Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Israel lives!, 2 May 2008
This review is from: Strike Zion! (Mass Market Paperback)
This short book provides a captivating account of the 1967 war in which Israel destroyed three Arab armies and captured the Sinai, the Mountains of Israel (so-called West Bank), the Golan Heights and the old city of Jerusalem. When war seemed inevitable, General Moshe Dayan and Menahem Begin were appointed to the cabinet.

Part 1: Prelude, deals with the lead-up to the war. Egypt, Syria and Jordan were massing armies on the tiny country's borders and Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran, Israel's only shipping route to Africa and Asia. Although it was clear that war was coming and that whoever struck first would win, some Israeli leaders were cautious because of world opinion. Israel stood alone and in fact refused help from the USA. General Dayan said, "I don't want American or British boys to get killed here."

Confronted with the implacable hatred of 110 million Arabs and 14 Arab Nations well armed by the Russians, it is now clear that the 3 million people of Israel had God on their side. This section also deals with the personality of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and his relations with the King of Jordan and the Syrians, and his adventures in Yemen. The author describes the hideous propaganda emanating from Egypt and mentions the Jordanian King's exhortation to his army to kill every single Jew. In contrast, the Israelis went into a calm determination.

Part 2: Struggle, deals with the course of the war. On Monday morning of June 5, 1967 the Israeli Air Force leapt out like a lightning bolt and quickly destroyed the air capacity of the Arab Nations in Egypt, the Sinai, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. In this way they lifted a black cloud of anxiety for the Israeli army. Through three main axes the army made thrusts through the Sinai Peninsula and defeated the Egyptian army.

By the sixth day all Israel's objectives had been reached: the Strait of Tiran, the Holy City, the west bank of the Jordan, the Suez Canal, the Syrian heights from where Arab artillery had been bombarding Jewish settlements. What becomes clear is that Israel was very conscious of world opinion and had to gain as much ground as possible before the UN declared a ceasefire. The taking of the Old City is described in detail, along with the moving scenes as the Jews finally reached the Wailing Wall. On Friday June 9 the Syrians were driven from the Golan Heights.

Part 3: Survival looks at the aftermath of the war, especially the Sinai campaign and the leaders of Israel. People like Levi Eshkol, Abba Eban, Yigal Allon, Yigael Yadin and others are discussed here. This section also looks at the motives of the Arabs and the reasons that prompted Nasser to engage in his folly. It also investigates the role of Russia in arming the Arabs, the role of German scientists in the service of Nasser and the part played by the UN. After their defeat the Arabs were unable to grasp what had happened and by stopping short of total conquest, Israel made it possible for them to remain in denial. An ominous result was the withdrawal of the Arabs into their religion. In this regard, the book was prophetic. Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg presents some possible future scenarios.

The fourth part of the book is by Leon Uris and is titled The Third Temple. Uris discusses Antisemitism down the ages and claims, quite correctly, that the Bible is still being written. He calls the continuation of the Biblical narrative The Book Of The Return. Uris describes his visits to Dachau, Maidanek and Auschwitz and includes passages from his novel Exodus. This section also ends with a prophecy, about the building of the Third Temple.

Strike Zion is a most moving account of Israel's spectacular victory and the historical events surrounding it. The book contains plenty of maps illustrating the various campaigns plus a 64-page portfolio of black and white photographs. The concluding section by Leon Uris places the events in a broader historical perspective. Strike Zion confirms once again the miraculous preservation of God's special nation and should serve as a warning to those who seek the destruction of Israel. One thing is certain, Israel will survive. It is the bridge of salvation between darkness and light.
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