48th commemoration of the disastrous Six-Day War

Today is the 48th commemoration of the June 5th to 10th, 1967 Six-Day War when the Israeli military routed the armies of Jordan, Egypt, & Syria. It is a watershed & deeply tragic moment in history. Israel’s victory demonstrated its value to the US as a fortress for US hegemony in the Middle East & US military aid has been increasing ever since. The war altered the relationship between the US & Arab countries to the disadvantage of the Arab peoples & altered the relationship between Arab regimes & the Palestinian people.

In violation of international law, Israel militarily occupied more of Palestine, including Gaza, the West Bank, & East Jerusalem & launched an aggressive settlement program moving Zionist settlers from all over Kingdom Come to claim Palestinian land in the occupied territories.

Many politicians & liberal Zionists call for Israel to remove its troops & go back to the 1967 borders. That’s essentially the unworkable, unacceptable bantustate solution. The only possible resolution, as long as we have nation-states, is a democratic secular state for Jews & Palestinians with the 1948 borders, including all of Palestine before Zionist paramilitary terrorists dispossessed them.

On a personal note, I was a student at the University of Minnesota & deeply troubled by the media hysteria in support of Israel. I could not have pointed to Israel on a map but knew we were being played. Walking across the campus one day, I saw a lone Palestinian student walking in front of the student union with a placard & asked him why he was marching. In those days, the Exodus mythology was riding high along with the David vs. Goliath nonsense. He was probably afraid of being assaulted & answered quite gruffly, “They stole our land.” Not much of an explanation but enough to know there was more to the story behind the media manipulation. I went looking for answers, found the Arab student group, & have been a Palestinian supporter ever since.

Today, there are millions of Palestinian supporters across the globe & I’m honored to be still among them. I never met that Palestinian student again but he remains for me a symbol of the power of public protest. Massive protests against Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing combined with the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel (BDS) have the power to help bring justice to Palestinians, peace to Israeli Jews, & an end to US militarism in the Middle East.

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