----- Original Message -----

From: Ismail Zayid

To: outlook@vcn.bc.ca

Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 7:22 PM

Subject: The historic facts and the June 1967 war.


May 27, 2007


The Editor,



Dear Editor:


If Mr. Bennett Muraskin, [Letter, "More on Six Day War" May/June 2007], is unable or unwilling to accept Israel's top military and political readers' assertions that Nasser had neither the ability nor intention to attack Israel, then, I am afraid, my statements, relating the facts, will not change his closed mind. The historic facts about this war are as follows.


Levi Eshkol, Israel's prime minister at the time, in April 1967, made statements threatening Syria with attacks on Damascus, and there were reports that the Israeli army was massing troops close to Syrian borders. Syria, having a mutual defence pact with Egypt and other Arab League states, called for military support. Egypt, at the time, was fighting a war in Yemen and  President Nasser, reluctantly moved a small part of his army from Yemen to the Sinai, as a gesture of support. His call, on UN troops to withdraw from the Egyptian- Israeli border, came under pressure from other neighbouring Arab sources, chastising him for lack of genuine interest in taking any military action if Syria was attacked by Israel, while UN troops were separating his troops from Israel.


Mr. Muraskin asks : " What diplomatic efforts did Nasser make to avert war?" In fact, he was taking desperate efforts to avert war, but these efforts were met by Israeli determination to wage war, as its leaders asserted. In response to UN debate on the issue and contacts with the US, President Nasser was dispatching his vice president, Zakarieh Muhyie-Iddin, on Monday June, June 5, to Wahington to meet with President Johnson to find a diplomatic solution to resolve the crisis. On the morning of June 5, the vice president was at Cairo airport waiting to pick his flight to Wahington, when Israeli air force launched its massive bombing attack on Cairo and other Egyptian airports, as well as marching its army in its invasion of Sinai. That brought to an end any possibility of a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, which was clearly contrary to the declared objective of Israel's leaders, as confirmed in the statements by Yitzhak Rabin, and Menachem Begin, amongst others, who planned to wage war.


These facts speak for themselves if anybody, with an open mind, is willing to see.




Ismail Zayid, MD.