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Six Days of War (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Oren
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From Publishers Weekly

This is the most complete history to date of the Six Day War of 1967, in which Israel entered and began its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While no account can be definitive until Arab archives open, Oren, a Princeton-trained senior fellow at Jerusalem's Shalem Center who has served as director of Israel's department of inter-religious affairs and as an adviser to Israel's U.N. delegation, utilizes newly available archival sources and a spectrum of interviews with participants, including many Arabs, to fill gaps and correct misconceptions. Further, Six Days of War is an attack on "post-Zionism": the school of politics and history that casts Israel as the author of policies that intentionally promote the destuction of Palestine as a separate entity and of Palestinians as a people, not least through the occupation that began with the 1967 War. By contrast, Oren convincingly establishes in an often engrossing narrative the reactive, contingent nature of Israeli policy during both the crisis preceding the conflict and the war itself. As Prime Minister Levi Eshkol held the Israeli Defense Forces in check that May, Operation Dawn, an Egyptian plan for a preemptive strike against Israel, came within hours of implementation. It was canceled only because Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser feared it had been compromised. Israel's decision to seek its own security in arms was finally triggered, Oren shows, by Jordan's late accession to the hostile coalition dominated by Egypt and Syria. Geographically, the West Bank, then under Jordanian rule and occupation, cut Israel nearly in half. The military risk to Israel was unacceptable, Oren makes clear, in the context of a U.S. enmeshed in Vietnam and a West unwilling to act even in support of the status quo. Far from being a product of strategic calculation, Oren further argues, occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was also contingent: the consequence of a victory so rapid and one-sided that even Israel's generals found it difficult to believe it was happening. Israel, having proved it could not be defeated militarily and now possessing something to trade, hoped for comprehensive peace negotiations in a rational-actor model. Oren notes that some initiatives for peace did in fact develop. He seems, however, trying to convince himself along with his readers. Oren puts what he sees as Israel's enduring weaknesses in relief: not arrogance, but self-doubt, self-analysis and self-criticism, all carried to near-suicidal degrees in 1967. Arab policy, by contrast, featured a confident commitment to erasing Israel from the map. The Six Day War shook that confidence, he finds, but did not alter the commitment. About the nature of Israeli policy since the war, the book says little, but finds that "for all its military conquests, Israel was still incapable of imposing the peace it craved."

From Library Journal

In perhaps one of the most valuable recent works on this subject, Oren, a scholar and Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem, details events from the Six Day War known in the Arab world as Al-Naksah (the setback) or simply the June war. The book's value lies in its focus and extensive documentation of multilingual resources, including archives, newspapers, reports, books, interviews, and Internet sites. In addition, Oren covers the international, regional, and domestic implications of the war and uses maps to illustrate the geographical changes and military strategies. Many books, e.g., Ahron Bregman's Israel's War: 1947-1993, Tibi Bassam's Conflict and War in the Middle East, 1967-91, and Eric Hammel's Six Days in June, cover a broader period, rely heavily on analysis, or fall short of objectivity. While Oren also recounts some necessary historical context for understanding the war's catalysts and discussing its aftermath, he primarily focuses on the pivotal six days of conflict, dedicating a full chapter for each day. Predictably, the most controversial information is his new findings on an Egyptian top-secret plan that came very close to eradicating Israel's army and nuclear power plant. While this is an essential addition for academic libraries, the book's exhaustive documentary style makes it a lesser candidate for public libraries. Ethan Pullman, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 2375 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 480 Seiten
  • Verlag: RosettaBooks (1. Juli 2010)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #84.609 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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0 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gut , schnell und wie umschrieben 11. August 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
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1 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brillantes Buch über vergessenen Teil der Geschichte 28. Februar 2003
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch ist ein sehr gut geschriebenes und auch recheriertes Buch über einen Kontroversen Teil der jüngsten Teil der Geschichte der immer noch aktuell ist. Leider.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  297 Rezensionen
170 von 185 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If You Have Time for Only One Book on the Middle East 28. Mai 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If you have time for only one book on the Middle East, purchase this book. Much of the current dispute is a result of the events of the 6 Day War. Mr. Oren's work incudes over 80 pages of footnotes, many referencing recently declassified files and personal interviews with the key players.
Although packed with information, the book is well edited and a relatively easy read - managing to build suspense although the outcome is well known.
No one emerges as a complete hero or a complete villian in Mr. Oren's gripping narrative - a tribute to the balanced, objective nature of the work.
After reading this book, the reader will never view current developments in the Middle East in the same light.
211 von 236 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Six Days that Shook the World! 11. Juni 2002
Von dougrhon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The events of June 1967 have been written about extensively. Never before, however, has a book been published that not only chronicles the six days of the war itself but also the factors which led to it. In this important new work, Michael Oren looks back and comprehensively examines each and every aspect of the conflict.
Oren presents the history from a military, diplomatic, political and cultural perspective. Through the extensive examination of archives, official reports, memoirs and interviews with surviving figures, Oren details the roles played by all the major players from the perspective of, not just the Israelis but the Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians as well as the United States and the Soviet Union.
After beginning by presenting a brief synopsis of the Arab-Israeli conflict to that point, Oren describes the series of miscalculations by Nasser that led Egypt into war several years before he intended. A combination of Syrian bellicosity, support of Palestinian terrorist incursions in Northern Israel together with the goading of his unstable general Amer, led Nasser to force the United Nations out of the de-militarized Sinai and to illegally close the Tiran straits to Israeli shipping, tantamount to a declaration of war. As Oren clearly shows, war with Egypt was inevitable the moment the straits were closed. No sovereign nation could ignore a blockade of its shipping.
Oren chronicles Israel's political struggle with the United States and the Soviet Union to permit an appropriate military response to Egypt's provocations.. Despite the clear act of war by Egypt, the Johnson administration, hobbled by Vietnam and fearful of a confrontation with the Soviets, urged Israel to show restraint. Oren describes the agony of Eskhol and the Israeli government in deciding how to attack preemptively without alienating the United States. In the famous meeting between Abba Eban and President Johnson, Johnson practically urged Israel to absorb a first strike. The execrable Charles De Gaulle did overtly demand this. Israeli military doctrine required the preemptive destruction of the enemy air forces. The tension drove Rabin to a temporary breakdown and probably took years off Eskhol's life.
Once the war started with Israel's lightning strike on the Egyptian Air Force, Oren shows how events followed their own trajectory with Jordan drawn in and then Syria and Israel's military objectives changing on a constant basis. Indeed, what becomes clear is that Israel never had any particular political objective other than the elimination of the direct existential threat. Contrary to anti-Israel revisionists, Israel never had any specific designs on the West Bank or even the old city of Jerusalem. Ironically, the decision to conquer the old city of Jerusalem was not made until he last possible moment, even after much of the West Bank was already in Israeli hands.
From the Arab perspective, Oren shows just how and why the war turned into a disaster. The Egyptian forces lacked any semblance of unified command or communications. Nasser's officers were afraid to tell him the truth. While her forces were in full retreat, her air force lying in ruins, Egypt continued to broadcast the basest propaganda that her forces were advancing towards Tel a Viv. Hussein, meanwhile, was trapped by his fear of Nasser and the Syrian radicals into attacking Israel in Jerusalem.
Also fascinating is the extent to which political and diplomatic considerations played a role in military strategy and increased Israeli casualties. For example, Eskhol delayed for so long the decision to take the Golan heights, that the IDF was unable to take the proper preparatory steps which would have included artillery bombardments, air bombings and a night time attack. Instead the brave soldiers of the IDF advanced straight into murderous Syrian fire. This was true for the Jerusalem campaign as well.
Ultimately, the value of this book is that it shows the context of the war. It is easy for revisionists to argue that Israel's conquests of the Golan and the West Bank were not necessary. What Oren shows is that, with the exception of Jerusalem, the Israeli offensives were not for the purpose of expanding Israel's territory but purely for geo-political diplomatic purposes. Once forced to fight, Israel was determined not to be forced to remain within indefensible cease fire lines as she was in 1948. There is no question that Israel's basic war aims were to eliminate the offensive capabilities of the enemies on her border and to force them to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, the nature of these regimes made a peaceful solution impossible and more bloodletting would be required.
Oren contrasts the totalitarian Egyptian and Syrian regimes with the raucous Israeli democracy where decisions on basic war strategy were taken by consensus in the famous "pit". Oren makes a point of noting that, despite the general's dismay and outright disgust at Eskhol's restraint (borne of his fear of antagonizing the Soviets and the Americans), never for one moment did they consider disregarding his orders. The hallmark of a true democracy is the subordination of the military to civilian command. Nasser, by contrast, was in constant fear of military overthrow.
Oren's dispassionate analysis reveals the positive and negative roles played by the major players in the drama. The Mercurial Moshe Dyan does not come across as positively as his reputation would suggest. His inscrutable nature would endanger Israel in 1973. Eskhol is fully exonerated. Indeed, when the full story is revealed, it is difficult to think of another Israeli political figure better suited to deal with the myriad of competing considerations. Nasser comes across as more deluded and broken than evil. Hussein appears to be a victim of forces beyond his control. The Soviets are revealed in all their villainy. This book is destined to be a true classic. It will be to the Six Day War what "O Jerusalem" is to the War for Independence. It is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Israel.
109 von 121 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best Book on Modern Middle East - Better than Clancy Tales 11. Juni 2002
Von Mark D Burgh - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Michael Oren's book is a gripping account of the Six-Day War, one that is clear from his extensive research, no one wanted. Oren shows the complex issues that moved the Egypt and Israel into a deadly tragedy. Putting the Six-Day War into his vast Cold War context illuminates the impotence of the Superpowers, the incompetence of Egypt and Syria, and the dangerous gamble Israel took when launching its necessary strike.
Oren gives us as many perspectives as he can; American, Russian, Israeli, Eqyptian, Jordanian, English participants all have their say. The brilliance of this book is not just Oren's gripping account of the war, but his making the reader understand the incredible pressure that Nasser, King Hussein, and Levi Eshkol were under. This book made me feel some sympathy for the Egyptians, poorly-led, sacrificed to Nasser's macho posturing and cronyism, to Cold war cant, and massive poverty.
What is chilling about this book is that nearly forty years later, not much has changed, as Oren points out.
Readers of Tom Clancy will find real people and real tragedy more gripping than fake heroics; no heros here, just survivors.
55 von 63 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Finest Book on the 1967 War 20. Juni 2002
Von Vladimir Dorta - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Michael Oren's Six Days of War is one of the most exhaustively, minutely researched books I have ever read, a most flattering remark if one takes into account the innate investigative difficulties of the matter at hand. Objective, straightforward and an easy read, the book nevertheless leaves the spirit wanting for more strategic and tactical detail and for many more pages to read. It is that good.

The history-conscious reader will go beyond the common analogy of tiny Greece versus the Persian empire to find interesting parallels with the 1936 Spanish Civil War in the sanctimoniously neutral behavior of the three Western powers, always ready to put pressure on Israel to accept Arab demands by negating her the most basic armaments, as opposed to the massive rearming of Egypt and Syria by the Soviets before, during and immediately after the war. In fact, Israel was able to maintain parity with Egypt only because of the unbelievably large amounts of untouched war material abandoned by Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians while retreating. There are even parallels with Europe in 1914, the Arab leadership making miscalculations just as big as those of Austria. Some of these miscalculations, and the absurd comicality of the power struggle among Arab leaders being such that at times one cannot help but think of the Three Stooges parody of Hitler (Nasser), Goering (Field Marshal Amer) and Goebbels (King Hussein), especially when their bickering led to three military decisions that sealed the fate of the Egyptian army and the war. First, King Hussein made unprovoked moves toward war that forced Israel to preempt in order to avoid a two-front war; second, Egypt switched from the defensive deployment indicated in the carefully developed Soviet Plan Conqueror to the offensive deployment required by Amer's improvised Operation Dawn; and third, Egypt, at the last minute, stopped their own preemptive attack against Israel. This put Egypt's military in the worst possible position, having to bear the full brunt of the Israeli offensive with inadequate defensive preparations. In an extreme way, of course, most of the above point to the essential differences in the political decision-making process between democratic and dictatorial regimes, a basic and important historical lesson in itself.

Among the many invaluable facts and tips in the book that help understand the modern, if still byzantine, Middle East, here are a few: when you thought you had heard the worst about UN incompetence or of anti-Israeli bias in Europe, here comes Secretary General U Thant practically endorsing the Egyptian closing of the Tiran Straits and waiting several days before going to Cairo to meet Nasser until "his horoscope said it was propitious for him to travel." The despicable behavior of De Gaulle, who reneges on France's historical role of armament supplier to Israel and practically accuses Israel of aggression even before the first shot is fired, all for better relations with the Arab world. The heavy Soviet and Arab influence on, British support of, and US appeasement and meekness on Security Council Resolution 242, the linchpin for any future peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict; the absolute worthlessness of "good faith" agreements and documents when the world has to decide between little, insignificant Israel and the many and oil-rich Arab States, a proof that Israel has to go alone, no matter what, when her security is compromised. The inexplicable timidity of the current US policy vis-à-vis terror-supporting, bellicose and deceitful Syria, one almost undistinguishable from the realist American policy of 1967 that was forced by the facts of Vietnam and the confrontation with the Soviet Union. Even Saddam Hussein could well say that the outrage at his gassing of Iranians and Kurds is hypocritical, because he was just imitating the great and world-admired Arab leader Nasser, who repeatedly poison-gassed thousands of Yemenis and Saudis himself. Last but not least, Arab imams, leaders and intellectuals, yesterday and today, telling lies to their peoples and inculcating them with the most extreme and irrational hatred towards Israel.

To be fair, I found quite a few unexpected typos and several misspellings of well known military words such as Tupolev, Vautour, Durandal.

A most recommended book.
47 von 55 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good Book. Factual, but concise. Almost too objective. 5. August 2002
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"Six Days of War" is a good book (but not great) that is written with a military historian's tone. Michael Oren has a long history in the Israeli government and with the IDF which will lead many to instinctively shout that the book must be biased per se. But for such a contentious topic, Oren does a great job of giving as unbiased an account as possible of the Six-Day War and the events that led up to it.
The book is really only about 350 pages, with nearly 150 more of notes and bibliographical information concerning interviews and other works cited by the author. Most of these 350 pages, nearly the entire first half of them, deal solely with the tug-of-war diplomacy between the United States, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and the Soviet Union that dominated the weeks before the eventual beginning of the battles. This is where Oren's hyper-objectivity, although necessary, starts to sap the life out of an otherwise exciting and historically momentous time. But Oren gets through this long lead-in and then rapidly recounts the major events of the quick war in fairly thorough detail. Its with recounting these military tactics and strategies that Oren is clearly at his best.
This book is a well-researched account of a war that radically changed the balance of power in the Middle East, and Oren should be applauded for being as objective (to a fault) as humanly possible.
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