Israel marks 50 years to the 1967 Middle East war

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, during an official state ceremony commemorating 50 years since the six days’ Middle East war of 1967, that Israel will forever “defend itself by itself in the face of every enemy.” 

“You (IDF) landed a crushing blow on our attackers and thwarted the plot to strangle our necks. The wonderful, defensive war that we endured, the most just and moral war, afforded us a wealth of achievements. It proved to our enemies that we are not a nation of drifting sands. Until then, it must be understood, it was thought that it was just a matter of cutting out at its narrow waist and that would be the end of the story. But you proved that our roots are planted here forever. This war extricated us from the narrow stretch along the coast which was constantly threatened by hostile forces. Since then, we have defendable borders and the ability to repel attacks against us. The war returned us to our land at whose heart is unified Jerusalem but above all, the Six Day War taught us a permanent lesson that is the headstone: Israel will defend itself by itself in the face of every enemy, and against a cluster of enemies,” Netanyahu.

The 1967 war, which started on June 5th of that year and lasted six days, ended with a decisive victory for the state of Israel, with the IDF seizing some 5,900 square kilometers of Jordan’s West bank and East Jerusalem, Syria’s Golan Heights, as well as the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt. 

Even though the war ended with a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, and has provided the Jewish state control over the West Bank, which was Israel’s lands of Judea and Samaria during biblical times, the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians over the territory causes historians to argue that the Middle East war of 1967 has never ended. 

“The Six Day War actually never ended. The seventh day has lasted ever since for the last 50 years. And it is affecting both us and the Palestinians on an everyday basis, every day, every minute.” / “I think it’s correct to regard the Six Day War as another round in a very very long war between Israelis and Palestinians, starting even earlier that 1948, actually starting in 1917 if you want. And it’s a very very difficult conflict that probably doesn’t have a solution. So, the question has always been how to manage it. And the argument between us and the Palestinians and the argument amongst ourselves is really about managing the conflict more than solving it,” Tom Segev, Israeli Historian and Author.