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For 80 years before the first of these attacks there is no recorded instance of any similar incidents.” Representatives from all sides of the emerging conflict testified to the commission that prior to the First World War, “the Jews and Arabs lived side by side if not in amity, at least with tolerance, a quality which today is almost unknown in Palestine.” The problem was that “The Arab people of Palestine are today united in their demand for representative government”, but were being denied that right by the Zionists and their British benefactors. UNSCOP contained no representatives from any Arab country and in the end issued a report that explicitly rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination. General Assembly endorsed UNSCOP’s in its Resolution 181.The British Hope-Simpson report of 1930 similarly noted that Jewish residents of non-Zionist communities in Palestine enjoyed friendship with their Arab neighbors. Rejecting the democratic solution to the conflict, UNSCOP instead proposed that Palestine be partitioned into two states: one Arab and one Jewish. It is often claimed that this resolution “partitioned” Palestine, or that it provided Zionist leaders with a legal mandate for their subsequent declaration of the existence of the state of Israel, or some other similar variation on the theme. Resolution 181 merely endorsed UNSCOP’s report and conclusions as a . recommendation to partition Palestine was rejected by the Arabs.It is virtually obligatory for this attack to be described by commentators today as “preemptive”. and Israeli intelligence assessed at the time that the likelihood Nasser would actually attack was low.But to have been “preemptive”, by definition, there must have been an imminent threat of Egyptian aggression against Israel. It is commonly claimed that President Nasser’s bellicose rhetoric, blockade of the Straits of Tiran, movement of troops into the Sinai Peninsula, and expulsion of U. peacekeeping forces from its side of the border collectively constituted such an imminent threat. The CIA assessed that Israel had overwhelming superiority in force of arms, and would, in the event of a war, defeat the Arab forces within two weeks; within a week if Israel attacked first, which is what actually occurred.For political commentators today to describe the Arabs’ refusal to accept a recommendation that their land be taken away from them, premised upon the explicit rejection of their right to self-determination, as a “missed opportunity” represents either an astounding ignorance of the roots of the conflict or an unwillingness to look honestly at its history.
The Jewish State would then “have to preserve order”, if the Arabs would not acquiesce, “by machine guns, if necessary.” attack on Egypt (then the United Arab Republic), and successfully decimated the Egyptian air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.
Yet, as already noted, following the June ’67 war, the U. Security Council passed resolution 242 calling upon Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
Israel, needless to say, refused to do so and has remained in perpetual violation of international law ever since.
As Avraham Sela of the Shalem Center has observed, “The Egyptian buildup in Sinai lacked a clear offensive plan, and Nasser’s defensive instructions explicitly assumed an Israeli first strike.”Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledged that “In June 1967, we again had a choice.
The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We decided to attack him.”Yitzhak Rabin, who would also later become Prime Minister of Israel, admitted in 1968 that “I do not think Nasser wanted war.