on 16 June 2008
This definitely is the most comprehensive work to date on the Six Day War. The author has consulted vastly documents, newspapers, books and interviews with important players.
Michael Oren interviewed such figures as former Jordanian Brigade Commander Ata Ali, Egyptian historian Issam Darraz former Syrian Ambassador to the UN, George Tomeh, former MOSSAD chief, Meir Amit, former Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, widow of PM Levi Eshkol, Miriam Eshkol, former IDF Chief of Operations and later President, Ezer Weizmann and former Deputy IDF Chief of Staff and later Tourism Minister, Rechavam Ze'evi, interviewed a month before his brutal murder by terrorists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , in the corridor of a Jerusalem hotel , former members of the Supreme Soviet and Soviet military advisors to the Egyptians and Syrians and former Le Monde correspondent , Eric Rouleau , just to name a few of the Syrians , Egyptians , Jordanians , Israelis , French , British and Russians that Oren interviewed.
The novel is written in real time , as we trace events as they happened-it is really like watching the Six Day War , and the preceding and subsequent events unfold. He does not write to prove political points or to fit in with what it is currently fashionable to believe, like the malignant anti-Zionist `new historians' do.
Ultimately it is a history book about Israel's fight for survival, as we read of the bellicose threats of the Arabs and their Soviet backers, to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. Hence reading some of the Arab promises of genocide, much like they had threatened in 1948, and much as they threaten today, one can only gain a greater understanding of what Israel faces if it is ever - G-D forbid- defeated.
Here are some of the chilling promises of a second holocaust thundered by Arab leaders , and their evil Soviet instigators , before and during the Six Day War.
Ahmed Shuqayri, the first leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said: "We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants."
"Leading to the purification of Arab land from reaction, imperialism and Zionism."
Damascus Radio, April 10 1967.
"If war comes it will be total, and the objective will be Israel's destruction...this is Arab power."
Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser
"We have decided that this battle will be one for the final liberation from imperialism and Zionism...We shall meet in Tel Aviv.
Syrian President Attasi.
"The United Sates, oh Arabs, is the enemy of all peoples, the killer of life, the shedder of blood,, that is preventing you from liquidating Israel"
"If Israelis become drunk with success, and pursue their aggression further , the future of this little country will be a very sad one indeed"
Soviet Ambassador to Israel, Sergei Chuvakhin
"The cream of our troops stands at the front. Strike the enemy settlements, turn them into dust, pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews. Strike them without mercy.
Syrian Air Force Commander Hafez al Assad.
Essentially a reading of the book demonstrates how a combination of bellicose Arab rhetoric, threatening behaviour and, ultimately, an act of war left Israel no choice but pre-emptive action.
It is instructive to read the words of Israel's Prime Minister at the time Levi Eshkol who reminded the world:" We cannot afford to lose. This may be our last stand in history. The Jewish people have something to give to the world. I believe that if you look at our history and at all the difficulties that we have survived, it means that history wants us to continue. We cannot survive if we experience again what happened to us under Hitler...I believe that you should understand us."
Reading about the worlds equanimity over Arab plans to destroy Israel, and over Syrian shelling into Israel and PLO terror attacks into Israel, before the war, compared to the strident outcry against Israel when it hit back, gives one a chilling sense of de ja vu today.
I felt a cold anger at the Soviet Union condemmning Israel for ` aggression' and `imperialism', while half the world groaned under the Communist jackboot.
The same type of rhetoric is even more prevalent today in leftist academia, the UN, the international media , the so-called Non Aligned Movement , much of the European Union etc .
The malignant high priest of leftist totalitarian ideology Noam `Wormtongue' Chomsky simply perfected Soviet/Red Chinese and Arab rhetoric , and sold it to millions.
Sadly there was more understanding for Israel's plight in much of the world in 1967 than there is today. The fact that today the world has turned so viciously on Israel, as that tiny country still struggles to survive, is an indictment of a world that is clearly more evil today in 2004 than it was in 1967.
It is also worth noting that the Arabs are not very good fighters against soldiers, but like the Amalekites of old , are very good at killing Jewish women and children.