From: Ismail Zayid
To: Canadian Jewish Outlook
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 3:51 PM
Subject: Who planned the 1967 war?
Jan. 21, 2003
The Editor,
Dear Editor:
Abraham Arnold, in his review of Michael Oren's book " Six Days of War ; June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East", in the Jan./Feb. issue of "OUTLOOK", says that President Nasser's 'bellicose remarks and provocative actions' and 'Syrian provocative attacks' were developments that led to the 1967 war. This is contrary to fact, as best enunciated in Israel's leaders' own words:
Yitzhak Rabin, chief of staff of the Israeli army at the time, stated :" I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." {Le Monde, Feb.28,1968}.
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol stated :" The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military build up there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up, south of Israel" [ Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Oct. 18,1967].
Modechai Bentov, an Israeli cabinet minister at the time, stated: " All this story about the danger of extermination [of Israel in June 1967] has been a complete invention and has been blown up a poseriori to justify the annexation of Arab territory" [ Al Hamishmar, 14 April 1972,  and quoted in Le Monde,  3 June 1972].
Menachem Begin, a cabinet minister in June 1967, stated, while prime minister, addressing Israel's National Defence College, on Aug.8,1982, : " In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with our selves. We decided to attack him" [The N.Y.Times, Aug.21,1982].
As to " Syrian provocative attacks", let us let Moshe Dayan, Israel's Minister of Defence at the time, tell us the facts as reported by Serge Schmemann [ The N.Y. Times. May 11, 1997 ]. : " He [Moshe Dayan] said he regretted not having stuck to his initial opposition to storming the Golan Heights. There really was no pressing reason to do so, because many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland...... I know how at least 80% of the clashes were started. We would send a tractor to plow some area, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. and then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that is how it was".
This tells us who planned this war and who were the provacateurs, and let history tells it as it is.
Yours Sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.