A few months back, JTA board macher and fellow “Mad Men” fan Danny Krifcher suggested that I write up a column predicting how each of the characters would respond to the Six Day War.
Rabbi David Hartman, one of the great Jewish philosophers of his generation and the founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute, died on Feb. 10, 2013, at 81. Hartman is considered one of the leaders of liberal Orthodoxy, and his philosophy influenced Jews both in Israel and around the world.
Dr. Avraham Biran, director of Israel’s Department of Antiquities, received a call early on the second day of the war from the wife of Yigael Yadin, the former army chief of staff and Israel’s most eminent archaeologist.
Ariel Sharon was a figure of controversy throughout his long career in war, politics and diplomacy, but no one can deny that he looms large in the making of the Jewish state.
Syrian protesters spent the night on the border with Israel on the Golan Heights following a day in which Syrian reports claim that up to 23 Arabs were killed.
More than 18 Arabs were reported killed after hundreds of protesters from Syria attempted to breach the border with Israel on the Golan Heights.
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.
Of course, this is a gross oversimplification that does an injustice to both Zohar and Millo, but in essence, the remarkable and swift victory of Israeli forces in 1967 tore a veil of insecurity off the standard cinematic discourse around issues of Zionism and personal self-sacrifice and gave the nation's filmmakers the right to a certain heroic panache without-guilt. It was a sunny day that lasted only a short while, ended by the storms of the Yom Kippur War a mere six years later, but it was quite real.