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Monday, November 13, 2017

The six-day war: fifty years no change


The six-day war, the fiftieth anniversary of which the world celebrates in these days, has become the most important event of the second half of the XX century, which have shaped the current face of the Middle East and influenced global policy. War between Israel and its Arab neighbors was not purely a matter for each side of the conflict stood a great nuclear power, the Soviet Union or the United States.

But, just as are the endless debates on 22 June 1941, giving rise to various conspiracy theories, and on 5 June 1967, there is a huge literature. The consensus of modern historians can be represented as follows: the war nobody wanted, but their actions both sides of her rapidly approaching. The six-day war — not only a classic example of the fighting ahead of the curve, when the party disadvantaged, takes the initiative first, but the sample of mutual misunderstanding in politics, leading to bloodshed.

The catastrophic defeat of Egypt, Syria, Jordan has had many consequences, expected and unexpected. For example, within the USSR sharply increased Jewish national consciousness coincided with the Leonid Brezhnev’s decision to grant the right to emigrate to Israel. This not only resulted in the intensification of dissident activity, but also had a substantial impact on Soviet-American relations. Washington was to present Moscow such requirements regarding permission to leave, which earlier anybody and in a head has not come to push. The amendment of Jackson–Vanik has for decades poisoned relations between the superpowers.

Contrary to expectations, Israel, the Palestinian resistance did not weaken, but on the contrary, rapidly increased. The number of terrorist attacks since 1967 had increased many times over. Before the war, Palestinian militants played a secondary, supporting role, now they came to the fore and acted completely independently, and Yasser Arafat became a world famous figure.

The main lesson of the war was the realization by the Arabs of the fact that militarily defeat Israel impossible, and the latter was convinced that I become hostage to their own victory. Dramatic expansion of the controlled territory not increased his security, and foreign policy problems and the threat of instability — the Palestinian intifada grew in intensity with each passing year. The history of the country after the victory of 1967, is the history of gradual abandonment of occupied lands. Today, the boundaries of Israeli control in many respects close to the borders that existed at the beginning of the war.

The annexation of East Jerusalem, the Golan heights, settlements in the West Bank are such a pattern of behavior that can serve as a lesson to Russia after the annexation of Crimea. Unilateral decisions create a new reality to be reckoned with the generations of politicians who come after and who are unable to abandon them. It turned out that it is realistic to ignore UN resolutions, international agreements and the opinions of their neighbors, if the government is convinced that at stake, a key interest of his safety.

However, the price of such a choice — “freezing” of the situation without fundamental it solutions. After 1967, Arab countries have experienced numerous schisms, the collapse of the Soviet Union — the main sponsor of a number of them, and forced to go to the negotiations in Madrid and Oslo, the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel, but in such a situation we are not talking about the recognition of at least one of the aforementioned actions.

In the field of military thought the six-day war revived the relevance of the theory of blitzkrieg — a swift and decisive victory at the cost of small losses. However, attempts to repeat the same Arabs in October 1973 or Saddam Hussein in 1990, Kuwait has shown the illusory nature of such hopes. To replicate someone else’s military success impossible. It also has a direct bearing on the current situation in Ukraine. In Kiev now very popular links the Israeli experience in the field of security policy and military construction. But Ukraine and the Jewish state is so distinguished cases that any mechanical transfer of experience is not out of the question. Rather, the Ukrainians should examine (and compare) the practice the return of their lands, Egypt and Syria, because their situation is similar. In the first case, Anwar Sadat had to go to direct peace talks and to abandon the utopian views, in the second case, by far the confrontational approach meant the collapse of hopes in the foreseeable future to regain the Golan heights.

Today, fifty years later, the middle East remains extremely unpredictable, volatile region where the raging war. In Syria involved in the fighting, Russian troops — in a much more significant scale than the Soviet Union at the time. The Arabs still disjointed and uncoordinated in their actions, the latest crisis over Qatar — proof. A sharp weakening of the Assad regime, the last of the principal enemies of Israel, brought the last calm, because before the Golan heights looming specter of ISIS — an organization banned in Russia. Israel, as well as half a century ago, have to nervously monitor the situation around its borders.

The war in Syria. Chronicle of events
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