In Part 1 of our series on the history of Israel, we looked at the period leading up to the founding of the state in 1948, a phase of legal and illegal land seizures that resulted in the unilateral proclamation of the State of Israel, in contradiction to UN Resolution 181, which called for two states – one for the Jews and one for the Palestinians. This was done against the will of the Arab states and the Palestinians, who were left without a homeland. War broke out the day after Israel was founded.
Part 2 ended with the Suez Crisis. As a result of this second war, Great Britain lost its dominant position in the Middle East. Since then, Israel has aligned itself with the USA in all matters. Another result was the stationing of UN troops on the border between Israel and Egypt.
This third part will surprise many who have so far believed the accepted narrative of current historiography in the West and have not had time to think laterally, i.e. to consult sources that are accessible to everyone and show a completely different picture. This picture makes all parties involved appear in a surprisingly different light – not a good one.
Israel’s image – carved out of the victims of the Holocaust
Western politics and society convey to the general public that Israel is the home of the maltreated Jewish people and was given to the Jewish people by the benevolent world community as a result of the Holocaust. Israel has built up this country as a peaceful bastion and is repeatedly disturbed by envious terrorist Arabs who kill women and children. Israel is merely defending itself against gratuitous violence.
In our article “Judaism, Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Israel: Misuse of Terms“, we have defined and analyzed the meanings of words in order to create a basis for a fair and objective discussion about Israel as a state.
In our article “The unpunished crimes of the Holocaust”, we reported not only on the incredible crimes of the Holocaust, but above all on how the Western powers and Germany let the criminals go after the war, thereby subjugating justice to geopolitical goals. A missed opportunity to atone for one of the greatest crimes in human history. This behavior led to a guilty conscience in societies in the West – especially in Germany, even today – and rightly so.
The confusion of concepts and the guilty conscience led to the current situation. Criticism of Israel’s behavior is reflexively labeled as antisemitic and therefore inadmissible. A reflex that has been exploited by the Israeli state since its existence to achieve its goals.
Greater Israel – not a conspiracy theory
Greater Israel stretches from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean and, from today’s perspective, comprises the following states: Israel including all Palestinian territories, the southern part of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and parts of Egypt, including Alexandria and Port Said.
According to Wikipedia, Israel’s desire and intention to create Greater Israel is a claim made by a few extremists and is dismissed as a conspiracy theory.
“The Eretz Israel HaShlem ideology has given rise to various conspiracy theories claiming that a pursuit of a Greater Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile is the goal of Zionism and Israeli state doctrine.”
Statements by Ben Gurion
When the State of Israel was proclaimed in May 1948 – nota bene in clear violation of UN Resolution 181, which provided for two states – one for the Jews and one for the Palestinians – Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, recorded this in his diary:
“Conspiracy theories are not proclaimed by heads of state.”
Ben Gurion – Standing up mercilessly for Greater Israel – Source: Wikipedia
Another interesting indication of Israel’s true intentions can be found in a diary entry by Ben Gurion dated July 18, 1948, as follows:
“We must do everything we can to ensure that they [the Palestinians] never come back. … The old will die, the young will be forgotten”
Source: David Ben-Gurion, in seinem Tagebuch, 18 Juli 1948, zitiert in
Nakba – die offene Wunde. Die Vertreibung der Palästinenser 1948 und ihr Folgen.
Von Marlène Schnieper, ISBN 978-3-85869-444-7
The statement that it is Israel’s intention to create a Greater Israel, which has been dismissed as a conspiracy theory, has therefore been refuted. Conspiracy theories are not proclaimed by heads of state.
The 6-day war
A short, quick military strike by Israel
In purely military terms, this short war is easily explained. It began on June 5, 1967 with an attack by the Israeli air force, which completely destroyed the Egyptian air force in the Sinai. In the course of the fighting, Israel conquered the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights by June 10, 1967. An impressive military achievement.
The following map illustrates the extent of Israel’s territorial gains:
Closure of the Strait of Tiran
The West assumes that this war, which was started by Israel, was a pre-emptive strike by Israel, as Egypt had previously closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli ships, cutting Israel off from Iranian oil.
According to Israel, this was a violation of international agreements on the freedom of the seas.
What Israel fails to mention, however: This principle of freedom of the seas became generally accepted in the 18th century without being put in writing. A United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was only concluded in 1982, meaning that such an agreement did not even exist at the time of the war. Incidentally, Israel never joined this treaty later either. Furthermore, the principle of freedom of the seas does not apply to all parts of the ocean. Coastal strips have always been assigned to the territory of the coastal states.
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
Israeli political and military leadership – “No pre-emptive strike”
Egypt’s actions can certainly be interpreted as a threat. But defending a war as the only response to a non-existence-threatening closure of a strait is a tenuous justification.
Western academics have described the 6-Day War as a textbook example of a justified pre-emptive strike, and therefore permissible under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
In our opinion, however, this legal qualification becomes moot when even those who carried out this pre-emptive strike contradict it.
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin made the following statement:
“We could have continued to wait, we could have sent the army home. Who knows if there would have been an attack against us? There is no proof of this. There are several arguments to the contrary. While it is indeed true that the closure of the Strait of Tiran was an act of aggression, a casus belli , there is still room for consideration as to whether it is necessary to turn a casus into a bellum.”
Menachem begin – Source: Wikipedia WITH REFERENCE TO THE ISRAELIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Prime Minister of Israel in 1982, Menachem Begin, admitted that the initiative for this war came from Israel and was not based on a threat of war, which could only be averted by a pre-emptive strike.
Not only the Israeli political leadership was of this opinion. Matityahu Peled, a member of the Israeli General Staff in June 1967, expressed a similar view in 1972 in Ha’aretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, and contradicted an existential threat from a military point of view:
“The thesis that in June 1967 the danger of genocide was very close and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence was just a bluff that was created and developed after the war.”
Therefore, it has been established that the 6-Day War was not a justified pre-emptive strike by Israel to avert a major threat, but another very successful expansionist campaign.
However, the real reason for this conflict, apart from the territorial gains sought, lay elsewhere.
Water leads to war
Due to the climatic conditions in the Middle East, one topic is particularly important – water.
There are practically only two natural surface waters that supply the region: the Jordan River and the Yarmouk River.
As the border river between Israel, Syria and Jordan, the Jordan runs through the whole of Israel from north to south. The Jordan has three headwaters. The Hasbani comes from Lebanon, the Banyas from Syria and only the Dan has its source in the far north-east of Israel in the border area with Lebanon and Syria in pre-1967 Israel.
The Yarmouk, the largest tributary of the Jordan, originates in Jordan and flows into the Jordan south of the Sea of Galilee.
Israel’s aggressive water policy
Israel began implementing its water strategy back in the 1950s without consulting its Arab neighbors. In order to cultivate the Negev desert, Israel built enormous water pipelines and has since been channeling the water of the Jordan River from the Sea of Galilee over hundreds of kilometers around the West Bank, through the whole of Israel and into the desert in the south of the country.
The following map shows the extent of Israel’s water strategy, which is characterized by the fact that it has left Israel’s neighbors high and dry.
The drainage of the Jordan River by Israel, without consultation with its neighbors, was a clear violation of common international rules.
These permanent unilateral Israeli measures, which dragged on for years and included the draining of marshland in the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights in the border area with Syria, led to protests at the UN and were not without a Syrian reaction.
In 1964, Syria began construction work to divert a headwater of the Jordan River that was not on Israeli territory. It initiated construction work to divert the Banyas in a controlled manner. Israel then repeatedly bombed the construction site, causing the work to be halted.
The Arab states were not generally opposed to a solution to the water issue and other contentious problems. They therefore took part in conferences organized by the USA, which were initiated by the American ambassador at the time, Eric Johnston. However, unlike Israel or the USA, the Arab states always linked the water issue to the right of the Palestinian state to exist and did not deviate from this.
From January 13 to January 16, 1964, the Council of Kings and Heads of State of the Arab League met for the first time.
In its final declaration, the Council placed the water problem in the border region with Israel on the same level as the Palestinian question:
“After examining the new, serious aggression that Israel intends to undertake against Arab waters by diverting the waters of the Jordan River in order to realize Zionist expansionist goals, [….] the Council adopted the resolution on the practical measures to counter the current Zionist threat in the defensive and technical fields and to organize the Palestinian people to participate in the liberation of their homeland and in the determination of their future.”
It was Israel that started the 6-Day War. As explained, this war did not begin as a pre-emptive strike to save Israel. Rather, it was another war of expansion by Israel to extend its territories into Syria, Jordan (West Bank) and Egypt. Once again, Israel played the victim – with great success in the West.
Within 6 days, Israel annexed huge territories: It snatched the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank from the Jordanians and the Golan Heights from the Syrians, plus the Gaza Strip.
With the conquest of the Golan Heights, Israel not only gained a militarily extremely valuable part of Syria, but also significantly improved its water management position at Syria’s expense. The Syrians then lacked this water.
Not least under the pretext that Syria could drain Israel of a considerable part of “its” water resources – which Israel in turn did by draining swamps and taking land without scruples towards its neighbors – Israel has refused to the present day to comply with UN resolutions according to which the Golan Heights are an integral part of Syrian territory and should therefore be returned.
With the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis retained a significant part of Palestine, which had previously been under Jordanian administration. This also gave them complete control over all groundwater resources in and around the West Bank. As a result, comprehensive well licenses were issued for Israeli interests, while Palestinians were hardly ever granted such permits.
The 6-Day War in 1967 – like the Suez Crisis in 1956 – therefore had a long history that also stretched back to the beginnings of Israel. This war was also premeditated and triggered by the chauvinism of the Israeli political leadership.
It brought Israel one step closer to its goal of a Greater Israel.
After the war, UN Resolution 242 was passed by the UN Security Council after a tough struggle. However, as is so often the case, it was a mere paper tiger. It postponed all decisions to a later peace treaty, which is tantamount to a carte blanche for Israel to occupy the territories.
The 1973 Yom Kippur War
Due to the facts created by the Israelis, Israel’s neighboring states found themselves in a desperate economic and strategic situation after the Six-Day War. In addition to land theft on a huge scale, their water had literally been dug up. It was therefore anything but a surprise that the seeds for the following war had already been sown by the end of the 1967 war.
The Yom Kippur War of October 1973 was the last inter-state Israeli-Arab war. It was a direct continuation of the 6-Day War of 1967 and in its own way expressed the Arab world’s mistrust not only of Israel but also of the UN resolutions on the Middle East problem.
With the fighting that began on October 6, 1973, Syria and Egypt pursued a revision of the results of the 6-Day War of 1967. Syria wanted its lost Golan Heights back, Egypt the Sinai Peninsula.
By the end of the fighting on October 25, 1973, Israel’s position was more secure than ever: Israel still had control of the Golan Heights and complete control of the Sinai Peninsula. The following maps compare the fighting during the two wars.
On October 22, 1973, the UN Security Council called for an immediate end to the fighting with Resolution 338. At that time, Israel had already repelled the attacks by Syria and Egypt, so all three states immediately complied with the resolution.
A longer-term result of the Yom Kippur War was the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty signed at Camp David in 1979. It was once again a great moment for Henry Kissinger, one of the most controversial but also most brilliant diplomats of modern times. Kissinger, who died last week, succeeded in persuading Anwar as-Sadat, Nasser’s successor, to join the American side, thus softening the Arab front against Israel.
Kissinger’s achievements for the interests of the USA cannot be overestimated: On the one hand, he secured economic supremacy for the USA for another 50 years with the creation of the petro-dollar in 1974 and provided his country with eternal friendship with the Israelis with the Camp David Accords, once again at the expense of the Palestinians.
This article sheds light on a period of just 17 years. During this period, Israel succeeded once again in two wars to significantly expand its territory and make great progress with regard to the resource of water – all at the expense of others.
Our reports are based exclusively on facts, not on theories. We analyzed the events, read and listened to what the powerful in Israel actually said or confided to their diaries. We consider these sources to be trustworthy.
There are no fact-based arguments that refute Israel’s goal of creating a Greater Israel and in the process getting rid of the indigenous population of this land and robbing its neighbors.
Israel did and does this without any legal basis. Religious scriptures are not a legal basis, nor are they a basis for serious geopolitical analysis. Furthermore, history shows that religiously based political action inevitably leads to injustice.
Part 4 of our series will deal with how Israel has dealt with this situation up to the present day.
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This article by Dr. Peter Hanseler was co-authored by René Zittlau, a German citizen and linguist born in 1960, who specializes in Russian, Czech and Slovak as well as the culture and history of Eastern European countries, which gives him an independent view of the political and economic development in the respective countries, which he also knows through visits and longer stays. He first worked for the intelligence services and then in the private sector. After training as an SAP consultant, he worked as a managing director for companies in various sectors, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe.