“Six days in Israel, 45 years ago-My Israeli general father knew the 1967 war was an opportunity for peace”

(Original here.)

Six days in Israel, 45 years ago

My Israeli general father knew the 1967 war was an opportunity for peace.

JerusalemIsraelis stand on the Mount of Olives overlooking the old city of Jerusalem. (Kahana Menahem / AFP / Getty Images /May 20, 2012)

By Miko Peled, June 6, 2012

In early June 1967, as I cowered with my mother and sisters in the “safest” room of our house near Jerusalem — the downstairs bathroom — we feared the worst. None of us imagined that the war that had just begun would end in six days. It was inconceivable that the Israeli army would destroy three Arab armies, kill upward of 15,000 Arab soldiers (at a cost of 700 Israeli casualties), triple the size of the state ofIsrael and, for the first time in two millenniums, give the Jewish people control over the entire land of Israel, including the crown jewel, the Old City of Jerusalem.

Many believe now, as they believed then, that Israel was forced to initiate a preemptive strike in 1967 because it faced an existential threat from Arab armies that were ready — and intending — to destroy it. As it happens, my father, Gen. Matti Peled, who was the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of logistics at the time, was one of the few who knew that was not so. In an article published six years later in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, he wrote of Egypt’s president, who commanded the biggest of the Arab armies: “I was surprised that Nasser decided to place his troops so close to our border because this allowed us to strike and destroy them at any time we wished to do so, and there was not a single knowledgeable person who did not see that. From a military standpoint, it was not the IDF that was in danger when the Egyptian army amassed troops on the Israeli border, but the Egyptian army.” In interviews over the years, other generals who served at that time confirmed this, including Ariel Sharon and Ezer Weitzman.

In 1967, as today, the two power centers in Israel were the IDF high command and the Cabinet. On June 2, 1967, the two groups met at IDF headquarters. The military hosts greeted the generally cautious and dovish prime minister, Levi Eshkol, with such a level of belligerence that the meeting was later commonly called “the Generals’ Coup.”

The transcripts of that meeting, which I found in the Israeli army archives, reveal that the generals made it clear to Eshkol that the Egyptians would need 18 months to two years before they would be ready for a full-scale war, and therefore this was the time for a preemptive strike. My father told Eshkol: “Nasser is advancing an ill-prepared army because he is counting on the Cabinet being hesitant. Your hesitation is working in his advantage.” The prime minister parried this criticism, saying, “The Cabinet must also think of the wives and mothers who will become bereaved.”

Throughout the meeting, there was no mention of a threat but rather of an “opportunity” that was there, to be seized.

Within short order, the Cabinet succumbed to the pressure of the army, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Six-Day War began three days later and was over on June 10, 1967. When the guns fell silent, one general saw yet another opportunity, one that would take most of Israel’s other leaders some decades to recognize. This was my father. A 1995 newspaper profile reconstructed the first weekly meeting that the IDF general staff held after the war. When it came his turn to speak, my father said: “For the first time in Israel’s history, we have an opportunity to solve the Palestinian problem once and for all. Now we are face to face with the Palestinians, without other Arab countries dividing us. Now we have a chance to offer the Palestinians a state of their own.”

His position was well known. He argued in 1969 that holding on to the territory gained in the war was contrary to Israel’s interests: “If we keep these lands, popular resistance to the occupation is sure to arise, and Israel’s army will be used to quell that resistance, with disastrous and demoralizing results.” Over the years, he argued repeatedly that Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza would turn the Jewish state into an increasingly brutal occupying power (he was right) and could eventually result in a binational state (he may yet be right, as events are moving in this direction). Allowing the Palestinians an independent state of their own, he maintained, would lead to stability and calm.

For 45 years, successive Israeli governments have invested billions of dollars in making the 1967 conquests irreversible, and they have eliminated any chance for the two-state solution to become a reality. Cities, highways, malls and factories have been built in the West Bank in order to settle Jewish Israelis there, while a reign of terror was put in place to govern the Palestinians whose lands were being taken. From denying access to water and land and obstructing free travel, through a maze of discriminatory laws and restrictions, to full-on military assaults, Israel has dedicated huge resources to the oppression and persecution of the Palestinians.

Now once again Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future.

Miko Peled is an Israeli activist living in San Diego and the author of the recently published book, “The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.”

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4 comments

  1. Anthony Clancy

    The real picture, not the jewish myth….now denied by several senior IDF officers of that ‘war’ is that after collaboration with the Reich since 1933 in creating Israel and building commerce with it…much to the chagrin of the real owners of the land…came next the Nakbar an 20 years of mass murder torture terrorism and dispossession. ‘Old Order’ Jews in Europe were frightened of the zionists and their attachment to the Reich so tried often to escape to anywhere but Palestine . Thousands were handed over by the New Order to the Gestapo..which also plotted with hte German Military to route the British in the ME. From the outset Israel was a haven for criminal terrorists such as the Stern and Irgun and other groups… as well as Jews seeking safety in the “transfers”. That was in fact Hitler’s final solution, to exile all jews to Palestine.

    Israel’s zionist hawks saw in 1967 an opportunity to invade unprepared Arab nations and with overwhelming weaponry on the basis that an invasion was underway and they “feared” …since denied. .They also attacked the USS Liberty to (as they so often do) false flag the attack in this case to bring USA in against Egypt in particular but the non-jewish Arabs in particular. At the same time as trying to sink the Liberty with all hands so no one could tell the truth…and radio-comms were blotted out the IDF was murdering 1000 Egyptian prisoners gestapo style….lying them down and running ovr them with tanks or in other cases having them dig their graves then shooting them. Admiral McCain recalled the fighters scrambled to protect the Liberty after a message did get through the blackout…one can only presume to ensure the Israelis could wipe out Liberty. The deception failed however but Liberty’s survivors were ordered to silence back in USA…by McCain.One however exposed the truth in a book.

    Israel commenced the takeover it had always planned and which David Gruen (calling himself ben Gurion…like almost all PM’s of Israel he used an assumed name) espoused from the outset. There was never any intention to live alongside the rightful “owners” of Canaan. As time passed since the 1947 ratification of the land ceded to Israel by theft by Britain …the essential condition on which USA entered the war was the handing over of Palestine..not 53% but 100% to the “New Order ” zionist terrorsts mass murders in Lebanon and elsewhere were left unchecked by the UN and were financed by USA, money laundering and the proceeds of major crime.The often quoted justification, the “Balfour Document” was no more than a recommendation which had no power and no authority.It is no more than another Israeli deception.

    Incensed to psychosis by the British only adding 53% of the stolen nation to the 6% Jews already owned the bombing of the King David Hotel and numerous other attacks on Britich people and soldiers commenced. For 67 years, now, Israel it’s IDF and Mossad have jointly murdered millions of Arabs and anyone else in their way…including German politicians in their way for one reason or another. Murder with impunity from the global policeman was always a part of the New Order arrangement..to continue the takeover planned by Germany’s hierarchy and underwritten by the Central Bankers (who were zionists) until Israel was affirmed and USA entered WW11.Interestingly while zionists were collaborating with the Reich and US Zionit hierarchy demanded the president return refugees to their fate by refusing them shelter as refugees….unlike the perennially slandered Pope Pius X11 who’s networks and safe houses saved more Jews than any other group.

  2. Anthony Clancy

    Interestingly as the New Order business men and Zionist terrorists conspired with the Reich in WW11 Jews from Poland and Canada for example were furiously fighting the Reich soldiers, The Allied ‘history’ doesn’t tell the truth about zionism , the New Order or Israel’s founding or its betrayal of so many old order jews. One reason is that both WW1 and WW11 were merely steps in a long term plan, The Reich built Israel’s first bank, for example.

    Well has it been said of Israel and to Israel’s hierarchy by some ‘holocaust” survivors “Don’t use us as an excuse for your crimes against humanity”…even Mossad’s ex-chief’s daughter has been three times jailed (I think that is the number) for refusing to go to the IDF. Thousands of others refuse to serve against Palestinians…others sniper murder even babies and children and in other times the workers in the fields.

    Israel has been indicted recently for misusing and misappropriating “holocaust” victims’ “property…so much for its ‘holocaust saviour’ based waffle. Scores of thousands of decent Jews protest the Knesset’s atrocities and get little press outside Israel.Certainly the “porte-parole” Australian aboriginie named by adoption Mark Frieberg but posing as Hebrew “Mark Regev” avoiding exposing it.Israel is the greatest obstruction to world peace and it is so deliberately.It has plans, yet unfulfilled, for supremacy.

    The recipient of the Nobel Peace prize, as a child, smashed his poor-parents’ radio because they listened to it on the sabbath..For that he deserved to be seriously punished but also examined for psychosis. .Later at university he joined a group shooting Arabs at night “protecting Israel”..a master of deception and servant to the David Gruen dream of zionist supremacy over the Goyen dogs (like me) his history was not revealed at the Nobel prize history lesson. “By deception shall we wage war”

    His real name by the way is “Persky” not Peres He’s just another example of deception by name,,.The 1967 invasion achieved a great deal for “Israel” and its anachronistic ultra orthodox ‘chosen’ and ‘priestly class’ and the sadists and psychotics of Mossad. (read Ostrovsky and ben Menashe to learn some reality,,,both ex Mossad.

    Sit and cheer yourself on as “the victors”, draped in the blue star on white background ramaluk or shawl to be one of the gang…but then get over the inebriation and go researching the truth and the reality and the vileness and debauchery of Israel’s ruling and ruling religious class…..then if you are really human, support those scores of thousands of decent and concerned jewish people who so vocally and actively decry the zionist actions., The distinction between Jews and Zionists..an Hebrews and Jews has been deliberately blurred yet one must endeavour to keep that distinction always in mind. We should all ensure we are attacking the correct people because gtragicaly…to make it worse…not all zionists are Jews..huge numbers are deluded Christians.

  3. Anthony Clancy

    A description from the anoncement for “Beyond Tribal Loyalties” directly an indirectly supports much of what I have written:

    “There is an expectation in Jewish communities around the world that all Jews embrace Zionism and offer unquestioning support for Israel, right or wrong . Jewish identity and Zionism are commonly and deliberately blurred. Jews who criticise Israel or question Zionism are often excluded, vilified and threatened. If they express sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people, they risk being branded as traitors and accused of supporting the enemies of Israel . Beyond Tribal Loyalties is a unique collection of twenty-five personal stories of Jewish peace activists from Australia, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    There is an age difference of more than fifty years between the oldest and the youngest contributor. The stories focus on the complex and intensely personal journey that Jewish activists go through to free themselves from the hold of Zionist ideology and its requirement to support all Israeli policies.

    Like many Jews, most of the contributors were once unquestioning supporters of Israel and Zionism. Something happened in the life of each of these extraordinary people that caused them to question and re-evaluate their understanding of the conflict and their relationship with Israel and the Palestinian people. In many cases this journey involved a reassessment of personal values, belief systems and identity.

    Beyond Tribal Loyalties seeks to discover what makes it possible for Jewish peace activists to follow through with this transformative journey and their activist work, despite fanatical and sometimes violent opposition. This is an inspiring book for anyone who is interested in the experience of being a peace activist. It offers a fresh and unusual angle on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is a unique contribution in a field where political analysis is common, but where the personal angle is often lacking.”

  4. Anthony Clancy

    You should also get a copy of “The Promise” which zionist hierarchy treid to have banned…because in its quite mild way it revealed a little of the truth about the reality of the Israel/Palestine situation but by it’s telling the truth, however watered-down, the zionist (Jewish)board of Deputies in Australia and UK for example realised that their supremist -extremist situation and it’s relying on zionist-adoring Parliaments staying blissfully ignorant or ‘in denial’ about Israel and its war against peace which it finds massively profitable …could be questioned and questions could lead to exposure of thir political power-broking . Chosen members then went on a rampage of lies and mischief about the series. Buy it and watch it several times

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