lived in. Or how about the fact that Arab countries confiscated from these Jews properties that are about 4X the size of the whole state of Israel?! How come today there are over 1.2 million Arabs who live in Israel, but only about 7,000 Jews who live in the Arab world? If anything, it is Arabs who wanted an ethnically (and religiously) pure Arab Muslim land.

      • Since you have questions about its content, I encourage you to read Pappe’s book.

        I don’t know what you are asking with your “How do you contrast it…?” question. The expulsions of Jews from Arab countries was, like the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine, criminal and morally reprehensible.

        • Then how come we only hear about the plight of Palestinian Arabs, and never about Jews from Arab countries? Why this distortion of history?

          • But the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time. This comment of yours being merely the most recent manifestation.

          • The ethnic cleansing of nearly 1,000,000 Jews is a”Zionist talking point”?!? Good to see your humanitarian side!

            What about the fact that Palestinian Arabs started a civil war in 1947? How do you defend that? How do you defend the war of aggression and crimes against peace perpetrated by 5 Arab armies against Israel in 1948?!

          • How you think you can draw a conclusion about my humanitarianism from my observation that it is a point frequently raised in discussion is beyond me.

            On what date in 1947 did the Arabs start this civil war?

            By the time neighboring Arab states were able to muster a response and sent forces into Palestine after the Zionists unilaterally declared the existence of Israel on land mostly belonging to Arabs (with the minority Jewish population owning only 6.8% of the land), 300,000 Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces.

          • 1) When in response to the claim that both Arabs AND Jews were forced out of their homes, you dismiss the latter part by claiming that it is a “Zionist talking point” (as opposed to, you know, a more balanced view) this shows your bias.

            2) Arabs started the civil war on November 29, 1947, when Jewish neighborhoods and villages were attacked by Palestinian Arab guerrillas.

            3) Most of the land on which Jews declared a state did NOT belong to Arabs. In fact, about 75% of it was desert. Overall, 70% was government owned.

            4) The REASON Jews “only” owned about 6% of the land was not because they didn’t have the resources or ability to buy more land, but because Arab terrorism forced the British Administration – in clear violation of its Mandatory obligation under international law – prohibit the sale of land to Jews.

          • 1) To observe that Zionists try to deflect from the topic of how Jews ethnically cleansed Palestine of most of its Arab inhabitants is not to somehow trivialize the expulsions of Jews from Arab states, try as you might to illogically insinuate otherwise. Needless to say, the Palestinians were not responsible for the actions of those regimes.

            2) You assert “the civil war on November 29, 1947, when Jewish neighborhoods and villages were attacked by Palestinian Arab guerrillas”.

            Ten days before that date, however, Lehi (the Stern Gang) raided a house near Ra’anana and executed five young males from the Shubaki family.

            So I guess that means the civil war began on November 19, when it was started by a Jewish terrorist group.

            3) Yes, most of the land on which Jews declared a state did belong to Arabs.

            A 1943 land ownership survey cited by UNSCOP (the committee that came up with the partition plan) noted that Jews owned 5.8% (1,514,247 dunams) while Arabs and other non-Jews owned nearly 94% of the land (24,670,455 dunams).

            Land ownership statistics for 1945 likewise showed
            that Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine. The district with the highest percentage of Jewish ownership was Jaffa, where 39
            percent of the land was owned by Jews, compared to 47 percent owned by Arabs. Jews owned less than 5 percent of the land in eight out of the sixteen
            districts.

            As the UNSCOP report noted, “The Arab population, despite the strenuous efforts of Jews to acquire land in Palestine, at present remains in possession of approximately 85 percent of the land.”

            4) Thank you for acknowledging the fact that the Jewish community owned less than 7% of the land of Palestine (1,820,000 dunams, or 6.9%) at the time the Zionist leadership unilaterally declared the existence of the “Jewish state” on land mostly belonging to Arabs, by which time 300,000 Palestinians had already been ethnically cleansed.

          • What an extraordinary attempt to distort historic facts. The fact that Palestinian Arabs started the civil war is widely accepted by prominent historians. What you’re doing is disingenuous historic revisionism. If you want to play the game of “who fired the first shot” in this conflict, then how about we go all the way back to the Arab Islamic invasion and conquest of the Jewish ancestral homeland in the 7th century AD.

          • I fail to see how pointing out the fact that a Jewish terrorist group murdered five young men 10 days before the day you claimed the civil war began is a distortion of history or “revisionism”.

            Beyond that, if you wish to argue that choosing one of these exact dates as the start of the civil war is arbitrary, as you seem to be trying to do, I would remind you that you are the one who claimed it began with Arab attacks on the specific date of the 29th with Arab attacks.

            So we all see can witness your standard, which is instructive: if it began with Arab attacks, it is not arbitrary, but if it began with Jewish attacks, then it is.

            One of us is trying to distort history, that much we can agree on.

          • You were the one asking: “On what date in 1947 did the Arabs start this civil war?”

            Knowing perfectly well that the civil war started in the context of the UN Partition Plan vote on Nov. 29, and not in the context of Lehi execution of 5 Palestinian Arabs. But as you’ve repeatedly shown, your historic revisionism relies on ignoring (or distorting) the context of events. Otherwise, you wouldn’t adopt such counterfactual narrative.

          • You’re begging the question.

            All I’ve done is state the facts.

          • You mean twist the facts to fit your false narrative.

          • In case you continue with your historic revisionism. Here’s a little inconvenient historic fact for you: Palestinian Arabs officially admitted starting the civil war. Jamal Hussieni, the spokesman representing the Palestinian Arabs (Arab Higher Committee) stated this at a UN Security Council on Feb. 16, 1948:

            “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight”

          • There is no record of such a UNSC meeting at http://unispal.un.org, nor
            can I find any trace of it at http://documents.un.org/ or
            http://unbisnet.un.org/.

            And the fact remains that Jewish terrorists murdered five young Arabs 10 days before the date you claim the Arabs started the civil war by attacking Jews. In fact, the handful of attacks that occurred immediately after Resolution 181 was passed, according to Hagannah Intelligence Service itself, in retaliation for the murders by Lehi.

          • I see that now you advanced from the tactic of distorting historic facts to fit your false narrative into the area of DENYING historic facts to fit your false narrative. That’s certainly going to get you far in this discussion. And you claim that you’re a journalist? Ha!

            Yet the historic fact remains. The quote is from Security Council Official Recrods, S/Aganda/58 (April 16, 1948)

            Here is another quote by the Arab High Committee spokesman to the UN, from April 23, 1948:

            “We have never concealed the fact that we began the fighting. We began it because we were always under the impression, as we are now, that we were fighting in self-defence. We therefore believe that we are quite justified. However, if the whole situation is to be reviewed and if the wrong is to be made right, then we should be the first to accept a truce”

            So you see, it is not I who claims that the Arabs started the civil war, they claimed so themselves (apparently before they realized it doesn’t suit their false victimhood narrative so well)

            Here is the document, in case you claim this one doesn’t exist also. Look at p.14: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxtaXNqdWRlcmlhc3xneDoyMmUzYjA5MmFmYmI0NzNl

          • You can continue making statements “distorting historic facts”, yet the facts remain precisely as I have stated them.

            As for the quote, you claim it is “from Security Council Official Recrods, S/Aganda/58 (April 16, 1948)” (sic). But, again, there is no record of such a UNSC meeting at http://unispal.un.org, nor can I find any trace of it at http://documents.un.org/ or
            http://unbisnet.un.org/.

            You seem to think you’ve provided a link to this document. I would point out to you that you claim the quote is from a meeting record from April 16, while the meeting record you provided a link to is from April 23, the 287th meeting of the UNSC. See, unlike your claimed source for the quote, this document is easily found simply by entering the document symbol, S/PV.287, following a backslash after undocs.org (that is, http://undocs.org/S/PV.287).

            If you want to try again to provide verification of your claimed source, you are welcome to it.

          • I explicitly stated these are two separate events where Palestinian Arab representatives admitted they started the civil war – On April 16 and on April 23. I cited the sources (and even provided the document for April 23). But you can stick to your false narrative, and continue with your historic revisionism and denial of history. It won’t get you far.

          • I apologize. In my hasty read of your comment, I thought you meant that the link was to prove the existence of the comment I actually inquired about. Regarding the two comments:

            1) Again, I can find no actual record of this document. This I would like to do because, if it exists and the quote is accurate, I would like to see the context from which it was taken.

            That aside, the quote, along with the second one, is irrelevant to the fact that the attacks that occurred immediately following the adoption of Resolution 181–which claimed were the incidents of violence that started the civil war–were judged by the HIS itself to be in retaliation for the murder of several young Palestinian men by Jewish terrorists the week before.

            2) To be clear, your argument here is that when Jamal Bey Husseini said “We have never concealed the fact that we began the fighting”, he meant that the Arabs started the civil war immediately after the adoption of Resolution 181. Correct?

          • Larisa

            That awkward moment where Hammond admits that he considers expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed, and that he wishes they’d shut up about it, it’s getting boring. He’s not a bigot, though, and as an award-winning journalist he would never apply double-standards.

          • I’ve no interest in debating a strawman argument. I challenge you to quote me where you claim I “admit” such a thing.

            Good luck with that impossible challenge.

          • Larisa

            I would certainly say that you’re trivializing the expulsion of the Jews as a mere “talking point” that you keep hearing about to the extent that it seems to annoy you, whereas the expulsion of a similar number of Palestinians is an injustice that you’ve devoted your life to.

            Isn’t this a double-standard? If someone spoke so callously about the Nakba, you’d (quite understandably) be outraged. Surely an ethnic cleansing of a very similar scale and scope but with different victims is just as tragic and should be treated similar gravity.

          • Except that Jews never started any hostilities in Arab countries. That’s quite a significant difference.

          • What annoys me is hypocrites who rightly condemn the expulsions of Jews from Arab states in order to try to defend the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Arabs from Palestine by Zionist forces.

            The only double standard here is your own.

            And, no, if someone pointed out the fact that the Nakba was a common talking point of the Palestinians, I wouldn’t be outraged. How ridiculous.

          • Larisa

            Oh, sorry, I see that you mention earlier in this post that it was a reprehensible act. My mistake. I do think that it’s odd that roughly the same number of people suffering a very similar experience has got so little attention other than as a “Zionist talking point”, though. Surely an injustice is an injustice and both should be rectified.

          • Oh, there was no “mistake”. You were deliberately making a false accusation.

            Yes, injustices against both Jews and Arabs should be rectified. Glad we agree on that. Shall we take that as an acknowledgement that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was a grave injustice requiring rectification?

          • Larisa

            Interesting that you make the accusation that I was intentionally misrepresenting your views when, if one only reads the post that I replied to, you seem to be referring to the expulsion of almost a million people as something that you wish they’d shut up about. Context is everything, and I agree that it was lazy of me not to read the rest of the thread and just take a small soundbite (of course, I’m not an award-winning journalist, so getting lazy and taking soundbites without investigating the context is not quite so ridiculous when I do it ;))

          • There is no way you could honestly have taken anything I said to be an “admission” that I believe it is “perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

            I repeat, there was no “mistake”. There was only you making a lying accusation.

          • Larisa

            You can believe that all you want, it’s not the silliest belief you hold ;) ;) But no, I only saw the last post and it seemed very hypocritical that you would treat one ethnic cleansing as a talking point that people talk too much about.

            The fact that I corrected myself immediately when I saw your earlier post should probably have tipped you off, since it wouldn’t make much sense to intentionally make an accusation just to immediately rectify it and apologize ;)

            Honestly, I’m sure if someone said that the Nakba is a Palestinian talking point and you keep hearing about it again and again, you’d be offended unless you had seen the context ;)

            I try to keep my accusations of doublestandards and not-so-careful journalism on your part as reasonable as possible, hence my immediate apology for my mistake/”false accusation”.

            I’m sure if you had made a journalistic mistake, or were possibly practicing a doublestandard without realizing it, you’d value the feedback, wouldn’t you? Surprised you’re taking this so personally.

          • It is just not possible for you to have honestly read my comment as an “admission” that I Believe any such thing. You made a lying accusation, plain and simple, only withdrawing it after realizing your lying accusation would be easily recognized as such by anyone who read my previous comment illustrating it’s falseness.

            There was no “mistake”.

          • There was no “mistake”. It is just not possible that you could have read what I actually said and interpreted it as
            an “admission” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”. There is no way any honest and reasonable person could possibly have arrived at that conclusion based on my comments. You had malicious intent and only withdrew the lying accusation after realizing that anyone actually reading my comments would immediately see right through it.

          • Larisa

            Sure, feel free to tell me that you’re aware of my true intentions and that I’m a liar ;) The one post I read most certainly sounded like that, and if that had been all you had to say, I would have stood by my conclusions ENTIRELY. Out of context, that soundbite makes you sound like a bigot.

            It’s also very funny that even though I saw your other post and rapidly apologized for misunderstanding you and taking your comment out of context, that you’re now convinced that I’m a vicious liar with the intention to do you harm ;) (I would think, if this was the case that I would not have rushed to apologize when I saw your previous post. Hmmmm.)

            On the other hand, if this is how you draw your conclusions about people’s intentions, based on paranoia and a “they’re out to get me/my preferred side!” mentality, presuming the most nefarious possible intentions about people with a very limited amount of available knowledge, then actually, that kinda explains a lot about this post and your political views in general. Not enough knowledge of the subject matter (me, in this case, which is a subject I would profess to know a lot about ;)), and jumping to conclusions in order to assign nefarious intents to people when there are none.

          • Larisa

            “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.”

            Do I have your permission to pluck this quote out of context, put it on pages regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict where both Zionists and anti-Zionists post, and ask them whether it seems to indicate that the topic of the Jewish expulsion from Arab countries is trivial and boring to you? ;) Out of context, this quote makes you sound like a total monster. Shame you can’t see that, but I already apologized for not reading the context and realizing that was not your intent.

            You seem to not be able to hear how obnoxious and bigoted you sounded when I did not check the context, so perhaps that could act as a wake-up call on that before your paranoia leads you to ridiculous accusations just because you’re annoyed that I’ve been taking the time to review your articles and offer feedback regarding possible mistakes, which apparently you’ve taken as a personal attack. Holding grudges when people take time out of their busy schedules to help you improve the quality of your work, and then telling them that their intention is malicious, isn’t the mark of an award-winning journalist, sweetie.

            Since of course you don’t know me from a cheese sandwich, you might want to stop with the paranoia and the rather rude insults to my character (“in order to attempt to discredit my future posts?” is what I would wonder if I was the type to attribute malicious intentions to complete strangers just for having different political views to myself).

            Some appreciation. Honestly, I’m a new mother, I could be spending my baby’s nap time watching a movie instead of being insulted by someone who claims to be an expert in my inner thoughts :P Despite my rapid apology for my mistake re: your views, I’m sure I won’t be getting an apology for your personal attack.

          • It is just not possible for any honest and reasonable person to read that comment of mine and take away from it that I “admit” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

            The malicious intent with which you made that slanderous remark against my character is perfectly transparent.

          • It is just not logically possible for your statement that I “admit” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed” to have been a “mistake”.

            There is just no way any honest, reasonable person could read what I actually wrote and take that away from it.

            The inescapable corollary is that you were trying to slander my character.

          • Larisa

            “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.”

            No, really, Hammond, read that one more time.

            Try posting that without any context in any forum where both Palestinians and Israelis will read it, and see what people read into it. No, really, please do. Certainly sounds like trivializing the heck out of one ethnic cleansing. Surprised you can’t see that.

            Of course as soon as I saw that it had been stated in a wider context, I took back my comment, and I apologized for not bothering to check the context of your comment. You of all people should know that sometimes people will get lazy and read things without checking their context ;)

          • See my previous comment.

          • Larisa

            BTW, it’s interesting to see that you attribute the most malicious intentions possible, to people that you don’t really know anything about. After all, all you know about me is a screenname and that I’ve spent some time in the last few days poking holes in your work (which I would think a journalist of integrity would appreciate as a chance to hone their craft, and I’m sure on some level you do), and now you think I have some sort of evil agenda ;) Please tell me more about my character, personality and goals, as this could be really funny. Am I a cat person or a dog person?

            If journalism ever loses its charm, you could always consider a career as a TV psychic, since you seem to know me intimately enough (with so little information at your disposal) to make such nasty, paranoid judgment calls.

            It’s interesting that when you as an award-winning journalist actually publish an altered quote without checking its context, you can recognize that this was an innocent mistake, but when a sleep-deprived new mother sees a rather offensive sentence and doesn’t sufficiently check the context to realize that you did not mean ill intent, she must be on a campaign to slander you. I wonder if your easy willingness to attribute nefarious intentions to people might perhaps cloud your work?

            If I were the paranoid type, I’d think that you had a problem with people trying to poke holes in your articles and you were trying to use this as an excuse to discredit me, but I’m sure you’re not the type to shy away from debate and you’re just being genuinely paranoid, not malicious.

          • BTW, it’s interesting to see that you attribute the most malicious intentions possible, to people that you don’t really know anything about.

            What an extraordinarily hypocritical remark coming from the individual who took my observation that the expulsion of Jews from Arab states is a common point raised by defenders of Israel’s crimes in discussions about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and turned it into an “admission” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

            I’ve no time for more of your childishness and hypocrisy.

          • Larisa

            Still, how ironic that my mistake, lazily taking a soundbite without reviewing the context at all (a mistake you should sympathize with, all considered, since it’s not exactly above you) would result in your indicating that you are willing to tell people what they REALLY think and assign them malicious intent ;)

          • It isn’t a matter of having taken my comment out of context.

            Regardless of the context of the fuller discussion, it is simply not possible for any honest and reasonable person to take that one comment of mine and read it as an “admission” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

          • Larisa

            “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.” sounds pretty nasty if that’s all that someone has read.

            Already agreed that I should have read more of the thread before butting in at the last minute and making assumptions based on what sure did sound like a nasty thing to say when just treated as a soundbite, but heck, I’m not an award-winning journalist, I’m a sleep-deprived new mother, so if I take a soundbite out of context without reading everything you’ve said, at least I have a valid excuse for it ;)

            Honestly, I almost feel like you didn’t appreciate me correcting you about that mistaken quote and you’re taking this as a personal vendetta instead of appreciating the opportunity to further hone your craft *sadface*

          • I don’t see why the observation should sound “nasty”.

            No, you have no “valid excuse” for making your deliberately false accusation against my character.

            I already thanked you for correcting me on the quote, and you will see I’ve published a correction as a result. The one thing has nothing to do with the other outside of your own mind.

          • I fail to see why it “sounds pretty nasty” to observe the fact that defenders of Israel’s ethnic cleansing commonly make it a point of discussion to bring up the expulsion of Jews from Arab states.

            You are being childish. Perhaps if you have to try to excuse your behavior on the grounds of being sleep-deprived, you should stop trolling on the internet and go get some sleep.

          • Larisa

            And yes, it is indeed a tragedy that the civilian population of Palestine paid the price for shitty leaders on both sides (I’m sure you’ll agree that the behaviour of the al-Husseinis was also atrocious). More steps should have been taken on both sides to ensure that the two native peoples of that land could live together in peace, and it is awful that so many people continue to suffer from those mistakes. A Palestinian child being thrown out of their home as their village burns is a tragedy regardless of politics, and if it is possible to rectify those mistakes in a way that ends up in peace and not vengeance, then nothing would bring me greater joy.

            As usual, millions of people suffer because of the decisions of angry men with guns who spend more time shooting than getting to know their neighbours. Worldwide phenomenon that has caused and continues to cause endless suffering.

      • scottindallas

        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

        Destruction of
        villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the
        debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to
        control continuously.

        Mounting search and
        control operations according to the following guidelines:
        encirclement of the village and conducting a search7 inside it. In the
        event of resistance, the. armed force must be destroyed and the
        population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.

        The villages which
        are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the
        fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary.
        In the absence of
        resistance, garrison troops will enter the village and take up
        positions in it or in locations which enable complete tactical control.
        The officer in command of the unit will confiscate all weapons,
        wireless devices, and motor vehicles in the village. In addition, he
        will detain all politically suspect individuals. After consultation
        with the [Jewish] political authorities, bodies will be appointed
        consisting of people from the village to administer the internal
        affairs of the village. In every region, a [Jewish] person will be
        appointed to be responsible for arranging the political and
        administrative affairs of all [Arab] villages and population centers
        which are occupied within that region

  • Larisa

    Here’s what Hammond, in his lack of journalistic integrity leaves out: in that interview, Rabin is not offering an admission that the attack on Egypt was with the intention of land-grabbing.

    Another, more sound interpretation of that interview is presented in Ragout, and including the full interview in the context of Hammond’s little soundbite that I suspect he got off the Internet without reading the full interview, considering he too has altered the quote to omit the date, and the various provocations which occurred after May 14th. Hammond is misleadingly stating, either by negligence or intent, that only two divisions were sent, and that those two divisions alone were the only provocation and were used as a pretext. Rabin’s interview suggests otherwise, and perhaps Hammond might want to actually read it instead of taking quotes out of context that he’s found on the Internet. This is journalism, not a high school essay that you’d probably receive a C on.

    ________________________________________________________
    A commentator quotes Israel General Rabin as saying, “I do not think
    Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai on 14 May
    [1967] would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against
    Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    According to the anonymous commentator, and numerous web sites, this
    quote proves that Israel sought war in 1967. However, it does no such
    thing. The crucial point is the date: May 14, several weeks before the
    June 5 beginning of the 1967 War. The quote linked to by my commentator
    omits the date, as do many, but not all, of the web pages I found
    touting this quote.

    Many things happened between May 14 and June 5. Egypt ordered the UN
    peacekeepers to leave, Egypt blockaded Israel’s Red Sea Port. Egypt
    moved another 5 divisions to the Israeli Border, 100,000 troops in all.
    Egyptian dictator Nasser threatened Israel with genocide. Indeed, every
    provocation I mentioned in my previous post happened after May 14.

    Even without more context, it’s fairly clear what Rabin is saying
    here. He’s saying that Nasser may not have initially wanted war, but
    eventually found himself in a situation where he couldn’t back down
    without losing face. He may have hoped that the UN peacekeepers would
    refuse to leave. He may have been goaded by the Soviets, who falsely
    told him that Israel was planning to attack Syria. The histories I’ve
    read say that the war was probably a miscalculation on Nasser’s part,
    but certainly do not suggest that the war was provoked by Israel.

    ________________________________________________
    … Q. Do you think that Nasser pretended to believe in your threats because he was seeking to provoke war?

    A. I do not think that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he
    sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start
    an offensive against Israel. He knew it, and we knew it. This fact
    shows, in my view, that Nasser did not really believe that we were going
    to attack Syria. He was bluffing; he wanted to present himself, at low
    cost, as the savior of Syria and to thus gain broad sympathy in the Arab
    world. We were familiar with this strategem since he had already used
    it in 1960…. But, eight years ago, he had not demanded the withdrawal
    of the UN forces. This time, he felt the need to give more credibility
    to his bluff. Indeed, the propaganda of the anti-Nasser Arab states had
    pushed him by constantly accusing him of “hiding behind the
    international forces”.

    Q. Did he intend, in your view, to close the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping?

    A. Initially, he demanded the withdrawal of the “blue helmets” only
    from the portion of the borders from Rafah to [illegible], and he
    suggested that the UN soldiers be regrouped in Gaza and Sharm-el-Sheikh
    (which commands the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba). Unhappily, Mr. Thant
    obliged him to choose: keep the international forces in all their
    positions or, on the contrary, demand their total and definitive
    withdrawal. I believe that the UN General Secretary even made this
    requirement public before it had reached President Nasser. Nasser, in
    order not to lose face, chose to start the crisis of Aqaba.

    Q. Why did he do this if he did not want war and if he knew, in addition, that your army was superior to his?

    A. This is where our logic does not correspond to that of the Arabs.
    The latter rarely make the distinction between realities and desires.
    Nasser was intoxicated by the explosion of popular enthusiasm in the
    Arab world, as well as by his own propaganda. He finally believed that
    the Egyptian army was not defeated in 1956 by Israel, but only by the
    French-English intervention. He constructed an entire system of thought,
    according to which Israel would not initiate hostilities in 1967
    because it could not count, as in 1956, on the support of foreign
    powers. However, judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai
    after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture
    to be a casus belli.

    • Here’s what Hammond, in his lack of journalistic integrity leaves out:
      in that interview, Rabin is not offering an admission that the attack on
      Egypt was with the intention of land-grabbing.

      You can argue Rabin was not admitting “X”, but this is irrelevant to the point of my having quoting him, which is that he was admitting “Y”.

      “Y”, of course, being that Israel’s June 5 attack on Egypt was by definition not “preemptive”.

      Thank you for providing the full context of the interview. As anyone can see, I did not take anything out of context. He clearly stated that he didn’t believe that Egypt was going to launch an attack on Israel.

      • Larisa

        Could you kindly explain why you chose to omit the date of May 14th from your post when you quoted the interview? I would be very curious to hear the explanation for that ;) It seems extraordinarily unprofessional, trying to indicate that there were only two divisions, and omitting anything that happened between May 14th and June 5th. The original date was in there for a good reason, and I am very suspicious that you chose to omit it.

        You’re using what Rabin did admit to argue for something that he actually denies, in the very same interview. Seems like rather dishonest journalism, taking one quote out of context to build a case for something that the interview refutes. Again, no journalistic integrity.

        • The purpose of the quote from Rabin is to illustrate the fact that he didn’t believe that Egypt was going to launch an attack on Israel.

          Which it, of course, does.

          • Larisa

            So you’re under the impression that using an interview that, in its whole, contradicts the very premise of your article, is good journalism?

            Reminds me rather of the internet trolls who take quotes from the Talmud or the Quran out of context to defame two world religions. Or, for that matter, anti-Palestinian activists who try to deny the rights of the Palestinian people by taking choice quotes out of context by Palestinian leaders. Presumably you’re aware that this kind of behaviour is wrong when your opponents do it, yet you seem to have no problem doing it yourself. How curious.

            Also you didn’t answer my question as to whether you read the whole interview before using that quote so that you would be aware of its context, and my question as to why you chose to omit the date mentioned in the quote, which was a very crucial point (the number of divisions, events that took place between those dates, etc.) Perhaps you could explain that decision to me? It seems to be done very commonly on anti-Zionist sources using that quote, and it seems more than a coincidence that you used the form of the quote found not in the interview, but found on many an anti-Zionist blog. Of course it seems unlikely that an award-winning journalist would not bother reading the original interview and simply skim the blogosphere, or would just happen to omit that crucial detail in exactly the same manner that so many anti-Zionist blogs choose to, so I presume this was just a strange coincidence? :)

          • How does the interview of Rabin in which he states he doesn’t think Egypt was going to attack Israel contradict the premise of the article that Israel’s attack on Egypt wasn’t preemptive?

            It doesn’t, of course.

          • Larisa

            Rabin later explains Israel’s reasoning. I refer you to my original post.

            “Nasser was intoxicated by the explosion of popular enthusiasm in the
            Arab world, as well as by his own propaganda. He finally believed that
            the Egyptian army was not defeated in 1956 by Israel, but only by the
            French-English intervention. He constructed an entire system of thought,
            according to which Israel would not initiate hostilities in 1967
            because it could not count, as in 1956, on the support of foreign
            powers. However, judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai
            after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture
            to be a casus belli.”

            The interpretation of this is mentioned in the link I quoted:

            The crucial point is the date: May 14, several weeks before the
            June 5 beginning of the 1967 War. The quote linked to by my commentator
            omits the date, as do many, but not all, of the web pages I found
            touting this quote.

            Many things happened between May 14 and June 5. Egypt ordered the UN
            peacekeepers to leave, Egypt blockaded Israel’s Red Sea Port. Egypt
            moved another 5 divisions to the Israeli Border, 100,000 troops in all.
            Egyptian dictator Nasser threatened Israel with genocide. Indeed, every
            provocation I mentioned in my previous post happened after May 14.

            Even without more context, it’s fairly clear what Rabin is saying
            here. He’s saying that Nasser may not have initially wanted war, but
            eventually found himself in a situation where he couldn’t back down
            without losing face. He may have hoped that the UN peacekeepers would
            refuse to leave. He may have been goaded by the Soviets, who falsely
            told him that Israel was planning to attack Syria. The histories I’ve
            read say that the war was probably a miscalculation on Nasser’s part,
            but certainly do not suggest that the war was provoked by Israel.

          • Larisa

            Interesting that the version of the quote you’ve presented states that only two divisions were sent to the Sinai, by the way ;) Surely before writing this article you knew how many divisions were sent to the Sinai? I mean, you wouldn’t make moral judgment calls about important historical events of which you know virtually nothing, no award-winning journalist would do that.

            The fact that the version of the quote you found on the blogosphere specified only two divisions should’ve made you suspicious as to its accuracy, since of course you already knew the number of divisions that were sent by June 5, and all other important events that had happened by June 5.

          • It doesn’t matter whether we quote Rabin mentioning the two divisions or later where he mentions seven. The point remains the same:

            “However, judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture to be a casus belli.”

            The point remains the same: Mentioning the two divisions, Rabin states clearly he doesn’t think that Egypt was going to attack Israel. Then he mentions additional divisions moved into the Sinai and clearly suggests this was done because Nasser thought Israel might attack.

            The fact is — as the full text of the interview from Rabin shows (thanks again for it, BTW) — Israel’s attack was not “preemptive”.

          • Larisa

            You should be checking your primary sources, it’s important as a journalist. I appreciate that you’ve recognized the omission though.

            I appreciate your point, although I think Ragout’s interpretation of events is also insightful (that it would be an exaggeration to say that Israel was the provocateur. It seems like even if in May Nasser did not intend for the events to end in war, by June things has been exacerbated to the extent that he didn’t feel he could back down). But I agree that calling the war preemptive and unavoidable is too black-and-white under the circumstances.

            Do you believe that Israel took the Sinai out of a desire for a Greater Israel, or because they felt that there was potential of a future security issue that would threaten green-line Israel and they took steps that may have been unnecessary? I personally think the former assertion is ridiculous, but a potentially unnecessary step towards Israel’s future was certainly a motivating factor. But the latter is also consistent with the idea that Israel did return the Sinai to Egypt for peace, since a peace treaty would negate Israel’s motivation to keep the Sinai in the first place if its occupation was for the intention of securing the safety of the green line. So even if hypothetically the war was not as directly “preemptive” as history has labelled it, saying that Israel invaded the Sinai out of a desire for land (as you claimed earlier) seems unlikely, and also seems to go against both Rabin’s interview and Begin’s interview.

          • Yes, it is important to check primary sources. In this case, the quote is well-known. I had no access to Le Monde archives nor could read French. I made a poor judgment in choosing whatever source I found for the quote at the time, needless to say, given its inaccuracy.

            Israel began establishing settlements in the Sinai following its occupation in June 1967, which seems to answer your question and render ridiculous your belief that the suggestion there was a desire for the land is “ridiculous”.

            This does not exclude also the possibility Israel sought it as a bargaining chip. It was obviously both.

          • Larisa

            Do you believe if there were no security concerns towards green-line Israel they still would have had their eye on the Sinai?

            If somebody was coming to kill me and destroy my country, I’d rather they were as far away as possible ;) Makes strategic sense in the context of an inevitable war as Nasser promised to have him as far away as possible from major built-up areas, so I still don’t think this indicates a desire for a Greater Israel, and from the extremely high esteem that Sadat is held in in mainstream Israeli society, I don’t think the peace treaty was part of a nefarious plot or that Israel is just biding its time to take the Sinai back :P

            It’s probably hard for you to imagine how much it meant to the people of Israel to have Sadat say that their children are just as valuable as the children of his own country, and that every child lost on either side is a tragedy to the human race, but even now it is very moving to reflect upon.

          • Michael Rorer

            Larisa, I want to ask you a few questions. a) would agree that even if the initial intent of the Gov was to provide security, it did support the construction of settlements almost as soon as the war ended? b) Do you believe that the settlements spread all over the West bank are absolutely necessary for the security of Israel, so much that Israel is justified in ignoring the common interpretation of the UN resolution 242, in denying the Palestinians the right for their on state, keeping them under the military law… etc.

          • Michael Rorer

            Larisa, I want to ask you a few questions.
            a) would you agree that even if the initial intent of the Gov was to provide
            security, it did support the construction of settlements almost as soon as the
            war ended? b) Do you believe that the settlements spread all over the West bank
            are absolutely necessary for the security of Israel, so much that Israel is
            justified in ignoring the common interpretation of the UN resolution 242, in
            denying the Palestinians the right for their on state, keeping them under the
            military law… etc.

          • scottindallas

            you need to check on the David Robarge article cited in the original. and what about your Airforce Commander, all the hierarchy has eventually admitted that Israel attacked first. But, tell me about “Plan Dalet” and “Plan Gimmel” and the premeditated nature of the Nakba?

          • scottindallas

            you didn’t date this quote, nor did you provide source info. For such a stickler, you’re quite the sophistic laggard.

          • Larisa

            Also, I notice you didn’t answer my question as to whether you’d read the original interview or why you chose to alter the quote to remove the date (as so many hacks in the blogosphere also coincidentally do). I’ve asked the same question a few times, and I am asking you once more, but I suppose you’ve dodged the questions enough times that now I can reasonably infer the answer.

          • scottindallas

            he addressed it with a correction; will you address why the Mossad bombed Synagogues in England and Iran?

          • Larisa

            I wonder how many more times I could ask it and you could manage to deflect, repeat the same excuse and not answer the question ;)

          • scottindallas

            what was Israel’s justification for shooting out the liferafts of the USS Liberty?

          • scottindallas

            have you stopped advocating the theft of Palestinian land, and denial of human, civil and property rights under siege? Isn’t that an act of war? Doesn’t that mean there are thus no Palestinian terrorists, but Israel has brought back the Warsaw Ghetto? Is it good when Jews run Hitleresque open prisons?

          • Larisa

            By the way, is it good journalistic practice for pro-Zionists to pluck out quotes from interviews that later defy the very premise of their articles? Or does this just apply to anti-Zionists?

            I’m wondering because I’d love to be able to say that the “award-winning” Jeremy R. Hammond has given me permission to write contextless nonsense based on altered quotes from interviews that later go on to defy my very premise, and to use primary sources that I never even bothered to read (not that I would stoop so low as to actually do so, but it’s good to know that at least if you’re anti-Zionist it’s apparently okay)

            By the way, do you tend to alter quotes/not read the interviews you quote from very often? You should probably be more careful about that, someone might catch you out ;)

          • How does the interview of Rabin in which he states he doesn’t think Egypt was going to attack Israel “defy” the premise of the article that Israel’s attack on Egypt wasn’t preemptive?

            It doesn’t, of course.

          • scottindallas

            strawman

          • Zahara

            his only qualification is in Communications? but he writes a journal dedicated
            to history and political science? … shouldn’t he be writing about
            something he’s qualified to do, like the best way to phrase heating
            instructions on a pizza box?” :)

          • scottindallas

            you’ve demonstrated you’re an expert in sophistry

          • Ryan Bellerose

            by leaving out the date you are really not making your point, in fact it almost looks like you pulled a pappe and decided to omit facts to fit the conclusion you wanted, not something a history or poli sci guy does, but something a communications major would think is ok.

            You should probably stick to hack journalism and making up lies for a blog.

          • I fail to see how quoting Rabin stating plainly that he didn’t think Egypt would attack Israel fails to make the point that Israel’s attack on Egypt wasn’t “preemptive”.

            Perhaps you two ought to look up the definition of “preemptive” so can understand.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            because you took a quote from much earlier, omitted the date and acted like it supported your position when if you quoted the entire quote and showed the date, it actually destroys your supposition.

          • Actually, anyone can see for themselves that the full text of the interview fully supports the article. Rabin clearly states his belief that Nasser moved seven divisions into the Sinai because he thought Israel might attack Egypt.

            Needless to say, this doesn’t “destroy” the article’s thesis, it strengthens it.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            lmao, do you know what confirmation Bias means?

          • If you are trying to imply that what I said in my previous comment is somehow disputable, you are welcome to make that argument. Good luck with that. It’ll be quite difficult, I think, considering the fact that everyone can see for themselves what Rabin said.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            they can also see WHEN he said it, and what context he said it in, unless of course you omit the date, like you did in order to push your fals narrative

          • Please see the correction appended to the article.

            Now, like I said, if you have an argument to support your insinuation, you are welcome to make it.

          • scottindallas

            do you know what confirmation bias is?

          • Steamdude

            But there were five divisions on the border just prior to the outbreak of hostilities, and you clearly indicated that there were still only two by that time. I think Larisa has got you. She has clearly revealed your biased.

          • As I’ve explained, as the CIA observed, Egypt’s forces in the Sinai took up defensive positions.

  • Ah, an ad hominem argument. Brilliant.

    • Larisa

      She’s got a valid point. Do you have any qualifications in political science or history, or is this more of a hobby? Nothing’s listed on your bio, but you seem to be presenting yourself as an expert in both fields.

      Then again, since you either intentionally alter quotes or you don’t read primary sources and prefer to use non-credible sources to find quotes to suit your needs (without realizing that they’ve been altered), and don’t admit to it when caught out, I suppose journalism isn’t your strong suit either.

      • No, actually, the fact that ad hominem arguments are a logical fallacy by definition means it is not a valid point.

        As I noted in a previous comment, I accept responsibility for not verifying the accuracy of the quote from the source where I found it.

        That aside, the full text of the interview supports the thesis of the article.

  • Larisa

    Anyone reading this article should note that Hammond has altered the Rabin quote. The original quote reads:

    “The two divisions he sent to the Sinai on 14 May [1967] would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    For some reason, he has removed the date. I’ve seen this quote altered in the same way many times on the anti-Zionist blogosphere (not exactly a reliable source). I have asked him whether he read the original interview or just plucked a soundbite, and what his motivation was for altering the quote (as, of course, altering a quote is not something that an “award-winning journalist” would do lightly, and the date and the number of divisions is very crucial information). I’ve asked quite a few times now and he has replied to my posts but refused to answer either whether he read the original interview, or why he altered the quote.

    I wouldn’t place too much stock in his journalistic integrity, as he either intentionally altered the quote, or didn’t read the primary source and copy-pasted the altered quote from a source that would certainly not be credible.

    Hammond, perhaps you would like to take this opportunity to respond to my enquiries (or deflect, or delete these posts. Whichever floats your boat.) Did you read the original interview, did you alter the quote of your own accord, and if not, what was the source at which you read the altered quote?

    Being accused of not using credible sources and not checking primary sources is not something that an “award-winning journalist” and an author of books regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would do, I should think.

    I look forward to seeing you show some journalistic integrity, by answering my questions with honesty, and either offering a reasonable explanation towards my concerns or offering an apology for using an altered quote from a non-credible source without reading the primary source (which is, of course, bad journalistic practice).

  • MoRiem57

    People make up all kind of stories , just like pallywood

  • Larisa

    He claims he’s an award-winning journalist, too. I was reading up about Project Censored, and since they’ve also given awards to 9/11 truthers, it’s seems like it’s basically a case of conspiracy theorists giving awards to conspiracy theorists.

    He also claims on a post on his personal site that Ahmadinejad has never denied the Holocaust and asked for a quote. Seriously, it took like 1 minute on Google to find a quote where Ahmadinejad basically said he refused to confirm or deny the Holocaust, that it may or may not have happened, but that if it did it should be open to revision. I asked Hammond whether he agrees that the Holocaust may not have happened and that it should be open to revision; didn’t get an answer on that one yet, I’m really looking forward to him possibly trying to justify Holocaust revisionism, and also hopefully explaining why he couldn’t find these quotes that were ever so easy to find. I mean, really, he’s an “award winning journalist” and a highly qualified expert in his field, and he’s certainly able to find (altered) quotes when it suits him.

    • To keep it on topic, I’ll just point out once more the fact that the full text of the interview with Rabin supports the thesis of the article.

    • Michael Rorer

      not to get too far off the subject and certainly not to defend Ahmadinejad, but ————————————“..He also claims on a post on his personal site that Ahmadinejad has never denied the Holocaust and asked for a quote…..———– . it took like 1 minute on Google to find a quote where Ahmadinejad basically said he refused to confirm or deny (!) – technically, this statement is obviously not a ‘denial’ To claim the lack of knowledge, to reject the proof of existence of something is obviously not the same s to deny the existence. … you clearly contradict yourself. —– basic textbook logic fallacy.

  • Ilana Bat Masha

    Readers may also be interested to know that when I read a soundbite of his out of context, and apologized immediately, he accused me of having a malicious secret agenda to defame him. (Ironic, since his own article contained a quote out of context).

    This was the quote:

    “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.”

    Once again, Hammond, you’re paranoid, completely wrong about my intentions (spirited debate), and haven’t figured out how nasty your comment sounded without context. You also condemn me so virulently for a mistake which you made yourself; what incredibly hypocrisy.

    I presume I can feel free to screenshot your comment, copy-paste it all over the Internet without any context and entitle it “this is what Jeremy R. Hammond thinks about the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries”, but without stating any interpretation of the soundbite? Since you’re so confident that even without context, it doesn’t make you sound like a nasty bigot, and by my interpreting it as such, it must be evidence of some secret agenda?

    After all, your comment sounded entirely innocuous and it couldn’t possibly be misinterpreted in that fashion.

    Looking forward to you either telling me that it’s okay to do so, or apologizing for attributing me with malicious intent when what you said clearly DID sound bigoted.

    Put your money where your mouth is; if this quote is harmless and didn’t sound bigoted out of context, then you’ll have no problem with it going all over the Internet.

    If it’s not bigoted-sounding, I’m sure no one else will read it that way. If, out of context, it is bigoted-sounding, then your false accusations of malicious intent today have been incredibly unprofessional, hypocritical and childish ;)

    Looking forward to hearing you respond in a manner befitting an award-winning journalist instead of making baseless and offensive claims and trying to silence dissent.

    • Ilana Bat Masha

      And to think, after I asked you 5 or 6 times how it came about that you’d posted an altered quote, and you apologized and wrote a correction, I actually was impressed that when push comes to shove you would behave with integrity; this paranoia and attributing of malicious intent where none existed does not befit a journalist, although it does seem to explain a lot if you see maliciousness where none was present.

      Anyone would look at that quote out of context and think you were a bigot. I apologized for my mistake in taking it out of context, but if you think it wasn’t bigoted-sounding, you are wrong, and perhaps you should get your mind out of Evil Conspiracy By A Person Who Happens to Be Zionist zone. I have no interest in defaming you (other than spreading that quote around to prove the point that it could easily be misinterpreted despite your claim to the contrary, which I’m presuming I’m not going to have to do because you and I both know how it sounded.)

    • Your remark that I “admit” I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed” had nothing to do with the “context” in which my actual statement occurred. Regardless of its context, there is no possible way any honest, reasonable person could take that away from I actually said. Your malicious intent to slander my character with that absurd lie was perfectly transparent.

      As for the error in the quotation I provided in the article, I direct readers’ attention to the correction I posted. See above.

    • Sun Tzu

      According to this Iraqi jew Ben Gurion played a role in the jews being kicked out of arab countries

      The Jews of Iraq
      and
      Ben Gurion’s Scandals

      by Naeim Giladi

    • scottindallas

      what do you say about Mossad bombing of synagogues in Egypt, Iran and elsewhere to drive Jews to Israel?

  • Colby Pong

    I think it’s fascinating how there is still so much discussion and debate over an event that happened almost 50 years ago. Even though it seems like mostly everyone agrees that Nasser wouldn’t have started the attack, it sounds like there are still people insisting that he would initiate this attack when almost all factors were against him. Because there has been so much conflict in the past, I feel that this (though not necessarily this exact incident) contributes greatly to the modern day conflict. Even though there are clearly some unresolved issues on both parts, I think peace can be achieved if everyone involved works at it. Neither Egyptians nor Israelis can completely eradicate the population of the other, so it would be in the best interest to improve relations between them. #MES20

    • scottindallas

      Israel’s scores of illegal, undeclared nuke program which is in violation of NPT might beg to differ. Oh, and thank Israel for Chinese nukes

      • Goodstuff

        Technically not, they never tested nukes. Therefore they cannot be seen as actually having them officially. However the worst kept secret in the world has kept the Arabs from trying to invade Israel again. Deterrence is peace.

        • Sparking a nuclear arms race is not “peace”. We may recall, for example, how the Hussein regime in Iraq made the decision to pursue a nuclear capability in response to Israel’s illegal bombing of its Osirak nuclear reactor, which was being constructed under the safeguards of the NPT and IAEA regime.

  • Colby Pong

    I think it’s fascinating how there is still so much discussion and debate over an event that happened almost 50 years ago. Even though it seems like mostly everyone agrees that Nasser wouldn’t have started the attack, it sounds like there are still people insisting that he would initiate this attack when almost all factors were against him. Because there has been so much conflict in the past, I feel that this (though not necessarily this exact incident) contributes greatly to the modern day conflict. Even though there are clearly some unresolved issues on both parts, I think peace can be achieved if everyone involved works at it. Neither Egyptians nor Israelis can completely eradicate the population of the other, so it would be in the best interest to improve relations between them. #MES20

    • Goodstuff

      The Arab world has excepted the existence of Israel, whether they say so or not. However the Arabs do not want peace, if they did they would have allowed citizenship to the Palestinian refugees. A Palestinian born in any Arab country today will not gain citizenship in that country. Why? The Arabs want the Israelis to be under constant pressure.

      The Arab world does not seek to help their own displaced people. Look at the Syrian crises, not one Arab country invited those displaced migrants into their country. Instead the Syrian migrants had to seek Western Aid.

      • The Arab states have been no great friend to the Palestinians, certainly. Yet the fact is the Arab states, including Palestine, join the rest of the world in accepting the two-state solution, while Israel continues to reject it.

        And responsibility for the refugees lies first and foremost, of course, with Israel — the country that created the refugee problem by ethnically cleansing Palestine of most of its Arab population.

  • mrfixit

    you all lack common sense and are brainwashed by arab propaganda. the arguments here about Israel are irrelevant. 3 facts exist: 1) no arab country wants peace with Israel or any other non arab non muslim state because it is democratic and not a muslim state. muslims do not want peace non muslims it is against the koran. especially not smack in the middle of the 20+ extremist fascist dictatorship countries known as the middle east who would wipe israel off the map if they could. 2) israels existence is irrelevant. if israel did not exist, the arabs and arab dictators would still be murdering one another like they do currently today isis vs govts, sunni vs shia, this faction vs that faction, like they have been doing for the past 2000 years. 3) regardless of israel arabs will never make peace with one another because syria believes it will reestablish greater syria and they own all that land from their original kingdom, iran wants to re-establish greater persian empire, others want a new caliphate, etc etc etc. none of them want peace with one another. DO YOU NOT GET THIS? Israel is the ONLY Democratic pluralistic country in the entire middle east. Clearly most anti-Israel thinkers do not understand the Arabs. My suggestion is that you go live in one of the arab Kingdoms (they are kingdons after all, run by sheiks and despotic devine leaders) for a few years and then live in Israel for a few months and then come back to revisit your position on Israel.

  • Kenneth Dobson

    Your definition (interpretation) of casus belli is incorrect….

    Casus belli is a Latin expression meaning “An act or event that provokes or is used to justify war”.

    As mentioned in the (amended) article casus belli played a prominent role during the Six-Day War of 1967. The Israeli government had a short list of casūs belli, acts that it would consider provocations justifying armed retaliation. The most important was a blockade of the Straits of Tiran leading into Eilat, Israel’s only port to the Red Sea, through which Israel received much of its oil. After several border incidents between Israel and Egypt’s allies Syria and Jordan, Egypt expelled UNEF peacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula, established a military presence at Sharm el-Sheikh, and announced a blockade of the straits, prompting Israel to cite its casus belli in opening hostilities against Egypt.

    • I’m well aware of what casus belli means and am puzzled by your statement that my “interpretation” of it is “incorrect”. How so?

      As for UNEF, it is instructive that Israel refused to have it restationed on its side of the border.

      As for Egypt’s military presence in the Sinai, I discuss that in the article. Again, the CIA observed that they took up defensive positions, and, again, the bottom line is that Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Egypt was not going to attack.

      • Kenneth Dobson

        Whether or not Israel thought Egypt was going to attack is almost irrelevant….

        Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping….it was an act of aggression….and that on it’s own was casus belli….even England’s Prime minister Harold Wilson agreed with that….

        “Egypt’s blockade must not be allowed to triumph. Britain would join with others in an effort to open the Straits….”

        Add to that Nasser’s removal of the UN peacekeeping force in the Sinai replacing it with his own troops….add to that the repeatedly aggressive threatening language he used at that time….etc….etc….

        Israel may have struck the first blow against Egypt militarily….but only a complete idiot would say they did not get what they deserved….

        • Whether or not Israel thought Egypt was going to attack is almost irrelevant….

          LOL!

          Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping….it was an act of aggression….and that on it’s own was casus belli….even England’s Prime minister Harold Wilson agreed with that….

          First of all, you confuse “casus belli” with “justification”. Second, UK PM Tony Blair also claimed the war on Iraq was justified, yet the fact remains it was a war of aggression. Israel had peaceful means at its disposal by which to address its grievance with Egypt over the Straits. It chose instead war, in violation of the UN Charter to which it was party.

          • Kenneth Dobson

            Laugh all you like but the closing of the Straits was and act of aggression by Egypt.

            There were no peaceful means available to address this problem….and everything Nasser said and did at that time proves this….

            “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight . . . The mining of Sharm el Sheikh is a confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be ready to embark on a general war with Israel.” – Nasser, May 27, 1967

            “We will not accept any … coexistence with Israel. … Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel …. The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.” – Nasser, May 28, 1967

            “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel . . . . to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.” – Nasser, May, 30, 1967 after signing a defense pact with Jordan’s King Hussein

            Does this sound like somebody who is willing to negotiate a peaceful solution to a problem ????

          • Egypt’s closing of the straits may have been contrary to international law, but it didn’t constitute the use of armed force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Israel.

            Israel, on the other hand, did use armed force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Egypt on the morning of June 5, 1967.

            That is to say, Israel committed “the supreme international crime”.

            It had peaceful means at its disposal by which to seek remedy for its grievance against Egypt. It chose instead the path of violence in violation of the UN Charter to which it was party.

            As for Nasser’s bellicose rhetoric, do you think Israel’s intelligence did not take it into account when it assessed that he had no interest in bloodshed and that Egypt would not attack?

          • Kenneth Dobson

            “Egypt’s closing of the straits may have been contrary to international law, but it didn’t constitute the use of armed force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Israel.”

            It doesn’t matter….it was casus belli (you still don’t seem to know what that means)….as was Egypt’s movement of troops in the Sinai….and as such Israel’s actions were completely justified….

            “That is to say, Israel committed “the supreme international crime”.”

            Israel committed no crime….unless of course (like Nasser) you view the mere existence of Israel as a crime,,,,?

            “It had peaceful means at its disposal by which to seek remedy for its grievance against Egypt.”

            There were no peaceful means available….Nasser saw to that….Israel was backed into a corner and was forced to fight a war they did not want….

            You are entitled to your own opinions….but not your own facts….

          • Kenneth Dobson

            “Egypt’s closing of the straits may have been contrary to international law, but it didn’t constitute the use of armed force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Israel.”

            It doesn’t matter….it was casus belli (you still don’t seem to know what that means)….as was Egypt’s movement of troops in the Sinai….and as such Israel’s actions were completely justified….

            “That is to say, Israel committed “the supreme international crime”.”

            Israel committed no crime….unless of course (like Nasser) you view the mere existence of Israel as a crime….?

            “It had peaceful means at its disposal by which to seek remedy for its grievance against Egypt.”

            There were no peaceful means available….Nasser saw to that….Israel was backed into a corner and was forced to fight a war they did not want….

            You are entitled to your own opinions….but not your own facts….

          • Yes, it does matter that Egypt did not commit aggression, but Israel did. Casus belli just means a pretext; it does not mean legal justification. The Sinai belonged to Egypt. It had every right to move troops there — where they took up defensive positions, as recognized by the CIA. Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Egypt would not attack. Israel had peaceful means available to seek redress for its grievance over the strait, but it chose violence instead. It was Israel that started the war, Israel that committed aggression. Facts matter. They are as I’ve stated.

          • scottindallas

            then we started WW2 with Japan, and Palestinians by the same logic can’t be terrorists, due to Israel’s siege

          • Goodstuff

            MRR Hammond.

            1. Actions show intent. One intelligence report does not mean the leaders of Israel would believe it. The leaders of Israel would have had several other factors to look at besides this report. The closure of the Straights, the massing of more than 100 000 soldiers in the Sinai, requesting the removal of the UN forces and the aggressive flaming of war by Nasser would indicate an overwhelming desire to invade Israel. In fact I would imagine this report never got traction and because of the before listed facts. Israel is a democracy, that means that the issue was debated and the decision to strike first was concluded to be the best option as it was.

            2. When an army has to occupy any position for more than a day any army would prepare defensive positions. When soldiers move to a new location they immediately dig foxholes (a defensive position). Therefore stating that Egypt occupying defensive positions means that they will not invade Israel is idiotic and ignores basic military strategy. By your argument both sides on the western front of WW1 did not intend to invade the each other as the entire western front was one big defensive stand off.

            3. The law surrounding the straights of Tiran was not settled, the world was still debating whether Israel had a right to the straights or whether the Arabs had a right to deny them access. So their was no settled regulation regarding this. Nasser took a risk by forcing the issue by force (your argument that no force was used is not really relevant, as the threat of force would dissuade any traveling ship from carrying goods to any destination. Israel responded with force otherwise they would lose the power of deterrence and eventually be invaded or face increasing aggressive behavior by Arab nations perceiving Israel to be weak enough.

            4. Your mention of Israel’s refusal of the UNEF to settle on Israel’s side is interesting. The UNEF was stationed in Sinai because that was the agreement made. Israel never wanted the UNEF on their side even in 1957. Why? Well Israel is a far smaller country and needs every bit of space to farm and for economic purposes. The Sinai is a huge desert, plenty of space. Israel could could simply want to save their space. If you cannot provide a reason for the decision in 1957 than you cannot assume the decision in 1967 to be that of a desire for war or intention to invade.

          • You argue that even though Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Egypt would not attack, the Israeli leadership could not have known with 100% certainty that Egypt would not do so. Well, that is true. Their assessment that Nasser was not insane might have, in a hypothetical world, been wrong. But what is your point? Egypt didn’t attack Israel, all indications were that it wouldn’t attack Israel (again, as per both Israeli and US intelligence assessments), Israel had peaceful means available to resolve its dispute over the straits, and Israel instructively rejected the proposal that UNEF be restationed on its side of the border. Israel’s attack on Egypt was an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime”, not matter how you cut it.

          • Goodstuff

            You are still focusing on the reports of the intelligence of the USA and Israel as if real life is decided by these things. When the CIA says that “our intelligence indicates that Egypt will not attack” there are numerous things at play.

            1. USA does not want Israel to fire the first shot.
            2. If the USA indicates that Egypt will attack then Israel will strike preemptively.
            3. So the USA will tell them Egypt will not invade.

            Look at the motivations. Additionally there were pro-war and pro-peace factions within the Israeli cabinet. The prime minister Levi Eshkol was arguing against a first strike. He was overruled. So it could be reasonable that there were people of similar mindsets in the Israeli Intelligence department.

            I cannot fathom any person can look at the facts only and not opinions of the CIA Intelligence report and the Israeli Intelligence reports, which they are, opinions.

            Nasser mobilized over a 100 000 soldiers moved them to the Sinai peninsula, right next to the Israeli border, removed an international peace keeping force and closed the straights of Tiran. Ignoring possible biased intelligence reports, these are the facts. These facts point to a potential invasion.

            There comes a time when a small country like Israel will ignore the law, which can still be argued and is still argued. When is this? When their very existence is at stake. Where was the world court when millions of Jews were being murdered in camps? Sure the guilty were punished (only some of them) but that is little comfort to millions of dead people. The Jewish people have long realized that the world does not care for them. They could not go argue this in a court while potentially Egypt, Jordan and Syria slaughter their people.

            So I can conceded that there is an argument about who acted aggressively first. As there are arguments going both ways. But when that law does not protect you what good is it? All the UN had to do was stay fast their position and the Egyptians would have capitulated, they didn’t.

            The world law was useless that month and so chaos ensued.

          • You aren’t providing any information that the US and Israeli intelligence communities weren’t privy to. And I consider them to speak with incomparably greater authority in regards to the threat of an Egyptian attack on Israel — or rather, the lack thereof.

            The fact remains that Israel’s attack on Egypt on the morning of June 4, 1967, was an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime”.

    • scottindallas

      so, by that, we started WW2 with Japan when we embargoed their oil the Summer before Pearl Harbor, got it. And, we’ve been at war with Iran for 36 years. And, there are no Palestinian terrorists, as they’re under siege by Israel. Got you down

      • Goodstuff

        Embargo – We will not sell you goods.

        Blockade – We will not allow you to receive international goods

        Big difference.

  • A. Wyatt Mann

    Not to mention Israel’s murderous attack on the USS Liberty.

    An attack which began against the most sophisticated naval vessel in the world after Israeli forces followed the ship for 7+ hours. First spotted at 0645, attack began (roughly) 1400Hrs.

    An attack lasting longer than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

    An attack using unmarked jet aircraft (the first sortie which focused on the communications array), helicopter gunships (which also fired upon sailors as sailors attempted to place lifeboats in position in anticipation of being sunk – an act which is a War Crime), and torpedo boats.

    An attack occurring during clear weather. Sunshine, clear skies.

    An attack occurring after Israel had proof positive identification, acknowledged by Israel. At least 4 separate occassions Israel admits to ID’ing the vessel.

    An attack in which Israel (specifically) jammed US radio communication channels. Makes sense to jam US radio frequencies when attacking an Egyptian trawler, right? If unaware, Israel claims this entire forced confused the most sophisticated military vessel in the world with an Egyptian trawler.

    An attack in which 34 US servicemen were murdered. 34 men who have never received justice nor the recognition they deserve.

    And to believe in the “Accident” theory we’d have to believe Israeli Air Force and Naval force were comprised of officers so incompetent they could not identify a vessel they followed for 8 hours (and apologies here – but if anyone believes Israelis have incompetent military, a military unable to succeed at the most basic task of ship identification, well guess what – they weren’t incompetent because we know Israel identified the vessel as America on numerous occasions prior to the attack), attacked for an hour an half; a vessel clearly marked, a vessel flying American flags; that Israel accidentally jammed America radio frequencies.

    But yes, they’ll claim accident. Just like they claimed they had been invaded by all those terrible mean Arab nations. We know how valid Israel claims are now, don’t we?

    • scottindallas

      careful, the Liberty wasn’t advanced, it was an old rehabed boat. It had some heavy sigint tech on it, but it was a scow. Sure doesn’t justify shooting out the life rafts, which is a war crime when done on your enemies, much less your “allies”

  • googli.us

    Good discussion – well appreciated

  • carl jacobs

    Funny you didn’t mention “Operation Dawn.” I first learned of Operation Dawn from … Michael Oren. That would be the historian of whom you said in this very article…

    Michael B. Oren, acknowledged in his book “Six Days of War“, widely regarded as the definitive account of the war…

    As a matter of fact, I just listened to a presentation by Michael Oren in which he describes how close the Egyptians came to launching that attack in May 67. It’s an interesting omission on your part.

    Israel’s attack on Egypt in June ’67 was not ‘preemptive’

    I suppose the most obvious response to that assertion would be “Who the hell cares?” Whether it was “preventive” or “preemptive” is really beside the point. You don’t judge the necessity of a war by technical legal definitions – especially not definitions rooted in something as esoteric and unenforceable as international law. International lawyers like to envision international law as omni-competent in its ability to regulate the occurrence of armed conflict. It is anything but.

    The Six Day War purchased strategic depth for Israel on all three fronts. It provided defensible borders from which to protect the interior. One shudders to think what would have happened in 1973 if the Israelis had not possessed the Golan Heights. Those considerations might not mean much to an international lawyer who is very concerned that his legal strictures not be violated. They mean a lot to an Israeli general charged with preventing his country from being annihilated.

    Sure, the Israelis could have waited for the Egyptians to shoot first. And I guess that would satisfy some lawyer’s idea of legal propriety. It also would have gotten a lot more Israelis killed. Would the outcome have been the same? Who an tell? Counter-factuals make for dangerous arguments. We do know what actually happened, however. The Israelis won an overwhelming victory in minimum time with minimal casualties. In so doing, they secured their national existence and removed a pervading sense of existential threat. It is true that some international lawyers are offended. I suspect the Israelis can live with that terrible consequence.

    Somewhere down below you said …

    Statements from the French representatives or US presidents do not change the definition of “aggression” under international law.

    What organization is it that is charged with determining whether aggression has occurred? You can pontificate all you like about violations of international law. But unless and until the Security Council says “The Israelis were the aggressors in June 1967” then you have no actual case. You have an opinion. You don’t have an authoritative judgment. That’s the wonderful thing about the US being sovereign over the UN. International law regarding the use of force means exactly what the US says it means. So it matters very much what the US president says in this regard.

    And that’s where I can in – asserting the esoteric and unenforceable nature of “international law.” I imagine that if the Arab fantasies are ever realized, and the Jews in Israel are slaughtered in a second holocaust, then some international lawyer will file a writ before some useless international court and say “This slaughter is all illegal!” But all those dead Jewish corpses won’t be able to appreciate the fine legal syllogisms spoken on their behalf.

    • 1) Norman Finkelstein sufficiently addresses Oren’s claims about “Operation Dawn” in The Journal of Palestine Studies:

      A major thrust of Oren’s account suggests that Israel launched its preemptive strike in the face of an imminent and overwhelming Arab attack. Basing himself on a few self-serving postwar Egyptian memoirs, Oren gives over many pages to “Operation Dawn,” a preemptive strike allegedly planned for near the end of May by Nasser’s powerful defense minister, `Amer, and said to be abruptly aborted by Nasser. Yet, even mainstream American and Israeli historians crediting Operation Dawn typically consign it to a footnote or a phrase, whereas Oren, citing the same Egyptian memoirs, turns this ephemeral and inconsequential alleged episode into a centerpiece of his history, thereby magnifying the threat Egypt posed. Fabricating a mammoth speculative edifice on an already flimsy evidentiary foundation, Oren professes to divine Nasser’s subtle calculations for supporting Operation Dawn (SDW: pp. 95, 120), even after acknowledging that it is unclear whether “Nasser even knew about the plan” (SDW: 92). Oren further observes that the “Egyptian first strike” posed a “potentially greater threat” to Jordan than an Israeli attack because an unsuccessful Egyptian offensive would be blamed on Jordan, undermining Hashemite rule, while a successful Egyptian offensive might “continue onward to Amman.” “The predicament, as defined by royal confidant Zayd al-Rifai,” Oren continues, “was mind-boggling: `Even if Jordan did not participate in a war.it would be blamed for the loss of the war and our turn would be next'” (SDW: p. 128; the ellipsis is Oren’s). Turning to the source Oren cites, we read that King Hussein feared an Israeli attack in the event of a regional war “no matter what Jordan did.” To document Jordan’s worry, the source quotes al-Rifai: “Even if Jordan did not participate directly in a war that was started by Israel it would not only be destroyed by the Arab world and even blamed for the loss of the war but our turn would be next” (my italics). It would seem that the “predicament” posed by an “Egyptian first strike” to Jordan wouldn’t have been quite so “mind-boggling” if Oren hadn’t excised the phrase “that was started by Israel.”

      2) You say, “Whether it was “preventive” or “preemptive” is really beside the point.” It is difficult to see how this could be beside the point when Israel attempts to justify its attack on Egypt by claiming it was “preemptive”.

      It was an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime” under international law.

      3) You say, “You can pontificate all you like about violations of international law. But unless and until the Security Council says ‘The Israelis were the aggressors in June 1967’ then you have no actual case.” That is nonsense. The Security Council didn’t say the US’s invasion of Iraq was aggression; yet it was incontrovertibly so.

      • carl jacobs

        Norman Finkelstein …

        Seriously? Norman Finkelstein? Is he still working in Turkey?

        Let’s recap a little, shall we? You stated that Michael Oren had written “the definitive account of the war” – evidently except for that whole “Operation Dawn” part – in order to subtly imply Oren supported the idea that Nasser would never have attacked. (Oren actually said Nasser didn’t want to fight a war. That isn’t the same thing.) I then point out to you that Michael Oren actually said the Egyptian pilots were in their planes ready to take off on May 27 when the attack was stood down, and that the attack was only avoided by the happenstance of Abba Eban’s visit to the White House the day before. And you attempt to refute this with a quote from … Norman Finkelstein? Really? Look, I realize you have to diffuse Oren’s scholarship in some way, because it deposits your entire argument right next to the remains of the Battleship Bismarck. After all, if Egypt had nearly initiated an attack then the case for preemption is made. But .. Norman Finkelstein?

        It is difficult to see how this could be beside the point when Israel attempts to justify its attack on Egypt by claiming it was “preemptive”.

        And given that the Egyptians nearly started the war in May, I can see why. But that wasn’t my point. I was making a much more general statement. The justification for a war is found in the circumstances of its origin, and the objectives for which it is fought. That justification does not depend in any way upon an ability to fit the war into a pre-defined allowable legal category. In other words, it doesn’t matter if some international lawyer says “That war is preventive and therefore illegal.” Sometimes preventive wars must be fought. If international law asserts that preventive wars are by definition illegal and can therefore never be fought, that simply establishes the incompetence of international law to regulate conflict. So even if I conceded your point (which I don’t) that no circumstance existed to establish preemption, the Six Day War would still be justifiable as a necessary preventive war. The label you attach doesn’t change the circumstances the Israelis were facing on the June 5.

        That is nonsense. The Security Council didn’t say the US’s invasion of Iraq was aggression; yet it was incontrovertibly so.

        According to whom? The passive voice is striking, and its use was not accidental. What you are trying to do is “legalize” the determination of aggression within the UNSC. You want to say “Here is the definition. This act meets the definition. Therefore it is aggression.” This would make the determination of aggression into a legal issue. But there is no definition of aggression in the UN charter. A determination of fact about aggression is the prerogative of the UNSC. The UNSC is a political body that makes political judgments about the existence of aggression. You are trying to transform a fundamentally political decision into a legal decision. You are trying to do this by simply asserting a definition as if that definition has some intrinsic authority. It doesn’t.

        Assume I was a member of the US military. Assume further that I had been ordered into combat in what I thought was an illegal war under international law – a conclusion I had reached using the logic you have asserted on this thread. To what international law binding upon the US would I appeal in order to justify refusing an otherwise lawful order? The UN charter? There is no definition of aggression. And anyways, the US could never be found guilty of aggression by the UNSC. The US can’t initiate an illegal war. The Permanent Members are by design above the law. That was what the Australians complained about in 1945. The veto removes the permanent members from being subject to the UN. So what then? The Rome Statute? The US is not party to the Rome Statute, and anyways the statutes dealing with aggression were so politically viable in the ASP, they had to be made completely optional. We’ve already reached the bottom of the barrel. So what then?

        And really now. Norman Finkelstein?

        • 1) Yes, Norman Finkelstein. Seriously.

          I didn’t say that Oren wrote “the definitive account of the war”. I observed the fact it is widely regarded as such.

          I didn’t imply anything about anything Oren might think. I simply cited him as an unimpeachable source that Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Egypt would not attack.

          2) You can declare that Israel’s attack on Egypt was justified all you want; the fact remains it was an act of aggression, “the supreme international crime”, under international law.

          3) The US invasion of Iraq, too, was aggression. Under international law, there are only two conditions under which the use of force is legitimate: 1) cases of self defense against armed attack and 2) when authorized by the UN Security Council. The war on Iraq met neither condition, obviously, hence amounted to “the supreme international crime”.

          The US can’t initiate an illegal war.

          Right. Of course. How silly of me to have forgotten that Washington isn’t subject to international law.

        • scottindallas

          that meeting had been planned, and if you know about the time difference, it was 6 hours before the visit by Nasser’s FP Chief to press for a peaceful resolution, Israel was sure to preempt that. The Ebban meeting was 18 hours before. Are you suggesting that the Egyptians were in their planes for 18 hours?

    • scottindallas

      Michael Oren out right lied at the David Robarge speech. He’s Israel’s chief US propagandist

      • scottindallas

        Of course you ignore the CIA analysis that Israel could withstand a full on assaut indefinately, that Israel could attain air superiority right off. Israel was never at threat; so no, your whole theory is baseless.

  • Pingback: Surrendering Reason to Myth « The Daily Blog()

  • Stef Delarge

    More Muslim taqyya to live with their failures. Of course, the lying sacks that wrote the article above fail to mention even at the most superficial basis level of facts that: a. Egypt closed down and blockaded all Israeli shipping, b. they told the Jew hating Arabist U.N. to remove it’s peace keeping force so they would not get hurt when Egypt attacks. Of course, without hesitation, the U.N. essentially said “you mean you are going to kill Jews?” Then of course, we won’t even have a meeting over your request: DONE. c.

    • Egypt closed the Straits, yes. So? The facts remain as I stated them. It was Israel that started the war on the morning of June 5, 1967, with a surprise attack against Egypt, which their own intelligence assessed would not be the party to start the war, with the CIA informing Johnson that it would be Israel that struck first. Etc.

      As for UNEF, it’s worth emphasizing that Israel rejected the proposal to re-station the peacekeepers on its side of the border. For the obvious reason.

    • scottindallas

      more Israeli Hasbara. Your little entry here is too bigoted and ignorant to begin to address

    • scottindallas

      so, are you saying that when we blockaded Japan, that we started war with them?

      • carl jacobs

        Umm … Just a small point. The US didn’t blockade Japan until after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and couldn’t effectively blockade Japan until late in the war. There is you see a difference between a blockade and an embargo.

        A blockade means “We won’t let goods in or out if your country.”

        An embargo mean “We won’t sell you goods.”

        The former is an act of war. The latter is not.

  • Cochava

    The bias of this article is obvious by calling Israel “Palestine”. It’s not, it’s “Israel”. Jordan constitutes the majority of “Palestine” — so why isn’t Jordan called “Palestine” if you care for accuracy? Egypt and Syria signed a pact in November 1967 not to let Israel through the Straits of Tiran. This was an act of war against Israel the author overlooks that start the whole cascade. Also missing from this superficial report is Russia’s part in false information to Nassar that Israel was massing on the Syrian border. Couldn’t they look out their window to see whether there were troops? What a big bunch of erroneous propaganda.

    • What is obvious is your own bias. Since East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory, the category of “Palestine” is appropriate. Your bias is also evident in your nonsensical statement that “Jordan constitutes the majority of ‘Palestine'”. Furthermore, Israel had peaceful means available to address its grievance with Egypt over the closure of the Straits, and as noted, the war was begun by Israel with its aggression against Egypt. As for the Russian report of Israel forces massing on the Syrian border, of what relevance is this to the thesis of the article? You don’t actually present an argument here, though you are welcome to if you wish.