My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback, as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war is euphemistically known in Arabic. There was no Summer of Love for us in 1967. We Children of the Naksa were born not only on the cusp of loss but also of the kind of disillusionment that whets the appetite of religious zealots.
It is called the Six-Day War because it was over in six days. Yeah, right. The war is not over. The truth is, not even the battlefields are silent.
Israelis made few such films, even in the immediate post-war months, and now a new documentary to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War conveys a sense of somber reflection, rather than patriotic elation. "Six Days," an Israeli-Canadian-French co-production directed by Israeli filmmaker Ilan Ziv, is subtitled, "June 1967: 40 Years, New Revelations."
Nearly a year has passed since Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon and 40 since the June 1967 war. Those familiar with last summer's war might well rub their eyes in disbelief. Given how badly the Israel Defense Forces performed in Lebanon, where it was stymied by a guerrilla organization numbering just a few thousand fighters, is it really true that once upon a time the IDF routed four Arab armies in just six days?
Was the Six-Day War a blessing or a curse for Israel's place in the Middle East and its long-term survival? Forty years on, the jury is still out.
Great wars in history eventually become great wars about history. Only a few years after the last soldier leaves the battlefield, accepted truths about the nature of a military conflict and the motivations for it invariably come under assault by revisionists and counter-revisionists, whose vehemence can rival that of the original combatants. This again becomes the case with the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War.