Forty-six years ago with an attack by the Egyptian Army imminent, the
Israeli Airforce launched a preemptive strike on the Egyptian Air Force.
Egypt had by far the largest and the most modern of all the Arab air
forces, consisting of about 420 combat aircraft, all of them
Soviet-built and with a heavy quota of top-of-the line MiG-21 capable of
attaining Mach 2 speed. Initially, both Egypt and Israel announced that
they had been attacked by the other country.
bombers, capable of inflicting heavy damage on Israeli military and
civilian centers.On June 5 at 7:45 Israeli time, as civil defense sirens
sounded all over Israel, the IAF launched Operation Focus (Moked).
All but 12 of its nearly 200 operational jets left the skies of Israel
in a mass attack against Egypt’s airfields.The Egyptian defensive
infrastructure was extremely poor, and no airfields were yet equipped
with hardened aircraft shelters capable of protecting Egypt’s warplanes.
Most of the Israeli warplanes headed out over the Mediterranean Sea,
flying low to avoid radar detection, before turning toward Egypt. Others
flew over the Red Sea.
Reading reports about the war from 46 Years ago vs today reminds me of
one of those Star Trek episodes where Kirk and the boys go back in
history and change the past—it seems like two different wars.
Forty-six years ago the media reports spoke of the underdog Israel and
her need to defend herself against the warlike acts of the big bullies
lead by Egypt who was committing many acts that could be interpreted as
acts of war including: conspiring with other belligerent countries (in
this case, Syria and Jordan) for a coordinated attack, closing Israel’s
access to international waterways (the straits of Tiran),violating the
terms of the 1956 armistice by re-militarizing the Sinai. Expelling the
UN and USA peace-keeping troops form the Sinai, perpetrating illegal
spy-plane fly-overs to reconnoiter Israeli sensitive areas. Massing
troops and tanks on Israel’s borders.
But Israel had the nerve to WIN! So it all had to change. A Jewish State
is only permissible when it is an underdog–the world doesn’t like any
Similar to today–The United States tried to prevent the war through
negotiations, but the other side did not want peace, The US could not
persuade Nasser or the other Arab states to cease their belligerent
statements and actions.
warned: “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone.” Then,
when the war began, the State Department announced: “Our position is
neutral in thought, word and deed.”
While the Arabs were falsely accusing the United States of airlifting
supplies to Israel, Johnson imposed an arms embargo on the region
(France, Israel’s other main arms supplier at the time, embargoed arms to Israel).
By contrast, the Soviets were supplying massive amounts of arms to the
Arabs. Simultaneously, the armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and
Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and
Today, the media will tell a different story, the tale of the cynical
Zionist nation that saw an opportunity to deal a blow to the Arab world
expand her territory, and rule over the Palestinian people. Today’s
revisionist history argues maybe the Six Day War was not the best thing
for Israel, “since it lead her to become the evil rogue nation she is
But there is one indisputable fact that today’s revisionist history
keeps forgetting, if Israel didn’t fight and win the Six Day War—there
would be no Israel today. Just as if Israel doesn’t protect herself
from the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah and Fatah today–there will be no
Israel in 46 years.
In the immediate aftermath of the war Israel offered to give everything except
Jerusalem back in exchange for peace. Rather than respond to Israel’s
invitation, the Arab states met in Khartoum, Sudan, for a conference in
August, 1967. They unanimously decided in favor of the now famous three
Khartoum NOs”: No recognition, No negotiation, No peace. Better
that Israel hold on to the territories taken in the war. Better that
the refugees continue languishing in their squalor and misery. Better
that the Arab states re-arm for round 4…than to recognize Israel’s right
to exist or negotiate toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict. “
While the world’s perception of Israel changed on 46 years ago today,
with rare exception those three “nos” still are still the policy of the
Muslim world, including the Palestinians who are treated as peacemakers by the Obama Administration.