THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume IX, Issue # 116, June 20, 2007
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
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THE U.S.S.R. AS THE CULPRIT IN THE SIX-DAY WAR:
A Report on the Briefing of Isabella Ginor & Gideon Remez
By Bryan Schwartzman

THE FORMER SOVIET UNION & THE OUTBREAK OF THE SIX-DAY WAR OF 1967:  THE ROLE OF THE U.S.S.R. IN EXACERBATING THE ISRAELI-ARAB CONFLICT -- THE SIX-DAY WAR AS A FOOTNOTE IN THE HISTORY OF SOVIET DECEPTION, TRICKERY, CONNIVANCE, & TREACHERY DURING THE COLD WAR
FULL STORY:   Coming amid the intense worldwide focus on the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which has also proven to be a time of renewed friction between the United States and Russia, an Israeli husband-and-wife research team has offered up a theory contending that it was the Soviet Union -- and not the Arabs or Israelis -- who engineered the 1967 conflict that continues to reverberate throughout the Middle East.

In their new book, Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War (Yale University Press, Isabella Ginor, a scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Gideon Remez, a noted TV journalist, argue that the U.S.S.R. fed Syria false reports about Israeli troop movements in order to precipitate another Arab-Israeli war.

(The book's title refers to the Soviet fighter plane, the MiG-25 Foxbat.)

The reason for doing such?

The Soviets actually feared a nuclear Israel, and sought a pretext to intervene directly and bomb Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona, according to the authors. Israel has never officially acknowledged that it possesses nuclear weapons, though it's a widely accepted fact that it does.

Stating their case last week at a Center City event sponsored by the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, the couple admitted that their take contradicts long-held notions about Soviet involvement in the events of the war. Specifically, the idea that, while the U.S.S.R. may have helped spark the June, 1967, crisis, it then acted to diffuse the situation, and prevent it from escalating into a global or nuclear affair.

The later interpretation fits the historical mode of a Soviet Union that behaved relatively responsibly and rationally, when it came to post-Cuban Missile Crisis standoffs, an interpretation the authors said historians may have to revisit.

"If the picture we present does not conform with the understanding of Soviet doctrine, then we leave it to greater minds than ours to reassess the doctrine," said the Ukrainian-born Ginor, who appeared with her husband and co-author at a lunchtime program in the Jewish Community Services Building in Philadelphia.

The duo based their thesis largely on the testimony of Soviet military personnel, along with some documentation from the period of the events. Ginor stated that the Soviets had planned at least a year in advance to strike Israel when the Jewish state and her Arab enemies reached a military stalemate. But the maneuvers were, for the most part, never carried out, since Israel routed the Egyptian Air Force and achieved victory so quickly, stated Remez.

Middle East Forum Founder Daniel Pipes penned a positive review of the work in the New York Sun, calling it a "viable, exciting interpretation for others to chew on." But not all pundits have been as kind. Historian Michael B. Oren, now considered one of the leading experts on the Six-Day War, told The Jerusalem Post that he found no evidence in Soviet archives to support such claims.

In his own book, Six Days of War: June, 1967, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Oren argued that a complex combination of factors -- domestic Arab politics, the Arabs and Israelis misreading each other's intentions, and power struggles fueled by the Cold War -- led unwitting participants down the path to war.

So if Soviet fears of Israel's nuclear ambitions truly caused the Six-Day War, what does that say about the longterm impact of the conflict and its results, especially Israel's conquering of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, as well as the reunification of Jerusalem?

And what about the friction between America and post-Soviet Russia, and the increasingly harsh rhetoric coming from Russian President Vladimir Putin?

In the question-and-answer session that followed their presentation, Ginor and Remez took a pass on anything concerning events that followed the war.

According to Remez, that's because the couple self-imposed a news blackout -- refraining from commenting or writing about current events -- in order to focus on getting the book completed in time for the war's 40th anniversary.

"We only took a break to drive our kids to school and back," said Remez. "Other than that, the radio was always off, and the television was always off."


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Israel & the Arabs -- The Israeli-Arab Conflict

Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

Islamism & Jihadism -- Radical Islam & Islamic Terrorism
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy



A Ukrainian-born Israeli, Isabella Ginor is a Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she has founded a research project on U.S.S.R. military involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Gideon Remez has received numerous awards for journalism and was a leading newscaster for Kol Israel radio for 36 years.

On June 6, 2007, the 40th anniversary of the start of the Six-Day War, Ms. Ginor and Mr. Remez addressed the Middle East Forum on their sensational new book, Foxbats Over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War (Yale University Press). In their book, Ms. Ginor and Mr. Remez argue that the real cause of the Six-Day War in 1967 was the Soviet Union. Using newly available Soviet sources, the authors present a startling account of the origins of the Six-Day War that differs from all previous ones.


The foregoing report by Bryan Schwartzman was originally published in The Jewish Exponent, June 14, 2007, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat.


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
June 19, 2007




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