The 1967 War and the Israeli Occupation of the
West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem

Did the Egyptians actually start the 1967 war, as Israel originally claimed?

"The former Commander of the Air Force, General Ezer Weitzman, regarded as a hawk, stated that there was 'no threat of destruction' but that the attack on Egypt, Jordan and Syria was nevertheless justified so that Israel could 'exist according the scale, spirit, and quality she now embodies.'...Menahem Begin had the following remarks to make: 'In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.' "Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle."

Was the 1967 war defensive? - continued

"I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to The Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Chief of Staff in 1967, in Le Monde, 2/28/68

Moshe Dayan posthumously speaks out on the Golan Heights

"Moshe Dayan, the celebrated commander who, as Defense Minister in 1967, gave the order to conquer the Golan...[said] many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland...[Dayan stated] 'They didn't even try to hide their greed for the land...We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot.

And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.'" The New York Times, May 11, 1997

The history of Israeli expansionism

"The acceptance of partition does not commit us to renounce Transjordan; one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today. But the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them." David Ben-Gurion, in 1936, quoted in Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle."

Expansionism - continued

"The main danger which Israel, as a 'Jewish state', poses to its own people, to other Jews and to its neighbors, is its ideologically motivated pursuit of territorial expansion and the inevitable series of wars resulting from this aim...No zionist politician has ever repudiated Ben-Gurion's idea that Israeli policies must be based (within the limits of practical considerations) on the restoration of Biblical borders as the borders of the Jewish state." Israeli professor, Israel Shahak, "Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of 3000 Years."

Expansionism - continued

In Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharatt's personal diaries, there is an excerpt from May of 1955 in which he quotes Moshe Dayan as follows: "[Israel] must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument with which to keep its morale high and to retain its moral tension. Toward this end it may, no—it must—invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge...And above all—let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space." Quoted in Livia Rokach, "Israel's Sacred Terrorism."

But wasn't the occupation of Arab lands necessary to protect Israel's security?

"Senator [J.William Fulbright] proposed in 1970 that America should guarantee Israel's security in a formal treaty, protecting her with armed forces if necessary. In return, Israel would retire to the borders of 1967. The UN Security Council would guarantee this arrangement, and thereby bring the Soviet Union—then a supplier of arms and political aid to the Arabs—into compliance. As Israeli troops were withdrawn from the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank they would be replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. Israel would agree to accept a certain number of Palestinians and the rest would be settled in a Palestinian state outside Israel.

"The plan drew favorable editorial support in the United States. The proposal, however, was flatly rejected by Israel. 'The whole affair disgusted Fulbright,' writes [his biographer Randall] Woods. 'The Israelis were not even willing to act in their own self-interest.'" Allan Brownfield in "Issues of the American Council for Judaism." Fall 1997.[Ed.-This was one of many such proposals]

What happened after the 1967 war ended?

"In violation of international law, Israel has confiscated over 52 percent of the land in the West Bank and 30 percent of the Gaza Strip for military use or for settlement by Jewish civilians...From 1967 to 1982, Israel's military government demolished 1,338 Palestinian homes on the West Bank. Over this period, more than 300,000 Palestinians were detained without trial for various periods by Israeli security forces." Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation," ed. Lockman and Beinin.

World opinion on the legality of Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza.

"Under the UN Charter there can lawfully be no territorial gains from war, even by a state acting in self-defense. The response of other states to Israel's occupation shows a virtually unanimous opinion that even if Israel's action was defensive, its retention of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was not...The [UN] General Assembly characterized Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as a denial of self determination and hence a 'serious and increasing threat to international peace and security.' "John Quigley, "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice."

Examples of the effects of Israeli occupation

"A study of students at Bethlehem University reported by the Coordinating Committee of International NGOs in Jerusalem showed that many families frequently go five days a week without running water...The study goes further to report that, 'water quotas restrict usage by Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, while Israeli settlers have almost unlimited amounts.'

"A summer trip to a Jewish settlement on the edge of the Judean desert less than five miles from Bethlehem confirmed this water inequity for us. While Bethlehemites were buying water from tank trucks at highly inflated rates, the lawns were green in the settlement. Sprinklers were going at mid day in the hot August sunshine. Sounds of children swimming in the outdoor pool added to the unreality." Betty Jane Bailey, in "The Link", December 1996.

Israeli occupation - continued

"You have to remember that 90 percent of children two years old or more have experienced—some many, many times—the [Israeli] army breaking into the home, beating relatives, destroying things. Many were beaten themselves, had bones broken, were shot, tear gassed, or had these things happen to siblings and neighbors...The emotional aspect of the child is affected by the [lack of] security. He needs to feel safe. We see the consequences later if he does not. In our research, we have found that children who are exposed to trauma tend to be more extreme in their behaviors and, later, in their political beliefs." Dr Samir Quota, director of research for the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, quoted in "The Journal of Palestine Studies," Summer 1996, p.84

Israeli occupation - continued

"There is nothing quite like the misery one feels listening to a 35-year-old [Palestinian] man who worked fifteen years as an illegal day laborer in Israel in order to save up money to build a house for his family only to be shocked one day upon returning from work to find that the house and all that was in it had been flattened by an Israeli bulldozer. When I asked why this was done—the land, after all, was his—I was told that a paper given to him the next day by an Israeli soldier stated that he had built the structure without a license. Where else in the world are people required to have a license (always denied them) to build on their own property? Jews can build, but never Palestinians. This is apartheid." Edward Said, in "The Nation", May 4, 1998.

All Jewish settlements in territories occupied in the 1967 war are a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, which Israel has signed.

"The Geneva Convention requires an occupying power to change the existing order as little as possible during its tenure. One aspect of this obligation is that it must leave the territory to the people it finds there. It may not bring its own people to populate the territory. This prohibition is found in the convention's Article 49, which states, 'The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.'" John Quigley, "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice."

Excerpts from the U.S. State Department's reports during the firstIntifada

"Following are some excerpts from the U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices from 1988 to 1991:

1988: 'Many avoidable deaths and injuries' were caused because Israeli soldiers frequently used gunfire in situations that did not present mortal danger to troops...IDF troops used clubs to break limbs and beat Palestinians who were not directly involved in disturbances or resisting arrest..At least thirteen Palestinians have been reported to have died from beatings...'

1989: Human rights groups charged that the plainclothes security personnel acted as death squads who killed Palestinian activists without warning, after they had surrendered, or after they had been subdued...

1991: [The report] added that the human rights groups had published 'detailed credible reports of torture, abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian detainees in prisons and detention centers."Former Congressman Paul Findley, "Deliberate Deceptions."

Jerusalem - Eternal, Indivisible Capital of Israel?

"Writing in The Jerusalem Report (Feb. 28, 2000), Leslie Susser points out that the current boundaries were drawn after the Six-Day War. Responsibility for drawing those lines fell to Central Command Chief Rehavan Ze'evi. The line he drew 'took in not only the five square kilometers of Arab East Jerusalem—but also 65 square kilometers of surrounding open country and villages, most of which never had any municipal link to Jerusalem. Overnight they became part of Israel's eternal and indivisible capital.'" Allan Brownfield in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, On Middle East Affairs, May 2000.

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