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Posted by Richard on June 6, 2007

Today is the 63rd anniversary of D-Day. Noel Sheppard offered links to some commemorative videos and tribute posts. Justin Smith, noting that no one has spoken more eloquently on the subject, posted Reagan's 1984 Normandy speech. Go read the whole thing, but here's a brief excerpt of Reagan addressing the D-Day veterans (emphasis added):

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge–and pray God we have not lost it–that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

Those words are all the more moving and poignant today, when many seem to have indeed lost what Reagan prayed we had not.

This week also marks the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War, which began on June 5, 1967. Charles Johnson linked to a remarkable historical document:

Reading TIME magazine’s account of the Six Day War, written in June 1967 shortly after it finished, is an amazing experience. The absence of cynicism and bias in this piece is a very marked contrast to the TIME magazine of today, and is a stark illustration of how deeply this magazine has gone wrong: The Quickest War.

And notice: not once are the Arabs who lived in the area referred to as “Palestinians.”

He's dead right. Just try to imagine the Time of today publishing this analysis (emphasis added):

Inevitably, the fact that so many Arab planes were trapped in their parking area-strung out wingtip to wingtip-suggested that Israel must have struck the first blow. The stunned Arabs, of course, said that it had, and Moscow angrily concurred. But, as Israel first told it, the Jewish jets scrambled only after early-warning radar picked up several waves of Arab planes headed straight for Israel. At the same time, a massive Egyptian armored column was reported to be rolling out of its base at El Arish and steering toward the Israeli border.

Historians may argue for years over who actually fired the first shot or dropped the first bomb. But the Realpolitik of Israel's overwhelming triumph has rendered the question largely academic. Ever since Israel was created 19 years ago, the Arabs have been lusting for the day when they could destroy it. And in the past month, Nasser succeeded for the first time in putting together an alliance of Arab armies ringing Israel; he moved some 80,000 Egyptian troops and their armor into Sinai and elbowed out the U.N. buffer force that had separated the antagonists for a decade. With a hostile Arab population of 110,000,000 menacing their own of 2,700,000, the Israelis could be forgiven for feeling a fearful itch in the trigger finger. When Nasser closed the Gulf of Aqaba, a fight became almost inevitable.

For an excellent account of the Six Day War with more historical perspective, read David Meir-Levi's article. It also clearly explains how Israel's reviled "occupation of Palestine" actually came about (emphasis added):

A few days after the UN cease fire of 6/11/67, Abba Eban, Israel's representative at the UN, made his famous speech. He held out the olive branch to the Arab world, inviting Arab states to join Israel at the peace table, and informing them in unequivocal language that everything but Jerusalem was negotiable. Territories taken in the war could be returned in exchange for formal recognition, bi-lateral negotiations, and peace.

Israel wanted peace. Israel offered land in exchange for peace. As Lord Carendon, the UK representative at the UN, noted with considerable surprise after Abba Eban's speech, never in the history of warfare did the victor sue for peace — and the vanquished refuse.

Twice within a few weeks of the war's end, the USSR and the Arab Bloc floated motions in the UN General Assembly declaring that Israel was the aggressor. Both motions were roundly defeated. At that time, the world knew that the Arabs were the aggressors, and that Israel, victim of aggression, had sued for peace both before the war and after their amazing victory.

Unable to brand Israel the aggressor, and in disarray following Israel's public request for peace and reconciliation, The Arab world faced what for it was a difficult choice. Recognize Israel, negotiate for the return of conquered territories, and make peace…or not.

Rather than respond to Israel's invitation, the Arab states met in Khartoum, Sudan, for a conference in August, 1967. They unanimously decided in favor of the now famous three Khartoum "NO's": No recognition, No negotiation, No peace. This was only round 3. The Arab world could suffer many more defeats before its ultimate victory. Israel could suffer only one defeat. Better that Israel hold on to the territories taken in the war. Better that the refugees continue languishing in their squalor and misery. Better that the Arab states re-arm for round 4…than to recognize Israel's right to exist or negotiate toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

With the Khartoum "NO's", the Arab world forced Israel to unwillingly assume control over the approximately million Arabs living in the West Bank, Golan Heights, Sinai and Gaza Strip.

It's a shame and an outrage that an entire generation has never heard even a brief history of this war and how the current situation in the Middle East came about. It's utterly contemptible that a coalition of commies and 7th-century barbarians will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Israel's victory with a rally in Washington calling for its destruction. If you're anywhere near the District of Columbia (or NYC — there will be a bus), please join the Stand With Israel counter-rally.


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9 Responses to “Anniversaries”

  1. mothanskin said

    I have always felt the “pre-emptive” attacks on Egypt, Lebanon and Syria by Israel in the “Six Day War” was justifiable. However the invasion and occupation of those countries , Gaza and the West Bank was not justifiable! The “pre-emptive attacks” was an act of defense, but the invasion and occupation of Arab lands was pure and simple “aggression”, in my opinion! Just as the Bush Adminstration’s “war on terror” is creating terrorism, the Israeli invasion and occupation of Arab lands in the Middle East created “Hezbollah” and “Hamas”.

  2. RedPencil said


    So glad you could find a tie in from the 6 day war to whine about Bush’s Iraq policies.

    And I am wondering if you bothered to read the Time and frontpagemag bits Richard quoted, let alone the entire articles. Israel’s invasion WAS the pre-emptive attack which you describe as “justifiable”. And neither the 6 day war nor the subsequent occupation created Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas and Hezbollah were created specifically by Muslim irredentists.

    If you want to cast a wider net for guilt, I would point to the international community for encouraging their belief that “Palestinians” have an irrevocable and perpetual “right” to a state regardless of their behavior, and whether or not they are willing to define that state in some place other than (pre-1967) Israel. The support of “compassionate” people in the West has been critical to the bizarrely successful PR of these terrorists.

  3. rgcombs said

    When people argue that Israeli “occupation of Palestinian lands” has ”created” terrorism, Hamas, and Hezbollah, I feel the same mixture of amusement, sadness, and aggravation that I feel when watching an episode of “Jaywalking” on the Tonight Show. How is it possible for people of normal intelligence to be so profoundly ignorant?

    All I can say is, if you think Israel is responsible for Muslim hatred of Jews, please start reading and viewing what Arab Muslims themselves say ( is a good place to start), and read some history.

  4. Roosevelt said

    The long term “occupation” and “oppression” of any people will make them crazy! RG, I believe if you were born in a filthy refugee camp where the normal dreams and aspirations of any human being were sqaushed, I am sure, judging by the strong personality you display in your writing, you would be a militant radical in opposition to your oppressors! For generations Israel has occupied and oppressed the Gaza and West Bank Palestenians. Long term oppression breeds crime and terrorism!

  5. Jan said

    Sorry I haven’t been to the blog lately. I was taken aback by the ignorant (at best) comments regarding Israel and the Palestinians. I don’t have the time or the patience to give history lessons. However, I will make a comment on Roosevelt’s speculation about how a strong personality like Richard would have responded to growing up in a “refugee” camp. (and I don’t know if you can properly call second and third generation people born in an area refugees) A clear-thinking person of personal strength and determination can, has, and does rise above his or her circumstances. While much of the Muslim mid-east engages in what Fouad Ajami calls “belligerent self-pity”, not all do. Roosevelt, you are far too deterministic. Determinism can’t explain the history of human achievement.

  6. Roosevelt said

    Jan, I don’t think I am being “deterministic” in saying long term oppression makes the oppressed people “crazy”. A human can use his or her mind to create and shape their environment and circumstances or that same human can allow their environment and circumstances to create and shape their mind! Most human beings , most of the time, are in the latter group! I contend that the long term Israeli oppresson of the Gaza/West Bank Palestinians is to a large degree the cause of the present intercine war between Fatah and Hamas, as well as the irrational “suicide bombing” of innocent Israeli citizens! (Whether you call the “hell holes” that Pal;estinians live in “refugee camps”, “ghettoes” or “the hood”, it is still a “hell hole”!) The Palestinian people desperately need a “Mahatma Gandi” type leader to bring healing to the “Palestinian soul” and Israel needs a “Messiah” like leader to bring healing to the “Zionist soul”. Imagine that!

  7. Jan said

    Roosevelt, I think the cause of the Palestinian violence is their deep hatred of the Jews. Maybe that is fuel for your position as well.

  8. rgcombs said

    ”RG, I believe if you were born in a filthy refugee camp where the normal dreams and aspirations of any human being were sqaushed, I am sure, judging by the strong personality you display in your writing, you would be a militant radical in opposition to your oppressors!”

    I like to believe that I’d have ended up like Bethlehem-born Walid Shoebat, who was once an al Fatah terrorist, but now is dedicated to defending Israel. Or like Nonie Darwish, who grew up in Gaza and whose father founded the Fedayeen and was killed by Israel. She founded Arabs for Israel.

    Mo (or Roo), you keep repeating “oppression” — well, you don’t have a clue. The Israelis have been the most gentle, forbearing “oppressors” ever, and if you think it’s their fault that Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank live in “hell holes,” then you’ve swallowed a whole lot of propaganda from people who won’t rest until all Jews are dead and will do or say anything to further their goal.

    To the extent that young Palestinians’ minds have been “shaped,” it’s been by the incredibly vicious, vile, hate-filled propaganda and indoctrination that they’re subjected to by the crazed lunatics who control their schools, mosques, and media.

    Here’s an example: If the Palestinians had a state, what would its goal be?

    Here’s an example of how Israel treats its enemies:

    Phoning the targets to warn them

    Here’s how Palestinians treat people nominally on their side and each other:

    [ Hezbollah’s human shields]

    Murdering their own children for a change

    And here’s what Palestinians do with a valuable asset left for them when Israel once again tried (in vain) to trade land for peace and left Gaza:

    Desert stops blooming

    I feel sorry for the children. It breaks my heart when I see yet another Palestinian child dressed up by his parents as a “shahid” (martyr) wearing a suicide vest. But the adults who do this to them? Who declare that they can’t wait until yet another of their sons sends some Jews to Hell and himself to Paradise? I feel nothing but contempt and loathing for them and their “cause.”

  9. mothanskin said

    Thanks for giving us those links! But I contend you wouldn’t be a “Walid Shobat”, RG! Walid Sobat is an “uncle Tom”, who writes and makes money from the safety of living in the “Western World”! What he says is Truth, but he’s preaching it to the wrong people. No RG, you would be like Mahatma Gandi, who went back to India with his message of love and civil disobedience or a Dr. Maritn Luther KIng, who knew he would eventually be asssasinated! but nonetheless took his message to the people who needed it, like the garbage workers in Memphis, TN., where he was killed. God will ultimately raise up such a Palestinian leader, one with courage and Principle to bring healing to the Palestinian and Jewish people! Imagine that!

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