Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More on those six days

That war and its aftermath were so important that several postings are justified as is a certain amount of personal reminiscing.

A year or so before the war my class was taken to see the Masada exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall. The major excavations had been completed and the stupendous exhibition travelled to various places and everywhere the history of the fortress whose defendants committed suicide rather than surrender to the besieging Romans captured many people’s imagination.

When, in the spring of 1967 the tension around Israel started to build up, it seemed like Masada was with us again. A small country was surrounded by much bigger enemies who were determined to destroy it. Not just defeat it in war or take over some territory but to destroy it.

This was most clearly expressed by the then Foreign Minister, Anwar Sadat, who spoke of sweeping every Israeli man, woman and child into the sea. Recently uncovered documents show plans that the Egyptians and the Jordanians had for the massacre of Jews in captured Israeli cities. This is not surprising if one looks at the history of various places such as Nablus, which is not quite as straightforward as some of those writing about it would like to make it out.

A longish piece on the subject is here.


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