The Six-Day War: An Inevitable Conflict

(Middle East Quarterly) Efraim Karsh - The June 1967 war was anything but accidental. Its general cause - the total Arab rejection of Jewish statehood, starkly demonstrated by the concerted attempt to destroy the State of Israel at birth and the unwavering determination to rectify this "unfinished business" - made another all-out Arab-Israeli war a foregone conclusion. On May 22, 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the closure of the Strait of Tiran, at the southern mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, to Israeli and Israel-bound shipping. On May 26, he announced that if hostilities were to break out, "our main objective will be the destruction of Israel." By this time, the conflict was no longer about the presence of UN forces on Egyptian soil in Sinai or freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aqaba. It had been transformed into a jihad to eradicate the foremost "remnant of Western imperialism" in the Middle East. The writer, emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King's College London, directs the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.

2017-05-19 00:00:00

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