Vail Daily letter: Obama has facts wrong
Vail, CO Colorado
Once again, President Barack Hus-sein Obama got it wrong. Yes, his speech at the U. N. was inspirational, as usual, but once again he got his facts wrong. He referred to the Six -Day War in 1967, which resulted in the “occupation.” He implied the “occupation” is the major cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This prem-ise inverts the cause and effect.
Terrorist activities against Israel started years before the “occupation.” It would be important to note that the PLO, which was and still is commit-ted to the destruction of the Jewish state, was founded in 1964 – three years before the “occupation.” It is important to disentangle facts from fiction, and I am surprised that our president chooses not to present the history honestly. Arabs were commit-ting terrorist acts long before Israel even became a state in 1948.
Let us not forget how Israel got the unlucky task of caring for the Arab people living on the West Bank of Jordan and in the Gaza held by Egypt.
On May 13, 1967, the Egyptian dic-tator Gamel Abdul Nasser announced that two Egyptian divi-sions would move into the Sinai Peninsula bordering on southern Israel – contrary to international agreements and guarantees by the U.S. and the U.N. Caving in to Nasser, then-U.N. Secretary General U Thant agreed to remove the U. N. emer-gency force from the area. He certain-ly did not want U. N. forces to be caught in the middle and have to fight – just as the U.N. today does not really want its forces in Lebanon to have to control Hezbollah.
The next day, Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal and started moving toward Israel. Cairo announced it would block all ship-ping to the port of Eilat, Israel’s only maritime outlet in the south. Egypt-ian MIG- 21 planes began flying over Israeli territory in the south. At the same time, Syrian and Iraqi forces were ordered to prepare for an assault on northern Israel. Public statements by all the Arab leaders were made as to how they would annihilate the state of Israel.
On May 30, much to the dismay of the U. S., which counted Jordan as a paragon of moderation and peace, King Hussein of Jordan signed a treaty with Nasser to join Egypt in any war with Israel. It is speculated that he did not want to miss out on any of the “spoils” of the war.
The war broke out on June 5, 1967, and on the first day, Israel destroyed the Egyptian air force. In six days, Israel had achieved complete victory in a war of self- defense against bla-tant aggression whose declared aim was total annihilation. Israel tried to return those territories to Jordan and Egypt, but they were not interested, even for a price. For the first time, the Arabs living in those areas got paved roads, running water, schools and hospitals.
The Arab- Israeli conflict has always been about religion rather than nationalism and has been the reason for all five wars in the Middle East. Arab leaders, both political and religious, to this day call it a ” Holy War,” a jihad against the Jews. It is only in recent years that we hear that the Arabs who call themselves Pales-tinians want a state of their own. For more than 40 years after the estab-lishment of the Jewish state, this con-cept was not on anyone’s radar … not the U. S., not the U. N., and not the Arab people.
Perhaps if our president tried to mediate the disputes that exist today from a point of fact, not fiction, he would get a lot further on the peace trail.
– Mikki Futernick, Vail