From: Ismail Zayid
To: Globe& Mail
Cc: Patrick Martin
Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2002 9:07 AM
Subject: Israel's leaders own words.

Canada Palestine Association,
P.O.Box 1085,
Halifax, NS, B3J 2X1
Tel: 902.429.9100
June 8,2002
The Editor,
The Globe & Mail
Dear Editor:
Margaret Wente, In her column: {"Canada's big unions dump on Israel" June 8}, contends that it was not Israel that started the June 1967 war. She states: " The Six-Day war [fought 35 years ago this week] began when Egypt, Syria and Jordan massed an army of 500,000 soldiers and a gigantic arsenal of weapons on Israel's borders." This is contrary to facts. Israel's leaders own words separate fact from this mythology.
Yitzhak Rabin, chief of staff of Israeli forces at the time, stated : " I do not think Nasser [Egypt's President] 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}. Mordechai 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 posteriori to justify annexation of Arab territory" { Le Monde, Feb. 28, 1968}. Menachem Begin, who was a cabinet minister in June 1967, stated, while prime minister, addressing Israel's Defence College, on Aug. 8, 1982 : " In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him" {The New York Times, Aug.21,1982}.
Perhaps it is time that Israel's apologists, like Ms. Wente, should heed Mr. Begin's plea and practice some honesty on this score.
Yours Sincerely,
Ismail Zayid,
President, Canada Palestine Association.