Posted by: Dimas Mateus Fazio | June 7, 2007

Six-Day War – 40 years of tension

It has been fourty years that Israel has declared war against the four most important Arab countries at that time – Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. This conflict has changed forever the history of the Middle East, for it was quite unique. It ended after six days of battle and Isreal was for the first time absolutely victorious against the most influent Arab States. However, problems derivative from this war are enormous and the current instability in this region proves that the triumph of Isreal in 1967 was actually a false victory.

Since the implementation of Israel was marked by many conflicts and imperialist acts, the Arab States have united, in the 60’s, under the idea of Pan-Arabism, a sociopolitical integration of the region in opposition to Isreal. They did not recognize the Jewish nation as a sovereign State, since they were labeled as invaders. Egypt was the leader of this union and the exaggerated nationalism of its president at the time, Gamel Aber Nasser, stimulated resistance and prepared the ground for a future intervention. The forced way of introduction of another culture in the middle of a land, where many generations of people have lived, was a consistent reason for the acts of these nationalists.

In the sense of trying to defend what was rightfully theirs, Egypt has moved military personnel to the region of Sinai, which is close to the Israeli border, in 1967. Israel has taken this act as a threat to its severeignty and a preemptive measure was arranged. As a counterfeit to the Israeli response, Arab forces have enclosed Israel, but could not hold their position for a long time. The Zionist’s strike, which began in June 5th 1967, was successful in the sense that it made the enemy forces reatreat and it temporarily incorporated a large region ( e.g. Sinai, West Bank, Gaza Strip – see map 1 and 2), which have made Israeli territory grow almost three times from the original. But, as instability still haunts the area, it is clear that it’s harder to achieve peace than winning a war in six days.

One can understand how critical the social situation was. Both sides fought as agfressively as they could causing thousands of people to flee their homes, running away from the friction zones. Refugee camps were created throughout the Middle East in order to provide shelter to those who were displaced. These camps, mostly sheltering Palestinian population, are still considered one of the greatest obstacles  for peace in the region, for their inhabitants still fight for the right of returning to their homes and urge to be accepted as authentic citizens of a Palestinian country, which is in spite of everything not recognized as so.

The results of the Six-Day War made the Arab nations even more discontented with Israel. This can be proved by the support of some Middle-East countries to the Palestinian initiative, financing its militias against occidental imperialism. The irony of 1967 was that Israel thought that winning a war of that magnitude would bring peace and security to the region. It could not be more wrong, for the reason that the defeat only strenghthened terrorist sects which perpetuate attacks against the Jewish state. Therefore, the war has not yet finished and neither is there a time-limit.

Israel commemorated this special date one month ago. When the June 5th of 2007 (anniversary of the first day of the war) arrived, they tried to close conferences in Jerusalem, in which the main topic was the unconditional retreat of Israeli forces from the West Bank and from Gaza Strip (supposedly Palestinian territory). Is this act of censorship a deed of a country which is satified with the results of its achievements in the past? Or it is of a ashamed nation that regrets ever stating hostility among its neighbours? One thing is clear: this oppostion of radicalism on one side, and imperialism on the other is just worsening the situation. So, an effective trust between these two parties must be established, so as to stabilize the region, prevent innocent victims, stop the bloodshed and hence give peace a chance.  

Dimas Mateus Fazio

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