‘Comment is Free’ contributor claims 1967 Six Day War was act of Israeli aggression

Raja Shehadeh is a Palestinian Arab who’s the former director of the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, a radical group which has characterized Palestinian terror attacks as legitimate “resistance” and is currently being led by Shawan Jabarin, a Palestinian with alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist group.


The Guardian posted a video on Oct. 9, 2012 of an interview with Shehadeh in which he casually suggested that Israel’s goal was to ethnically cleans Palestinians, so his latest “analysis” on Palestinians’ views about yesterday’s Israeli election, ‘Israel’s elections mean little to most Palestinians – with good reason‘, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 23, should come as no surprise.

Shehadeh didn’t waste any time contextualizing what he characterized as Palestinian indifference to the particular results of the Israeli election by evoking the political parallel of disenfranchised blacks under South African apartheid, and soon pivoted to the following additional fiction:

“Since the beginning of the occupation more than 44 years ago, no Israeli government has indicated willingness to accept that its status is that of an occupier of territory acquired through a belligerent war, and consequently been willing to withdraw from these areas and hand them over either to the surrounding Arab states or to a newly created sovereign, independent Palestinian state.”

The idea that Israel acquired territory in June 1967 though a “belligerent war” is a gross historical lie.

The Six Day War was instigated by Arab leaders who explicitly stated that their aim was nothing less than the annihilation of Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol did everything possible to avoid a military confrontation with the much larger Arab forces.

In the weeks leading up to the war, Egypt’s President Nasser had ejected UN peace keeping forces from Sinai and Gaza, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and contributed the bulk of forces to a combined Arab army – much of which was amassed along Israel’s porous borders – consisting of 500,000 troops, more than 5,000 tanks, and almost 1,000 fighter planes.  Threatening rhetoric coming from Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad included the following by Nasser on May 27 and 28, 1967:

“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight . . . The mining of Sharm el Sheikh is a confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be ready to embark on a general war with Israel.”

“We will not accept any … coexistence with Israel. … Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel …. The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.”

Additionally, while the Soviets had begun supplying the Arabs with arms in the build-up to the war, France, Israel’s major arms supplier, had issued a complete ban on weapons sales to the Jewish state.

Israel – which, in 1967, wasn’t in control of one inch of Arab territory – was facing total isolation, and the realistic prospect of complete annihilation, when the IDF launched a successful strike on the Egyptian Air Force on the morning of  June 5, ‘officially’ beginning a war which would result in a swift Israeli victory and the acquisition of Gaza and the Sinai, from Egypt, and the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan.

Further, contrary to the duplicitous claims made by Shehadeh, in the immediate aftermath of Israel’s victory, Arab leaders, much to the surprise of Israeli leaders, maintained their belligerence and refused to enter into direct peace talks with the Jewish state.  Instead, at a meeting of the Arab League in Khartoum in September, they pledged to continue their struggle against Israel, and insisted on no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition.

Israel would subsequently withdraw from the Sinai, in the context of a peace treaty with Egypt, and leave Gaza unilaterally.  

However, Israeli offers to withdraw from nearly all of the remaining territory held since ’67, and offer statehood (within geographically contiguous boundaries) to Palestinian Arabs – who were never offered sovereignty under Egyptian and Jordanian rule – would be rebuffed by Yasser Arafat in 2000.  The Palestinian President responded to the peace offer by initiating a bloody terror war which would last over four years and claim over a thousand Israeli lives.  (Interestingly, in 2002 Shehadeh characterized Arafat as “admirable” for not having “betrayed” his people by accepting the Israeli peace offer.)

Another offer of Palestinian statehood, which included the equivalent (with land swaps) of 100% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, was rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008.

Palestinians, like Arab leaders in ’67, have continued to say no to peace and recognition of the Jewish state.

While Guardian reporters and ‘CiF’ contributors are free to be as hostile to Israel’s existence as they wish, allowing such pro-Palestinian activists the right to engage in such polemical malice, and egregious misrepresentations of history, by characterizing the Six Day War as a Zionist ‘war of aggression’ more befits a Palestine Solidarity Campaign propaganda flyer than the virtual pages of a “serious” newspaper.

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136 replies »

  1. Imagine my surprise, when I encountered this gem of a comment, underneath that contemptible article:

    Good grief. Israel occupied those territories after it was attacked by other surrounding countries. Most borders we see today are there because of the aftermath of wars. A little non-revisionist historical context makes the situation far more understandable.

    One mustn’t stop reminding these propagandists, that it was Jordan, in any event, that attacked Israel in June of ’67.

    • Conquest – the acquisition of territory by way of force – has been illegal in international law at least since the entry into force of the United Nations Charter, of which Israel is a signatory, 101.

      • Stop pasting idiotic, off-topic nonsense, you troll.
        Where the hell did you see the word “Conquest” in my post?
        Oh, and the UN Charter mentions nothing of the kind. Learn what to cite first, moron.

        • The acquisition of territory by way of force has been illegal in international law at least since the entry into force of the United Nations Charter – it mentions the principle of self-determination, 101.

          Your knowledge of international law is quite moronic.

          • It doesn’t mean that, you pathetic idiot.
            Either cite, verbatim the text in the UN Charter, pertaining to territorial acquisition(I’ll help you, it doesn’t exist), or shut up.
            The latter in your case, would be quite welcome. Try it.

            • Acquisition of Territory by Military Conquest is Illegal. Occupation is a temporary measure that cannot lead to sovereignty over the occupied land.

              Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter: ” All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

              • But it was Israel that was attacked by Jordan, not the other way around, Numbskull.
                Its(Israel’s) territorial integrity was compromised, not anyone else’s.
                I advise you to shut up.

                • Room 101 suscribes to the school of thought which assumes that if you repeat something often enough and rude enough it must be true?


                • Sprat, one is very fortunate to be able to declare, in your case, that you don’t subscribe to any school, much less one to do with actual “thought”.

                  • I suppose if I quoted 2000000 deaths it wouldn’t cut much ice. Arab life is cheap in the eyes of the racist. In case you didn’t hear,the bravest army in the universe killed another 6 Palestinians today. That should give you a warm feeling inside!


                • Acquisition of territory by way of force is ILLEGAL. it does not matter whether force was deployed as part of a preemptive, aggressive or defensive war.

                • But it was neither you idiot.
                  Jordan attacked. Can you comprehend that, through your trolling apparatus?
                  JORDAN ATTACKED. Not Israel.
                  And the UN Charter still bares absolutely no relevance.
                  Congratulations on being a troll.

                  • I’m sure there are.They appear in all walks of life. Unfortunately Israeli racists back up their squalid arguments with the gun.


              • That last sentence should read ‘……inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations unless you give your country messianic status and adopt a name which may or may not be 2000 years old”.


            • You might want to actually learn history and/or international law before making a bigger fool of yourself.

              Jordan was occupying Israeli territory and attacked Israeli towns just like Hamas. They got they rearends spanked for it.

              Egypt, Jordan, and Syria all made declarations of war, all made acts of war and Israel liberated their own lands. Lands that now the ‘Palestinians’ are trying to steal as well because that is all Arabs are – a bunch of fascist thieves.

              • Thanks for posting your racist colours. Check out the work of Johnny Heartfield if you want to know what the world thinks of your Zionist distortions of history and blood-lust!


                • Snotty,

                  Zionist distortions of history and blood lust?

                  Reading your last few comments I’m at a loss to explain how you could call anyone else a racist. Have you no self-awareness at all? What a rarified bubble of hypocrisy you occupy. Shame on you.


          • sprattyville? Is there anybody there?
            I am very familiar with the work of John Heartfield. Still waiting to hear from you about his alleged critical references to “Zionist distortions of history and blood-lust”.

            • I’m not quite sure I follow you. Perhaps you could enlighten me. I don’t recall you mentioning “his alleged critical references to …….” before?


              • John Heartfield is famous for his anti-Nazi photomontages (as well as his commercial book covers).
                I cannot recall work of his ever referencing Zionists – let alone any alleged “blood-lust” on the latter’s part.

                So again: what the fuck are you wittering on about?

      • So-called Israel’s signature is not worth the paper etc etc. So-called Israel as an entity could not exist without conquest.The entire civilian population( Arabs excepted) is a reserve army.The founders of so-called Israel never envisaged any peace or accommodation with their neighbours.They were fully prepared for an indefinite state of war.The achievement of a so-called ‘Greater Israel’ requires further conquest by one means or another.


        • So-called Sprat, is there reason you’ve returned to troll here?
          Seems your so-called ululations are disturbing the so-called peace.
          Spew your so-called trash somewhere else.

            • Upset? hardly. Your babbling is just insipid enough to warrant a faint smile, now and then.
              Now be a dear, and clear off. I’m sure your asylum orderlies are beginning to worry.

            • You raised no points, snotty. You just barfed your racist hysterical BS. Now, go back to your irrelevant existence.

        • Greater Isreal ? Never envisages any peace?
          So why did we give back Sanai to Egypt. why give back lands to Jordan for peace ? why go out of Gaza? Lebanon? Parts of the west bank? It seems that if we wanted a greater Isreal we should have stayed in all those places.

              • You never left Gaza! You locked the gate and threw away the key! Even our beloved Prime Minister has described Gaza as an open air prison. Take a deep breath and ask yourself one question. Would I like to live in Gaza?


                • WE left Gaza in 2005, days after we left there was no blockade. PLO was in charge, WE left them agriculture infrastructure. Yet they prefer to destroy all that was left and use it a rockets launching base. So I ask you why did the palestinain statrt shooting those rockets days after we left Gaza.

                    • – When looking at Israeli internal documents we clearly find that (In accordance with original Zionistic principals) there was NO Jewish institutional policy of expelling the Arabs.
                      – In a military directive from March 1948, there was a specific order that commanders should treat the Arab population with dignity and NOT expel inhabitants, except for military objectives.
                      – At the point in April 1948, when it seemed to Jewish leadership that an existential threat hangs over the Jewish “yeshuv” there was a change in atmosphere, nevertheless no specific expulsion policy was adopted and no directive given.
                      How do we know there was no Israeli expulsion policy?
                      – About 50% of Arabs stayed in Israel, which is the reason why Israel till today consists of 20% Arab citizens.
                      – No Israeli officer at the course of the 48 war was put to trial for expelling, or not expelling Arabs.
                      – According to documents we see an inconsistency in expulsions. In some cases there were expulsions and some there weren’t.
                      NOTE: When the civil war escalated to the point that Arab armies invaded Israel, more field commanders took action in actually clearing Arab settlements to prevent attacks from both sides (i.e. entering Arab armies in the front and Arab inhabitants at the back
                      That is in answer to your question by Benny Morris
                      So how about you answer my question as to why palesitnian started shooting rockets days after we left Gaza when there was no blocakde.

  2. I can suggest to the CIF editor an other article what s/he should consider to publish – it is a perfect match to the Guardian worldview. The author Dr. Mustafa Ahmed Abul Khair, chairman of the Advisory Council of the Palestinian Human Rights Foundation and a professor of international law.
    He claims that Israel should compensate Egypt for damages Israel has done to this country up to some $500 billion. (I’m not sure whether the tens of thousands of shoes abandoned by the Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai are included or not)
    He doesn’t make a secret of his worldview and says:
    …the Zionist entity is extorting Germany to get too much financial compensation for the myth of the Holocaust.
    Nothing extraordinary can be found here – he is only an other professor of international law fighting for human rights -exactly like Avram Dubitante and Nat The Local Idiot.

    • Every so-called war involving Apartheid Israel is based on a racist mind-set in relation to it’s Arab neighbours. The Zionist project will not be realised until the whole of the Jordan valley and beyond has been ethnically cleansed as was Palestine in 1948 and 1967. So-called Israel has never been and is unlikely to be a ‘partner for peace’ on account of not understanding the meaning of those two words. So-called Israel understands the words ‘blood’ and ‘hate’.

      • Spratty-troll, you’re far less charitable than you used to be…
        “So-called Israel”: Wow, that’s a new low, even for you.
        What’s with the mulligrubs? Got an overdue spanking, recently?

      • Every so-called comment by Snotty is based on a racist mind-set in relation to Jews, their rights, and their National Home. The whole of Snotty’s and the Arab’s National Project will not be realized until the whole of Israel and beyond has been ethnically cleansed of Jews as was unsuccessfully attempted in 1948, 1967, 1973, and which was successfully accomplished in Arab countries across the M.E. So-called Palestine has never been and is unlikely to be a ‘partner for peace’ on account of not understanding the meaning of those two words. So-called Palestine, and it’s Arab and Muslim brethren, understand the words ‘blood’ and ‘hate.’ Unlike Snotty’s anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-jewish rights screed, the Arab and Muslim versions of this anti-Semitic, racist poison is indisputably aired daily in the Arab media, and is drummed into the children in schools and mosques throughout the territories and Arab world.
        Oh, and Snotty, don’t let the door hit you in the behind on your way out.

      • Sad news to you, Jew-hater: the Zionist project is a reality since 1948. Deal with it, sulk, whine, throw a tantrum and have an apoplectic seizure.

        • Don’t worry Serge U sanctions will eventually sort you out. Then the war-criminals at the Hague. The way you talk I feel like I’ve wandered into a glee-club for juvenile racists. Do you wander down of a night to taunt the Sudanese  on the streets of South Tel Aviv?


        • Which of these do you recommend ? Some of them may well be mutually exclusive! Which one would you prefer? I bet I can guess! Serge U are you still there??


          • I wonder what Theodore would think of the project today? I wonder how he would view the creation of 700000 refugees. The ethnic cleansing of 400 villages and most of the cities and towns of Historic Palestine? Would he take fright at the actions of settlers who destroy olive trees,ruin crops and even kill with impunity? And last but not least would he marvel at the brick laying skills of the greatest leader in the Universe! All this in a land where if you step out of line the bravest army in history will come and bulldoze your home for free.


            • Herzl would be surely impressed with the success of the Zionist project as Israel is a thriving democracy in the midsts of backwards islamic barbarism; that kept being democratically in spite of the deadly menaces of extinction from the onslaught of islamic hysterical hatred; of its ability to incorporate the 800.000 Jewish expelled and plundered in the islamic countries they lived for centuries; of a the advanced technology and science; of the Jewish abiility to defend themselves and fight for survival and win.

            • He would have been very proud of people who survived 3000 years and succeded in bulding their own coutry despite the odds against them. Proud of people who in 64 years manage to build a develope country even when they had to protect themselves fighting for it. Fighting against bigger armies over and over again. Figihting and defeting those armies .Building their country while their enemies terrorise them long before 1967. Killing people in thier beds, shooting at buses and killing thier passangers shoopting at Israeli farmers. again long before 1967,
              He would be proud of so many development Israeli gave to the world.
              He would be proud of people that for peace gave back lands . That for peace agreed to the oslo agreement which cause hundrads of dead Israelis.
              Proud that also almost 1000 Israeli were murderd by Hamas suicde acts yet continue to seek peace. That for peace tore out 8000 people from their houses and in resonse got tousands of rockets.
              Proud that while palestinian hide beind their people while shooting at Israel , the Isralei army take care to try and not harm civians while retaliating to those rocets.
              Proud that while Israeli army (lucky for Israel) is stronger he didn;t wipe out Gaza which he could.
              Proud that his dream came ture and only in 64 years.

              • I don’t think he could have produced such a distorted history as the one you have just delivered. But you still haven’t addressed my question. or do you deny that those things happened?


      • So why did we give so much land for peace?
        don;t forget all those jews who were ethnicly cleansed from the west bank and old Jerusalme by Jordan in 1948.

        • It wasn’t yours to give in the first place except by right of conquest.This “right of conquest” is not recognised in international law to which Israel is a signatory.The evidence for the true motivations of Israel’s founders is to be found ,not in the “Official” histories but in documents and private papers released during the 80’s and 90’s.Unless the Israeli documents are forgeries the facts speak for themselves.It is ALL clearly documented. What their aims and aspirations were.Their attitude to the Palestinians.Their attitude to their Arab neighbours in general. So their negotiating strategy has been based on a number of carefully constructed myths which have been swallowed hook line and sinker by much of the Western world. The “land for peace” iniative is a classic example. As for your mention of Jordanian ethnic cleansing,the current victims of Israeli occupation cannot be held collectively responsible for crimes committed by Jordan in 1948. The whole issue of refugees ( jewish and palestinian),ethnic cleansing and “the right of return” has to be dealt with on an international basis. If you don’t agree with some of the views expressed here pleased don’t descend to the level of abuse.Just say you don’t agree etc etc.


          • The evidence for the true motivations of Israel’s founders is to be found ,not in the “Official” histories but in documents and private papers released during the 80′s and 90′s.

            Why than did we give Sanai to egypt and lands for Jordan if not for peace? What myth?
            Care to give an example.for those documets?
            Care to tell us who the land belong to?
            Was this intentended for me
            ” If you don’t agree with some of the views expressed here pleased don’t descend to the level of abuse.”
            what abuse are you talking about ?

      • So why did we give so much land for peace?
        Don;t forget all those jews who were ethnicly cleansed from the west bank and Jerusalem in 1948 by Jordan.

  3. This is the fellow who once wrote a piece about missing the gazelles on the blue hills of the West Bank … what a joke.

  4. It’s simply the man’s opinion. Of course you can take issue with it – but it’s hardly a “gross historical lie”.

    • The “lie” label would apply far sooner to the very first BTL post under the Shehadeh article:

      alanmarsh: “Those states have not moderated their ambition of destroying Israel.”
      – Which governments in the region have said the stated aim? Certainly not all of them, at least.

      • Last election I believe Hamas won.
        Lebanon, by allowing members of Hizbullah in its government is also one.
        Members of the current Egyptian government have hinted at that (putting it mildly).
        Syria is currently in disarray but we can assume they will be happy to see that and probably join the partitioning of what was once Israel should Israel fall.
        Iran has stated just that.
        The only one which didn’t is Jordan.
        Yes, the same Jordan who’s Justice minister calls for hailing a Jordanian soldier which massacared Israeli school girls as a hero.

        • All pseudo-half truths if that. What you choose to ignore is the fact that so-called Israel has fought seven wars of conquest since 1948 and it would be incredible if neighbouring countries didn’t feel a little bit twitchy about such a rogue state in their midst! So-called Israel’s brave troops have shown scant regard for human life in many of these countries,particularly targeting defenceless civilians,including children.Such behaviour is regularly applauded on the streets of Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem admittedly by the same people who then resort to pogroms against African asylum-seekers while the world looks on.So-called Israel is wallowing in an ocean of blood and hate ( We know this courtesy of Youtube) and somethimg has to give.


          • You are mixing issues and frankly you are a tad bit histerical.
            As for the 7 wars of conquest, I’m sure even Pretzelberg will agreee it’s not worth an answer.
            Where are the settlements in Lebanon, Sinai or Gaza?

            • I think you are the one mixing issues.Lebanon is a heap of bones ( 20000,courtesy of Israeli invasion 1982-2000),Sinai is mostly desert and Gaza is a giant open-air prison!The remainder of Palestine ( aka Judea and Samaria) is the ultimate goal of the Zionist project. Some Zionists would argue that land beyond the Jordan should be part of the picture. In any case there is clearly plenty of support for dumping the entire Palestinian population onto the East bank of the Jordan.


              • Plenty of support among your kind perhaps.
                As for Lebanon, you failed to mention the syrians or the civil war (how convenient), it all must be the Zionists’ fault, right?
                And about Sinai, you think Israelis hate to depart Alma oil fields and the Gas fields worth over $100 billion?

                Not mentioning the new well found recently.

        • Doesn’t answer my question – and you know it.

          I repeat: the “lie” label would apply far sooner to the alanmarsh post than to Shehadeh’s comment.

          • Ok.
            Which one of the 2 was published by a national news paper as an article and which one was a commentor’s personal opinion, which could easily be removed?

            On another matter, in light of what you saw in Iraq, Libya, and what you see in syria; What would you say be the violent level inflicted on the Jewish citizens of Israel should it is captured?
            Would you assume any one is likely to be spared?

            • Of course there’s a difference – one I was aware of when posting.

              But when it comes down to the simple issue of what does and does not constitute a lie …

    • Wrong! The Warsaw Uprising was an example of pure heroism.Whereas the antics of the so-called IDF bears comparison with a pack of sniveling cowards. You insult the memory of those brave fighters! They would never have taken such a casual attitude to the daily catalogue  of murder and mayhem perpetrated in the name of so-called self defence.


      • Sprattyville, could you please teach this to the Palestinian minister of education?
        You might want to mention the Holocaust…

      • For you, heroism is when Jews loose and are destroyed. What bugs you is that the IDF wins all the time. Again, snotty, you can whine, sulk, throw tantrums and have your pathetic apoplectic attacks.

  5. Isn’t it amazing that that followers of Mohammad who never tire of moaning about being under existential threat and accuse others of wanting to cleanse them out are usually the ones who are increasing in population the world over and are usually the ones who have cleansed others out! Despite this FACT, lefties, feminists and sundry other fascists all carry the flag for these liars. History is being re-written in front of our eyes, our kids are being taught lies and brainwashed by Clintonoids and Obamabots.

    • So, not a leftie,not a feminist and not a fascist! Is that a FACT? Sundry fascists? Where do they come from? As for Clintonoid and Obamabot ! Sounds like your disrespecting two of our finest Democrat Presidents ! Does that make you a Republican? Like the old-fashioned use of the word Mohammed though!


      • When did Clinton become a president? In any case Obama is your president, not ours. That’s the problem with these people, they think they own the world!

          • I agree! Whoops steady now! The Americans display jaw-dropping arrogance and probably do think they own the world. Unfortunately Israel takes a similar stance in the Middle East ( what might be described as an American proxy)! In both cases this arrogance of power is based on overwhelming military force!


            • The Israelis believce they own the ME?
              Take a map and tell me when did Israel stated it owned, let’s say, Bagdad? or let’s try Ankara?
              No, let’s try Damascus?
              Or how about Sena?
              What do they claim to own?
              Jerusalem, the Golan heights and the old city of Hebron.
              And rightly so some would say.
              I guess you are in favour of turning Jewish tomb stones into pavements and urinating on the Western wall.

              • Fairly disgusting comments from someone who surely takes everything at face value?  You cheapen the Jewish Tradition with your casual contempt for the sanctity of  life and the use of religious symbols as a stick to beat with rather than using arguments.


                • “You cheapen the Jewish Tradition with your casual contempt for the sanctity of life and the use of religious symbols as a stick to beat with rather than using arguments.”

                  Oh please, Snotty, spare us the insincere, sanctimonious nonsense.

            • You imply that israel had overwhelming military force since 1948?
              Funny when the US didn;t really give us weapons until after the 67 war.

      • “Sounds like your disrespecting two of our finest Democrat Presidents ”

        If you say that Presidents that F**k Jews are your finest, it speaks volume about you?

    • More anti-Muslim hatred – as ever tolerated by CiFW and supported by the regulars.

      Shame on you all.

  6. The peace workers hero:

    Julia Chaitin, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Work, Sapir College and a peace and social justice activist with Other Voice, Friendship across Borders and Joint Ventures for Peace. Forty additional academics from Israel, the US and Canada are co-signatories to this letter.

    And what does she learn from? Nothing
    “I am not sure how quickly my pain and anger will dissipate, or how quickly the pain and anger of other Jews will fade; it will most likely take time. It is my deep hope that you will publicly acknowledge that your words caused harm and apologize for your anti-Semitic remarks. This act may help repair some of the damage, and would be a step toward positive peace.

    In any event, I will continue to engage in actions and reflective thought and hope that this work can help turn our often violent and ugly world into a world of justice, non-violence, respect, and peace.”

    Somehow peace working must be intertwined with unperturbable learn-resistance, or with brain-washing, who knows.