Talk:Six-Day War/Archive 3

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Pre-emptive Strike - POV?

Isn't describing the initial Israeli attack on Egypt as pre-emptive itself POV as it assumes that Egypt was in fact going to attack Israel imminently? I'm aware that many observers do think that this was going to happen, and that Israel may well have felt that their attack was pre-emptive (and conversely I'm sure some partisans on the other side would characterize it as a Pearl-Harbor style aggressive sneak attack). However wouldn't it be more neutral to simply describe it as a surprise attack? The Israeli view that this was preemptive defense rather than agression should be covered in the diplomacy and intelligence assesments section; that way we can stick to the bare facts in the warefare section.Bdrasin 02:10, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Have you had a look at the reference for that particular statement? There are a dozen non-Israeli 3rd party sources that describe it as such. Isarig 02:25, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
No, I haven't read the particular books referenced, but I have read a fair amount of material on the subject (not that I'm an expert or anything). My point isn't that many (most?) expert observers would/wouldn't characterize the attack as pre-emptive, or that the attack was/wasn't concieved as a pre-emptive operation or anything like that. What I'm saying is that this is a statement of interpretation rather than a statement of fact. Certainly it is a widely held interpretation and as such should be represented in the article, but I think it would make the article better to have such interpretation clearly deliniated from the factual narrative of the course of the war. Do you see what I mean?Bdrasin 03:04, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
In Wikipedia articles we just repeat what reliable sources say; they say "pre-emptive". Jayjg (talk) 03:06, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
But that's still interpretation, right? Suppose I found 1, 2 reliable (i.e. academic history/political science) books with subject matter on the six-day war that do not use the words "pre-emptive" to describe the attack, does that mean that we have to come up with some alternative wording? That doesn't make any sense. Considering that I'm not asking for anything to be removed but rather reorganized to be more encyclopedic, I really don't understand the objection.
Thanks for moving my comments, I guess I was not familiar with this bit of wiki-etiquette.Bdrasin 03:26, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Hypothetically, Bdrasin is correct. All adjectives including the word "pre-emptive" are interpretations on the noun being described, in this case, the Israeli strike in June 1967. In this case, there is overwhelming evidence from historians worldwide and from Israeli, American, Egyptian, Russian, British, French, and possibly even Jordanian and Syrian military/political figures in 1967 that have described the Israeli strike as pre-emptive. Consider the Egyptian and Syrian generals that openly and repeatedly called for Israel's destruction and the genocide of Jewish Israeli citizenry in the weeks prior to June 5, 1967. "We'll meet in Tel Aviv," was the Arab slogan of the weeks preceding the war. Calling the Israeli strike a pre-emptive strike is as valid and NPOV as calling water wet or the sun hot for two reasons:
  1. Even if no chemist in the entire world had ever used the word "wet" in an academic paper on the compound H20, anyone who knows anything about water would objectively say that it is wet. Similarly, if no historian in the entire world used the phrase "pre-emptive strike," anyone who knows anything about the Six-Day War would objectively say that the Israeli strike was pre-emptive.
  2. Since all respectable chemists describe water as being wet, it is our duty to describe water as being wet on Wikipedia as well. Similarly, since all respectable historians describe the strike as being pre-emptive, it is our duty to describe the strike as being pre-emptive on Wikipedia as well. --GHcool 18:07, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Of course describing the attack a pre-emptive is ridiculous - all states defend their own acts of aggression as being "pre-emptive", "self-defence" or "humanitarian intervention". I'm sure you could find some relatively respectable and serious sources that would describe the attack on Pearl Harbour, or the takeover of the Sudetenland in one of those terms. And the quoting of about 20 sources to "prove" that the attack was pre-emptive smacks a little of desperation - all those (mostly media) cites prove of course is that once an adjective is tagged to a person or event, the modern media repeat it over and over; plus also that the Israeli interpretation of history has largely been taken as read in the Western media. It's not hard, if you bother to look, to source actual quotes by Israeli political & military figures admitting that Egypt et al didn't really have any real military ambitions against Israel, and that Israel took a decision to attack Egypt anyway regardless of any supposed threat. I would take the phrase out altogether, or at the least change the intro to say something like "Israel launched what has commonly been interpreted in the West as a pre-emptive strike". But there's no point because it would just get reverted in two seconds --Nickhh 11:45, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

The article cites no fewer than 10 different refernces, none of them Israeli or even remotely pro-Israeli (we're talking The Economist, The BBC and simialr) all calling it a pre-emtive strike. Please dit in accordance with Wikipedia policy. Isarig 17:59, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Not quite sure why you've repeated exactly the points I made in my own post back at me - I acknowledged there are a large number of Western media sources (I never suggested they had to be Israeli or pro-Israeli) which use the word "pre-emptive", many of which are cited here. The point I was making is that this is not surprising given the nature of the media (tags tend to stick), and I also made the point that any proper research would uncover plenty of primary and academic sources that say the opposite. What we have here is a disagreement between sources, which means that to be truly neutral the article should not use the phrase/description in the intro as if it were uncontested fact. Equally I said I wasn't going to actually change anything, and I haven't, much as I'd like to and much as it ought to be changed, since it would just be pointless. Not sure what "wikipedia policy" you are referring to, or what "dit" is meant to mean, beyond being a typo of some sort. And since I haven't actually changed anything, I guess this discussion can move to a web forum or chatroom somewhere now (not speaking literally of course). --Nickhh 09:43, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
There is no question that the most reputable, mainstream sources would describe it as pre-emptive. I don't think that even the Israeli New Historians, such as Tom Segev would say that the motivation for attacking was not pre-emption. Salah al-Hadidi, the chief justice at Egypt's post-war trials of military officers responsible for the defeat said: “I can state that Egypt’s political leadership called Israel to war. It clearly provoked Israel and forced it into a confrontation.” You could certainly point out that there were doubts about Nasser's intention within the Israeli leadership, but the overwhelming majority of sources would draw the opposite conclusion that you were drawing. Suggesting that only some people or only Western sources defined the attack as pre-emptive would be POV, specifically undue weight and, unless you come up with the promised plethora of sources, original research.
Furthermore, comparing the Six-Day War to Pearl Harbor or the Sudetenland is absurd. It doesn't matter what the German or Japanese propaganda was because that is not what we are basing our statements on. We would not describe the Sudetenland as a pre-emptive strike because the historical record, the primary sources about German intentions, the analysis of scholars, etc. clearly demonstrates that it was not. We are not basing our statement that the opening of the Six-Day War was pre-emptive on Israeli propaganda but on the consensus of secondary sources. Pearl Harbor is more complex, but still, we have to repeat the consensus that scholars have reached, we can't just draw our own conclusions based on what we think is "ridiculous". GabrielF 04:15, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Given the defensive onslaught from partisan editors - at least one of whom seems to have drawn their own conclusions that a "scholarly consensus" exists - against even the suggestion that the phrase might be changed, I'm very pleased I didn't actually try to change it. I don't have to go through the effort of actually digging up the sources and quotes that suggest the attack might not have been pre-emptive and formally referencing them, because I have not changed anything. I simply thought the point needed making, and if anyone had backed me up on the talk page, maybe I might have looked to do something with it, or hoped someone else would have.

Btw I didn't suggest that the occupation of the Sudetenland could (plausibly but wrongly) be described as pre-emptive - if you'd read what I'd written properly, you could have worked out that the example referred back to the pretext of "humanitarian intervention". Anyway I've wasted enough time now defending a change that I didn't even make ... --Nickhh 10:15, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, this gets into an unfortunate problem with Wikipedia. Even though it's a complete fabrication that any "pre-emptive strke" from Israel occurred, this convenient lie has been widely repeated both in popular and scholarly/academic sources, thus justifying its inclusion on policy grounds. I've even heard pro-Arab sources, who should know better, slip into this myth of "pre-emption", apparently not knowing what that word actually means.
This being said, I can find a plethora of sources which both assert the "pre-emptive" nature of the strike, and acknowledge an ongoing controversy about whether it really was pre-emptive. Moreover, I suspect that the non-English sources have a sharply different view of events. It's actually easier to find Israeli sources which question the account than American sources. We could probably swing as far as "Israel attacked Egypt, in what was widely described as a pre-emptive strike", on the grounds that MOST reliable sources describe a pre-emptive strike, but some of those acknowledge a controversy, and there is a MINORITY position that the attack was not pre-emptive in nature. But I don't look forward to the edit warring and abusive claims which will surely issue from the usual sources. Best plan for now: accumulate sources which describe a controversy or dispute the "pre-emptive" nature. Eleland 17:01, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm an Israeli, and I can be described as a right winger, but I think that the sentence should be changed to something like "what was concidered by Israel a pre emptive attack" or something like that. Stating it as an indesputable fact makes it POV. Forgive me for my typos, the text is too long for google toolbar's spellcheck TFighterPilot 17:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I think this issue should be revisited. The recent revelations regarding US and UK intelligence organisations assuring Israel that Egypt was not going to attack and that Israel was "militarily unchallengeable by any combination of Arab states at least during the next five years." JabrH

I think it is important to understand what a "preemptive" strike is defined as. Robert Art (expert on International Security, Conflict, and the uses of force, along with author of such works as The Four Functions of Force, To What Ends Military Power, The Funginility of Force, and many more articles on related topics) defines a preemptive strike as "when a state strikes first when it believes an attack upon it is imminent". Israel's attack on Egypt fits this widely held definition. Further, I draw from the works of Robert Jervis (another prominate scholar in the areas of International Security, Conflict, and the uses of force). In Jervis's article; Offense, Defense, and the Security Dilemma, Jervis states that a "security dilemma" develops when an increase in one state's security leads to the, whether real or imaginary, decrease in another state's security. With Egypt's explosion of the UNEF and the massing of troops and tanks along the border, Israel experienced a severe security dilemma. Further affecting the security dilemma according to Jervis, is whether the offense or the defense has the advantage and whether or not a offensive posture can be distingished from a defensive one. In this case, Egypt may in fact have only taken these actions as a deterrent to Israel. However, a state cannot tell if the massing of military units along a disputed border is for offensive or defensive purposes, thus creating a security dilemma. Given Robert Arts definition of a preemptive strike, if the state believes (it is reasonable to believe one was given Egypt's posture) an attack is imminent, then Israel would launch a preemptive strike. Which it did. In conclusion I have no problem with the use of "preemptive" in this article because given the concensus among scholars of what a preemptive strike is, this obviously fits it. Lr52185 19:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Is this really still debatable? In 1968 Yitzak Rabin said: “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai in May would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” In 1982 Prime Minister Begin conceded: “In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” In March 1972 General Ezer Weizmann, former Commander of the IAF and Chief of Operations in 1967, claimed there was “no threat of destruction,” but that the attack was justified so that Israel could “exist according to the scale, spirit and quality she now embodies.” [taken from Chomsky's Fateful Triangle 2000]. In 1972, Mordechai Bentov, a former member of the Israeli ruling coalition during the June war, said: “This whole story about the threat of extermination was totally contrived and then elaborated on afterwards to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.” Israeli General Matityah Peled, chief of the logistical command during the 1967 war, was even more blunt in March 1972: “Since 1949 no one was in any position to threaten the very existence of Israel. Despite this, we continue to nurture the feeling of inferiority as though we were a weak and insignificant people struggling to preserve our own existence in the face of impending extermination.” Moshe Dayan, Defense Minister in 1967, and who gave the order to conquer the Golan said many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland... 'They didn't even try to hide their greed for the land...We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot...and then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.'" [The New York Times, May 11, 1997]. Unless one will argue that every one of these quotes were radically taken out of context i'm curious how we can even consider describing Israel's engagement as "pre-emptive". Rookpsu 22:20, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Of course, Rookpsu, JabrH, TFighterPilot, Eleland, Nickhh and Bdrasin are quite right. The fact that Israels attack on Egypt is in this article described four times as 'pre-emptive' is not just POV, it is simply untrue. It is well-known that virtually all Israeli leaders overtly declared later on that there was no possibility whatsoever of an Egyptian attack, so there was no question of a 'pre-emptive' strike by Israel, and especially the line "fearing an imminent invasion by Egypt" is an obvious falsehood. Even if there was only the frank statement by Rabin quoted above (which he made in "Le Monde" of February 28, 1968) this would be telling enough already. The quotes from some Western media of 1967 are only interesting insofar as they illustrate that at that time many western media were heavily biased in favour of Israel.
The whole article is far from neutral, and in many ways unencyclopedic, it reads like an Israeli public relations site. If, as self-declared Israeli right-winger TFighterPilot proposes, a sentence is added like: "what was considered by Israel a pre emptive attack", it should be added in the same paragraph that Israeli leaders themselves have refuted this claim which was made at the time for obvious propaganda reasons only. Paul kuiper NL 00:09, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I can find you near-identical quotes to the ones made by Israeli officials above that were made by Arab officials, stating that they knew fully that their actions would lead Israel to launch an attack. Perhaps we could make a small section about the controversy/dispute over whether the attack was preemptive in which we can include all of this information for the readers' consideration. However, given that the "preemptive strike" is the widely accepted historical account according to most reliable historians, it is not POV to describe the attack as such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sstr (talkcontribs) 15:25, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
President Nassar declared: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight." A statment alone may not be enough for us to call the strike "preemptive". But if you look at the full picture you will see many acts that go hand in hand with this statment, encluding the moving of troops to the border and the closure of the Straits of Tiran for Israeli ships (which was against the agreements made after Operation Kadesh in 1956). There is no question that the arab intentions were very clear. Another important factor was that this took place only 22 year after the holocaust, and here arab leaders are calling for an attack to destroy Israel. Not taking these warnings seriously would have been simply stupid and irresponsable. The Israelis merely saved the arabs from the blot of genocide by winning the war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AviLozowick (talkcontribs) 14:07, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

In six days, God created the world etc. etc.

Is there no site or any sort of work blah blah that talks about the Six Day War and theological....stuff? It's like (from a theological perspective), in six days, God created the Heavens, Earth and everything around it. And in six days, God's chosen people fought off an invading army of 5 different nations? Of course, we can't just put it there because of that, but is there any sort of source that talks about it? Surely it's of an importance, right? Seriphyn 15:33, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

No. 10:58, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Your theory isn't really based on fact; you're just comparing one number to another number. In response to your question, though, you may wish to post it on "conservapedia."Bryantheis (talk) 23:30, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Soviet plot? «Foxbats over Dimona»

40 years later. what about that story?

Takima 19:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

It appears that somebody wrote a book and is promoting it aggressively. While it's an interesting thesis, we should not be pushing it because academic historians have simply not had time to evaluate it. These things take time to gain acceptance. In this particular case, the theory is pretty looney - and it's difficult to see, if the theory is true, why it wouldn't have come out until 2007. The most logical theory for why the Soviets warned Egypt of a planned Israeli attack was that... they had learned that Israel was planning an attack on Egypt. Eleland 21:02, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Samu section

Now that Samu Incident has its own page, surely it's time to reduce the Samu section on this article? It's practically longer than the page dedicated to it.

This article is already far too long and in need of pruning, the Samu section would be an obvious place to start. Gatoclass 07:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Benny Morris section

The section at the end is just that a Benny Morris section featuring his point of view. Now this would be perfectly fine in an article about his book but unless his scholarship can be integrated into the whole of the page, it probably would be best to have it removed and perhaps relegated to a see also. Especially since the section does establish the prominence of Benny Morris or why anyone should consider his point of view. However, if it can be integrated into the page, I'm sure it would be valuable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:37, 28 September 2007 (UTC)


This article exclusively presents the Israel point of view. The inclusion of an Arab point of view is necessary in order for this article to not remain propaganda. Browsing the UN Yearbook of 1967, there is actually far more support of the Arabian point of view than that of Israel. That propaganda from the BBC is part of this article is remarkable, considering the assistance Britain rendered to Israel. Israel's invasion had been coupled with deliberate delaying tactics in the Security Council by the UK who had blocked all efforts to secure an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of forces. Needless to say Britain was hardly non-aligned in the conflict.

 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 25 October 2007 (UTC) 
Please expand your statement: "propaganda from the BBC"- one citation of a BBC employee's book is included. What is more is that the BBC exists as one of the world's only independent media bodies, and its remit lies with impartial, balanced coverage (an ideal that is admittedly not reached all the time). Most notably in this respect the BBC fully covered the British population's stance on the recent Iraq war (in the main against), and has been criticised by some for being too negative over current British military policy. Thus the inclusion of BBC citations should not necessarily affect impartiality regardless of British military policy.
Its not surprising that the UN Yearbook of 1967 would be as Pro-Arab as you claim. An alliance of the Soviet Block and various Arab and Muslim nations made the U.N. General Assembly a forum for anti-Semetism throughout much of the Cold War. This shameful chapter of the U.N.'s history included the "Zionism is Racism" resolution and yearly speaches from Holocaust Deniers. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 21:15, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
No country is ever un-aligned in any conflict, not least one bordering the Suez canal, for obvious reasons. Alexanderhowell (talk) 21:16, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


It is necessary to incorporate alternative perspectives in order to balance out the bias of this article which is overwhelmingly pro-Israel. Here are some excerpts from the United Nations Yearbook from 1967.!OpenDocument Israel had no arguments which could justify its aggression, the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers added.

Israel should have presented any claims which it might have had against its neighbours to the United Nations and searched there for a peaceful settlement as prescribed by the United Nations Charter. There was no alternative to the resolute condemnation of the aggressor and the elimination of the consequences of the aggression. On the basis of the principle that every people enjoyed the right to establish an independent national State of its own, the USSR had voted for the partition of Palestine in 1947. However, it just as resolutely condemned attempts by any State to conduct an aggressive policy towards other countries. Israel's ruling circles had unfortunately conducted a policy of conquest and territorial expansion into the lands of neighbouring Arab States, as the records of the Security Council since 1948 had made clear, and had enjoyed outside support from certain imperialist circles. These powerful circles had made statements and taken practical actions which might have been interpreted by Israel extremists as direct encouragement to commit acts of aggression. How else, he asked, could one qualify the demonstrations by the United States Sixth Fleet off the coast of the Arab States, the build-up of the British Navy and Air Force in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea area, or the increase in modern arms and ammunition deliveries for the Israel army?

The Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, for instance, observed that at a time when the attention of the peace-loving States was concentrated on the peaceful solution of pending questions, the militarist forces of Israel had unleashed a premeditated, sudden and perfidious attack and, with wide support from well-known imperialist forces, had invaded the Sinai Peninsula, conquered part of Jordan and, despite insistent appeals of the Security Council to cease their military operations, attacked the territory of Syria.

The United Republic of Tanzania made the point that one of the striking features which had accompanied the growth of Israel had been its use of armed force as a means of territorial expansion. Nowhere in the statement of the representative of Israel was it categorically asserted or admitted who fired the first shot; but it was clear from the record of events who did. Israel had committed aggression against the Arab States, aided and abetted by colonialist and imperialist powers.

The representative of Spain said that one need merely to consider the deployment of the tank formation of the attacking army and its lines of advance, as well as the technique of mass bombardment by surprise, in order to reach a strong moral conviction about who unleashed the hostilities.

India's Minister of External Affairs considered it incontrovertible that Israel had struck the first blow. The concept of a pre-emptive strike or a preventive war was contrary to the United Nations Charter.

The representative of Pakistan, drawing attention to a basic Charter principle that force should not be used against the territorial integrity of Member States except in self-defence against armed attack, said the very fact that the Arab countries were caught unawares, and had sustained grievous losses during the first hours of the war when Israel wiped out their air forces showed who had taken the initiative. Despite any arguments relating to the so-called blockade of the Strait of Tiran or other assertions of belligerent rights, the concept of casus belli was totally contrary to the Charter. If each nation had a right by itself to determine what constituted a cause justifying war, nothing would be left of that international order predicated in the Charter. As did other speakers, he urged the Assembly to take note of and to condemn Israel's aggression.

To that end, the USSR introduced a draft resolution whereby the Assembly would, inter alia: (1) vigorously condemn Israel's aggression; (2) demand that Israel immediately and unconditionally withdraw all Israel's forces behind the Armistice Demarcation Lines, as stipulated in the General Armistice Agreements and respect the status of the demilitarized zones as prescribed in the Armistice Agreements; (3) demand that Israel should make good in full and within the shortest possible time all the damage inflicted on the United Arab Republic, Syria and Jordan and on their nationals and should return to them all seized property and other material assets; and (4) appeal to the Security Council to take immediate effective measures to eliminate all the consequences of Israel's aggression.

The President of Syria, the Deputy Premier of the United Arab Republic and the King of Jordan declared that the Arab people looked to the emergency special session of the Assembly as a last hope for the triumph of law, reason and justice over the laws of the jungle and the logic of force, since the Security Council had been unable to discharge its responsibilities.

Among the points they made were the following: The aggression of 5 June by Israel, supported by imperialist powers, was but the latest in a long list of acts scarcely interrupted since 1948. Frequent condemnations, in many United Nations resolutions, had been persistently disregarded by Israel. An increase in the frequency and destructiveness of aggressive acts by Israel during the past year had culminated in its aggression against Syria on 7 April 1967. That had been followed in May 1967 and at the beginning of June 1967 by military and other Israel threats and provocations including, in particular, a troop build-up against Syria. The Arab countries, while trying to take the necessary precautions, had exerted themselves to keep the situation under control, taking - in Sinai, as well as elsewhere - a posture of defence and not of attack. On his visit to Cairo, the Secretary-General had been assured that it was their firm policy not to take the offensive. They had not spared any effort to avoid an eruption and had been in continuous consultations with many capitals in the world, including Washington. But Israel, despite its claim not to have any aggressive intentions, had launched its sneak attack on 5 June 1967, plans for which had long before been carefully prepared by Israel and its co-conspirators. Israel's invasion had been coupled with deliberate delaying tactics in the Security Council by the representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom who had blocked all efforts to secure an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of forces. The President of Syria added that it was only after Syria and Israel had agreed to the Security Council cease-fire order that the Israel invasion and occupation of Syrian territory took place.

It was further pointed out that the claim that the blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba itself constituted an act of war and justified the Israel aggression as an act of self-defence provided no excuse for the massive assault. The Strait of Tiran had never been opened to Israel until the aggression of 1956. No vital interests had suffered; not an Israel ship had passed through the Strait in the last two and a half years. The action of Israel was not legitimate self-defence within the meaning of Article 51 of the Charter because no armed attack on its territory had in fact occurred. On 5 June 1967, the United Arab Republic had not yet even completed its defensive precautions in Sinai, and a similar condition had prevailed in Syria and Jordan.

While many countries had been subjected to old and new forms of colonialist interference, the Syrian President said, the Arab people had the distinction of being subjected to the domination of a most peculiar alliance between traditional colonialism and international Zionism in Israel, based in essence on the total extermination of the Arab people and their replacement by other conquering elements. The gains achieved through struggle and sacrifice by the Arab masses were being nullified because the colonial powers wished to exploit their strategic location, their petroleum resources and their huge potential wealth. The Arab struggle was a part of the battle of all peace-loving peoples who looked to a future free of threats, and was waged so that the Arab homeland could be built into a wall between the imperialist conquerors and the countries of Asia and Africa, added the President of Syria.

NPOV issue

Hello, I have placed {{NPOV}} on this article. Reading the article, it makes out like Israel was such a victim, Egypt got their asses kicked, and it was a glorious victory for the Israelis. Examples:

"Egypt had a crushing defeat."

"Israel had no other choice."

"Fifty Jordanians were killed but the true number was never disclosed by the Jordanians in order to keep up morale and confidence in King Hussein's regime."

Cheers,JetLover (Report a mistake) 22:27, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I hope that I dealt with these problems, which seem to have mostly been the result of a series of IP additions and deletions that were previously missed. TewfikTalk 01:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
How does "Egypt had a crushing defeat" (or the Jordanian quote) make Israel sound like a victim? I'm not really getting your point here. Superm401 - Talk 02:44, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It makes it look like Israel had a great victory and decimated the Egyptians. Cheers,JetLover (Report a mistake) 03:29, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Israel DID have a great victory and the Egyptian/Syrian alliance suffered a huge defeat, I'm not sure you can color the facts any other way, but if you have a source saying otherwise by all means list it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Why not "Egypt had been defeated, suffering #### casualties." Cheers,JetLover (Report a mistake) 04:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't see "Egypt had a crushing defeat" or any of the other quoted lines in the current article. If you see similar issues, please describe them in detail. Superm401 - Talk 09:44, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

"Displaced Jews from Arab Countries"

I removed:

Immediately after Israel's victory, Jews living in the Arab world faced persecution and expulsion. According to historian Michael B. Oren,

mobs attacked Jewish neighborhoods in Egypt, Yeman, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco, burning synagogues and assaulting residents. A pobrom in Tripoli, Libya, left 18 Jews dead and 25 injured; the survivors were herded into detention centers. Of Egypt's 4,000 Jews, 800 were arrested, including the chief rabbis of both Cairo and Alexandria, and their property sequestered by the government. The ancient communities of Damascus and Baghdad were placed under house arrest, their leaders imprisoned and fined. A total of 7,000 Jews were expelled, many with merely a satchel.[1]

because it is poorly punctuated and I have no way of verifying that it's a real quote. If it is, someone should fix the punctuation before putting it back in, and it should probably have some more context. Superm401 - Talk 02:44, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

in removing the quote you also made it hard to find the footnote that was attaxhed to it, whered did this qoute allegedly come from? i can easily check Oren's books if you tell me where to look (i assume it came from his novel "Six Days of War", but was a page listed in the footbote before you cut it?) 04:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what "no way of verifying that it's a real quote" means. It is just as verifiable as any quote from a book. As the footnote noted, it's from Michael Oren's book Six Days of War, pages 306-307. And what do you mean poorly punctuated? All I can see is that "Yemen" and "pogrom" were misspelled. Wouldn't the appropriate action be to correct the spelling of these two words, rather than remove the section? I'm putting the quote back in, with the corrected spelling. Gni 19:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I said I have no way of verifying that it's a real quote (since I don't happen to own this book). I was a bit skeptical that those misspellings would be in a published book, but I don't have any problem with you putting it back in corrected. Superm401 - Talk 09:47, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it is appropriate to remove a quote from a book because you yourself don't own the book to check the quote. People misspell things all the time, you could have either corrected the spelling or left the quote and commented here on the talk page asking someone to check the book. The quote does indeed appear on page 306-307 of "Six Days of War" (I just checked.) The mispellings in the quote were made by a wikipedian, not by Oren (who spells "Yemen" and "pogrom" correctly.) I'm not very talented with editing, especially bringing back old stuff so I won't restore it myself, If someone else wants to they should.SJMNY 06:43, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

This quote was put back into the article on November 9 already. Paul kuiper NL 18:15, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

General Cleanup

I decided to remove large portions of the article, as it was far too long. Some of it was irrelevant, some was unverifiable opinions, some was needless minutiae.

In particular, I focused on the Samu Incident (which already has its own page and whose content here was just a duplicate, largely word for word, of that page), and the giant rambling international water-rights section under the Straits of Tiran, which told us absolutely nothing about the war and is best dealt with (if anyone actually wants to deal with it at all) in a separate article by the three people who actually believe that either combatant was actually concerned in this case with international law. Lastly, the section dealing with Arab claims of Anglo-American support was *far* too in-depth for the article. The claim had already been neatly summarized earlier in the article, and at the length later espoused would be best put in its own page (as widespread a belief as this apparently is, its own page would probably be justified).

I would very much like to have done something with the awkward population displacement sections, by combining it into one section and relying less on quotes from controversial authors, but I have no real knowledge of this area. It is definitely the article's weak point at this stage.

Finally, if anyone has more Arab military and political sources I think the article would be greatly aided. We get an excellent look through the eyes of Israeli leaders, but not so much their Arab counterparts.

As an aside, since I made so many edits anyways I changed the mishmash of American and British styles to a Canadian one, which will please nobody but is at least consistent. 19:05, 14 November 2007 (UTC) --Palindromedary--

Sorry, I thought I had left a note here. Essentially though, it is still an issue of too much without discussion. I would have gladly kept your typographical corrections and such, but I wasn't able to distinguish between them. I tried to preserve part of your edits by slightly shortening the Samu section, as all of that information exists in its own main entry. I don't think that removing large parts of the other sections will ultimately be a good idea though, as we will just be losing information. TewfikTalk 01:30, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply: it's appreciated. I'm a bit unclear on *what* exactly you or the other fellow that just again reverted all my edits seems to have a problem with. I agree it is a large amount, but surely all that matters is whether or not I did something wrong, whether the article suffered. I feel I stated clearly why I removed what I did, and think that the article is far better off without that info. Is there some important aspect of the War I've deleted?
As for the other fellow, I'm not sure why the number of references I removed is of any import (unless I just plain messed up the article, in which case I apologize). 40 or 400 - the number is irrelevant. The only references I believe I removed are to information that was removed for good reason. All that matters in the end is that the article after edits covers what it should and is sufficiently sourced afterwards (and there's still plenty of references in the very-thorough article that remains).
I have no wish to get into an edit war here, but would appreciate a little more feedback. I'm happy to discuss what I did and why I did it, and will hold off trying again until I get some comments. Thanks. Palindromedairy (talk) 23:12, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I again have to ensure that you know I appreciate how frustrating it is to have edits that it must have taken you some time to complete reverted wholesale. I suggest that you reinstitute any noncontroversial edits like the spelling corrections etc., though I still don't think we should be taking out sourced sections from within the article's main points. Perhaps I can suggest an alternative, as I do recognise that this is on the long side. The two "allegations" sections are quite long relative to their importance, and it may be a good idea to summarise them in a paragraph each and move the rest to a daughter named Controversies in the Six-Day War or something like that. Let me know, TewfikTalk 22:09, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

19 aircraft lost

Is it a joke? Israel lost about 50 airplanes, see this list (it's complete or almost complete, maybe several losses are missing). 11:35, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Of course it's not a joke. Offhand, it appears that someone has taken the reference to number of aircraft lost in the initial strikes against Egypt and extended that as losses for the whole campaign. I've added a clarification note under the initial air campaign section, but if you're comfortable with your source please edit the overall aircarft loss numbers. 16:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC) --Palindromedary--
What I find:
Here 36 aircraft lost
Here 46 aircraft lost
And in the list by David Lednicer I've counted 48 aircraft lost plus 2 Mirage losses are with question mark. All losses are airplanes. But I still don't know if this list is complete. 08:57, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

War in the Air section

I removed some text that said, "of particular interest is suchandsuch division." It didn't explain why. Also, I removed some of the text re the alleged US/British involvement, because that topic is already discussed in much more detail later in the article.Bryantheis (talk) 01:27, 30 November 2007 (UTC) Also, the anchor link at the bottom needs to be fixed -- I'm too much of a rookie editor to figure it out.  :) Bryantheis (talk) 01:35, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. Bry9000 17:26, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

in that "war in the air" section the bulleted points about defecting pilots looks like it needs to be cleaned up, it mentions the same individual 3 times and doesn't seem to be chronological or organized in any other manner i can see. i don't want to change it myself but i thought i'd point it out. SJMNY 22:36, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I've cleaned it up. Bry9000 17:21, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

looks really good now, thanks!SJMNY (talk) 20:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Six or Seven?

I hear of this war as the Seven-Day War as well Which is the accpeted title? (talk) 02:26, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Fascinating old article you found there, but note the date: 1948. A different war (which, by the way, lasted a lot longer than the seven days discussed in the newspaper — see 1948 Arab-Israeli War). This article is about the 1967 war — six days in June. Hertz1888 (talk) 04:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Pre-emptive again

Although many sources will regularly treat the "pre-emptive" nature of the Israeli attack as obvious, it is actually a matter of active historical debate.

The historical controversy over 1967 is especially brutal ... the 1967 war [is] a hugely inviting target for radical reinterpretation.

With the revisionists' approach lauded regularly in the Israeli press, the first shots in this battle are already being fired. In the academic world, the initiative has come from the social sciences rather than history departments. According to this school, the Six Day War erupted not as a result of Arab belligerency but in reaction to socioeconomic factors within Israel, as a tactic by the nation's leaders to distract attention from their failed domestic policies.

These authors seem to share the belief - which is strongly implied, if not yet openly asserted - that Arab actions had little to do with the outbreak of hostilities in 1967, and that Israel not only failed to prevent war but actively courted it. The massing of Egyptian troops in the Sinai, the expulsion of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) and the closing of the Straits of Tiran, the Arab defense pacts and public commitments to eradicate the Jewish state - all were either provoked or blown out of proportion by Israel for its own purposes of internal cohesion, territorial expansion or other ulterior motives. Israeli "fear had no basis in reality," writes Haaretz journalist Tom Segev in his newly translated book, 1967.

(Did Israel want the Six Day War? Michael Oren, The Jerusalem Post, 14 May 2007)

It ought to be considered that the term "pre-emptive" has been so abused over the years that it has acquired multiple, overlapping, and confused meanings. Israel's strike was "pre-emptive" in the sense that Israel attacked an enemy which might, in the future, have decided to launch an attack on it, but that is not the meaning of pre-emption in international law. In fact, such an attack is not distinguished from aggression. Therefore I would suggest that we avoid foreclosing on a complex question by saying "pre-emptive," and instead treat it neutrally, while elaborating on the various lines of argument for and against calling it "pre-emptive". <eleland/talkedits> 17:01, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Preemptive war (or preemptive attack) is waged in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (allegedly unavoidable) war. guess what I'm citing. -- (talk) 20:03, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
"Guess what I'm citing"? No, it doesn't work like that; and you're citing Wikipedia, which is not a reliable source. Michael Oren in the Jerusalem Post (and he's one of the highest-profile, fiercest advocates of the "1967 = pre-emptive and just" view there is) says that a "regularly lauded" "revisionist approach" holds that Israel was not under grave threat, and in fact launched a war of choice under "ulterior motives." That's a pretty strong indication that the pre-emptive nature of the war is controversial. <eleland/talkedits> 20:13, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Unless you're ready to provide evidence of such approach, I don't see how it's even relevant to our discussion. (talk) 20:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you deliberately trolling? I just gave you the quote above. <eleland/talkedits> 20:25, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
as you can see from the article's footnotes "pre-emptive" is well sourced. thhus pre-emptive is correct even if there are those who believe otherwise, minority viewpoints deserve mention but don't get to take over the established view that the attack was preemptive. SJMNY (talk) 20:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
You've cited an opinion claiming that there is an opinion. Nothing more. I meant scholar articles or manuscripts dealing with the issue. Do you have them? And please stop throw wp links at me. -- (talk) 20:36, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
(to SJMNY) The sources for "pre-emptive" are all casual mentions in U.S. and British newspaper & magazine pieces, including editorials. (Plus Encarta, which is an encycopedia and shouldn't be cited.) Even if "not pre-emptive" is a minority view — and I'm no longer convinced of that — the views of a significant minority are not "over-ridden". WP:NPOV says articles should fairly represent all significant points of view. Flatly contradicting a significant POV is not fairly representing it. We should write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least worthy of unbiased representation, bearing in mind that views which are in the extreme minority do not belong in Wikipedia at all. We should present all significant, competing views impartially. <eleland/talkedits> 20:40, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
And how exactly have you established significance of "not pre-emptive" pov? Because Oren says so? -- (talk) 20:46, 30 December 2007 ::::::::Of course, it can be tricky to assess what exactly is the significance of a POV. The Oren source is an excellent start. I would encourage you to look for other sources to assess how significant is the "not pre-emptive" point of view. Prima facie, I do not believe that it is an "extreme minority" position of the type which we can safely ignore. <eleland/talkedits> 20:54, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
(to the IP) An "opinion claiming that there is an opinion" is exactly the kind of source that helps us assess the significance of a given point of view on an issue. Also, the sources that were cited for "pre-emptive" were all non-scholarly, while the "opinion claiming an opinion" is given by a scholar. <eleland/talkedits> 20:42, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
But you're lacking POV itself!!! JPost is also non-scholar source, and you don't know whether those casual mentions were given by scholar, now do you? -- (talk) 20:46, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, I can find some specific sources making that point (Tom Segev's book, mentioned by Oren, would be a start.) I'm not sure what the rest of your comment is meant to say, perhaps you could clarify it (and cut down on the multiple exclamation marks if you could.) <eleland/talkedits> 20:54, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
It is very simple. You're saying that mentions are not scholar (based on source), but you don't know whether they were made by scholars. When it suits you, however, you saying that statement is from scholar ignoring fact that they're published in non-scholar source. ¡You see it's simple as exclamation mark! -- (talk) 21:04, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • BBC sources: unsigned web content, written by staff journalists
  • CNN: Gary Tuchmann, CNN correspondent
  • NPR: Mike Shuster, NPR foreign correspondent
  • encyclopedia: unsigned Funk & Wagnalls article
  • unsigned web content, written by staff journalists
  • TIME editorial: Michael Elliot, TIME foreign editor
  • TIME article: Marguerite Johnson, TIME correspondent
  • MSN encarta: same as Funk & Wagnalls article
Not a scholar among them. In fact, the NPR article says that most historians agree, meaning that some historians do not agree that it was pre-emptive. <eleland/talkedits> 21:17, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

It is pointless to resume this argument which was decisively settled in 1) on this page. Even apart from the fact that all Israeli leaders have admitted that they knew that Egypt was not going to start a war: whether or not a particular war is pre-emptive is matter of opinion, and therefore it is impossible that an encyclopedia should state this in any case. Please read the discussion under 1). Paul kuiper NL (talk) 20:49, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

as far as I can see nothing was settled there. -- (talk) 20:54, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
it was only "settled" to the extent that you had the "last word" WP:TLW no consensus was reached SJMNY (talk) 21:09, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, not for nothing, but it is a very controversial topic amongst historians. Examples of works that advocate the idea that Israel knew that Egypt would not attack (and had been told so by everyone from Nasser to LBJ) are: Raymond Hinnebusch's International Politics of the Middle East (section on the '67 war); Avi Shlaim's The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (section on the June War); Avraham Sela's The Decline of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (chapter on the six days war); and Edgar O'Ballance's The third Arab-Israeli War. There is a significant scholarly movement that would argue that the Israeli attack was, at best, preventative; it was not pre-emptive. Lordjeff06 (talk) 15:19, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

The thing is, there were already 10 reliable sources there which explicitly said pre-emptive, and I've added 3 more. You cannot simply ignore what the sources say in favor of your own POV. My gosh, in Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict even Norman Finkelstein says "That Israel launched a preemptive strike on that fateful morning is not in dispute" - admittedly, neither a historian nor a particularly reliable source, but when even Finkelstein admits it, it must mean something! Jayjg (talk) 04:05, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

As hard as it is to argue against someone who is "neither a historian nor a particularly reliable source," the fact that many of your sources are news outlets negates their support somewhat, particularly news reports from the time. No one is denying that Israel publicly claimed its attack to be preemptive; the question is: was it actually preemptive or did they use Nasser's excessive sabre-rattling as an opportunity to make a more preventative attack under the guise of preemption. Your sources are news report and old encyclopedias. The former reflects the public statements of the time (I'm not going to be so cliche as to suggest that the BBC was anti-Egyptian) and the latter generally lags behind scholarship. I've provided above references to several works by noted historians and international relations scholars at respected universities who argue that Israel knew very well that Egypt did not intend to attack and launched their preventative strike anyway. While I'm not really invested enough to continue to revert these edits, I would appreciate a response to my sources. I think that, at least, we needed to acknowledge the fact that it is a contested issue. Lordjeff06 (talk) 14:32, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
The point of mentioning Finkelstein is that he is a well-known anti-Zionist writer, who never fails to see Israel as an aggressive, war-mongering state that is always in the wrong - yet even he states "That Israel launched a preemptive strike on that fateful morning is not in dispute." The issue here is not that Israel claimed that the strike was pre-emptive; rather, the issue is that all sources at the time viewed it as pre-emptive, and (now) 17 reliable sources state it. You complained about that all the sources were "news reports and old encyclopedias" - in reality, some quite modern encyclopedias - but be that as it may, I've no added a series of scholarly sources which make the same point. You cannot wish away the fact that there are now 17 reliable sources stating that the attack was pre-emptive. Jayjg (talk) 03:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Jay, how do reconcile that with Michael Oren's statement that a lively historical debate exists in Israel between the pre-emptive POV and those who believe "that Arab actions had little to do with the outbreak of hostilities in 1967?" Unfortunately, "pre-emptive strike" has both a technical legal meaning and a casual one. Casually, any attack which is justified by the perpetrators with an even faintly plausible claim that they forestalled a future attack is "pre-emptive". Pearl Harbour was "pre-emptive" in this sense. Technically, a pre-emptive strike can only take place against a threat that is "instant [and] overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." The term has most certainly taken on a political slant, and in America efforts to blur the distinction between "pre-emptive" and "preventive" have been quite successful.
Anyway, the question for me is not whether Israel's attack really was "pre-emptive" in nature, but whether there is a significant body of reliable opinion which holds that it was not. Thus far, the sources seem to be telling us that there is. <eleland/talkedits> 20:41, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Eleland, how do you reconcile Oren's statement (and note, he dismisses those opinions) with Finkelstein's statement that "That Israel launched a preemptive strike on that fateful morning is not in dispute."? And how do you reconcile deleting what 17 reliable sources say based on one newspaper article, whose author himself disputes your claim, and insists the attack was pre-emptive? Also, I'm not sure why you bring up "America efforts to blue the distinction etc.", that has nothing to do with this article or with the sources used. As for what "the sources seem to be telling us", there are current 17 sources (including a number of scholarly ones) stating that the attack was pre-emptive - that is what they are telling us. You cannot have 17 sources supporting a point, but simply ignore what they say in the text. Nor, for that matter, can you simply delete scholarly sources, as you did here, simply because they disagree with your POV. Jayjg (talk) 03:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Egypt expelled UNEF, bought their arms, and prepared their armies to annihilate Israel and Israelis. Similarly, Jordan and Syria made explicit agreements with Egypt and took military steps against the Israelis in preparation for an inevitable war. Israel's first strike on the Six-Day War is the textbook example of a pre-emptive strike. This is what every single reliable source says without exception. Also, the world is round and Elvis is dead. --GHcool (talk) 03:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

"The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." (Menachim Begin, 8 August 1982 speech at the National Defense College, excerpts printed in The New York Times) <eleland/talkedits> 19:52, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) There may be two separate issues here; the word "pre-emptive" itself, and the nature of the attack. It appears that even sources which regard the 1967 war as aggressive call it "pre-emptive". I'll accept the use of the term "pre-emptive" to describe the strike, but we also need the article to reflect the raging historical debate over the events leading up to the war. For example, the section on the United Nations Emergency Force doesn't mention the fact, often cited by the Israeli revisionists, that UNEF asked Israel to permit them to deploy on the Israeli side of the border after Nasser expelled them, that Israel refused, and that U Thant later said that had Israel allowed them to be deployed, the war might have been prevented. The section on the Straits of Tiran doesn't mention that the blockade was not enforced after the first few days (again often cited by the New Historians). Etc, etc. I'll work up some proper language and references and insert it where appropriate, then we'll see where consensus stands. <eleland/talkedits> 19:33, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

You're wrong. All of the above is perfectly explained in Michael Oren's book and in every other reliable book ever written. By the way, the Holocaust happened, 9/11 was not an inside job, and Apollo 11 landed on the moon regardless of what "historical revisionists" might allege. --GHcool (talk) 20:52, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
What am I wrong about? And leave the Holocaust out of it, please. The causes of the '67 War were complex. The motivations of the players are still being debated. As The Forward puts it, ([1])

The origins of the Six Day War will continue to be debated, if only because the notion that it was a war both Israel and the Arab countries seemed simply to stumble into is an unsatisfying explanation for an event with such momentous historical implications. But an honest account cannot ignore that at least, in part, the war was the story of two sins colliding. Yes, the sin of mindlessness that characterized the Israeli decision to occupy land containing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians; the confusion of strength with righteousness; the self-intoxicating blindness of taking control after centuries of powerlessness. But it must also contend with the sin of the Arabs, which was more than just intolerance and intransigence. It was the classically fatal sin of hubris. Any description of that fateful war spins out from both of these, two threads that wrap the region in a death grip to this day.

I'm asking that we not write a Wikipedia article which attempts to foreclose on that debate. <eleland/talkedits> 23:34, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
GH, indeed leave the holocaust out of it. also, its offensive to put the other side's argument (that the war was not pre-emptive) on the same level as holocaust denial and denying the moon landing, 2 lies so preposterous that they don't bear repeating. there is a difference between complete and utter BS (like denying that Appollo landed on the moon) and opinions that have legitimate sources even if they are ultimately outweighed by others. the former deserve to be ignored, the latter deserve serious discussion and consensus building. SJMNY (talk) 00:03, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I apologize for the misunderstanding when I compared Six-Day War conspiracy theories with Holocaust denial. I shouldn't have written it. However, I disagree with SJMNY when he says that Six-Day War conspiracy theories are somehow more plausible than Apollo moon landing hoax conspiracy theories. --GHcool (talk) 00:59, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

The article would obviously benefit from an NPOV discussion of whether or not Egypt was really going to attack; however, as has been pointed out, that discussion in no way vitiates the fact that the attack was pre-emptive, as Eleland has conceded. Regarding U Thant's attempt to re-deploy the U.N. troops on the Israeli side of the border, the article already notes this, and other relevant points: "The Governments of India and Yugoslavia decided to withdraw their troops from UNEF, regardless of the decision of U Thant. While this was taking place, U Thant suggested that UNEF be redeployed to the Israeli side of the border, but Israel refused, arguing that UNEF contingents from countries hostile to Israel would be more likely to impede an Israeli response to Egyptian aggression than to stop that aggression in the first place." Oh, and I was wrong about one thing, there were actually 18, not 17, reliable sources stating that the attack was "preemptive". Jayjg (talk) 03:28, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Inconsistent Numbers

Yet another aspect of the war touches on the population of the captured territories: of about one million Palestinians in the West Bank, 300,000 (according to the United States Department of State[100]) fled to Jordan, where they contributed to the growing unrest. The other 600,000[101] remained

Either the first number needs to be lowered by 100k, or the second and third numbers needs to be adjusted (with proper source of course), or there needs to be some statement, perhaps in a footnote that all 3 numbers are properly sourced and 100,000 people are simply unaccounted for. SJMNY (talk) 08:40, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

How to defend Wikipedia agains the partisan zealots?

Regrettably, the foolish and unnecessary edit war about the word 'pre-emptive' is going on. That the word "pre-emptive" is incorrect here has been ascertained by Bdrasin, Nickhh, Eleland, TFighterPilot, JabrH, Rookpsu, Lordjeff06, JetLover, Suladna, and myself. Nevertheless, the partisan pro-Israeli zealots keep going on. They are obviously using several sock puppets (Anonymous, for instance, made his first ever edit in Wikipedia and added in his edit summary: "stop edit warring and reverting a long-standing consensus". Quite some knowledge for someone who is completely new here!)

I`m afraid we are talking to the deliberately deaf. It is completely obvious that calling ANY war a "pre-emptive war" is unencyclopedic as this is a matter of opinion, not a matter of fact. On top of that, above under 1) user Rookpsu has given correct and important quotes from many Israeli leaders who have confirmed that Israel KNEW that Egypt could not and would not attack, so it is certain that the attack by Israel was simply NOT a pre-emptive war.

How can we defend Wikipedia against these gross violations of its neutrality? The suggestions of all responsible editors are welcome here, but let me make two suggestions:

1. I suggest that every time someone inserts again the words "pre-emptive war", we replace it by "war of aggression". Replacing one POV by another POV may convince some other users that it is advisable to leave BOTH out.

2. I propose that we include in the article;

a) the information that on June 5, when Israel started this war, Israel first claimed that it actually WAS attacked by Egypt, and only later on this claim was replaced by another falsehood: that Israel was forced to attack because otherwise it would have been attacked;

b) the important statements made later on by Rabin and others that Israel knew quite well that Egypt could not and would not attack Israel.

Hopefully, this way we can create some counterweight against those who are trying to use Wikipedia as a propaganda leaflet for their own political views, thereby destroying Wikipedia`s neutrality. Paul kuiper NL (talk) 22:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Answer: Not with provocative posts like this. The only thing you accomplish with comments like this is making enemies of editors who would otherwise not care. Your comment clearly violates WP:AGF. Your suggestions, if implemented, clearly violate WP:POINT. Any attempts to implement these suggestions will be reverted. Rami R 22:56, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
i really hope kuiper isnt serious about intentionally edit-warring in his POV just to make the point that he feels the other edits aren't NPOV or good faith. lets try and be civil and avoid the article-lock and much more uncivil attitude that surrounds many other politically charged articles. SJMNY (talk) 23:03, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

La monde quote and Lead

Don't insert it without quoting original whole quote in French as WP:V require. Also if you want add something controversial to the lead please bring a source to it.--Shrike (talk) 21:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I have restored most of the material that you removed, particularly regarding the issue of preemption. I cited the fact that Israel knew that Egypt would not attack to at least one scholarly work and I can provide others (as I have on this talk page above) if I take the time to find the citations within them. I also tried to tone down the language regarding the Israeli public statements. Lordjeff06 (talk) 23:27, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Lordjeff06, it appears to be an extreme minority view, given the other sources, there. I've modified the language to include "what was commonly viewed as a pre-emptive strike", to accommodate this minority opinion. It appears your "toning down" of the language was reverted, by the way. Jayjg (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, the thing is that it's not an "extreme minority view". Most of the more recent historical or IR accounts of the war concede that Israel knew that Nasser could not and would not attack. I'll swing by the library today and get some more citations on that fact. But the issue is rather complicated since three separate issues need to be addressed:
1) Did Egypt intend to attack Israel? The answer is this is pretty clearly no, but has no relevance to whether or not the attack was preemptive because perceived threat is more important here than actual threat.
2) Did Israel say that the attack was preemptive and does that remain the official line? Yes, that's why all the newspaper articles you've cited call it preemptive; that's why the US media considers it preemptive; that's why it's the dominant popular view.
3) Did Israel know that Egypt would not attack? Herein lies the controversy. I think the answer to this is becoming increasingly clear in that Israel did in fact know that they were not in danger of invasion. But I concede that there is no clear answer to this.
I'd like to try to propose a compromise: How about the change the sentence "fearing an imminent attack" to "claiming they feared an imminent attack" or similar language that acknowledges that we can't speak authoritatively regarding their fears. Then, we can add somewhere (perhaps in the body, perhaps a new section) that neutrally addresses the question of the preemptive strike versus a "war of opportunity". I agree that the lead is not the place for this debate but I also think that stating that they "feared" the attack is point-of-view.
I'll put this out on the table and try to round up some more scholarly sources. I'll change the language myself when I get back if it sounds like an acceptable idea. Lordjeff06 (talk) 10:25, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I think those are all good questions to address, in a section devoted to that subject. Keep in mind, however, that the sources stating it was pre-emptive are equally modern - for example, the article in Ethics and International Affairs specifically addresses this point, states that it is the "only... actual case seems clearly right", and dates from 2003, exactly the same year as your Hinnebusch reference. Also, we can't really insert the language "claiming they feared an imminent attack" for the simple reason that none of the sources used say that. That is the apparent mistake that Paul Kuiper appears to be making as well, inserting his own opinion in front of a list of citations that say something else. The citations simply state that it was "pre-emptive" - not that Israel claimed it was pre-emptive. You would have to find other reliable sources that actually made that specific statement before you could even propose using that language. The current formulation, "commonly viewed as pre-emptive", is entirely neutral and factually accurate, is it not? Jayjg (talk) 04:25, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with "commonly viewed as preemptive." My problem is with "fearing an imminent invasion." For one, I disagree that they did and second stating as fact what they did or did not fear is POV. If none of the sources used say they fear an invasion, then let's do away with that phrase and just leave it as: "they launched what is commonly-viewed as a preemptive strike." I think a big part of the problem is the complicated definition of "preemptive" and the idea of what they were preempting. I agree that they thought they were preempting a seemingly inevitable war and that the longer the Arab forces were allowed to prepare the worse it would be for Israel. What I disagree with is the idea that they were preempting an invasion. Lordjeff06 (talk) 10:47, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I have removed the words "fearing an imminent invasion", and instead simply prefaced the sentence with "in response". I trust that is reasonable and neutral? Jayjg (talk) 03:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I've now added (in the reference with the Hinnebusch quote) a few more citations. They mostly deal with the US assurance that Egypt would not attack and, if they did, that Israel would have no trouble repelling an invasion. This brings the idea to 4 including an Oxford historian and an Israeli Premier. Frankly, most of the other sources I've consulted don't even mention the idea that the Israeli attack was to preempt an invasion; merely to preempt a situation that they thought would likely end in war and that they felt their position would only become weaker if the Arab armies were allowed to prepare and/or fully form. Lordjeff06 (talk) 11:10, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I've slightly modified the language - the Begin material, for example, was really Bailey's take on Begin. Also, I've made it clear that it was US intelligence agencies that assured Israel that in their view Egypt did not plan to attack first. I believe it was also US intelligence agencies that assured George W. Bush that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Jayjg (talk) 03:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, Iraq is a charming non sequitur. I'm content with the language in the opening paragraph at this point. Although, since we're being semantic, it was Lyndon Johnson and Bob McNamara that did the assuring of Israel. They just based their conclusions on what governments based their conclusions on: intelligence reports. The fact that they seem to have been right is the only reason it is interesting. Lordjeff06 (talk) 08:33, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the source specifically states "intelligence agencies". Anyway, my point re: Iraq was that people nowadays say "Egypt wasn't going to attack, Israel knew because the U.S. told them" as if it's a simple fact. But it was merely the opinion of U.S. intelligence agencies, just as Iraq's WMD was the opinion of U.S. intelligence agencies. Not everything they say is true, even if they believe it (nor is everything they say false). Jayjg (talk) 03:30, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced claims in lead

The following unsourced claims had been inserted in the lead:

Initially, Israel announced that it had been attacked by Egypt. However, when it soon became clear that in fact it was Israel that had started the fighting, Israel changed its version and stated that it had launched a pre-emptive attack against Egypt's airforce, fearing an imminent invasion by Egypt, which version was at that time accepted in many of the Western media.

There were no sources whatsoever, for this claim; indeed, the sources quoted stated simply that the strike was pre-emptive. Can anyone justify this astonishing breach of WP:V and WP:NOR? Jayjg (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I didn't add that material, but I remember reading it somewhere. I'll try to scrounge up a source (or a denial). Lordjeff06 (talk) 10:28, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so here's what I have. It seems to be true that Israel initially tried to claim that Egypt had started the war and that the initial orders to Gideon Rafael (Israeli Ambassador to the UN) was to make that claim. Here are my sources:

“Gideon Rafael received a message from the Israeli foreign office: ‘inform immediately the President of the Sec. Co. that Israel is now engaged in repelling Egyptian land and air forces.” At 3:10 am, Rafael woke ambassador Hans Tabor, the Danish President of the Security Council for June, with the news that Egyptian forces has ‘moved against Israel’” (Bailey, Sydney. Four Arab-Israeli Wars and the Peace Process. London: The MacMillan Press, 1990. p. 225)

“[At the Security Council meeting at 9:30am], both Israel and Egypt claimed to be repelling an invasion by the other…” (Bailey 225)

“Israel diplomats admitted privately that Israel had struck first…” (Bailey 226)

“Ben-Gurion maintained in his ‘Personal History’ of Israel that Egypt fired the first shot” (Bailey 226)

“Egyptian sources claimed that Israel had initiated hostilities… but Israeli officials – Eban and Evron – swore that Egypt had fired first” (Oren, Michael. Six Days of War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. p. 196).

“Gideon Rafael phoned Danish ambassador Hans Tabor, Security Council president for the month of June, and informed him that Israel was responding to a ‘cowardly and treacherous’ attack from Egypt…” (Oren 198).

“Earlier that evening, a tense debate had emerged over whether Israel should claim that Egypt had started the war. Dayan was opposed, but Allon, backed by Eban and Herzog, believed that Israel had nothing to loose, and perhaps something to gain, by pinning the immediate blame on Nasser. Thus, Eshkol wrote that the Egyptian guns had opened fire on Israeli settlements, and that formations of Egyptian aircraft had been observed flying toward the border” (Oren 169).

So, apparently, it is in fact true that Israel's initial claim was the Egypt had attacked them and they were responding. The preemptive war claim developed later. Lordjeff06 (talk) 10:56, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Good point about Israel initially claiming that Egypt had attacked first, and that should be worked in, but we still don't have any source that it was Israel who "claimed" it was a pre-emptive war. How and where do you think the material should go in? Jayjg (talk) 03:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Very convincing and abundant evidence; but of course it is really superfluous. Everyone who lived through the events of 1967 remembers that on this memorable Monday June 5, 1967 both Egypt and Israel accused each other of attacking the other. Paul kuiper NL (talk) 00:01, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Paul, it's not "superfluous"; rather, WP:V demands we find reliable sources for claims, not personal memories. Speaking of reliable sources, 18 of them say the attack was pre-emptive; please don't remove this fact again, and please observe WP:NPOV. Jayjg (talk) 03:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

This seems to become a remarkable charade. I had not deleted any of the "18 reliable sources" for your cherished "pre-emptive war". Yet you have deleted the four convincing sources for Israels claim that it had been attacked by Egypt, as well as the FACT of this claim itself. (And you also deleted the sources in evidence of the fact that Israeli leaders knew that Egypt could not and would not attack.)

I am sure you will understand that this is unacceptable. Facts are facts, even if they are not of your liking. Please realize that Wikipedia is about facts, and it is not supposed to be a public-relations site for Israel. Please observe WP:NPOV. Paul kuiper NL (talk) 00:41, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Regarding this: The 18 sources specifically state "pre-emptive", you can't delete it just because they don't agree with your personal opinion. Also, the material you used was not properly sourced - have you actually read those articles? <<-armon->> (talk) 03:29, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Paul, please review the WP:NPOV and WP:V policies. As Armon points out, you can't simply delete what so many reliable sources say just because you disagree with their viewpoint. Jayjg (talk) 03:33, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I suggest that you stop complaining about things which have not happened. I had not deleted any of the 18 sources, and I had also kept your phrase "Israel launched what is commonly viewed as a pre-emptive attack" although it is really not NPOV. It is you and Yahel Guhan who have deleted important and reliable sources apparently because they do not suit your political preference. Of course, I will not accept that. Wikipedia is supposed to be about facts. Paul kuiper NL (talk) 08:09, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, no-one said you were deleting the sources themselves; rather, you simply deleted the point that the sources all supported, that is, that it is commonly viewed that Israel launched a pre-emptive attack. Regarding the rest of your "sources", a number of serious questions have been raised regarding them directly below this section, not the least of which is whether or not you have actually read them. Rather than operating in violation of policy, please stop removing amply supported material, while inserting dubious material. Instead, respond the questions and issues raised on this Talk page. Jayjg (talk)

@Jayjg, you must have a serious reading problem. Again you are nagging that I deleted the phrase that it is "commonly viewed that Israel launched a pre-emptive attack". Above, I had explicitly pointed out that I had not done this. Check again the three edits that I made on January 18, 19, and 20, and SEE FOR YOURSELF that I had left this phrase as it was. Although "commonly seen" is slightly POV, unencyclopedic, and obviously intended to serve as a defense for Israels behaviour as all of your edits are.

In the meantime, you and some other PR-officials for Israel (who is the mysterious Dr Drakken who suddenly registered on December 31, and who works the anonymous sock puppets who just appear for one or two edits?) keep deleting important facts, however properly sourced they are. Apparently it does not suit you and your friends that on June 5 Israel informed the Security Council untruthfully that Egypt had suddenly started a war (indeed it stated "that Israel was responding to a ‘cowardly and treacherous’ attack from Egypt") although above Lordjeff has collected many very proper and reliable sources for this. (Apart from this, everyone who has some knowledge of this subject knows this.)

I object very strongly to this political censorship in favour of one party in the conflict. This is most obviously in gross violation of Wikipedia rules. I will certainly not yield to this, and along with others, I will continue to defend the encyclopedic neutrality of Wikipedia. Paul kuiper NL (talk) 23:59, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, again, you have been been inserting politically motivated unsourced original research based on a biased and non-factual interpretation of primary sources which you, in all likelihood, have not even read. Rather than continually edit-warring in this policy violating material, and using the Talk: page solely for the purpose of violating the civility policy, please address the issues raised in the sections below: this section, this section, and this section. Jayjg (talk) 02:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


A number of claims recently inserted into the lead have been cited to The New York Times and Le Monde. These citations are entirely inadequate - they do not list an article title, author, even a page number. Have the people inserting them actually read these articles? I note that Le Monde is a French newspaper, and that Wikipedia:CITE#Say_where_you_got_it states "It is improper to copy a citation from an intermediate source without making it clear that you saw only that intermediate source. For example, you might find information on a web page which says it comes from a certain book. Unless you look at the book yourself to check that the information is there, your reference is really the web page, which is what you must cite. The credibility of the article rests on the credibility of the web page, as well as the book, and the article itself must make that clear." If these are, indeed, correct claims, please make sure to cite your actual sources for them. Jayjg (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, you have again inserted material using the citations "Le Monde, February, 28, 1968" and "New York Times, August 21, 1982". We need proper citations; an article title, author, page number. As Armon asked above, have you actually read these articles? Please review WP:CITE as well. Jayjg (talk) 03:35, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Yoo hoo! Over here Paul! Please respond! Jayjg (talk) 02:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, in addition to the issues with the material raised below by Dr. Drakken, you have yet again inserted it without even proper sourcing. Can you please provide proper sourcing? Have you, in fact, read these articles? Please respond. Jayjg (talk) 04:14, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, you have again inserted an item cited as "New York Times, August 21, 1982". What is the name of the article, its author, and page number? Have you actually read the article? Also, you're now claiming that the Le Monde citation is really from "De Groene, March 9, 1968, p.1". Why would a Dutch paper have a French quotation in it? Have you actually read that article? If so, what is the title and author? Please respond here on Talk, people have been asking this for almost two weeks now. Jayjg (talk) 01:19, 29 January 2008 (UTC)


there was recently a dispute in the article with the same line alternatively reading:

US Secretary of State Dean Rusk was bitterly disappointed that Israel had started the war on 5 June as he thought he might have been able to find a diplomatic solution...


US Secretary of State Dean Rusk was bitterly disappointed that Israel attacked on 5 June as he thought he might have been able to find a diplomatic solution...

rather than argue over it, why not see what Rusk actually said and put it in quotation marks to make clear that it is attributed to him? SJMNY (talk) 04:36, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be any real "dispute" over the change so far. I think it would make sense to wait to see if one develops before proposing solutions. Jayjg (talk) 05:20, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Section on Golan moved to Talk

I've brought the following section to the Talk: page for further discussion.

Years later, Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan gave a different account of the reasons for war: "Along the Syria border there were no farms and no refugee camps — there was only the Syrian army... The kibbutzim saw the good agricultural land ... and they dreamed about it... They didn't even try to hide their greed for the land... We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, weren't a threat to us." (The New York Times, May 11, 1997 [2])

Eleland was kind enough to provide a source, which reveals troubling issues with this material. To begin with, as is clear when one reads the entire article, Dayan was not discussing the "reasons for war", but rather his opinion on what was going on in the minds of kibbutz leaders when they pressed for an attack in the Golan. That's all we have here, Dayan's opinion about what was going on in someone else's mind about whether Israel should attack the Golan, not "the reasons for the war".
In addition, the quote is entirely one-sided; for example, in the very same interview Dayan responds to the question "So all the kibbutzim wanted was land?" with "I'm not saying that. Of course they wanted the Syrians to get out of their face. They suffered a lot because of the Syrians. Look, as I said before, they were sitting in the kibbutzim and they worked the land and had kids and lived there and wanted to live there. The Syrians across from them were soldiers who fired at them, and of course they didn't like it."
Even worse, the article makes it clear that the leader of the United Kibbutz movement denies Dayan's statements about the kibbutz leaders' motivations: "For sure there were discussions about going up the Golan Heights or not going up the Golan Heights, but the discussions were about security for the kibbutzim in Galilee," he said. "I think that Dayan himself didn't want to go to the Golan Heights. This is something we've known for many years. But no kibbutz got any land from conquering the Golan Heights. People who went there went on their own. It's cynicism to say the kibbutzim wanted land." - yet this counterview was not included in the section in the article.
But it gets even worse: the article makes it clear that historians are not convinced of this material's accuracy or completeness: "Historians took a cautious approach, noting that the conversations had not been a formal interview. Mr. Tal, who was then a reporter on a short-lived paper of which General Dayan was editor, said in a telephone interview that they held several conversations at the time, and it was his impression that General Dayan had been testing ideas for his memoirs, which were never completed. 'He didn't intend to give a full, rounded interview,' said Shabtai Teveth, a biographer of Dayan. 'Here he singles out the kibbutzim, which is not a very balanced picture..."
And it's even worse; tacked on to the end of the statement is the sentence "The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, weren't a threat to us." - yet this had nothing whatsoever to do with the reasons for war. By the fourth day of the war the Syrians had suffered disastrous battle losses, of course they were much less of a threat than on June 4!
All in all, this is an example of material that has been used in a very shoddy way. If the material is to be re-instered, it will have to be done in a way that complies with WP:NPOV. Does anyone have any suggestions? Jayjg (talk) 03:43, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

the problem here arises from the editorializing by whoever originally inserted that paragraph into this page. the article doesnt support the conclusion (and oh yeah, drawing conclusions is OR anyway) that "Dayan gave a different account of the reasons for war." I don't know if theres a source where Dayan does say such a thing, but that Times article isn't it. SJMNY (talk) 06:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
And yet, Paul added the section back into the article - the identical material in two separate places, in fact.[3] It would be helpful if he would actually engage on the Talk: page, rather than making unthinking reverts. Jayjg (talk) 03:32, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, you have again inserted this material. I have raised what I believe are significant objections to it, in the paragraph above. Rather than edit-warring it in, could you please address the issues I have laid out? Jayjg (talk) 04:15, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

This material is very dubious, and there are a number of problems regarding its relvevance to the issue of the war itself. Not to mention that Dayan was a life-ling (since childhood) opponent of the kibbutz movememnt and never lost am opportunity to attack them. Thus to use this material as evidence that Israel went to war for the benefit of the kibbutzim is bogus. Most of the agriculute in the north of Israel was not conducted by kibbutzim and this rather demonstrates Dayan's animus. Lobojo (talk) 23:46, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

I'm very concerned about what appears to be a massive removal of sourced and highly relevant material with only fragmentary explanation.

  1. Israel originally claimed that Egypt had struck first, and only later admitted they had landed the first blow. This is sourced and prima facie relevant, yet it was removed... why?
  2. Rabin acknowledged that the two divisions Nasser originally sent to the Sinai were not a terrible threat, and could not have formed the basis of an attack on Israel. That said, he also said in the same interview that the later Egyptian buildup of many more divisions was more serious. We should mention that, and lose the "It was only considerably later that Israeli leaders stated overtly..." language which is editorial and overly leading. However the information itself is important and relevant. Why remove it?
    • It might help to follow the lead of a secondary source such as this one (Fr) but I don't speak the language.
  3. Begin very clearly and overtly stated that 1967 was a war of choice in which Israel attacked Egypt. There's no wiggle room here; that's what he said. Here's the original NYT article if anybody wants to play the "I can't find it so it's not a real source" game.
  4. Dayan gave a very clear account of the clashes on the Israeli/Syrian border and DMZs, which contradicted the official Israeli line. And he concluded that Syria was not a threat when Israel decided to seize the Golan Heights. It's been claimed that this isn't relevant, but nobody has explained why it isn't relevant. Jayjg made a mighty effort at discrediting the quote, but has said nothing of relevance. If Dayan's view of how DMZ clashes started is irrelevant, then why does the article go on at length about those clashes in the DMZ?

In addition to sponsoring attacks against Israel [...] Syria also began shelling Israeli civilian communities [... ]as part of the dispute over control of the Demilitarized Zones (DMZs), small parcels of land claimed by both Israel and Syria.

Syria charged that Israel was constantly harassing Arab farmers in the Demilitarized Zone and opening fire on Syrian military positions, while Israeli armoured tractors were cultivating Arab land in the Demilitarized Zone, backed by Israel armed forces illegally placed there. [...] Syria stated that in every instance where there was a Syrian firing, it was in return of provocative Israel fire directed against peaceful Arab farmers or Syrian posts.
On 7 April 1967, a minor border incident escalated into a full-scale aerial battle over the Golan Heights, [...] Earlier in the week, Syria had twice attacked an Israeli tractor working in the area and when it returned on the morning of 7 April the Syrians opened fire again. The Israelis responded by sending in armour-plated tractors to continue ploughing, resulting in further exchanges of fire.
Prime Minister of Israel Levi Eshkol warned that Israel would not hesitate to use air power on the scale of 7 April in response to continued border terrorism and on the same day Israeli envoy Gideon Rafael presented a letter to the president of the Security Council warning that Israel would "act in self-defense as circumstances warrant".

One would think Dayan's account of these events would be considered relevant! <eleland/talkedits> 00:27, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Eleland, it's quite frustrating when people start new sections on the Talk: page without actually reading what is there already. Regarding the Dayan quote, I put a lengthy critique of its inclusion on the Talk page days ago, in the very section in which you are responding. Please read it and respond Talk:Six-Day War#Section on Golan moved to Talk Regarding the Rabin and Begin quotes, the issues with them are addressed in the section directly below this: Talk:Six-Day War#”Israel knew all along...” Please read it and respond. Regarding all of these quotes, there have been serious questions raised about whether Paul Kuiper has actually seen the original sources, as he seems to be claiming, per WP:CITE. See the section above this: Talk:Six-Day War#WP:CITE. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I did read the sections above, including your post. In fact, I referred specifically to your post, which leaves me surprised that you would refer me to it as if I hadn't read it. Your post simply reiterated what's already in the source I provided, bracketing it with your own personal commentary ("And it gets worse!" etc.) I think it's clear that we shouldn't use the Dayan quote to try and explain the entire war, but it's very relevant to the section on Syrian-Israeli border fighting in Spring 1967 - from whence it is being repeatedly removed. I didn't hear anything about the other quotes except that you think Paul Kuiper didn't read the original sources given (although you are the only one asking, you phrased it in the third person... should I be thankful it wasn't the royal "we?") <eleland/talkedits> 03:23, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
You referred to people who wanted to play the "I can't find it so it's not a real source" game, so I knew you couldn't be referring to my post. As for my post, it didn't just "bracket it with personal commentary"; rather, it pointed out that the material was Dayan's opinion about what was going on in the minds of Kibbutz leaders, it left out material required for NPOV (e.g. that Kibbutz leaders denied it and historians doubted it). More importantly, it's drawing a conclusion from a primary source, so it's pretty obvious original research. This is true of all these cherry-picked quotes from newspaper interviews; as you point out, people should rely on secondary sources to interpret their meaning and relevance. Finally, you didn't respond at all to Dr. Drakken's points below, which showed that the quotes had been taken out of context. Perhaps you could respond below as well. Jayjg (talk) 02:59, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see how this is so complicated. I referred specifically to your post ("Jayjg made a mighty effort at discrediting the [Dayan] quote"), and I also made other remarks ("if anybody wants to play the 'I can't find it so it's not a real source' game") not directed towards that post. I understand that you are a busy editor and don't have time to read the posts you disparage and dismiss, but you could at least be honest about it.
Dayan's indictment of the kibbutzim is not terribly relevant, but his account of how Israel/Syria DMZ clashes started is highly relevant. Our article already discusses, at length, the context of those clashes, and even mentions Syria's accusation that they were started by Israeli land grabs and incursions with armoured tractors. Now we have Israel's Minister of Defence saying... they were started by Israeli land grab incursions with armoured tractors. What Dayan thought or didn't think of the kibbutz movement is wholly irrelevant, it's nothing more than well-poisoning via amateur psychoanalyzing.
I note with interest that the Israel / Syria section currently concludes with a quote from the Syrian Minister of Defence — a rambling and fairly ludicrous claim that his army is ready to wipe out Israel. This claim is of course ludicrous — the Syrian army could not even hold the Golan against part of Israel's army, let alone drive to Tel Aviv. Nonetheless, it's prominently presented, and that's fine. It's factual, relevant information, and it's not our job to lead the reader around by the hand, carefully shielding her from any information which might lead her to a wrong conclusion. It's not our job to present a long explanation of the exact context in which el-Assad's boast was made, or to dissect and psychoanalyze his motivation for making it.
So why is it that the Israeli Minister of Defence gets a pass, while the Syrian Minister of Defence doesn't? I'm going to go ahead and add the Dayan quote in its proper context, and we'll see if the objection is really WP:POLICY or WP:IDONTLIKEIT. <eleland/talkedits> 20:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Eleland, please direct your comments to article content, rather than making pejorative suppositions about other editors. Regarding the Israel/Syria section, the quote appears to be in there now. Regarding the Syrian Minister of Defense's claim, that was the same Minister of Defense who went on to become dictator and absolute ruler of the country for 3 decades, so his views would seem relevant. Regarding your post-hoc analysis of Syria's ability to win such a war, hindsight is always 20-20. Jayjg (talk) 21:59, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

► Eleland, you are perfectly right. Of course these quoted statements are highly relevant facts; and this is exactly why Jayjg and some others keep deleting them. The plain fact is that Israel started the June war while it was in no real danger of being attacked, and apparently the main purpose of some users is to CONCEAL this fact, and to present only selected facts which are supposed to give the impression that Israel was figting a just cause against evil attackers. In their gross violation of Wikipedia`s neutrality they cannot offer anything but niggling objections such as that the "page number" of a newspaper is not mentioned. (I never write the page number on my press cuttings, who does?) The solid fact that we all know that Rabin, Begin and Dayan DID make the statements in question does not seem to matter to those who try to make Wikipedia look like an Israeli public relations site. Paul kuiper NL (talk) 04:31, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Paul, please review WP:CIVIL. Also, please answer a straight question; had you seen the original sources of these quotes or not? Jayjg (talk) 02:59, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Paul, WP:Cite is a policy, quit adding sources you didn't check. I believe changing to British spelling is against policy too, even though I like it better myself. I reverted most of your last edit -- Heptor talk 20:27, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

”Israel knew all along...”

The three sources being used to support this POV statement are misleading, used out of context, and do not actually make that statement, on top of all. The Dayan quote, for starters, is talking about the Syrian front, and the decision taken on June 9th, when the war was already raging for 4 days. It does not at all refer to Egypt, and obviously can’t be used to support the claim that Israel “had known all along that Egypt could not and would not have attacked Israel. “ The Begin quote is from a political speech he made in 1982, the context being a Knesset debate on the war in Lebanon. His political opponents had accused him of launching a “war of choice”, and he responded with rhetoric to the effect that other wars, when his political opponents where in charge, had also been wars of choice. We would no more use such political hyperbole to support contested facts in a historical debate than we’d use an election speech by GWB in which he compares Osama Bin Laden to Hitler, in order to support a claim in the al-qaeda article that Muslim terrorists are Nazis. Finally, the Rabin quote, in full, refers to the situation on May 14th – prior to Nasser’s ordering the UN out, prior to his blockade of the straights (an act of war, in and of itself), and most importantly – prior to the movement of the 4th armored division into the Sinai in late May. It possible that on May 14 the opinion of the Israeli government is that war is unlikely, but that was not the situation on June 4th. Please stop trying to push your POV into the article. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 16:37, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes i quite agree. These quotes are being used out of context, and political hyperboleis being quoted as historical fact. This is clearly not a reasonable interpretation of such material. Lobojo (talk) 23:51, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The War May not be a Peemptive Attack

Some argue that the Six Day War was not a one hundred percent preemptive attack. Israel could have built a strong defence army instead of fighting Egypt, Syria and Jorgan. If it is a preemtive attack Israel would have stopped within the first hour, after destroying the Egyption's airplanes. It also would not had occupied the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Raed 5 (talkcontribs) 20:19, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Israel, given it's industrialized economy and relatively small population, could not afford to remain mobilized for very long, your "defence" army idea is simply inconsistent with historical fact. The idea that it could have bombed the airplanes and then just "stopped" is pretty absurd and i think thats self-explanatory. please sign your comments. SJMNY (talk) 00:59, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Some more sources for consideration

"The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war. [...] To pretend that the Egyptian forces massed on our frontiers were in a position to threaten the existence of Israel constitutes an insult not only to the intelligence of anyone capable of analyzing this sort of situation, but above all an insult to Tzahal."

Matti Peled to Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972, as quoted in this book and this newspaper.

"The whole story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail, and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of Arab territory."

Mordechai Bentov to Le Monde, 3 June 1972, as quoted by Quigley ([4]) et al

There are more such quotes I'd love to bring up, but first, let's take discuss the relevance of these assessments to the article as a whole. <eleland/talkedits> 01:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Peled was a far-left peace activist, i'd take whatever he had to say during his political career with a grain of salt, thats not to say its entirely irrelevant just that it should be treated wth caution (better yet, corroborated.) though he was a general he wasn't in charge and he isn't some kind of military historian. if you wish to include the proposition that "egyptian forces didn't really constitute a threat" i'd personally say he's not a good source on that.
i know little about Bentov and would appreciatte any elaboration on his qualifications for making that statement and the context in which it was made
SJMNY (talk) 01:18, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Peled was a mainstream Labour member, and not even a politician, when he made that statement. Bentov was a cabinet minister and an Israeli elder statesman (apparently - I know little of him either, except what's on his Wikipedia page.)
Peled, Bentov, Begin, Dayan, Rabin... how many senior Israeli generals and politicians are going to be excluded on ad hoc grounds from this article? <eleland/talkedits> 21:03, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
The reason for excluding these quotes has little to do with the politics of their authors, and more to do with the straw man fallacy. Whether the Israeli strike was preemptive or not has nothing to do with the question of there being a threat of "genocide", or "extermination" or a "struggle for existence". The only thing that matters is if there was a credible threat of an imminent attack by the Arab countries (in fact, not only was there such a threat, there was an actual act of war - the blockade of the straights), and whether the military situation could be improved by a pre-emptive strike. I am Dr. Drakken (talk) 04:10, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Rather than using quotes from various primary sources (e.g. interviews in the New York Times), it's proper to use analysis by reliable (and ideally neutral) historians. Jayjg (talk) 22:00, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
What's your conception of a neutral historian? Would folks like Michael Oren and Mitchell Bard be considered neutral? And do NYT articles from 1967, such as ""Israelis Say Tape Shows Nasser Fabricated 'Plot'" and "As the Shock Wears Off; Arab World, Appraising Its Defeat, is Split as it Gropes for Strategy" fall under the same category of improper primary sources? <eleland/talkedits> 01:31, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I've added some material to the article from Avi Shlaim's The Iron Wall; would you consider him to be "neutral"? Regarding those articles, are they direct interviews with individuals, or are they regular news items. Direct interviews are primary sources. Jayjg (talk) 02:29, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
i don't know anything about your source, but the information itself that you added is all stuff i've seen in passing before and nothing that would seem to me to be "controversial." SJMNY (talk) 05:04, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


i reverted/removed this:

Pakistan Air Force, considered at that time to be the only air force in the world apart from the USAF whose pilots were capable enough to combat the Israeli Air Force

its a pretty silly statement, ever hear of the soviet union? how about great britain? france? thats just three. i have no idea where anyone would get the silly idea that the Pakistani pilots were somehow equivalent to the Americans and yet the Soviets weren't. SJMNY (talk) 06:21, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Timeline section

Not sure anyone has noticed with the volume of edits to this article, but at the current version, the timeline section doesn't read at all like a timeline. Since it would probably be complicated and counter-productive to convert the section into a timeline-like format, I suggest renaming the section to something like 'Theaters', which better reflects what the section is all about. -- Ynhockey (Talk) 15:12, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

neutrality tag

Whoever put the neutrality tag on the section on "displaced populations" would you care to explain your reasoning here on the talk page? we can't discuss your neutrality prblems unless you tell us what they are. i'll remove the tag in a week if nobody speaks up. SJMNY (talk) 19:40, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

i've now removed the tag because nobody had anything to say about it. if you choose to put it back, and please don't feel that i'm stopping you, tell us WHY. thanks. SJMNY (talk) 16:10, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

'73 edits

PedroGonnet, you reverted an edit that said the '73 war was an attempt to destroy israel and made it say an attempt to regain lost territory. but how is that any less 'editorializing' (your word in comment) about the Arabs' war goals than avilozowick's edit that you reverted? can one of you please post a source on the arab war goals of 1973? from what i've read elsewhere i remember Sadat wanting the war for domestic political reasons more than anything else, syria could most likely be said to want the territory it lost back, and hussein's jordan was essentially "dragged along for the ride" for a 2nd time it might be better if the sentence simply linked to the 1973 war without giving a broad "this is why it happened", let readers go there and find out, but if you indist on keeping it, cite please SJMNY (talk) 06:40, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

hey Avi, i see you made an edit above, how about addressing this question to yourself and pedro about sources? SJMNY (talk) 20:39, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

GA Review

Unfortunately, I am going to have to fail this article, as it does not meet the GA Criteria at this time. More specifically, some of my concerns are as follows:

  • Inline citations are missing from quite a few paragraphs and, in some cases, entire sections. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • The first two paragraphs of "Suez Crisis Aftermath"
    • Much of the first paragraph of "The Straits of Tiran"
    • The final paragraph of "The Straits of Tiran"
    • The final sentence of "Egypt and Jordan"
    • The end of "The drift to war" (which currently reads as original research)
    • The final paragraph of "Preliminary air attack"
    • Almost everything in "Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula"
    • Four paragraphs in "West Bank"
    • Almost everything in "Golan Heights"
    • The entire "War in the air" and "War at sea" sections
    • The first, fourth, seventh and eighth paragraphs in "Conclusion of conflict and post-war situation"
    • Much of "Allegations of U.S. and British combat support", including quotations
    • The second paragraph of "U.S. and British non-combat support"
  • The article contains four "citation needed" tags and a "specify" tag *--Datapolitical (talk) 00:33, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The article is not stable, as there are multiple edits every day.
  • The copyright of some images is questionable:
    • Image:FCO17473 10Apr67.gif uses a deprecated tag *removed--Datapolitical (talk) 09:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
    • The tag on Image:Arab israeli memo.jpg says that an additional copyright tag is needed *--Datapolitical (talk) 09:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
    • I don't know that a case for Fair Use can be made for Image:Life67.jpg, as magazines should not be used to illustrate text unless the text relates to the magazine itself. *--Datapolitical (talk) 09:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The article lacks consistency in some areas:
    • Not all abbreviations are spelled out the first time they are used (eg. UNTSO) *--Datapolitical (talk) 09:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
    • It needs to be either "U.S." or "US" throughout the article; likewise, "U.N." or "UN" *(partly) --Datapolitical (talk) 09:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Most people's names are given in full the first time, but President Johnson's first name is not mentioned in the text of the article at all.
  • The article contains several "It should be noted" statements, which are discouraged as per Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Words that editorialize *--Datapolitical (talk) 09:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Several external links do not work:
    • The Corfu Channel Case (Merits), International Court of Justice, ICJ Reports, 1949, pp. 28-29 []
    • A Campaign for the Books []
    • Bamford Bashes Israel: Conspiracy Theorist Claims Attack on USS Liberty Intentional []
    • UN Resolutions on Palestine []
    • Israel Defense Forces' History []
  • The article would benefit greatly from copyediting. There are writing errors that distract from the text. For the most part, it is okay. I found that punctuation errors made quite a few sentences confusing. After a prepositional phrase (eg. "In 1967", "At this time", "After receiving this message", etc.), a comma is needed. Having large amounts of the text in parentheses also makes the article choppy and hard to follow.
  • More consistency is needed in the Footnotes section. All online references should have a publisher and access date.

I hope these comments are helfpul. I don't want to be discouraging, as the article is very interesting and I have no doubt that it can become a Good Article. I don't feel it is ready yet, though. I wanted to give detailed feedback with specific items to address, as I saw that people were upset by the comments left during the previous GA review. Best wishes, GaryColemanFan (talk) 14:57, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Moving to Good Article Status

So thanks to GaryColemanFan we've got a task list to work off of. I'm going to start going through and starring everything I've finished doing, and anyone else who's working on improving the article can feel free to do the same. My goal is to have this done by the end of the semester. --Datapolitical (talk) 09:06, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Recent additions

An unregistered user has made several contributions to the article yesterday. They are unreferenced, and are placed next to existing references, which might be misleading. Can anyone verify them? -- Nudve (talk) 05:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Yea, there are more than a couple. They seem to have been reverted by another unregistered user (or someone who just didn't log in). If the person who made them thinks they're correct, they should list the proposed changes on the talk page or give specific references.

I know it'll be a hideous pain to list all content changes on the talk page, but considering that this is a politically charged event, an edit war would not surprise me if changes were made without discussion.

Also, references to the US and the Soviet Union seem to have been changed to Nato and the Warsaw pact respectively. I'm not sure who made those changes, but are we sure those are correct? (If it's a registered user, can they explain them on here?) --Datapolitical (talk) 23:09, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Right. We could give it a few more days, but otherwise, if nobody here can verify them and the contributor cannot be contacted, there might be no choice but to revert. -- Nudve (talk) 05:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
The book I've been reading about the Six Day War references the US and the Soviet Union directly, and doesn't talk about pressure coming from the Warsaw Pact at all. I personally think the changes are incorrect, but lets wait until Wednesday before we revert.
Also, someone changed these numbers:
On the eve of the war, Egypt massed around 160,000 of its 300,000 troops in the Sinai. Many Egyptans were witheld from action in the Sinai because Egypt feared another attack by foreign powers like in 1956. No less than a third of them were veterans of Egypt's intervention into the Yemen Civil War and another third were reservists. These forces had 1,792 tanks, 2,109 APCs and more than 4,500 artillery pieces.[2]
Since the citation didn't change but the numbers did, i'm tempted to revert, but I'll hold off till Wednesday when we can fix everything from the last week as well if it can't be verified.--Datapolitical (talk) 23:45, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't recall any references to the Warsaw Pact either -- Nudve (talk) 06:18, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I just pulled out a book from my school's library on the war, Six Days, by Jeremy Bowen, so I'll be checking the stuff we need sourced against that.--Datapolitical (talk) 06:46, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


So I've gotten the article semi-protected for a month so we can fix this thing up without vandalism. I'm confident the edits over the past few days are bogus, so i'm gonna do a revert now. If someone feels that this is in error, please feel free to undo that, but also provide your reasoning here. Specifically in relation to the changes from US to Nato and Soviet Union to Warsaw Pact, those need clarification as there is a material difference between the two.--Datapolitical (talk) 05:13, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

As far as I can see, the changes were wrong or meaningless. "Nato" in the 56 war is ridiculous - it would amount to Britain and France pressuring themselves; India and Yugoslavia is correct, India and South Africa isn't, Egypt wasn't worried about anyone but Israel attacking, etc.John Z (talk) 07:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Info on a copy-protected image

Since we can't use the Life Magazine image (of the soldier in the Suez Canal) found in this article:, which was removed for copyright issues, I put a link to that site in our external links section. I'd like to reference the photograph in the article itself and talk about its relevance, so any thoughts on how to do that properly (i'm thinking something on "Images of the Six-Day War" to talk about the significance of the image that headlines the article (of the three soldiers entering the Old City) and of the Life magazine cover.--Datapolitical (talk) 08:13, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Sources for apocryphal quote on British tanks

This paragraph was in the article and had no source, and clearly needs one. I've been unable in about 20 minutes of searching the web and in searching the four reference books on the war I checked out from the library to find any reference to the story. I've moved the section here, so if anyone can find a source on this, put it back, but I figure it should stay on the talk page until we've got some reference to it.

A possibly apocryphal story was going the rounds that the UK had supplied some Chieftain tanks to the IDF for evaluation. When hostilities broke out, the UK Ministry of Defense, in a panic, called Israel for assurances that the tanks would not approach the border combat zones. Back came the Israeli response, "Don't worry, we've moved the borders!"[citation needed]

(there were a few spelling errors as well which I've cleaned up, and which make me just a bit more unsure about this section)--Datapolitical (talk) 00:24, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

editorializing removed

The political importance of the 1967 War was immense; Israel demonstrated that it was not only able, but also willing to initiate strategic strikes that could change the regional balance. Egypt and Syria learned tactical lessons, but perhaps not the strategic ones,[specify] and would launch an attack in 1973 in an attempt to reclaim their lost territory. [110]

The phrase "but perhaps not the strategic ones" can be considered editorializing, and since the source cited makes no reference to the claim, I removed that clause from the sentence. If anyone can find a reference directly supporting it, please add it back in. --Datapolitical (talk) 00:31, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Arab Belligerents

I notice that the list of combatants in the info box keeps changing and I think there must be some confusion about countries and flags, etc. The United Arab Republic split in 1961, however Egypt continued to be known by that name until 1971. Its flag was the flag now associated with Syria. Following the rise of the Ba'ath party in Syria, in 1963, they adopted the flag used by Iraq at the time. So, the Arab belligerents in the 6 Six Days war are: the United Arab Republic, Syria (with the flag of Iraq), and Jordan (with the flag of Jordan). I don't know why other involved countries were removed (e.g. Iraq and Libya), but I just wanted to raise the issue of naming. JEB90 (talk) 07:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

What does Libya have to do with the war? They weren't belligerents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:15, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I was pretty sure only Egypt (or the United Arab Republic), Jordan and Syria fought against Israel. What did the rest have to do with it? (talk) 20:25, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Waiting period (Six-Day War)

I stumbled across that article. It has many problems, and it doesn't appear in the main article. What do you suggest be done about it? Should it be merged? -- Nudve (talk) 15:08, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

How many Syrians fled the Golan heights

Recently, an anon has been an edit warring, claiming that "100 000 Syrians fled the Golan, not 1000" (as it is currently written). He was thrice reverted, once with the "rv uncited change", which I assume means "change to sourced statements" (otherwise this is not a legitimate reason to revert).

My question is, whether the number is really sourced. The ref is "International Committee of the Red Cross, 1998, p. 454.". (possibly dumb question ahead, please correct if so) What is this referring to? The ICRC's 1998 international review? Or possibly the annual report? If the international review, then page 454 does not appear to have contained any meaningful information (pages 445-453, pages 455-462), and adjacent pages don't appear to contain directly relevant information either. The 1998 annual report didn't appear to contain the needed information either. Also, it is important to note that the article's text originally read "about 100,000", but was changed mid-February by an anon, without anyone taking notice.[5]

Wikipedia's article about the Golan heights states "Between 80,000 and 109,000 of the Golan's inhabitants [...] fled or were driven out during the Six-Day War", citing Benny Morris(2001) and Report of the UN Secretary-General.

So, given all this, I believe a slight rewrite is in order. If no one opposes, I will modify the sentence to incorporate the above sources. Rami R 19:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I support -- Nudve (talk) 04:30, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The vast majority of the Syrians who fled the Golan Heights were residents of Quneitra, a city which was handed back to Syria in 1974. DrorK (talk) 07:28, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

The wiki (currently) uses the number of 80,000, using the website as a citation. I must protest; the website is clearly non-scholorly and biased. It should also be noted that Syrian settlement of the Golan was limited; following it's acquisition in 1948 of the Golan, Syria contented itself with building military facilities to defend the strategic highlands. (talk) 02:54, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

The article on Quneitra suggests that there were about 20,000 before 1967. This Syrian site[6] says 60,000; while this one[7] says 153,000. Does anyone here have an RS on exactly how many of the refugees were from Quneitra? -- Nudve (talk) 08:35, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The 20,000 is apparently from britannica. Anyway, I have updated the article based with the current available reliable sources. The article can be further updated, if any new reliable sources are found. Rami R 17:02, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

[Addendum] I was able to find a JSTOR article, from the Journal of Palestinian Studies ("Voices from the Golan", 2000), which put the population of the Golan at 130,000. The article then claims that only 6,000 stayed. Despite the intense bias displayed [towards the plight of the Palestinians in the face of the brutal, puppy-murdering Israelis], facts and sources relating to different numbers would be nominal. Sadly, the truth is that however many Arab dwelled in the Golan, most probably fled in a combination of fear and hate. (talk) 03:08, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Before / After Map?

I think this article would benefit from a before/after map showing the territorial changes as outlined in the info box. Currently:

Israel captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt,
the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan,
and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Paulshannon (talk) 15:21, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

United Arab Emirates

I dont see how the UAE was part of the war as the country was formed in 1971. Before that it was a number of Emirates all being British protectorates with no military force other than the trucial scouts that were under British command.-- (talk) 22:17, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

That's true. Plus, since the articles itself has no mention of it, it should be removed. Any objections? -- Nudve (talk) 05:18, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Egypt's forces?

So what was the makeup of Egypt's forces in the Sinai? From the article, there were seven divisions. One of them was mechanized. But the article contradicts itself on the other six. Either it was four armored and two infantry, or vice versa... I don't have any references, or I'd fix it myself. (talk) 12:20, 5 June 2008 (UTC)


In my opinion, as the article and others refer to Lebanon as being neutral, showing it in the list of oponents of Israel makes no sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lususromulus (talkcontribs) 16:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, its inclusion is just plain silly. The other combatants listed in addition to Egypt, Jordan and Syria are presently Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and Algeria. Iraq is the only one which is at all reasonable to include. The others are about as silly as Lebanon. For the real but relatively minor Iraqi involvement, see Oren or Trevor Dupuy's Elusive Victory. Iraqi planes made a raid into Israel, and Israel bombed an Iraqi airfield. So, I changed it, with Iraq listed last and least.John Z (talk) 05:33, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I've actually found a source that specifically states that Lebanon was not one of the countries to send troops into Israel. (Syria & Lebanon by Carter, Dunston, and Humphreys, p. 31: "Lebanon may have not sent troops to fight in the 1967 but, along with the rest of the Middle East, was profoundly affected by the conflict.") I'm going to remove them from the infobox. ← George [talk] 08:35, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think this is a big deal worth edit warring over, but it is certainly not "plain silly" to include Lebanon - it sent aircraft into battle, one of which (a Hunter) was shot down over Rayak. Not major involvement, to be sure, but clearly a participant in combat action. Canadian Monkey (talk) 22:33, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree, it's definitely not a "plain silly" issue. Do you have any sources regarding Lebanon sending aircraft into Israel? Was it just a single aircraft? Do sources state that it was actually a "participant in combat action," or would it have just been used for reconnaissance? The article currently states "In addition, one out of 12 of Lebanon's Hunter fighters was shot down after entering Israeli airspace," but it's (a) unsourced, and (b) unclear if this is one of twelve total fighters that Lebanon had, or one of twelve fighters that entered Israeli airspace. ← George [talk] 22:43, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
After a little digging, I found this source, which seems to pretty much agree with any other sources I could find. It states: "On the morning of June 6th 1967 a Lebanese hunter was shot down by an Israeli Mirage IIICJ flown by Uri Even-Nir, near the Lebanon/Israel border." Unfortunately, none of the sources are specific about whether or not it was over Israeli or Lebanese airspace, and whether it was aggressive, or engaged in any "combat action" at the time, so we may never know the details for sure. ← George [talk] 22:52, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
here is another source for you: "During the first day of the Six Day War, a force of four Lebanese Hawker Hunter fighters ambushed 4 Israeli Mystere jets that were returning from the Golan Heights and one of the Mystere jets was brought down near the town of Nabatiye and its pilot was captured. Israel retaliated by sending four Mirage III jets and shot down a Lebanese Air Force Hunter." [8]. Canadian Monkey (talk) 23:29, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, this sounds like quite an interesting story. Can you find anything to confirm this from a reliable source? Or even to confirm that one of the pilots was captured - that should have made some headlines for sure. Unfortunately this website] is just one person's personal account of the history of the Lebanese army, and it's not clear that that person is an expert on the subject. When they're basically saying that a published book on the subject is wrong (in the paragraph precedeing the one you quoted), we definitely need some independent confirmation. ← George [talk] 23:52, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I am the owner of and I can clarify a few points regarding the Israeli Mystere story. It is not clear how the Mystere was brought down. The Lebanese Air Force says that they have not opened fire on Israeli jets but they did scramble with them a few times. The Mystere could have been downed due to damages sustained over Golan or even by Lebanese ground fire. The Israeli air force operations over Golan was probably causing annoyance for the Lebanese. The Mystere story can be found on the front pages of Lebanese dailies that day and if anyone has access, can read about it and a photo of Lebanese soldiers by the jet is also included. I have seen and read An-Nahar but I don't have it. Also, I can't tell the mystery surrounding this subject and I think a lot more research is needed. Lebanon didn't go into war after the cabinet voted against it the very day the war started and I doubt that any Lebanese jets violated Israeli airspace. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vatche (talkcontribs) 06:29, 18 July 2008 (UTC)


Recent edits by Nierva have introduced a number of POV changes to the article, most of them cited to Quigly. The link provided does not work, and in any case, no page number is given. I am therefor removing these POV edits, and restoring previous consensus version. Please discuss any changes here, giving the exact page number in Quigly. Canadian Monkey (talk) 01:19, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

You have provided no evidence or argument to explain why the edits are POV. Page numbers should have been given; the information is not difficult to find with the aid of Google Books. The given information is drawn from pages 158-164, as far as I can tell. Some of the language is problematic; "After threatening to invade Syria" in particular does not seem to be supported by the book. The closest I can find is a public declaration by then-IDF Chief of Staff Rabin that Israel could not be secure until the Syrian government was overthrown. Much of the language was not problematic, and seems to me to be a valuable counterbalance to the sort of Abba Eban-Michael Oren melodramatic nonsense about Israel being "strangled" by the Straits closure. <eleland/talkedits> 02:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Here are a few reasons why the changes were POV. The original text had given the time-line, correctly, as Egypt mobilizing and expelling the UNEF on May 16, as a reaction to already existing Israeli-Syrian tension, followed by Israeli mobilization on the 19th. The change "cites" an alleged Israeli threat to occupy Syria on the 19th (which you acknowledge is not supported by the reference) as the first action. Then come numerous "rationalizations" for why the Egyptian blockade of Tiran wasn't "that bad", complete with editorializing on why this was fair and reasonable. You are welcome to your opinion that a respected historian such as Oren is engaged in "melodramatic nonsense", but just like the article does not include claims that Israel was being "strangled" by the Straits closure, it will not include the equally nonsensical language of apologists such as Quigley who are eager to defend violations of international law. Canadian Monkey (talk) 02:21, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
A sufficient justification for the deletions made by the user above have not been provided. To describe in detail the decisions taken by the UAR Government concerning its territorial waters in Tiran hardly qualifies as a biased addition. What is biased is to omit important pieces of information concerning the measures taken by the UAR Government and the effects it could have had towards Israel. You are entitled to your opinion of John Quigley as an "apologist", but this should not dictate the content in this article. The motive of these deletions seem to be less concerned with abiding by Wikipedia guidelines than pushing an unattractive agenda.Nierva (talk) 00:04, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
You are incorrect. I have described exactly why your edits were POV, and eleland agreed that your claim that Israel was threatening to occupy Syria was unsupported by your reference. The material about the utilization of the Eilat port is already in the article, there's a limit to how much space should be given to this type of apologia. Canadian Monkey (talk) 01:53, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

List of sources

FYI, a list of sources on this subject can be found here: [9]. Cla68 (talk) 03:37, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi. I've not read the article yet, so I'm not going to comment on the neutrality of the text.

However, having glanced at the article it seems somewhat strange to me that the only photograph of combatants is quite an "artistic" one of noble-looking IDF troops. Not only that, but it is sourced from the Israeli government's website and the description notes that its use has been widespread in Israeli media and culture: clearly it has significant sentimental/symbolic/propagandic value for the Israeli side of the conflict.

Now, I'm not saying that this means it should be removed from the article - on the contrary, it seems like a very appropriate image to include. What I find peturbing is that in the rest of the article there is not a single image of Arab troops, even though it seems from the troop numbers cited in the article that there were twice as many Arabs as Israelis involved in the conflict. To a casual observer such as myself, who knows nothing about the conflict, this gives the impression of bias to the article before I've even started reading it, though it might turn out to be completely objective military history.

Perhaps somebody with better knowledge of the subject than me (and indeed more wikipedia experience!) could find an appropriate photograph to balance this one? Davidkleinfeld (talk) 15:07, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I have not contributed to this article, nor edited it. However, in reviewing the article history, it appears that other picture(s) were removed because of copyright concerns. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Straits of Tiran

I have shortened this section because it is too long and incoherent. Information about when Egypt signed a treaty is irrelevant to the discussion. The section needs to get to the point.

The statements: "However, it has long been a part of state practice and customary international law that ships of all states have a right of innocent passage through territorial seas." and "This is however, contentious..." amount to original research that seek to prove a point instead of citing the views of scholars.Nierva (talk) 19:38, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

While some of your points may be valid, even your most recent edit removed one side of the argument while maintaining the other, and removed the straightforward fact that Israel cited international law in its 1957 statements. I've cleaned that up for you, and as a bonus, cleaned up some copyright violations - a direct copy of entire sentences from a source, for example. Jayjg (talk) 20:10, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Nierva is a sock of Jacob Peters (talk · contribs). YellowMonkey (click here to chose Australia's next top model!) 00:41, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Six Days of War, pp. 306-07
  2. ^ Kenneth Pollack, Arabs at War, 2002, p. 59