Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East

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by Michael B. Oren, Robert Whitfield
     
 

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In Israel and the West it is called the Six Day War. In the Arab world, it is known as the June War, or simply as "the Setback." Never has a conflict so short, unforeseen and largely unwanted by both sides so transformed the world. The Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Camp David accords, the controversy over Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in West Bank, the…  See more details below

Overview

In Israel and the West it is called the Six Day War. In the Arab world, it is known as the June War, or simply as "the Setback." Never has a conflict so short, unforeseen and largely unwanted by both sides so transformed the world. The Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Camp David accords, the controversy over Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in West Bank, the intifada and the rise of Palestinian terror: all are part of the outcome of those six days of intense Arab-Israeli fighting in the summer of 1967.

Michael B. Oren's Six Days of War is the most comprehensive history ever published of this dramatic and pivotal event, the first to explore it both as a military struggle and as a critical episode in the global Cold War. Oren spotlights all the participants--Arab, Israeli, Soviet, and American--telling the story of how the war broke out and of the shocking ways it unfolded.

Drawing on thousands of top-secret documents, on rare papers in Russian and Arabic, and on exclusive personal interviews, Six Days of War recreates the regional and international context which, by the late 1960s, virtually assured an Arab-Israeli conflagration. Also examined are the domestic crises in each of the battling states, and the extraordinary personalities--Moshe Dayan and Gamal Abdul Nasser, Hafez al-Assad and Yitzhak Rabin, Lyndon Johnson and Alexei Kosygin--that precipitated this earthshaking clash.

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Editorial Reviews

Vito F Sinisi
As the Middle East reels from wave after wave of terrorist attacks and seemingly endless reprisals, Michael B. Oren, an acknowledged expert on that troubled region, takes us back to the events of "Six-Day War" of June 1967 and shows how what transpired then deeply affects what is happening there now.
Publishers Weekly
This is the most complete history to date of the Six Day War of 1967, in which Israel entered and began its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While no account can be definitive until Arab archives open, Oren, a Princeton-trained senior fellow at Jerusalem's Shalem Center who has served as director of Israel's department of inter-religious affairs and as an adviser to Israel's U.N. delegation, utilizes newly available archival sources and a spectrum of interviews with participants, including many Arabs, to fill gaps and correct misconceptions. Further, Six Days of War is an attack on "post-Zionism": the school of politics and history that casts Israel as the author of policies that intentionally promote the destuction of Palestine as a separate entity and of Palestinians as a people, not least through the occupation that began with the 1967 War. By contrast, Oren convincingly establishes in an often engrossing narrative the reactive, contingent nature of Israeli policy during both the crisis preceding the conflict and the war itself. As Prime Minister Levi Eshkol held the Israeli Defense Forces in check that May, Operation Dawn, an Egyptian plan for a preemptive strike against Israel, came within hours of implementation. It was canceled only because Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser feared it had been compromised. Israel's decision to seek its own security in arms was finally triggered, Oren shows, by Jordan's late accession to the hostile coalition dominated by Egypt and Syria. Geographically, the West Bank, then under Jordanian rule and occupation, cut Israel nearly in half. The military risk to Israel was unacceptable, Oren makes clear, in the context of a U.S. enmeshed in Vietnam and a West unwilling to act even in support of the status quo. Far from being a product of strategic calculation, Oren further argues, occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was also contingent: the consequence of a victory so rapid and one-sided that even Israel's generals found it difficult to believe it was happening. Israel, having proved it could not be defeated militarily and now possessing something to trade, hoped for comprehensive peace negotiations in a rational-actor model. Oren notes that some initiatives for peace did in fact develop. He seems, however, trying to convince himself along with his readers. Oren puts what he sees as Israel's enduring weaknesses in relief: not arrogance, but self-doubt, self-analysis and self-criticism, all carried to near-suicidal degrees in 1967. Arab policy, by contrast, featured a confident commitment to erasing Israel from the map. The Six Day War shook that confidence, he finds, but did not alter the commitment. About the nature of Israeli policy since the war, the book says little, but finds that "for all its military conquests, Israel was still incapable of imposing the peace it craved." Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In perhaps one of the most valuable recent works on this subject, Oren, a scholar and Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem, details events from the Six Day War known in the Arab world as Al-Naksah (the setback) or simply the June war. The book's value lies in its focus and extensive documentation of multilingual resources, including archives, newspapers, reports, books, interviews, and Internet sites. In addition, Oren covers the international, regional, and domestic implications of the war and uses maps to illustrate the geographical changes and military strategies. Many books, e.g., Ahron Bregman's Israel's War: 1947-1993, Tibi Bassam's Conflict and War in the Middle East, 1967-91, and Eric Hammel's Six Days in June, cover a broader period, rely heavily on analysis, or fall short of objectivity. While Oren also recounts some necessary historical context for understanding the war's catalysts and discussing its aftermath, he primarily focuses on the pivotal six days of conflict, dedicating a full chapter for each day. Predictably, the most controversial information is his new findings on an Egyptian top-secret plan that came very close to eradicating Israel's army and nuclear power plant. While this is an essential addition for academic libraries, the book's exhaustive documentary style makes it a lesser candidate for public libraries. Ethan Pullman, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A thoroughgoing analysis of the events that combusted 35 years ago to produce a maelstrom in the Middle East. Readers comparing historian Oren's thesis to current headlines may feel a certain sense of deja vu. He traces the origins of the Six-Day War of 1967 to several causes that were in no way resolved by the conflict, and underlines one of its effects-the Israeli conquest of the Sinai peninsula and the West Bank-that remains a subject of controversy today. One of those causes was resurgent nationalism in the Arab world's "postcolonial, revolutionary period," when Egyptian president Nasser attempted to play the Soviet Union off against the US, and to craft a military and political union of Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt; Nasser's United Arab Republic soon collapsed, but among the unintended consequences of the destabilization were the rise of the Assad regime in Syria and, eventually, Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Another was a sudden upsurge of Palestinian nationalist activity, leading to the formation of groups such as al-Fatah and the PLO. Still another was internal conflict in Israel over whether and how to accommodate the demands of its neighbors. Slowly taking shape throughout the early and mid-1960s, these conditions "created an atmosphere of extreme flammability," Oren writes. "In such an atmosphere, it would not take much-a terrorist attack, a reprisal raid-to unleash a process of unbridled escalation, a chain reaction of dare and counterdare, gamble and miscalculation, all leading inexorably to war." Of course, that is exactly what happened, and Oren's narrative traces the military course of the war and its political aftermath, including lingering tensions in US-Israeli relations following the (accidental, in Oren's view) Israeli attack on the US naval vessel Liberty. Careful and well documented: Oren (Senior Fellow/Shalem Center, Jerusalem) finds fault on all sides of the conflict, which is sure to earn him critics everywhere he turns. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the history of the troubled region.
From the Publisher
"An excellent new history of the 1967 war."—David Remnick, The New Yorker

"In Michael Oren's richly detailed and lucid account, the familiar story is thrilling once again.... What makes this book important is the breadth and depth of the research...he uses many Arab memoirs and accounts, giving the book a balanced tone and offering fascinating new details. 'Six Days of War,' coming soon after Israel—on a 30 year declassification rule—opened its archies on 1967, is a powerful rendering of what has turned out to be a world-historical event."—Gary J. Bass, The New York Times Book Review

"This is a masterly book.... With a remarkably assured style, Oren elucidates nearly every aspect of the conflict.... In writing his strategic chronicle, Oren has also drawn the most penetrating and subtle assessment of the Israeli mind that I've encountered.... Oren's will remain the authoritative chronicle of the war. His achievement as a writer and a historian is awesome."—Ben Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly

"In addition to being a highly readable, even gripping account of the 1967 conflict, Mr. Oren's 'Six Days of War' is also a powerful illustration of the way history mixes basic forces with the accidental and the improvisational.... Provides fabulous richness of detail, including fly-on-the-wall accounts of the words and actions of many of the principal actors in places like Moscow and Washington, Damascus, Tel Aviv, and Cairo.... He has woven a seamless narrative out of a staggering variety of diplomatic and military strands.... Tragedy is character, as the Greeks understood, and Mr. Oren's masterly account shows how apt that insight is to the tragedy-afflicted Middle East, past and present."—Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"A first-rate new account of the conflict."—Michael Kelly, Washington Post

"A magisterial work that is not only riveting reading, but also likely to become the standard work on the war that shaped the contemporary Middle East."—Jack Fischel, Philadelphia Inquirer

"This is not only the best book so far written on the Six Day War, it is likely to remain the best."—Geoffry Wheatcroft, Washington Post Book World

"The most comprehensive chronicle of this crucial turning point in contemporary Middle East history.... An elegantly detailed, often riveting account."—Suzy Hansen, Chicago Sun-Times

"The timing, alas, is perfect. Michael Oren's definitive history of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and its aftermath is sure to be the must-read in the White House this month."—New York Magazine

"There have been many books written on the Six Day War, none breaks new ground like this magnificent book does."—Fouad Ajami, NPR

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786124558
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Edition description:
Unabridged, 13 cass., Aprox. 18 hrs.
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.32(h) x 2.34(d)

Read an Excerpt

Afterwood

MORE THAN TWO YEARS HAVE PASSED since the outbreak of the latest Middle Eastern turmoil, and there is still no cease-fire in sight. Called by Palestinians the al-Aqsa Intifada, and by the Israelis the "disturbances," the "events," or, simply, the Palestinian terror, the violence that erupted in September 2000, and which has raged ever since, is in every sense a war. No less than in 1948 and 1967, Arabs and Israelis are today once again battling over the final disposition of the area known in Arabic as Filastin and in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael—the Land of Israel. As in the processes leading up to previous Arab-Israeli confrontations, mounting violence between Palestinians and Israelis threatens to set the entire region ablaze.

In many respects, the current fighting resembles the civil war in Palestine
that broke out in November 1947, following the UN's decision to partition the
country into independent Jewish and Arab states. The Zionist leadership accepted
the notion of territorial compromise, but the Arabs of Palestine saw no
reason to forfeit what they considered their exclusive national rights, and determined
to block the partition with attacks against Jewish settlements, road
systems, and neighborhoods. Other Arab forces, most prominently those associated
with the militant Muslim Brotherhood, aided the Palestinian Arabs from
across the border. The Jews, for their part, initially showed restraint, but in
April 1948, fearing annihilation, they too went to war. Subsequently, dozens of
Arab villages and towns were destroyed, their populations displaced, and their
leaders either killed or rendered ineffective. But thePalestinians' defeat generated
sympathy throughout the Arab world and intensified the pressure on Arab
leaders to intervene against the Jews. The result came one month later with the
advent of the first Arab-Israeli war.

A remarkably similar process occurred more than fifty years later, in the
latter half of 2000, when the Clinton Administration again proposed to partition
the land between the Palestinians and the Jews. Specifically, the United
States called for the creation of a Palestinian state in virtually all of the West
Bank and the entire Gaza Strip—Israeli settlements would either be removed
or concentrated in blocks—with its capital in East Jerusalem. A small number
of Palestinian refugees would be repatriated to Israel; the rest were to receive
compensation. The Palestinian state would live side by side with Israel in relations
of full peace, but while Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak approved the
formula, the Palestinian Authority under its president, Yasser Arafat, rejected
it. Rather, Arafat demanded the return of all the refugees—a move that, if implemented,
would have created a Palestinian majority in Israel. As in 1947–48, the
issue was not merely the borders of the Jewish state, but its very existence.

The Palestinians consequently embarked on an armed offensive using tactics
reminiscent of those employed in 1947–48—roadside ambushes, snipers,
and car bombs—together with the innovation of suicide bombers. Militant Islamic
elements once more played a prominent role in the campaign. At first,
Israel's reaction was again restrained, but as casualties rapidly mounted, the
IDF finally struck back. In April 2002, Israeli forces reoccupied much of the
West Bank, causing extensive damage to Palestinian cities and villages, and
killing or isolating many Palestinian leaders. As in 1948, the Palestinians' plight
aroused sympathy in neighboring Arab countries and placed pressure on their
leaders to intercede. Soon Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon were launching
rockets into northern Israel; the Syrian army went on high alert, as did units in
Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. Israel mobilized its reserves. The region careered toward
yet another Arab-Israeli war.

The fighting in 2000–2002 recalled not only the events of 1947–48 but,
even more poignantly, those of 1967. That war, this book asserts, was the result
of a series of incidents triggered by Palestinian guerrilla raids and Israel's
retaliations against them. Today, more than three decades later, the Middle
East is still in the grips of a context of conflict in which a single spark can ignite
a regional conflagration. Such a spark was kindled in September 2000, when
Ariel Sharon, then head of Israel's parliamentary opposition, paid a visit to the
Haram al-Sharif, or Temple Mount, in Jerusalem.

Though the visit had been cleared with the Palestinian Authority, many
Palestinians viewed it as a provocation and protested against it violently. Firing
on the rioters, Israeli forces provided the pretext for launching an intifada, or
popular uprising, named after the Haram's al-Aqsa mosque. Mass demonstrations
of Palestinian youths soon escalated into armed attacks against Israeli
targets, most of them civilian, and increasingly fierce countermeasures by Israel.
Israeli reprisals in turn instigated unrest in adjacent Arab countries. The
"street" was once again agitating—a déjà vu of 1967—and Arab rulers had little
choice but to act.

Unlike in 1948 and 1967, however, war between Arabs and Israelis did not
erupt in 2002. Though the region has remained in many ways unchanged, several
fundamental transformations nevertheless have combined to mitigate the
dangers of war.

There is, firstly, the existence of peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and
Israel and Jordan. In spite of their failure to bring about any true reconciliation
between their signatories, these agreements have nonetheless provided the nations
with open channels of communication and venues for reducing tensions.
Another change is the emergence of the U.S.-Israeli alliance that not only guarantees
Israel a decisive military edge over its enemies, but also affords Washington
far-reaching influence over Israeli actions. Finally, there is the nonconventional
weaponry now in the arsenals of virtually every Middle Eastern state, which has
sharply elevated the stakes in any Arab-Israeli confrontation.

Yet for every change curtailing the chances of war, another could equally
contribute to its outbreak. Absent today is the peculiar stability engendered by
the Cold War, of a rational counterpart whom the U.S. president might hotline
in a crisis, and superpower constraints over key regional players such as Iraq,
Iran, and Syria. The once neat division between Arab radicals and Arab conservatives
has been replaced by internal fissures within each Arab country—between
each regime and its domestic, often Islamic, opposition—and even the
lines in the Arab-Israeli conflict have become obscured. Most destabilizing,
arguably, is the growth of terrorist organizations, global in outlook and adamant
in their theology, transcending all borders and contemptuous of any attempt
to restrain them.

These countervailing changes, coupled with the continuing friction surrounding
nondemocratic Middle Eastern regimes and Arab resistance to the
very idea of a Jewish state, might have set the stage for an Arab-Israeli war
bigger and possibly more destructive than those of 1948 and 1967. Instead, war
in 2002 was averted by the timely intervention of the United States. As tensions
in the region spiraled toward an explosion, President George W. Bush
strongly advised Syria to rein in its Hezbollah allies and told the Palestinian
Authority that its support of terror was totally unacceptable to Americans. At
the same time, Washington publicly recognized Israel's right to defend itself
and convinced Israelis that they did not stand alone. Bush's actions—admonishing
the Arabs and reassuring the Israelis—were precisely those that Lyndon
B. Johnson failed to take in 1967, and in 2002 they succeeded in containing, if
not defusing, the crisis.

Like Johnson, Bush was engaged in an international struggle with an implacable
enemy—no longer communism, of course, but Islamic extremism—
but rather than tie his hands as Vietnam once had Johnson's, America's new
conflict impelled George Bush to act. The events of September 11, 2001, spurred
a radical departure from long-standing American policies toward the Middle East.
Having become the victim of large-scale Arab terror, the administration voiced
newfound empathy for Israel and its struggle against suicide bombers and gunmen,
and went so far as to identify Israel's enemies—Hamas and Islamic Jihad—
as America's. Moreover, in declaring war against international terrorism, in
dispatching its soldiers thousands of miles to fight in Afghanistan and, avowedly,
in Iraq, Washington could hardly deny Israel the ability to strike back in
the West Bank and Gaza, its own backyard. Concomitantly, American leaders
expressed severe reservations regarding the Arab states, even toward their traditional
allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, citizens of which were heavily implicated
in 9/11. Relations between the U.S. and the Arab world were further
strained by the Arabs' reluctance to support a military effort to invade Iraq and
oust its dictator, Saddam Hussein.

The success of Bush's effort to rally an anti-Saddam coalition is not, as of
this writing, guaranteed. Numerous obstacles, domestic and foreign, stand in
the president's way. Nor is it certain whether the toppling of Saddam will install
democracy or merely another dictatorship in Iraq, or whether war in the
gulf will ultimately enhance or further impair the area's stability. One fact,
alone, is incontestable: that the Middle East remains a flash point of multilateral
confrontation, a source of seemingly intractable controversies, and a powder
keg that the slightest spark could ignite. A context of conflict continues to
seize the region, demanding of its leaders almost constant displays of both courage
and caution.

November 2002

Copyright© 2003 by Michael B. Oren

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Meet the Author

Michael B. Oren received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in Middle East studies. He has served as director of Israel’s Department of Inter-Religious Affairs in the government of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and as an advisor to the Israeli delegation to the United Nations. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Earphones Awards recipient Robert Whitfield was born in England and worked for the BBC for ten years as a radio news announcer and also worked as a narrator for the Royal National Institute for the Blind in London. In addition to narrating for Blackstone Audiobooks, he involves himself in numerous stage-acting projects in the United States and Europe.

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Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In recent years, several so-called new historians have attempted to blame Israel for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Michael Oren¿s work should put such claims concerning 1967 to rest. His research in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, English and French should also permanently silence those contending that no sources exist to balance the wealth of information in wide-open Israeli archives. Oren rooted through reams of declassified U.S. Presidential and State Department files, personal oral histories, United Nations, Soviet and Israeli offices--and dozens of previously published histories, articles, and memoirs. He interviewed the largest set of primary sources on 1967 to date--including 27 Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian military commanders, ambassadors, historians and volunteers; 22 Israeli leaders; four Supreme Soviet, KGB, and Russian military advisers; former- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, National Security Affairs Advisor Walter Rostow and United Nations Commander Indar Jit Rikhye. In 1967, Arab nations planned a war to destroy Israel. From 1949 through 1967, Israel lost 675 civilians alone to hostile Arab fire. But in 1964, the Soviets began pouring $2 billion a year in military hardware into Egypt and Syria and in 1966, falsely reporting to them that Israel planned to attack. Syria constantly fired on Israeli fishing boats in the Galilee and in November 1964 breached Israel¿s northern border in an effort to divert the Jordan¿s headwaters. In 1966, Israel suffered 96 mines, shooting and sabotage incidents on its northern border; Syria boasted 75 guerilla attacks in February and March alone. In May 1967, Oren writes, Gamal Abdel Nasser heralded ¿the final battle in Palestine.¿ On May 17, he illegally ordered United Nations Secretary General U Thant to remove peacekeeping forces from the Sinai, where Egypt had stationed 130,000 troops and 1,000 tanks and armored personnel carriers. Egyptian MiG fighters penetrated Israeli airspace--twice. Syria poised 50,000 troops and 235 tanks to strike Israel from the Golan. On May 21, Nasser told General `Ali `Amer, Defense Minister Shams al-Din Badran and Vice President Zakkariya Muhieddin that closing the Straits of Tiran would raise the chance of war to 50%, then ordered blockade. This violated the 1958 Geneva Convention guaranteeing the international status of straits. While Egypt had not signed the treaty, her USSR sponsors had. Nasser himself said that ¿closing the Gulf of Aqaba meant war,¿ whose objective was ¿Israel¿s destruction,¿ which to him was tantamount to striking America. ¿Israel today is the United States,¿ Nasser said. On May 24, Nasser told U Thant the ¿advantages of attacking first¿ would assure Egypt¿s victory. Indeed, Gen. `Amer planned a May 27 attack on Israel¿s strategic Haifa oil refineries, Dimona nuclear reactor, Eilat and the entire Negev. Operation Dawn was called off just hours before commission, after U.S. National Security Advisor Walter Rostow by chance warned Egypt¿s ambassador that the US knew of the plans. President Johnson that night contacted the Soviet Premier, whose ambassador to Egypt hand-delivered to Nasser Kosygin¿s warning not to attack Israel, lest the U.S. renege on promises of restraint against the USSR. Nasser denied the plan--but rushed to call off the compromised attack. On May 28, King Hussein and Prime Minister Sa¿d Jum¿a met Egyptian ambassador `Uthman Nuri in Amman, flying May 29 to Cairo to put Jordan¿s army under General `Abd al-Muni¿im Riyad¿s command, in a war to sweep Israel into the sea. PLO chairman Ahmad al-Shuqayri returned to Jordan and pledged, ¿We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and as for the survivors--if there are any--the boats are ready to deport them!¿ The U.S. Ambassador to Jordan called Hussein¿s Cairo treaty ¿alarmingly reminiscent of August 1914.¿ Richard Nolte, the green US ambassador to Cairo, likened Arab war cries to those of early 1948. Yet, the crisis caught t
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Six Days of War started with the context of the War and the basic information of what was happening about a year and a half before the war had started. It tells about how Nasser, the Egyptian ruler of the time, had been irritated at Israel for particular reasons that weren¿t revealed until later. The Israelis did not seem to be too worried, for they had superior Air power over the Egyptians and those Egyptians still had to cross a desert to get to the Israelis. Time had passed and Nasser was trying harder to irritate the Israelis so that they might do something rash. The strategy didn¿t work, and Israel continued to prepare for their annual festival of their becoming a state. As time progressed Nasser became more drastic and finally decided to send troops to the borders, however, Nasser¿s excuse was that he was trying to blockade the oil ports that go from farther East to Israel. The Israelis did not fall for that trick, but they did seek help so that if this did come to war, then they would not be alone. Nasser, during that time, had raised its own help successfully by saying that it was every Arab¿s duty to wipe out Israel. Nasser got supplies from Iraq and Iran, but got troops from Jordan due to the fact that the Jordanians were afraid of an attack from either if it did not take a side. That had happened about a month before the war. In about two weeks, Israel had enough. They decided to prepare for war, if they did not, then it would seem to the world that Israel could not fight its own war alone. By a week before war was declared, the skirmishes had started. The only reply that Israel had gotten from the United States was if the Israelis lost about half of its territory, then the US would help defend Israel. The main difficulty was that when the U.S. would help, Israel would cease to be a state. Then Michel O. Brien gave a detailed account of what had happened each of the six days of the war. The first day had a lot of air strikes on the Arab world, but they were mainly against Egypt. The second day the Egyptians had a few minor attacks and attacking, but they mostly assessed their damage from the air strikes from Israel. Egypt lost about 70% of its air superiority because of their organization of airplanes. Instead of keeping a few planes of each type at an airbase, they kept only one type of plane in a single base making it easier for the Israelis to prioritize their attacks. The UN had suggested a cease-fire to both sides, but Egypt was naturally against it for then this would have been the shortest war in history. The third day was one of Israel¿s bad days, for they had gone into a captured city and got a large crowd with many cheers. This lasted until they tried to disarm someone, then the citizens got hostile and began running to snipe at the Israelis, for they had been thinking they were Egyptians. The fourth and fifth days had been mainly a job of defense on the Israelis¿ side, while Egypt had the harder time with penetrating the Israelis¿ defenses and didn¿t succeed. The sixth day was the day Egypt finally gave up and accepted the cease-fire with Israel. The aftermath showed the total damage and such they did to each other. The Six Days of War is a well-written book. It is full of information such as specific names of tanks and planes while still being able to tell the other people of the audience the general term. In this fashion Michel O. Brien, the author, could get across the details of the missions for about any audience. He writes in such a simple way so that the words don¿t seem like they came out of a dictionary. He keeps his paragraphs to a medium size so that his longest paragraph is only half a page. I liked his way of writing, but the notes that seemed to take up the last quarter of the book did seem like the book was bigger than it really was. However, it was well written and Michel O. Brien wrote about 160 pages to explain what had occurred from a year and a half
Guest More than 1 year ago
As discussed at length by other reviewers in this section, the book nicely outlines the events surrounding this seminal conflict. As an avid student of war in the 20th century, I have read few books that can compete in clarity, organization, insight and presentation to this one. It is, in a word, simply superb history. Additionally, it provides important data for the context of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. I have listed two other related titles, below.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A treasure of facts ,to be discovered . Objectivity , accuracy , exceptionally eloquent style . Finally I had the chance to discover what really happened , since going through the prescriped articles published in the middle east , simply , increase your turmoil .Specially with all the triumphant anthems and the eye-catching victorious headlines serrounding you from everywhere , I bet you'll be glad to find a guiding light , thats why I highly recommend this book (reference).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Buy this book, read it thoroughly, and talk to people about the 1967 Middle East War - known as 'The Six Day War' by most Western's and known as 'The June War', 'The Setback' or 'The Disaster' by Arabs - is still considered to be unfinished business to many Arab and Muslims around the World to this very day. Michael B. Oren did a superb job of telling the story in a logical manner - beginning with 'setting the context for the war', 'the catalyst', and then a 'day-by-day blow-by-blow re-telling of the fastest war in history to that date. There are non-stop anecdotes (from both the Israeli and Arab point of views) which made the story much more absorbing. Michael is Jewish, but did the best he could to remain unbiased. If the story is at all bias - it can be attributed to the fact that the Arab nations have NOT de-classified (and probably never will) the occurrences leading-up-to, during, and following those six fateful days in June 1967. Michael had to piece together the story from the sources available to him. I could not put this book down. I read it in four nights. I am 32 and was not even alive during this war and wanted to know more than simply 'Israel won.' This book helped me understand the 'why, when, how, & who' that I never knew. Did you know that most of the Israeli arms and France provided all of the air force fighters? Did you know that America bent over backward NOT siding with Israel so as not to damage our standing with the Arab community? Did you know that Nasser (Egyptian President) - when in Day 2 he realized that Israel had already destroyed 60% of his air force - lied and told the Arab World that America had directly helped Israel?
Guest More than 1 year ago
The one item about this well researched material is that it brings in all accounts and versions from previously withheld documents. These documents are not hearsay, they are backed up and substantiated. I have to say I am looking at the entire event quite differently to include today's developments. Very tedious and well assembled, I recommend getting this one. I also recommend another book which takes a detailed look at this regions future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For history buffs that crave, military detail, the subtle nuances of Foreign Policy dialogue and analysis of crisis akin to the Cuban Missle crisis, with insight into a pivotal period of time that is now viewed and commented upon by all - read 6 Days At War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While there are many objective books written by Israelis about Israel¿s conflicts with the Arabs, this book is not one of them. The problem with this book is more than just pro-Israeli bias, which may be forgiven. The problem here is this book tells only half the story, and little new at that. Much of what¿s in here has been already said in the old classics by Edgar O¿Ballance ¿The 3rd Arab-Israeli War¿ and ¿The Electronic War in the Middle East¿, written shortly after the events. The military events themselves are misrepresented, to the extent of completely negating facts in some cases. For instance, the book claims that Israel helped Arabs in the West bank and Gaza ¿rebuild¿ destroyed homes, whereas the actual fact [see ¿The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World,¿ by Avi Shlaim] was that Israel destroyed hundreds of homes in the town of Qalqilya, completely erased 3 villages from existence (Latrun, the Biblical Emmaus, and Beit Nuba), and drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees across the Jordan river into exile. Another event glossed over in ¿Six Days of War¿ is the Israeli massacre of 1000s of Egyptian POWs trapped in the Sinai before the end of the war. All these are well-established facts that should not have been ignored in a book that pretends to be ¿objective¿. Yet another item where ¿Six Days of War¿ prefers to parrot the official Israeli line rather than deal objectively with the evidence is the Israeli assault during the 1967 war on the USS Liberty. According to many eyewitness accounts [e.g., ¿Assault on the Liberty¿ by James M. Ennes Jr.], Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty ¿ a US intelligence ship flying a US flag ¿ murdering 37 American sailors and wounding scores more. Ever since, Israel has maintained it is tragic accident and this is precisely the line ¿Six Days of War¿ advocates. Survivors, however, testify in ¿Assault on the Liberty¿ that they saw Israeli aircraft strafing the ship during evacuation in an effort to cover up the evidence. ¿Assault on the Liberty¿ concludes that it was a deliberate attack on the Liberty to destroy the intelligence gathered by the ship, which would have probably lead to prosecuting Israeli leaders for war crimes for what they had done to the Egyptian POWs in the Sinai. ¿Body of Secrets,¿ by James Bamford, presents recently declassified archives from the NSA indicating that the Israelis knew it was an American ship before the attack, and yet carried out their mission. This is obviously a very serious issue and any serious book claiming objectivity needs to examine both sides of the coin and address the evidence without contradiction. As for examining the political aspects of the war, this is actually the place where ¿Six Days of War¿ fails miserably. Offhand, the book dismisses the long-term Arab aspirations and thinking, replacing them with some crude models. Though the roots of the conflicts clearly extend well before 1948 and all the way back to 1917, the book focuses almost exclusively on the 1967 conflagration. Seen thus without even a minimal understanding of their grievances, the Arabs appear irrational and aggressive while Israel is seen as a victim. The Palestinians, a major Middle East player, are totally dismissed in ¿Six Days of War¿ as a non-entity and a non-people. Unfortunately, this book¿s concentration on the military aspects and its pro-Israeli perspective make it unbalanced and prevent it from providing a deeper analysis of events. The focus of this book is too narrow to be of any value, and like I said before, there¿s little here that hasn¿t been printed elsewhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book not only discusses everything from the point of view of Israel, but also considerably misrepresents the motives and behavior of the Arabs, as if the Arab countries were irrational and aggressive for no reason. History is made to begin a few months before the 1967 war. This is done to hide the decades of Israeli aggression and injustice towards the Arabs and especially the Palestinians before 1967. The Palestinians are also taken very lightly in this book, which is ridiculous, since they were the party most affected by this war, nearly half a million of them becoming refugees (again) and more than a million falling under Israeli occupation.