Wednesday, July 19, 2017

UNESCO failed to recognise Jewish claims in Hebron

Video of the week  A brave Muslim woman speaks out - http://tinyurl.com/ychxm8kg


ByTovah Lazaroff, Eytan Halon, SHOSHANA KRANISH;
JPost 12-7-2017

UNESCO failed to recognized Jewish claims to the burial site of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

For the first time ever, the 21-member World Heritage committee recognized on Friday a significant Jewish religious site — the Cave of the Patriarchs — as part of the State of Palestine.

In a secret ballot vote, 12 countries approved this ruling on Hebron’s Old Town and the Cave. Three objected and six abstained.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the vote as another “delirious” act by UNESCO.

“This time, they determined that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian heritage site, meaning that it is not a Jewish site and that it is in danger."
 
“Not a Jewish site?” he asked. “After all, who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, our patriarchs and matriarchs,” Netanyahu said.

“The site is in danger? Only in places where Israel exists, like in Hebron, is freedom of worship guaranteed for all,” he said.

“Everywhere else in the Middle East, mosques, churches and synagogues are being destroyed,” Netanyahu said. “We’ll continue to safeguard the Cave of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion and truth."

In Krakow, Poland, where the vote took place, Israel's Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama HaCohen, had a theatrical response. He took out his cell phone and said, “Mr. Chairman. It’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris. There is a huge problem in my toilet and it is much more important than the decision you just adopted.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon tweeted, “The UNESCO decision on Hebron & Tomb of Patriarchs is a moral blot. Shame on UNESCO.”

President Reuven Rivlin tweeted, “UNESCO seems intent on sprouting anti-Jewish lies, while it remains silent as the region's heritage is destroyed by brutal extremists.”

Palestinian Ambassador Elias Sanbar thanked the nations who had supported his government’s third designation on the list of World Heritage in Danger, since it was recognized as member state of UNESCO in 2011.

“Palestine has not inscribed a religion on the World Heritage List. Religion cannot be inscribed on such a list. It can only be something that can be felt, something we can fight for,” Sanbar said.

“The Palestinian state is sovereign even though it is under occupation. It is acting within its full rights when it takes the initiative to nominate this city for inscription on the World Heritage List. This city which is on its territory. I think it should be absolutely obvious that the people who have something on their territory are able to inscribe that site. I do think the message is clear, but also a reminder is called for. My lands are the only lands in the whole world which are sacred to all three monotheistic religions,” Sanbar said.

“We have a shared tradition of pluralism which extends back centuries and which calls for empathy and solidarity,” he said. “What has happened on that sacred land is something that is a legacy for all us, be we Jewish, Muslim or Christian or agnostic... The revelations that took place there on that land, the Palestinian land, is not limited to the mosque, the sacred sites on this land are sacred one and all.”

But the bulk of the Palestinian Authority’s proposal to World Heritage Committee focused on the Hebron’s Islamic history in its Old Town, starting from the Mamluk period in 1250 and through the Ottoman Empire which collapsed during World War I.

The Herodian era structure was built over a double cave, where the three Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are said to have been buried. The cave is situated in a plot of land that was purchased by Abraham, according to the Bible.

Located in the heart of Hebron’s Old Town, it houses both Jewish sanctuaries of worship and the Ibrahimi mosque. It is Judaism’s second holiest site and Islam’s fourth.

The United States, Canada and Australia all spoke against UNESCO's ruling, even though they are not committee members.

“The decision to inscribe Hebron/Al Khalil Old Town on an emergency basis is divisive, confusing and impossible to justify. The site is not under any real or immediate threat. The only urgency here is the urgency to express political anger," the US representative said.

"Had the committee shown patience, this inscription might have represented , at some time in the future, an example of the World Heritage Committee as the international community’s best tool for cultural dialogue, mutual understanding and peace. Instead, the politically motivated decision today to inscribe only further stains UNESCO’s reputation and further divides this house."

The resolution that was approved made no mention of the problems with the Palestinian Authority’s application that the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) detailed in its report.

ICOMOS, the professional body that evaluates sites, took issue with the application, particularly with respect to the focus on the Muslim period of a city that has such strong roots in three monotheistic religions.

An initial paragraph summarizing the committee’s reservations was rejected by the World Heritage Committee. A number of member states noted in the debate that the ICOMOS report marked the first time the organization had not clearly rejected a site that it failed to recommend.

After more than an hour of technical debates, the World Heritage Committee adopted instead a new amended text by Lebanon, Kuwait and Tunisia.

That text stated that the Palestinian Authority application did meet the criteria for both the World Heritage List and as an endangered site. The language made no specific reference to any religion or the cave, but other documents related to the inscription do take up both issues.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki praised the outcome in a statement. "This vote is considered a success in the diplomatic battle Palestine is fighting on all fronts."

"Despite the heated Israeli campaign, spreading of lies, the distortion and falsification of facts regarding Palestinian rights, the world approved our right to register Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque under Palestinian sovereignty and as World Heritage sites," said al-Maliki.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely described the vote as a "badge of shame for UNESCO, which time after time prefers to stand with the side of lies."

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman reacted to the vote by describing UNESCO as a "politically-biased, embarrassing and antisemitic organization."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett joined in the criticism of the vote. "It is disappointing and disgraceful that, time and again, UNESCO denies history and distorts reality, knowingly serving those attempting to erase the Jewish state," said Bennett. "Israel will not resume its cooperation with UNESCO so long as it remains a political tool, rather than professional organization."

Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, also responded, saying, “UNESCO’s decision to recognize the Cave of Patriarchs as a Palestinian heritage site is a despicable falsification of history. Does UNESCO not believe that the Bible is heritage? It’s a decision that, at best, stems from utter ignorance and, at worst, from hypocrisy and antisemitism.”

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Abbas's Lies and Palestinian Child Victims


Video of the week;   Revealing Mahmoud Abbas's lies -  http://tinyurl.com/yahwhxb8

by Bassam Tawil 30-6-2017

For the full, extremely interesting article go to - http://tinyurl.com/y97w2lm2

        Hamas and human rights groups hold Abbas personally responsible for the deaths of the children and the possible deaths of other patients in need of urgent medical treatment not available in Gaza Strip hospitals. One human rights group went so far as to call for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation against Abbas.

        In a move of mind-bending irony, we are witnessing a Palestinian president waging war not only against Hamas, but also against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip -- while Israel continues to provide the Palestinians living under Hamas with humanitarian aid.

        That is the standard operating procedure of the man who lied straight to the face of President Donald Trump, by claiming that he had stopped incitement against Israel and was promoting a "culture of peace" among his people. Will the last sick Palestinian child please stand up?

Palestinian children are the latest victims of the power struggle between the two rival Palestinian factions, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has declared war on the Gaza Strip as part of his effort to prompt Palestinians living there to revolt against the ruling Hamas administration. It appears that Abbas and Hamas are determined to fight to the last ill Palestinian child.

Abbas is hoping that a series of punitive measures he has taken, which include reducing electricity and medical supplies and cutting off salaries to many Palestinians, will lead to the collapse of Hamas, paving the way for the return of his PA to the Gaza Strip. Abbas has had a grudge against Hamas ever since the Islamist movement expelled his PA and loyalists from the Gaza Strip ten years ago.

Abbas's war on the Hamas may seem justified. Nonetheless, it smacks of hypocrisy and is accompanied by a smear campaign against Israel.

Instead of accepting responsibility for their punitive actions against Hamas and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Abbas and his PA are falsely trying to put the blame on Israel. They are telling their people and the rest of the world that Israel bears the full and sole responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. This, of course, is a wide-eyed lie as well as another blood libel against Israel.
The attempt to put the blame on Israel should be seen in the context of Abbas's ongoing incitement against Israel.

Moreover, Abbas is trying to drag Israel into his continuing conflict with Hamas, which is a purely internal Palestinian affair. Israel had nothing to do with Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. Two years earlier, Israel had totally withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, leaving Abbas's PA fully in control of the area. Within two years, Hamas had overthrown the PA and seized control of the Gaza Strip, including Abbas's house.


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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Israel’s high-tech diplomacy in Africa


Video of the week - Innovation Africa - http://tinyurl.com/y85je6cv
Article by Ferry Biedermann 6.6.2017
For the full article go to -   http://tinyurl.com/yapgtsh2
Israel is paying renewed attention to Africa over the last few years, not only as a diplomatic arena and an area of cooperation on security but also as an increasingly important market for its companies, with an emphasis on high-tech.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the West African economic community summit in Liberia over the weekend, less than a year after he toured East Africa, and he's due to attend another summit in Togo before the end of the year.
While Netanyahu has said that he hopes improved relations with Africa will prop up Israel's diplomatic position at international forums such as the United Nations, that effort seems to be supported by, and go hand in hand with, an economic drive. In Liberia, Israeli solar power company Energiya Global announced a $20 million investment in a new solar field to supply electricity.
Africa is expected to account for 50 percent of the world's population growth through 2050, currently has the fastest growing middle class and saw an explosive 58 percent mobile broadband growth rate from 2015 to 2016, according to 2016 a PwC report entitled, Disrupting Africa: Riding the wave of the digital revolution.
Among the Israeli companies presenting in New York last year were life sciences firm MobileODT, which makes devices and networked solutions that allow medical diagnostics using mobile phones and Water-gen, which makes devices that literally make clean drinking water from the air. MobileODT is currently active in Africa while Water-gen sees great opportunities, with 40 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa living in water scarce environments.
"I think there is an amazing range of opportunity, despite the fact that the market moves still a little bit slower than Western and Northern markets, the African continent is an exceptional place for companies to grow in," says a representative of  MobileODT . One of the continent's advantages is that it is able to "leapfrog" to new technology because older, more established, and more expensive, systems are often not in place.
In Africa, MobileODT currently sells a device it calls EVA, for enhanced visual assessment, that in combination with a mobile phone can be used by non-expert medical staff to detect either cervical cancer or oral cancer or can be used for sexual assault documentation. It sends the information to centralized servers and follows up on the patient's progress.
"With a technology such ours, which is small, affordable and significantly more powerful than existing medical devices because of its connectivity and ability for collaboration and database management and machine-learning, while the United States is an interested market and we're able to sell pretty regularly there, in Africa the potential to impact is so much more significant," says a representative of  MobileODT .
Water-gen also has big plans for Africa once it starts mass production of its devices to make water from the air later this year. Executive chairman Maxim Pasik says that his company is currently talking to African partners to start selling the devices on the continent. He sees opportunities both in the form of aid projects and selling to governments.
"The most important is through government projects. The people don't have a lot of money but the governments still needs to provide water to drink because drinking water means stability for the country," says Pasik. He also sees a big role for the UN and the World Bank in helping to bring clean drinking water to African populations.
His company's products are ideal for Africa, he says because they can be installed anywhere, can run even on solar energy and are cheap in use. "We created a system that is affordable for Africa and the rest of the developing world. Energy consumption is very low, it's around 300 watts per liter of clean drinking water. And the quality of the water, it's the cleanest water you can have. There's zero chance of having bacteria inside."
He's convinced his product can help prevent millions of deaths from unhealthy drinking water and says that the company went out of its way to make it affordable, also in acquisition.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

EXPERTS TACKLE CYBER HATE SPEECH


video OF The Week -The Rise of Anti-Semitism on Social Media http://tinyurl.com/yax3dys8



Delivering opening remarks, Yuval Rotem, director-general of the ministry said youth spend some nine hours a day on social media so there needs to be a coordinated response.

“There will be no progress in the fight against terrorism unless we all agree that there is one standard, no matter who the perpetrators and targets are,” Rabbi Abe Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said Monday at a conference about cyber hate speech at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Looking to the refrain that “what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews,” Cooper said: “All efforts will be for naught when the people of Israel are continuously subjected to a double standard.”

He referred to a recent BBC headline that made the Palestinian perpetrators of Friday’s deadly knife attack in Jerusalem appear to be the victims while ignoring the death of an Israeli border police officer.

Titled the “EchoChamber Conference,” the event was a collaboration between the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the German foundation Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung’s Israel office and the Foreign Ministry.

Delivering opening remarks, Yuval Rotem, director-general of the ministry said youth spend some nine hours a day on social media so there needs to be a coordinated response.

“This is what the new generations base their narratives on and this means we need to adapt... one of the main challenges is the rise of hate speech and the use of social media for promoting terror. If incitement and terror are becoming global, then so should our response,” he said, stressing the need for global cooperation through a wide coalition of different entities.

Julia Kl√∂ckner, a German MP and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy chairwoman agreed. “It is our chance to influence the future and be a good example for the young people,” she said.

Noam Katz, deputy director- general of the ministry’s Media and Public Affairs Division, called the digital revolution a real achievement for humankind, but said “with the good things come the bad” and that there must be a “reassertion of authority by states.”

“They bear responsibility for the welfare of their citizens.

All stakeholders need to work together with the Internet companies and civil society, which are the real stakeholders. It has to be a joint effort.”

A key principle in that effort, he said, is transparency.

Discussing the question of increased government regulations on social media, Cooper told The Jerusalem Post it’s a battle between “which big brother” is preferable, and suggested that perhaps just the threat of increased government control would spur the social media companies to be more proactive in countering hatred and incitement on their platforms.

He also expressed concern about the impact of the “echo chamber” in the political arena whereby the opinion of young people are manipulated by the content available to them.

“That’s not really freedom,” he remarked, warning: “We’re in for a rough ride.”


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Humanitarian Travesty in Gaza


Video of the week-  Media, Murder and Israel - http://tinyurl.com/y9zlhxp5


For the full article go to - http://tinyurl.com/yaepkxec

By Evelyn Gordon 14-6-2017

Gaza’s worsening electricity crisis provides a textbook example of why many so-called human-rights organizations no longer deserve to be taken seriously. The crisis stems entirely from an internal dispute between the Palestinians’ two rival governments, and since it can’t be blamed on Israel, most major rights groups have ignored it, preferring to focus instead on such truly pressing issues as—this is not a joke—playing soccer in the settlements. But the exceptions to this rule are even worse: They’re the ones so untroubled by facts that they’ve actually found a way to blame Israel for a problem entirely of the Palestinians’ own making.

A brief recap: Back in April, Gaza ran out of fuel for its only power plant because neither the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority nor Gaza’s Hamas-run government—both of which have plenty of money to spend on fomenting anti-Israel terror—would agree to pay for it. The argument focuses specifically on a tax the PA imposed on the fuel, which Hamas won’t pay but the PA won’t lower. The fuel shortage slashed Gaza’s power supply to about four hours a day.

That same month, the PA announced it would stop paying for 40 percent of the electricity Israel sends Gaza via high-voltage wires, and Hamas naturally refused to take over the payments. Israel continued providing the power anyway for about six weeks, but this week, it finally decided to stop giving Hamas free electricity. That will reduce Gaza’s power supply to three hours a day or less.

The power shortage is creating a worse humanitarian crisis in Gaza than Israel’s partial blockade ever did, yet neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch—both of which issued countless statements about the blockade—has published a single press release about the electricity crisis. Astoundingly, however, HRW did find time to issue no fewer than three press statements in May blasting the international soccer association’s refusal to take action against Israel over six soccer teams in the settlements. Apparently, playing soccer in a settlement is a much more serious humanitarian problem than being without power 20 hours a day.

But the Israeli organization Gisha—the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement—adopted an even more dishonest tack in an op-ed published in Haaretz last week (before Israel decided to stop giving Gaza free electricity). Field worker Mohammed Azaizeh provided heart-rending descriptions of the problems Rantisi Children’s Hospital faces due to the power crisis, but was curiously reticent about the cause: He said only that the power plant stopped operating “due to a political conflict,” without ever identifying the parties to the conflict.

He also noted that Gaza’s hospitals are severely short of medicine and medical equipment, but again offered no explanation, not even the lame excuse of an unspecified “political conflict.” Yet in fact, the same political conflict is at fault: In May, the PA stopped paying for Gaza’s medicine, and Hamas refuses to do so itself, so Gaza’s medical stocks are rapidly being depleted.

Only toward the end did Azaizeh finger an actual villain:

Even transferring equipment from Israel that was bought in advance especially for Rantisi is a challenge: Four months have passed since the renovation of the oncology department, with the help of monetary assistance from an American foundation, and they’re still waiting here for essential parts for the air conditioning system. The entry of the parts and equipment into Gaza is being delayed because Israel decided to label them “dual-use” items.

Let’s ignore the fact that this particular lack is irrelevant to Rantisi’s woes, since a hospital Azaizeh described as lacking enough power to keep its lights on certainly doesn’t have enough to run its air conditioners, with or without parts. The key sentence is the clever segue between the paragraph about the lack of medical equipment and the one about the lack of air conditioning: Not only is medical equipment lacking, but “Even transferring equipment from Israel that was bought in advance especially for Rantisi is a challenge.”

Thus without actually saying so, Azaizeh managed to imply that the shortage of medical equipment also stems from Israeli restrictions. And from there, it’s an easy step to concluding that the unspecified “political conflict” behind the power crisis must also involve Israel. In reality, of course, Israel has never interfered with shipments of either fuel or medicine to Gaza, though it has barred dual-use items that aren’t humanitarian necessities.

A human-rights organization that actually cared about Gaza’s humanitarian crisis would name and shame the responsible parties—Fatah and Hamas—in an effort to pressure them to compromise, or at least make clear that the crisis stems from nonpayment and urge international donors to cover the shortfall. Yet Azaizeh’s op-ed makes no effort to address the causes of the crisis; its sole purpose is to smear Israel.


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gaza marks unhappy anniversary - 10 years under Hamas rule

Video of the week A Muslim speaks out against Hamas; http://tinyurl.com/y8cfokxg

By JPost Editorial; June 11, 2017 


This week is the 10th anniversary of the bloody Hamas coup that enabled the creation of an Islamist, terrorist quasi- state on Israel’s southern border.

Now that the Six Day War jubilee commemorations are over, it is time to mark another event that is integrally linked to that historic victory’s aftermath.

This week is the 10th anniversary of the bloody Hamas coup that enabled the creation of an Islamist, terrorist quasi- state on Israel’s southern border. It is an anniversary that few Gazans can celebrate.

On June 10, 2007, fighting between Hamas and Fatah began. Within days, Fatah had lost control of the Strip and Ismail Haniyeh became the effective leader of a new terrorist state in the Middle East.

Since those five days of Palestinian civil war resulted in the separation of the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank from the Hamas regime of Gaza, Hamas has forced its people to suffer several destructive wars with Israel. It continues to prepare for another conflict in the deluded hope of vanquishing the IDF.
 
It had alternatives. When Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 it left behind millions of dollars’ worth of hothouses that could have been used to grow produce. Instead they were used to grow rockets and roadside bombs and to hide entrances to cross-border attack tunnels into Israel.

Due to this continued focus on terrorism, Hamas has succeeded in achieving the highest unemployment rate in the world for a population that has electricity for only a few hours a day and lacks a regular supply of drinking water.

Hamas has used its 10-year rule to turn Gaza into the very prison camp its supporters accuse Israel of running.

Instead of using the foreign aid funds that support its rule to build homes to replace those destroyed in the 2014 war it provoked with Israel, the terrorist leadership diverts essential construction materials to rebuilding its network of attack tunnels for another pointless round, in an apparent attempt to divert public attention from its abuse of power.


Hamas is essentially holding its own people hostage, preventing an improvement of their lives by deciding to dedicate its resources and attention to destroying the Jewish state instead of to the prosperity of its people.

Israel, for its part, has warned the UN that Gaza is on the brink of either a water or an electricity crisis – or both.

The Independent reported recently that Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the IDF coordinator of government activities in the Palestinian territories, sent letters to the UN’s envoy for the Middle East peace process and others urging action to prevent the situation for civilians from deteriorating further. It was the second warning he issued in six months.

“Instead of worrying about the welfare of residents, Hamas is harming them and making it difficult for the international organization that worked hard to supply drinking water,” he wrote.

“Hamas must immediately provide needed electricity to operate the desalination plant for the good of residents, but instead the terrorist organization has chosen to send electricity to its terror tunnels and the homes of its leaders.”

Nevertheless, Israel continues to transfer hundreds of truckloads of supplies into Gaza daily even though it shouldn’t have to. Gaza shares a border with Egypt which should take responsibility for the Palestinians. The problem is that Cairo doesn’t want that headache.

An important indication that Hamas maintains its commitment to its declared goal of destroying Israel was the recent appointment of hard-core terrorist Yahya Sinwar as the Hamas warlord. A veteran of more than 20 years in Israeli prisons, Sinwar is a harsh enforcer of loyalty within the group and an unstinting enemy of Israel.

A decade after seizing Gaza, Hamas is a complete failure on all accounts. It doesn’t provide for its people and it doesn’t succeed in its sworn mission to destroy Israel.

Israel should not expect a change anytime soon. While it recently issued a revised policy document, it did not amend its charter: Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction.

What should change is the Arab world’s attitude toward Gaza. For the last 10 years, Arab states have stayed away from Gaza due to its volatility and an understanding that there is no good outcome there on the horizon.

Nevertheless, if they really care for the Palestinians and genuinely want to see a peace deal with Israel, they can start by working on changing Gaza. It’s been 10 years. We hope it’s not too late.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Was the 6 Day War Unprovoked??

Video of the week:The 6 Days War Explained - In Animation - http://tinyurl.com/yctxpjvb



MYTH
"Israel's military strike in 1967 was unprovoked."

FACT
A combination of bellicose Arab rhetoric, threatening behavior and, ultimately, an act of war left Israel no choice but preemptive action. To do this successfully, Israel needed the element of surprise. Had it waited for an Arab invasion, Israel would have been at a potentially catastrophic disadvantage.

While Nasser continued to make speeches threatening war, Arab terrorist attacks grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks were launched.

Meanwhile, Syria's attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down six Syrian MiGs. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union — which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt — gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt.

On May 15, Israel's Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.

Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force, stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly, as his predecessor had promised, Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs proclaimed (May 18, 1967):

As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.

An enthusiastic echo was heard May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:

Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.

On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel's only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran. The following day, President Johnson expressed the belief that the blockade was illegal and unsuccessfully tried to organize an international flotilla to test it.

Nasser was fully aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel's hand. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly: "The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war."

Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily. "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27. The following day, he added: "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."

King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced:
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.

President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map." On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. Approximately 250,000 troops (nearly half in Sinai), more than 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft ringed Israel.

By this time, Israeli forces had been on alert for three weeks. The country could not remain fully mobilized indefinitely, nor could it allow its sea lane through the Gulf of Aqaba to be interdicted. Israel's best option was to strike first.On June 5, the order was given to attack Egypt.


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