by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 5, Shawwal, 1438)
Last month marked the 50th anniversary of Zionist Israel’s Six-Day War of aggression and conquest of the lands of three Arab states as well as the rest of Palestine that it had not hitherto occupied. Launched in the early hours of June 5, 1967, the surprise Israeli attack wiped out the entire air force fleets of Egypt and Syria. From there on, it was a cakewalk for the Zionist invaders to capture the Sinai Peninsula including Gaza from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. The Jordanian forces did not put up a fight; the putative King Husayn ordered them to withdraw abandoning al-Masjid al-Aqsa to the Zionist invaders.
The year 2017 marks another grim anniversary: the launch of the colonial enterprise to fracture the Muslim East into weak unstable nation-states to make way for the implantation of the Zionist entity in Palestine. It is the 100th anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration when then British Foreign Secretary James Balfour, in response to a letter from Walter Rothschild promised to create a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
On what basis did Balfour, a staunch anti-Semite (he had backed the Aliens Act of 1905 prohibiting entry of Jews into Britain) make such an outrageous and blatantly unjust promise? The British did not own Palestine; they were on the verge of capturing it from the Ottomans but the land belonged to the Palestinian people. They have inhabited it for thousands of years yet one of the greatest injustices was perpetrated to dispossess them of their ancestral lands and implant an alien European colonial settler entity in their place.
Before digging deeper into the British conspiracy, let us first consider the circumstances that led to the Six-Day War. Tensions between Egypt, then ruled by the firebrand Egyptian nationalist Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir, and the Zionist entity were rising. The Zionists accused ‘Abd al-Nasir of threatening to invade Israel and “drive the Jews into the sea.” This allegation was based on the fact that ‘Abd al-Nasir had ordered two divisions of his army into the Sinai Peninsula that Israel said posed an “existential threat.”
This was a preposterous lie. Neither the Egyptian army nor a combination of Arabian armies fed on a steady diet of Arabian nationalism was capable of fighting the Zionist army. ‘Abd al-Nasir had merely moved two divisions into the Sinai Peninsula; it was a defensive move. General Ezer Weizmann, chief of the Israeli air force at the time admitted, “There was never a real danger of extermination [of Israel].” Zionist political leaders — Prime Minister Levi Eshkol among them — peddled the fiction that “the very existence of the State of Israel hung upon a thread” (June 12, 1967, speaking in the Knesset). General Yitzhak Rabin also admitted that two divisions of the Egyptian army in the Sinai posed no threat to Israel.
The Americans also jumped into the fray. The Zionists told US President Lyndon Johnson that they “feared” an invasion from Egypt or a combination of Arabian armies. Johnson contacted ‘Abd al-Nasir and assured him that the Israelis would not attack if he (‘Abd al-Nasir) were not to initiate hostilities and to show good faith by pulling his forces back from the Israeli border in the Sinai. Like a fool — or a coward — ‘Abd al-Nasir fell for the trap.
On June 5 when the Israeli air force struck, the Egyptian army was asleep; the air forces of Egypt and Syria had no clue that they were about to be wiped out. The head of the Egyptian armed forces, Field Marshal (no less) ‘Abd al-Óakim ‘Amir was not even in Cairo and his aircraft could not land as he returned from a trip because the airport had been bombed with the entire Egyptian air force wiped out on the ground. The Syrian air force suffered a similar fate.
In six days, the Arabian armies were crushed. Tens of thousands of soldiers were killed in Israeli air strikes or tank and artillery fire. Many others died of thirst in the scorching heat of the desert. Arabian nationalism suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Zionist nationalism.
On June 8, the Israeli air force attacked the USS Liberty, an American communications ship in international waters monitoring Israel’s attack on the three countries. This was a deliberate act of aggression against the US. The Israelis murdered 34 American sailors and injured 171 others in an attack that lasted nearly an hour. The ship’s markings were clearly visible and the Israeli pilots knew precisely what they were attacking, yet it did not prevent them from carrying out their war crime against their principal benefactor, the US.
Far from holding the Zionists responsible for this dastardly crime, the Americans hushed up the episode calling it a “mistake” confirming that the US was a Zionist colony. The ever-pliant US media tried to present the Zionist aggression against its Arab neighbors as a “preemptive” strike in which tiny beleaguered Israel was left with no choice but to defend itself because it was surrounded by a “sea of Arabs.”
Mythmaking is an obsession of the Zionists and their apologists in the West. They have always peddled the lie that the Jewish people faced relentless hostility and persecution in Europe — they were nearly wiped out in the Second World War — hence the need for a separate homeland for them.
In 1917, when Balfour made his illegal and infamous promise to Walter Rothschild, the Jewish people faced no such threat. True, Christian Europe had shown extreme hatred toward them but why should the Palestinians pay a price for crimes perpetrated by the Europeans? Besides, why is it fair to displace the Palestinians from their homes, villages, and towns to make way for a people being persecuted in Europe? It would be a lot fairer to create a homeland for them in Germany, the main perpetrator of such crimes against them.
The fascist Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, a one-time terrorist mastermind and on the British list of “Most Wanted Terrorists” exposed the false claim peddled by the Zionists that they had faced an existential threat from the Arabian armies in 1967. During a speech to the Israeli National Defense College on August 2, 1982, Begin said, “We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him [Egyptian President Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir].”
General Matti Peled, an Israeli commander in the June 1967 war, also corroborated this lie. He told the Israeli newspaper Ha‘aretz (March 19, 1972), “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only a bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Peled, appalled by brutalities inflicted on innocent Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, later turned into a peace activist.
Zionist Israel, the only colonial settler entity, is ever expanding. In 1948, the UN allocated it 56% of Palestinian territory without even asking the Palestinians whether they agreed to the theft of their land by the Zionists. In figures released on December 31, 1922 after the British conducted census, the Jewish population of Palestine was a mere 11%. How did it burgeon to 30% by 1948? This was another treacherous act perpetrated by the British colonialists: they facilitated a massive illegal influx of Jewish people from Europe into Palestine.
The aim was to create a reasonably large population base, a core group, so that it could claim 56% of the territory. But the Zionist enterprise is based on theft; it has continued to expand. In 1948, when the Palestinians refused to accept the theft of their land, the Zionists simply launched a campaign of ethnic cleansing and grabbed 78% of the territory. In 1967, the Zionists occupied the remaining 22% as well.
Today, Palestinians are forced to live in disjointed bantustans in their own land, much like the Africans were forced to do under the apartheid regime in South Africa. But South African apartheid ended decades ago, Zionist apartheid has intensified. The chances of a Palestinian state are fast receding as the Arabian regimes have also now come out openly in support of the Zionists.
Their own leadership — the so-called Palestinian Authority and now Hamas as well — has betrayed the Palestinian people. The Arabian rulers had abandoned them a long time ago. The recent spat between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has exposed, yet again, the cowardly nature of these rulers who have abandoned even the pretence of supporting the Palestinian cause.
These rulers would rather fight — and kill — other innocent Muslims than fight the Zionist war criminals.