Wednesday,28 June, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1347, (1 - 7 June 2017)
Wednesday,28 June, 2017
Issue 1347, (1 - 7 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly

The Six-Year War

Abdel-Nasser
Abdel-Nasser

THE HISTORIES of nations are marked by individuals and events that leave their imprints on life, sometimes so powerfully that their impact can be felt many decades later, even as other major individuals and events come and go. As the course of these histories pass between victories and defeats, the destinies of nations are shaped, as are their souls.

Egypt is the oldest state. Its lengthy history over the succession of epochs, religions and civilisations form a collective memory for mankind. The events experienced by the people along the banks of the Nile since the dawn of history combine to form an encapsulation of human history and, specifically, the history of the Middle East, which remains the vibrant heart of the world, the cradle of civilisations and the divine faiths, and the land of protracted conflict.

The very magnitude of this great nation’s place in history renders it necessary to give pause for contemplation to the defeat in the 1967 War, especially given the significance of that war as a watershed event, its consequences that revealed the conditions of the region at the time, and its influence on the course of events in the region and its lasting impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict up to the present day.

Al-Ahram Weekly has taken this occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 War to try to view that event from a half a century’s distance in an attempt to reread an important chapter in our history as well as the history of the other side, our antagonist in that battle. After all, one of the signs of the strength and civilisation of a nation is its ability to hold up a mirror to its mistakes and defeats so as to be able to learn from those mistakes rather than to cast about for ways to justify them or, perhaps worse, to try to deny a defeat which may subsequently lead to a denial of victory.

The long Arab-Israeli conflict is a political one that uses military instruments and that is governed by the wills of peoples, rulers and political parties and by international and regional developments. It is a conflict punctuated by several rounds of warfare, starting from the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948 and passing through the Tripartite Aggression of 1956, the 1967 War, the War of Attrition beginning in 1969 and, finally, the 1973 October War.

In our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 War, we are viewing it from a purely Egyptian perspective. This is the perspective of a nation forced to lick the wounds of defeat in what the Israeli enemy termed the “Six-Day War” but that would pick itself up again in order to reverse that defeat and to win a stunning victory in a historic six-hour crossing of the eastern bank of the Suez Canal in October 1973.

In these pages we present the testimonies of fighters, leaders, intellectuals, innovators and ordinary citizens that we have compiled over the years. Some of these individuals may have departed from this world, bequeathing to us their recorded ideas and sentiments of the moment.

Between the lines, we record strategic visions on the nature of the conflict, its rounds of warfare and the events that took place in the corridors of power and in Sinai, which was liberated from foreign occupation but has since become the arena of a fierce war against terrorism, and in Jerusalem, which continues to strain under the occupation and seeks someone to liberate it or to endow it with a solid status and the blessings of peace.

 

Read more:

- The three-year war

- Picking up the pieces

- Israeli documents

 - The road to Naksa

- Israeli strategy in Sinai after 1967    

- The US, Nasser and 1967

- Memories of defeat

- Israeli plans for Jerusalem

- How to  prosecute Israel

- An eccentric’s tale

- Screen dissidents

- Armed and dangerous


 

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