In his op-ed in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times (6 Days in Israel, 45 Years Ago), Israeli-American activist Miko Peled contradicts common wisdom regarding the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Drawing on the experiences of his father, General Matti Peled, Mr. Peled asserts that Israel was not forced to preemptively strike due to an immediate, existential threat from its Arab neighbors. Instead, he suggests that the Egyptian military was far from ready to attack Israel in 1967 and that Israel instigated the war based on the logic of "opportunity."
Mr. Peled further notes that his father, in the wake of the war, questioned the wisdom of a prolonged occupation of captured Palestinian territories. Instead, Gen. Peled advocated for a Palestinian state, fearing that a military occupation would breed conflict.
In what is perhaps the article’s most interesting revelation, Gen. Peled suggested as early as 1967 that an occupation of Palestinian lands could doom a peaceful two-state solution and instead lay the groundwork for a bi-national state, a concept which has gained traction among many of today's activists. Indeed, Miko Peled seems to agree with his father, suggesting that the only modern day alternative to a continuation of the now entrenched occupation is a singular, democratic state for both Israeli Jews and Palestinians.
Six days in Israel, 45 years ago
My Israeli general father knew the 1967 war was an opportunity for peace.
Israelis stand on the Mount of Olives overlooking the old city of Jerusalem. (Kahana Menahem / AFP / Getty Images / May 20, 2012)
In early June 1967, as I cowered with my mother and sisters in the "safest" room of our house near Jerusalem — the downstairs bathroom — we feared the worst. None of us imagined that the war that had just begun would end in six days. It was inconceivable that the Israeli army would destroy three Arab armies, kill upward of 15,000 Arab soldiers (at a cost of 700 Israeli casualties), triple the size of the state of Israel and, for the first time in two millenniums, give the Jewish people control over the entire land of Israel, including the crown jewel, the Old City of Jerusalem.
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Miko Peled's op-ed in Wednesday's LA TIMES exposes Israel's 1967 war for the land grab it was and highlights the importance of equal rights for Palestinians.
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