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Aftermath of a Victory: The Six Day War

Egyptian PlaneEgyptian PlaneThe  anniversary of Israel's Six Day War not only commemorates an unlikely  military victory, resulting in the Jewish liberation of Jerusalem,  Hebron and other ancient Jewish cities, but also one of the last modern  day catalysts of near universal Jewish self-regard.
 
Just  recently I heard a Siberian Jew reminisce about just how proud he felt,  "our heads were held high," he said. Words that are routinely used to  describe this period include; euphoric, hope and confidence. "The Jewish  explosion of pride came in the wake of the Six Day War of 1967," wrote  Patrick Ercolano in a Baltimore Sun column.
 
These  sentiments do not appear to have been confined geographically, nor even  politically, for the most part. They were not limited to Zionists, and  impacted all Jews of many stripes and orientations. This unified high  was a product of a victory, a hard fought vanquishing of sworn enemies,  beaten into retreat and respectful submission; an absolute triumph over a  mortal threat.
 
45  years later, some feel that 1967 was a plateau in terms of global  positive appreciation for the Jewish state and its position in the  world. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Israel's Ambassador to the  United States Michael Oren bemoans, "Why has Israel's image  deteriorated?" and "why have anti-Israel libels once consigned to hate  groups become media mainstays?
 
How can we explain the assertion that an  insidious "Israel Lobby" purchases votes in Congress, or that Israel  oppresses Christians?"
 
Oren  is right in his reasoning that "The answer lies in the systematic  delegitimization of the Jewish state. Having failed to destroy Israel by  conventional arms and terrorism, Israel's enemies alit on a subtler and  more sinister tactic that hampers Israel's ability to defend itself,  even to justify its existence." The Ambassador's call to action is  equally potent, "Israel must confront the acute dangers of  delegitimization as it did armies and bombers in the past."
 
Yet  in this new battle it seems, Israel has forgotten how to fight, how to  win and how to secure overwhelming unifying victory as it has in the  past on the battlefield. In Oren's article alone, he gives much ground  to Israel's ideological enemies through contextual acknowledgement of  damaging arguments. He says that "Israel today is more democratic,"  implying that in the past it was less so, perhaps grounds to discount  early Israel actions. Even worse, he writes that Israel "is more  committed to peace," insinuating that Israel's defensive wars were not  fought in the service of peace, and accepting the Arab narrative that  defines opportunities for peace in terms of territorial concession.
 
Zionist  leader Zeev Jabotisnky wrote, "In this world, respect is accorded only  to those who stand up for their rights, who stand and defend them  without swerving, endlessly, until they win through."
 
If  they are to be successful, Oren and others that seek to address this  challenge must take their own challenge more literally; this conflict  must be fought like it is 1967 all over again. Israel is under siege and  emergency measures are called for, political unity, preemptive strikes,  you name it.
 
Yitzchok  Rabin explained Israel's 1967 success in the following terms; "Our  airmen, who struck the enemies' planes so accurately that no one in the  world understands how it was done and people seek technological  explanations or secret weapons; our armored troops who beat the enemy  even when their equipment was inferior to his; our soldiers in all other  branches... who overcame our enemies everywhere, despite the latter's  superior numbers and fortifications-all these revealed not only coolness  and courage in the battle but...an understanding that only their  personal stand against the greatest dangers would achieve victory for  their country and for their families, and that if victory was not theirs  the alternative was annihilation."
 
Israel must recognize the alternative to losing the war of ideas and fight with accuracy, coolness and with courage.
 
Dovid EfuneDovid EfuneDovid Efune, Dir. Algemeiner Journal
The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com

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