Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Occupied Land

Occupied Land by Mark Wildes, Esq. http://www.shopndrop.com/frameit.cgi?lit/art/occupied.shtml With the phrase "Israeli occupation" on many people's lips, it would seem sensible to look into the background of how the land the Palestinians call their own became "occupied." Was the "occupation" just greed on Israel's part; it just wanted more land? Was it oil that Israel was after? Or, could it have been the result of a battle Israel was forced into? Well, judge for yourself: In May of 1967, before the "Israeli occupation" of land the Palestinians call their own, Egyptian forces mobilized along Israel's southern border and Syrian forces prepared for battle along Israel's Northern border, the Golan Heights. Nasser, President of Egypt, ordered the UN Emergency forces that were stationed there to withdraw. On May 18, 1967 the "Voice of the Arabs" proclaimed on the airways: "The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence." The Syrian Defense Minister, Hafez Assad, announced: "The time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." On May 30th, King Hussein of Jordan entered into a defense pact with Egypt, whereupon Nasser announced that, "The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the border of Israel -- while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation." On June 4th, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and the President of Iraq declared: "Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map." 465,000 troops, 2,800 tanks and 800 aircraft encircled the tiny, infant State of Israel. But rather than wait to be attacked, Israel struck preemptively. On June 5, 1967 the entire Israeli air-force (with the exception of 12 fighters assigned to protect Israeli air space) took off at 7:14 am, while the Egyptians were eating breakfast. In less than 2 hours, 300 Egyptian aircraft were destroyed. Israeli fighters were then sent to attack the Jordanian and Syrian air forces as well as one airfield in Iraq. By the end of the first day, almost the entire Egyptian and Jordanian and half the Syrian air forces had been destroyed on the ground. While most of the Israeli Defense Forces were fighting the Egyptians and Jordanians, a small heroic group of soldiers were left to defend the northern border against the Syrians. And it wasn't until the Jordanians and the Egyptians were defeated that the Israeli army was able to send reinforcements to the Golan Heights, where Syrian gunners had control of the strategic high ground. On June 9, after 2 days of heavy air bombardment, Israeli forces succeeded in breaking through Syrian lines. It took only 3 days for Israeli forces to then defeat the Jordanian legions. On the morning of June 7, 1967, Israeli paratroopers stormed the Old City of Jerusalem and secured it before Defense Minister Moshe Dayan arrived with Chief of Staff Yitzchak Rabin to formally mark the Jewish people's return to their historic capital and their most holiest site. In just 6 days, Israel defended herself from complete annihilation, reunified Jerusalem, captured the Sinai, the Golan heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In light of Israel's near-annihilation, most of the land it captured was strictly as a security measure. Israeli troops marched to the Kotel, the Western Wall, the last remaining wall that encircled the ancient Jewish Temple, and celebrated the return of the people of Israel to the heart of the Holy Land -- Jerusalem. And this is the story of how Israel got to "occupy" the land the Palestinians call their own. Please keep in mind that the above account of how the "occupation" came about is not opinion or conjecture -- it's recorded history. Faced with the prospect of annihilation, Israel was forced into a war it did not provoke and it had no incentive in waging. In the process, it took land that it considered vital to its security. And this is what some people call "occupation." To call this "occupation" is a phenomenal stretch of the imagination, not to mention a dishonest assessment of historical facts.

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: