55 years on, Palestinians are left to fight alone

Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan, chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin, Gen. Rehavam Ze’evi and Gen. Uzi Narkiss walk through the Old City of Jerusalem on June 7, 1967. (Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — Sunday, June 5, marked the 55th anniversary of the  1967 Arab-Israeli war that ended with the bitter defeat of three Arab armies, the loss of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. اضافة اعلان

What Israel called the “Six-Day War”, Arabs preferred to adopt the vague term “the setback” or the Naksa to lessen the bitter taste of the defeat.

In addition to the loss of the entire West Bank, Jordan lost East Jerusalem, including the Old City. And more than 400,000 Palestinians crossed the Jordan River to seek refuge in the East Bank.  

Between 15,000 and 25,000 Arabs, mostly soldiers, lost their lives in the war. Around 70 to 80 percent of military infrastructure in Jordan, Syria, and Egypt was also destroyed.

Some 800 Israelis were killed.

The 1967 has been described by historians as a watershed in the Arab-Israeli conflict, leading to tumultuous political upheavals across the Arab world.

With the international community’s failure to force Israel to implement UN Security Council resolutions that call for its withdrawal from all territories occupied in 1967, the tide has changed for Israel, the Palestinians, and the rest of the Arabs, and now the occupied find themselves alone in resisting their occupiers.

Pundits who spoke to Jordan News agreed that the Palestinian steadfastness, which has held strong for generations despite the world’s abandonment, keeps their just cause alive, despite all that Israel is doing to bury it.

Oraib Rantawi, founder and director-general of Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, told Jordan News that “Palestinians are still paying the price of this war to this day,” adding that “the world’s abandonment of them did not diminish their position and steadfastness, but rather increased their determination and insistence on ridding themselves of occupation.”

But he added that while he does not see any hope on the horizon for an imminent liberation and end to the occupation in the foreseeable future, “the fact that the Palestinians remain steadfast and are making great sacrifices will foil Israeli designs to kill their cause.”

Political analyst Labeeb Qamhawi told Jordan News that “there are no alternatives to securing the legitimate and non-negotiable right of the Palestinians to return to their lands,” adding that “under the current circumstances the steadfastness of the Palestinians under vicious occupation remains a great achievement and a victory in itself.”

Mohammad Momani, former state minister for media affairs, told Jordan News that “the Palestinians’ peaceful resistance and their resilience are the components of a heroic story,” adding that “Jordanians will continue to stand by them.”

Political analyst and former minister Mohammad Dawodieh told Jordan News that wherever the occupation is the resistance will be.

“Does the Zionist occupation expect from the Palestinians any reaction other than to continue the struggle and the fight for the sake of their dignity and independence?” he asked.

He added that “here we have all the cities of Palestine turning against the occupier and proving every day that Palestine’s youth will never forget or give up and declaring to their criminal occupiers that they have neither security nor stability in our countries.”

The long-term outcome of the 1967 war has triggered a path where Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian leadership, made several generous concessions towards Israel in return for giving up lands it occupied during that war and recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Today Israel categorically rejects all of these demands. In the words of one analyst, who asked for anonymity, what we see today is the “bitter fruit of the June 1967 defeat”.

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