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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Jerusalem Day: Reflecting on 49 Years

For Jews of my generation and older, the 1967 Six Days War was a watershed event, unforgettable and inspiring. For many Jews it was life-changing, too.

There were two major results of the Six Days War:

  • Israel miraculously survived and completely defeated three enemy Arab armies, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
  • Israel liberated the illegally occupied Jordan Valley, Judea, Samaria and the eastern parts of Jerusalem including the Walled City and Temple Mount, along with the Sinai and Golan Heights.
All three aggressor countries lost land as a result of the war. If you look at World History, in every single war in which an aggressor loses land in defeat, the land is then part of the victorious country. But here, almost a half a century later, Israel is under all sorts of attacks, diplomatic and terror/military to cede land fairly won to its enemies or a new invented "country." 

It would be nice if I could blame our enemies and faux friends for Israel's problems. But the sad and tragic truth is that it was the State of Israel that is the cause of today's security/terrorist problem and the awful diplomatic pressures we suffer.

Even before the dust had settled, while the world looked on in complete awe, the State of Israel should have immediately and unconditionally annexed all of the Land we liberated, from the northern tip of the Golan until the Suez Canal to the east at the Jordan River. All remnants of the "green line" should have been erased, ground to dust. Not only should the barriers that had been scarring Jerusalem been taken down, but Jews should have been allowed and encouraged to live in every single neighborhood, not just what became known as the "Jewish Quarter" of the Old City. Not only the wonderful and thriving Jewish neighborhoods which were built, like Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, Ramot etc. but housing for Jews should have been built in Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Beit Jalla etc. That anti-Jewish apartheid we still suffer should never have been allowed to continue. 

Judea and Samaria should have had been open for Jewish communities just like the Golan and the Jordan Valley were. And of course we should never have returned the key to Har Habayit, the Temple Mount to the Wakf. A synagogue should have had been built for Jews to pray with full religious rights on the Temple Mount. 

If the Israeli Government had annexed and opened all of the newly liberated Land, the world would have accepted it, even more Jews than the masses who did make aliyah in the euphoric post-Six Days War era would have arrived and the Moshiach/Messiah would be here, too.

Gd gave the Jewish People and Jewish State a great miracle, a military victory in 1967, and our government spit in Gd's face. For that we are suffering to this day, and we must find a way to correct this awful sin. Only then will there be true peace!!


sheldan said...

I couldn't agree with you more regarding what in World History is done when a war results in conquered territory. I understand that for whatever reason Britain ceded 77% of the Palestine Mandate to the Arabs. But this did not mean that they couldn't leave the other 23% alone. If they had, there would have been an Arab Palestinian state and a Jewish Palestinian state and there would have been no Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both peoples would have been able to settle their countries and there would have been a logical border.

Instead, the international community couldn't do the just thing when it came to the Jews. There was the Partition Plan of 1947, which divided the 23% further into areas that were not contiguous and placed Jerusalem in the "international zone." Despite their misgivings, the Jews accepted it, and the Arabs rejected it. Instead, they went to war in 1948. They lost, and the result was the pre-1967 lines--still not the entire 23%, but better than the Partition Plan's proposal.

Of course, they decided to try to destroy Israel again in 1967. Israel won that war too, and with the victory emerged with the entire 23% again. As you stated, you would think that the world would treat this as they would treat any other war--Israel would be allowed to retain the land. But the world apparently can't accept this, and Israel has tried to come to terms with the Arabs over their grievances, only to be rebuffed because Israel has some valid claims too.

I had hopes (I remember celebrating the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty when I was single along with other groups) that we could negotiate an agreement that would settle the issue. But now I am in agreement with you that we should have held on to the 23% without any apology, resisted the world's opinion, and done what is in the interest of the Jewish People with this golden opportunity for all of us.

A. Kinsberg said...


I believe it was Eldad (correct me if wrong) who remarked that Tzahal liberated Har Habayit but then ran down to the Kotel to blow shofar and daven; should have been the other way around.

And today, Jews get mental orgasms and are satisfied when they see this plaza below Har Habayit.
In the video "Reflections on Yom Y-m", the following statements are made:
Rabbi Elazar Muskin (YI of Century City) "Prior to 1967, we wondered will we ever be able to go to the Kotel; it was a dream,. yeah when the Mashiach comes."
Rabbi Marvin Hier stated "...Until 1967, Israel was a state w/o a soul. When the IDF took the Kotel, the miracle of the State of Israel was completed."
Rabbi Asher Brander "Y-m in its entirety is in our hands..." (Guess Har Habayit today is not seen as part of Y-m.

Batya said...

sheldan, A. Kinsberg, yes, sadly so

sheldan said...

Often I have used the phrase "until Moshiach comes" (which I attribute to a friend of my wife's) to describe when there will be peace in the Middle East. (In fact, I wrote an essay to that effect a few years ago--I can still reproduce it if needed.) Unfortunately, I still believe that this is when the conflict will be resolved, because there are Arabs who will not give it up for religious reasons.

Batya said...

Actually we really don't knoe what that new reality will be.