A week before Yom Kippur 1973, I moved from Hazerim air force base to Jerusalem to study history at Hebrew University. Yet it was life, not university, which actually taught me a history lesson.
Michael Oren was deep inside the State Department, relaxed and taking on all comers: He had the facts on his side.
The Six-Day War began at 7:10 a.m. on June 5, 1967. By 10 a.m., it was clear Israel had already won.
A Syrian government official warned that his country can enter the Israeli-held Golan Heights at any time.
In preparation for Israel’s 65th birthday, I recently reread Leon Uris’ novel “Exodus” — and found it disturbing and unsettling in many ways.
Tuesday June 5 marks the 45th anniversary of the Six-Day War, turning point in Israeli history that, in the popular recollection, brought the new nation a swift, almost painless, victory marked by brilliant Israeli strategy and planning.
When Israel fought its War of Independence, embedded TV cameramen were unknown and even combat newsreel photographers were practically non-existent. The newly created state had more important matters to worry about. More surprisingly, there have been hardly any movies celebrating the near miraculous victories of 1948-49, and later of the Six-Day War in 1967.
There is a tiny two-block alleyway in West Los Angeles that runs on a diagonal from South Barrington Avenue east to Pico Boulevard. The backs of small industrial buildings border one side. On the other, a chain link fence shields a packinghouse or shipping service. To look at it, you would never call it the street of dreams or the isle of atmospheric romantic intrigue. You certainly would never envision it as the pulsating focus of a once-young, vibrant new generation of American Jews animated by the lightning victory of Israeli soldiers during the Six-Day War.
I was not entirely comforted. I recalled a conservative propaganda movie about Islam warning people of taqiyya, the Muslim "mitzvah" of deception, in which militant Muslims put on a peaceful disguise for Westerners.
It is not accidental that Gershom Gorenberg limited his substantial study, "The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977," to the first decade of the settler movement, for by 1977, when Menachem Begin and the right gained power for the first time in Israeli history, 80 settlements housing more than 11,000 Israelis already dotted the territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Yigal Shaked warned his mother that if she told the enlisting officers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that he should be excused from service because of his asthma, he would never speak to her again.