Thursday, May 31, 2007

TIMELINE - 31 MAY 1967

31 MAY 1967

"The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map" - President Aref of Iraq.

"Under the terms of the military agreement signed with Jordan, Jordanian artillery, coordinated with the forces of Egypt and Syria, is in a position to cut Israel in two at Qalqilya, where Israeli territory between the Jordan armistice line and the Mediterranean Sea is only 12 kilometres wide". - Al Akhbar, Cairo's daily newspaper.

(Note: the newspaper referred to the "armistice line", not the "border" which is now claimed by the Palestinians to be a legal boundary).

…Dr Ibrahim Makhos, the Syrian Foreign Minister, left for Paris today with a message for General de Gaulle which was officially described as dealing with "Anglo-American-Zionist plans for widespread aggression against the Arab people" - The Times.


"Time is not on the side of peace", said Mr. Wilson solemnly several times tonight.

Everybody agreed it was a great pity that the Secretary-General had removed the United Nations force so hurriedly from the danger area.

"Taking the fire brigade away just when fire was about to burst out", the Foreign Secretary (George Brown) called it, "Entirely incomprehensible" agreed Mr. Heath. "fatal and perhaps fateful error of judgment" was Sir Alec Douglas-Home's phrase; this was the lat chance for the United Nations “to get a grip on themselves and apply the principles of their Charter"

Sir Alec Douglas-Home: "...the first casualty (of this crisis) had been the United Nations. It would need an immense effort, an almost superhuman effort, to restore the prestige of that organization".

Sir Barnett Janner: " ...they could not expect the people of Israel, who have done nothing wrong, to sit for a prolonged period until the pincer movement had got them so entrapped that they could not go on."

Harold Wilson (Prime Minister): "The characteristic of this situation is the declared aim of one side not to win concessions from the other. Their demand is that Israel should cease to exist - indeed has never existed. ...What had to be sought was not merely how to avoid war but to create the conditions of peace. One condition of a lasting peace must be the recognition that Israel has a right to live. Israel had been for nearly 20 years a member of the United Nations entitled to the respect and protection of the United Nations."- The Times


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