Friday, June 8, 2007


"In accordance with its inherent right of self-defence as formulated in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Israel responded defensively in full strength. Never in the history of nations has armed force been used in a more righteous or compelling cause."

Israel’s foreign minister, Abba Eban, at time of the 1967 War

Mordechai Bentov, cabinet minister: “This story about the danger of extermination has been a complete invention and has been blown up a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.” (cited in Le Monde, June 3, 1972)

Menachem Begin, leader of Gahal Party: “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (cited in New York Times, Aug. 21, 1982.)

Gen. Matityahu Peled: “To pretend that the Egyptian forces massed on our frontiers were in a position to threaten the existence of Israel constitutes an insult not only to the intelligence of anyone capable of analyzing this sort of situation, but above all an insult to the Zahal [Israeli army].” (cited in Ha’aretz, March 19, 1972.)

Israel precipitated the 1967 War by staging border aggressions against Syria and seizing Syrian land in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. From 1948 to 1967, Syria reported more than 1,000 armed clashes, and in a candid 1976 interview, Moshe Dayan admitted that Israel provoked 80 percent of them.

Less than two weeks after he addressed the Security Council, Eban gave a more accurate account of Israel’s contempt for international law: “If the General Assembly were to vote by 121 votes to 1 in favor of ‘Israel’ returning to the armistice lines [pre June 1967 borders] ‘Israel’ would refuse to comply with the decision.” (New York Times, June 19, 1967.)

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