Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Curt Exchange, U.S. Faults Israel on Housing


Gamal Abdel Nasser the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death in 1970 on March 8, 1965 he said:
  • We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand. We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.
A few months later, Nasser expressed the Arabs' goal to be:
  • ... the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the western part of Jerusalem was captured by Israel, while East Jerusalem (including the Old City) was captured by Jordan. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War came to an end with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements.
Upon its capture, the Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter. All the main synagogues were destroyed, and the Jewish Quarter was bulldozed. The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones there were used for construction and paving roads. Jordan also destroyed the Jewish villages of Atarot and Neve Yaakov just north of Jerusalem (their sites became Jerusalem neighborhoods after 1967).

In 1965, 35 terrorist raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched. These attacks and other actions by Arab states led to the 6 day Arab Israel war in 1967.

In 1956, the United States gave Israel assurances that it recognized the Jewish State's right of access to the Straits of Tiran. In 1957, at the UN, 17 maritime powers declared that Israel had a right to transit the Strait. Moreover, any blockade violated the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, which was adopted by the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea on April 27, 1958. Nonetheless, on the night of May 22-23, 1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran.
Nasser was fully aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel's hand. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly.
  •         The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war.

There is evidence that Egypt was warned by the US and the Soviet Union in late May 1967 that war should be avoided, but by then the momentum to war was unstoppable.

King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30, 1967, under which Jordan joined the Egyptian-Syrian military alliance of 1966 and placed its army on both sides of the Jordan river under Egyptian command. He had little choice since Jordan housed 700,000 Palestinian Arabs whose rioting in November 1966 almost brought down Hussein's government. On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria. President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq added these words to the mountain of provocation:
  • The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map.
Armed forces in the Arab countries were mobilized. Israel was confronted by an Arab force of some 465,000 troops, over 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft. The armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts.

Israeli forces had been on high alert during the three weeks of tension which began on May 15, 1967 when it became known that Egypt had concentrated large-scale forces in the Sinai peninsula, an alert status Israel could not maintain indefinitely. The country could not accept interdiction of its sea lane through the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel had no choice but preemptive action. To do this successfully, Israel had to achieve surprise, not wait for an Arab invasion, a potential catastrophic situation. On June 4, the Cabinet authorized the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense to decide on appropriate steps to defend the State of Israel.

The 1967 Arab-Israeli War or the Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and June 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt [known then as the United Arab Republic (UAR)], Jordan, and Syria. The outcome was a swift and decisive Israeli victory. At the war's end, Israel had taken effective control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Under Israeli rule, members of all religions were largely granted access to their holy sites, with the Muslim Wapt maintaining control of the Temple Mount and the Muslim holy sites there. The old Mughrabi Quarter (Moroccan) in front of the Western Wall was bulldozed three days after its capture, leading to the deaths of several residents in the forced resettlement of its 135 families. It was replaced with a large open air plaza. The Jewish Quarter, destroyed in 1948, was depopulated, rebuilt and resettled by Jews.  

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