“In These Times”
VOL. 50 NO. 8
Aliza Goland, Executive Director Marcy Goldberg, Director of Education Donna Becker, ECC Director
Peggy Frank, President, Board of Directors Alan Greenbaum, Rabbi Emeritus
Andrew Straus, Rabbi David Shukiar, Cantor
From the Rabbi’s Desk
T oday, it is easy to forget the events of May and June 1967. But in May and June 1967 the world stood on edge, and especially the Jewish world. On May 22, 1967 Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that he was closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. At the time, most of Israel’s trade passed through the straits, and the announcement was taken as an act of war. With that announcement, every Israeli man knew that the army was going to come for them soon. The entire country prepared for war and tried to judge what type of war it would be. A war with Egypt alone would be ugly, but
With the destruction of the Egyptian air force, Israel was able to begin to breathe. By June 7, Israel was at war on three fronts : Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian. The war started on a Monday and by that Saturday the war was over. In just six days Israel had won an amazing victory having captured the entire Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank including Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. It truly felt like a miracle to many. The country was now twice as big as it had been just a few days earlier. Just a few days ago, it had been the size of New Jersey and now it was bigger than Texas. However, with this great victory came challenges. Challenges that Israel still face today. How to pursue peace? How to accommodate the large Palestinian population it had conquered. Today its policy is still officially the creation of an independent Palesatinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, but how does one do that? Is there a partner? Is there the leadership in Israel or amongst the Palestinians to pursue such a peace? • Join me on Tuesday June 6, 13 and 20 at 7:00. for a discussion The June 1967 War: How It Changed Jewish, Israeli, & Middle Eastern History. Amongst the issues that we will study will be the evolution of UN Resolution 242, and using it as a framework for negotiations; • origins of the settlements and their development as a controversial issue; • the various results of the War on world Jewry and many others
probably survivable; a war against the combined Arab armies might mean total annihilation. The Israeli government arranged quietly for public parks to be consecrated, to allow them to be used as mass graves. Just a few days later the entire country was mobilized. Private cars took over the bus routes, because all the buses had been mobilized to move troops to the front. Schoolchildren and volunteers delivered milk and the mail. An apocalyptic wind blew in from the desert and for many memories of the holocaust were front and center.
Most of us cannot even imagine what the tension was like for Israelis. But diaspora Jews too were effected. Although we did not have the day to day reality, it was our brothers and sisters who were threatened and we feared that Israel which was not even 20 years old, might be annihilated – the Jews might be pushed into the sea. Then, the great miracle happened – for there is no other way to describe what happened other than to call it a modern miracle. On the morning of June 5, with Egypt’s army massed along the Israeli border the Israeli air force launched a surprise attack. In just a few hours the Israeli pilots destroyed approximately four hundred Egyptian planes – virtually the entire Egyptian air force on the ground. Most of the Egyptian planes never even took off from their bases before they were destroyed.
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