In 1967 the future of the state of Israel was far from certain. But with its swift and stunning military victory against an Arab coalition led by Egypt in the Six Day War, Israel not only preserved its existence but redrew the map of the region, with fateful consequences. The Camp David Accords, the assassinations of Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin, the intifada, and the current troubled peace negotiations-all of these trace their origins to the Six Day War. Michael Oren's Six Days of War is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic and important episodes in the history of the Middle East. With exhaustive research in primary sources-including Soviet, Jordanian, and Syrian files not previously available-he has reconstructed the tension-filled background and the dramatic military events of the conflict, drawing the threads together in a riveting narrative, enlivened by crisp characters sketches of major characters (many of whom, from Ariel Sharon to Yasser Arafat, are still leading figures today). Most important, Oren has unearthed some dramatic new findings.
He has discovered that a top-secret Egyptian plan to invade Israel and wipe out its army and nuclear reactor came within hours of implementation. He also reveals how the superpowers narrowly avoided a nuclear showdown over the Eastern Mediterranean and how a military coup in Israel almost occurred on the eve of the war.
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UK Kirkus Review »
This compelling account of one of modern history's shortest yet most significant wars comes together under the guiding hand of the author and academic Michael B Oren, a recognized authority on the Middle East, who is keen to point out that it's the end result of the efforts and expertise of many. Drawing on recently declassified documents and archives as well as interviews carried out with many of the key players in the unfolding drama, these pivotal six days in 1967 come to life in the context of what happened before, during and after, locally and globally. The effects of June 1967 resonate as powerfully than ever, and for many of those closely associated with the maelstrom of Middle East politics, it is fair to say that 'the war has never ended'. It's a Herculean task, then, to look at such an emotive matter objectively, but this book succeeds, taking a balanced look at the diplomacy and the behind-the-scenes machinations. With the Syrians, the Soviets and the Americans, Zionism, colonialism and the Balfour declaration all being added to the mix along with the consequences of European anti-Semitism, UN Resolution 181 and the limited resources of the region, it was clearly only a matter of time before the pressure became too much to contain. Interestingly, two of the protagonists are still at the epicentre, very much as they were in the 1960s. That both men - Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat - refused to be interviewed for this book tells a tale in itself. Sadly, all these years later the Middle East situation grips us as much as it ever did in the increasingly bleak daily news reports. If you're interested in why this should still be the case, you need look no further than this superb scholarly yet accessible work. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Michael B. Oren
Michael Oren, currently a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, is a Princeton-trained scholar who has taught Middle Eastern history in the U.S. and in Israel. In addition to serving as director of the Israeli government's Department of Inter-Religious Affairs, Oren was also advisor to the Israeli Delegation to the United Nations.