The Israeli Left has such control over the media, academia and school curriculum here that this difficult and painful truth has been hidden. And although military experts in foreign countries admit that our victory had to have been a Gd given miracle, the Israeli Establishment prefers giving all the credit to the IDF and themselves.
I have no doubt that for gamblers it was a definite long shot for Israel to survive the war that was heating up in May-June, 1967. The surrounding Arab countries were united, wealthier, better equipped and had allies. The State of Israel had none of the above. The optimists were praying that something of the young country would survive, and the pragmatists were preparing cemeteries in the Tel Aviv area.
The borders of the small state, although better than what the United Nations had suggested for the Jewish State, were indefensible squiggles to the east and easy targets for Syria to the north. The only straight lines were the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and on the south with Egyptian and Jordanian uninhabited deserts. Most of the Jewish population was concentrated in the narrow area by the Mediterranean Sea.
Egypt's Nasser and others were announcing that they'd push Israel into the sea. Just over twenty years after the Allied Forces had defeated Hitler it looked like there were new Nazis who spoke Arabic and would revive the Holocaust.
Considering the Arab plan of attacking on three fronts, from the north, south and east, if Israel hadn't managed to surprise attack and destroy the Arab Air Forces, Israelis would have no choice other than the march into the sea and die.
From everything I've read and heard about the war, the Eshkol Government had no real battle plan. They were hoping that Egypt, Jordan and Syria would suddenly decide that attacking and threatening Israel wasn't a good idea, and things would just calm down and go back to "normal." Normal was periodic sniper and terror attacks on the small Jewish State. Labor Party leadership was overwhelmed with developing and settling the small country. That's why new immigrants, mostly, from North African countries were sent off to newly established "development towns" in isolated areas. Those parts of the country that seemed fertile for agriculture were given to the Ashkenazi elite for kibbutzim and moshavim.
There was no real battle plan for taking over eastern Jerusalem and the Walled City. That's why so many of our IDF soldiers were killed. There also was no plan for liberating Judea, Samaria, Sinai and the Golan. All that just "happened." Gd did it. Really! Can you give any other reason why we won in such an amazing way?
So when the dust settled, and the Arab countries surrendered, the last thing the Israeli government wanted was all this new territory, especially since there were Arabs living there. The government was happy to enlarge Jerusalem and have the Old City especially the Western Wall. The kibbutzim on the old Syrian border wanted the Golan Heights, since they had suffered terribly from attacks from there. Agrexco, Israel's official agricultural export company had a lot of power and was excited by the possibilities in farming in some of the newly liberated land. That's why agricultural communities were quickly established in the Golan, Jordan Valley and Northern Sinai.
And the Israeli Government was certain that whatever land was left could be used to trade for peace treaties with those countries that still wanted our destruction. Fifty years ago, nobody had ever heard of Palestinians--they didn't exist yet, so adding another country to this area wasn't on the menu. Instead of realizing that none of this can work, they're still whipping the dead horse.