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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A war that never ends

Richard Chesnoff has an excellent article out about the famous Six Day War, where Israel, surrounded by enemies had to fight for their very survival, they did and they held an overwhelming victory.

Despite those that wish to rewrite History, Israel belonged to the Jewish people from the biblical times and the Six day war had nothing to do with land, nor agression from the Jewish people, but was, in fact, a matter of survival.

Israel today (including the West Bank) occupies most of the land that it did during biblical times. Many proposals were made for locating a State for the Jewish people elsewhere, even in Kenya Africa. In the end, the social-historical importance of the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the Jewish people has proven essential to the Jewish Identity and it's rebuilding. Especially since approx. 1/3 of the world's Jewish population was destroyed as civilians during the last world war (Maps)

When attacked, you fight back. They did and they did so in an extraordinary manner for a quick victory.

Six Days.

You can see the complete history of Israel from Biblical times until right now at a variety of sources which all show the same thing, here is one of them, but there are dozens to choose from.

Back to Chesnoff's essay:

Forty years ago tomorrow, Israel wielded its terrible swift sword against the attack-poised armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan - and saved the Jewish state from destruction.

It was the Six-Day War, and the fledgling state's stunning victory over enemies determined to annihilate it galvanized the world and changed the Mideast map - perhaps forever.

I was one of the handful of foreign correspondents who reached the front during that monumentally brief battle. I was in Sinai on the first day, then returned north and managed to enter Gaza just as that benighted city was falling to Israel's largely civilian tank corps. Then it was on to Jerusalem.

Like anyone who believes in the justice of Israel's existence, I was deeply relieved by its victory on June 10. I had heard the bloodthirsty Arab threats of a new Holocaust. I had seen the "Kill the Jews" posters in Gaza schools. I had seen the bunkers and mass graves that Israel had been forced to dig in expectation of invasion, if not defeat.

Some things never change as Syria's latest threats show us. (Hat Tip to The American Israeli Patriot)

TEL AVIV – If the Jewish state doesn't vacate the Golan Heights in the near future, Golan residents living under Israeli administration will launch "resistance operations" aimed at prompting an Israeli retreat from the territory, an official from Syrian President Bashar Assad's Baath party told WND in an exclusive interview yesterday.

"Syria is ready to talk with Israel but only if negotiations lead to a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. There may be peace; there may be war. If there is no movement, Syrian resistance will be launched and not from the government but from the people of the Golan," said the Baath party official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld.

"We [Syria] have weapons and soldiers on the border with Israel, but let's face it, it's difficult to amass tanks or launch any invasion because the U.N. mans the border. But Syrian residents of the Golan are ready to launch resistance," the official claimed.

History of the Golan Heights:

From the western Golan, it is only about 60 miles -- without major terrain obstacles -- to Haifa and Acre, Israel's industrial heartland. The Golan -- rising from 400 to 1700 feet in the western section bordering on pre­1967 Israel -- overlooks the Huleh Valley, Israel's richest agricultural area. In the hands of a friendly neighbor, the escarpment has little military importance. If controlled by a hostile country, however, the Golan has the potential to again become a strategic nightmare for Israel.

From 1948-67, when Syria controlled the Golan Heights, it used the area as a military stronghold from which its troops randomly sniped at Israeli civilians in the Huleh Valley below, forcing children living on kibbutzim to sleep in bomb shelters. In addition, many roads in northern Israel could be crossed only after probing by mine-detection vehicles. In late 1966, a youth was blown to pieces by a mine while playing football near the Lebanon border. In some cases, attacks were carried out by Yasir Arafat's Fatah, which Syria allowed to operate from its territory.

Israel's options for countering the Syrian attacks were constrained by the geography of the Heights. "Counterbattery fires were limited by the lack of observation from the Huleh Valley; air attacks were degraded by well-dug-in Syrian positions with strong overhead cover, and a ground attack against the positions...would require major forces with the attendant risks of heavy casualties and severe political repercussions," U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Irving Heymont observed.

Israel repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, protested the Syrian bombardments to the UN Mixed Armistice Commission, which was charged with policing the cease-fire. For example, Israel went to the UN in October 1966 to demand a halt to the Fatah attacks. The response from Damascus was defiant. "It is not our duty to stop them, but to encourage and strengthen them," the Syrian ambassador responded. Nothing was done to stop Syria's aggression. A mild Security Council resolution expressing "regret" for such incidents was vetoed by the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Israel was condemned by the UN when it retaliated. "As far as the Security Council was officially concerned," historian Netanel Lorch wrote, "there was an open season for killing Israelis on their own territory."

After the Six-Day War began, the Syrian air force attempted to bomb oil refineries in Haifa. While Israel was fighting in the Sinai and West Bank, Syrian artillery bombarded Israeli forces in the eastern Galilee, and armored units fired on villages in the Huleh Valley below the Golan Heights.

On June 9, 1967, Israel moved against Syrian forces on the Golan. By late afternoon, June 10, Israel was in complete control of the plateau. Israel's seizure of the strategic heights occurred only after 19 years of provocation from Syria, and after unsuccessful efforts to get the international community to act against the aggressors.

Six years later, in a surprise attack on Yom Kippur, the Syrians overran the Golan Heights before being repulsed by Israeli counterattacks. After the war, Syria signed a disengagement agreement that left the Golan in Israel's hands.

You can read the rest yourself, but considering the History, Syria and Iran's repeated threats to wipe Israel off the map and the continued rocket attacks, Israel would be foolish and suicidal to even consider returning the Golan Heights at this point or any point in the forseeable future.

Once again, back to Chesnoff's essay:

Yet, as we mark its 40th anniversary, it's become fashionable in some circles to rewrite the history of the Six-Day War. Radicals, so-called "humanitarians" and others who love to hate Israel now claim that what was essentially a war for survival was in fact just an excuse for Zionist imperialism. Even serious journals like Britain's The Economist say that while the war may have been necessary, it has ultimately proven "a calamity for the Jewish state."

How ridiculous! Despite the seemingly insoluble problems that have arisen over the past four decades - not the least of them, Israel's continuing rule over occupied territories and a million-plus hostile Palestinians - the war was not only necessary, it was one of Israel's finest hours.

If we are to be honest about the lessons learned, it's that many in the Mideast will never, ever stop until they can wipe Israel off the map - and therefore Israel must never succumb to naivete. Indeed, the core of Palestinians - then and now - reject the legitimacy of the Jewish state, seek its dismantlement and blame it for all Palestinian woes. What self-destruction!

Israel, as all of us, have the right to live and that is what Syria, Iran and a few others will never accept (spelling correction) and what Israel must always remember.

Israel has become the worlds punching bag but those that have no opinions on it one way or another, simply need to ask themselves one question.

If your neighbors decided that you and your children did not have the right to exist, would YOU roll over and die for them or would you protect what is yours, what has been yours since biblical times, what was taken from you and then given back..... would you fight or hand over your home and allow your children to be slaughtered?

Your answer is Israel's answer.

It is very convenient to try to blame Israel, but once you do a little research, you understand that Israel did what every single one of us would do and they will do it again if the need arises.

Followup with our most recent piece, called "The Enemy of My Enemy" which shows some surprising numbers and facts about how the Palestinians, 70% of them, claim that Israel treats them better that their own government, and then go viisit YID with LID for more fascinating information.