Occupation, occupation, occupation.
If you listen to Arabs, that's the cause of the conflict with Israel – occupation.
They blame all their ills – from refugees living in squalor for the last 50 years to Yasser Arafat's bad breath – on the so-called Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Arabs say the Israelis grabbed this real estate in a war of aggression in 1967. In fact, Israel did not start that war. Israel did not want that war. Israel merely defended itself – very, very effectively – from coordinated attacks by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Arafat's terrorists.
This is not opinion. This is fact. A friend of mine, Sol Jacobs, did something very simple – something very obvious – to document this fact, which seems to elude so many today. He went back and looked at what newspapers were reporting about the crisis before June 5, 1967 – before there was any alleged "Israeli occupation."
Here's what he found on his month-long timeline leading up to the Six-Day War:
- On May 7, the New York Times reported Syria had shelled the Israeli village of Ein Gev.
- On May 17, the New York Times reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Arafat, pledged to "keep sending commandos" into Israel.
- On May 19, the Los Angeles Times reported Egypt stood accused of using poison gas in Yemen.
- On May 19, the New York Times reported Egypt had deployed its forces along the Israeli border.
- On May 20, the New York Times reported Egypt forced U.N. peacekeeping troops to leave the Sinai Desert in anticipation of its attack on Israel.
- On May 21, the New York Times reported Egyptian soldiers were massing in the Sinai.
- On May 22, the New York Times reported that the PLO would be stepping up its attacks in Israel, that Cairo was calling up 10,000 reserves and that Iraq would be sending aid to battle Israel.
- On May 23, every newspaper in the world reported that Egypt took the provocative action of closing the Gulf of Aqaba to Israel.
- On May 24, every newspaper in the world reported that the U.S. declared Egypt's military blockade of the gulf "illegal."
- On May 25, the New York Times reported that Jordan would admit Saudi and Iraqi forces into its country to do battle with Israel.
- On May 27, every newspaper in the world reported Egypt's fiery threats to destroy Israel.
- On May 29, the New York Times reported the Egyptian buildup of military forces in the Sinai was continuing.
- On May 29, the Washington Post reported that despite all of this provocation, Israel was still reluctant to avoid a showdown with its enemies.
- On May 29, the New York Times reported new Syrian attacks on Israel.
- On June 3, the New York Times reported that Britain declared the Egyptian blockade could lead to war. It also reported that four Syrian commandos were intercepted in Israel.
- On June 5, 1967, the Six-Day War began. Israel rolled up all of its enemies faster than anyone would have believed. It took control of East Jerusalem from Jordan. It took control of Judea and Samaria on the west bank of the Jordan River from Jordan. It took control of the Golan Heights from Syria. And it took control of the Gaza Strip and Sinai Desert from Egypt.
You can read these news reports for yourself thanks to the work of Sol Jacobs.
Clearly, the so-called "occupation" of these territories came about as a result of Arab war-making on Israel. Israel merely defended itself well. Israel also proved it was willing to give these territories back to neighbors who would live in peace with the Jewish state, as demonstrated with the return of the Sinai to Egypt.
All of this raises a few questions: If Israel is occupying those territories today, who was occupying them until 1967? If the West Bank and Gaza belong to "Palestinians," why were they under the control of Jordan and Egypt until June 5, 1967? If Arab "Palestinians" just want their own state, why didn't they ask for it before 1967?
And, lastly, why is it, according to many of these articles written in 1967, that when the Arabs talked about "occupied territories" then, they meant all of Israel?Joseph Farah's nationally syndicated column originates at WorldNetDaily, where he serves as editor and chief executive officer.
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