39 years after the 1967 June war: A genuine peace or a pax Roman.Dr Salim Nazzal
from Dr Salim Nazzal - 07.06.2006 14:02
On the fifth of June 1967 the Israeli army managed in a blitz Krig to attack three Arab countries without being met with serious resistance .The term setback was used by Nasser to reduce the impact of the political volcano which took place that morning. The result of this war as is known was the occupation of the rest of Palestine and the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula
39 years after the 1967 June war: A genuine peace or a pax Romana peace?
By Salim Nazzal
Al-Jazeerah, June 6, 2006
On the fifth of June 1967 the Israeli army managed in a blitz Krig to attack three Arab countries without being met with serious resistance .The term setback was used by Nasser to reduce the impact of the political volcano which took place that morning. The result of this war as is known was the occupation of the rest of Palestine and the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. The defeat of June led to a wave of self critique which not only touched on the Arab armies poor achievements but also discussed deep issues such as the question of democracy and related questions thought to have played a role in the general defeat. Perhaps it is possible to put the Arab reaction to the defeat with Israel into three different approaches:
The social approach appeared with the critical thinking of the Syrian thinker Sadiq Jalal Al Azm, in his book (The self critique after the defeat) has focused on the social upbringing of the Arab peoples which failed to build an effective citizen. Sadeq Jalal al azm was critical to the traditional Ulema and the religious establishment. Al azm considers that the alliance between the Ulema and the Arab regimes is the reason behind the backwardness in the Arab world, and which objectively led to the defeat with Israel. Al Azm focused on reforming the socio/religious sides in order to free the Arab mind from the metaphysical thinking. The second, which is the political approach, appears with the writing of the Syrian pan Arab thinker Qustantin Zureiq, adopted a liberal point of view. Zureiq focused on the absence of democracy, the lack of scientific thinking, the lack of technology and the denial of Arab masses of contributing to the political process.
Yassin Al Hafiz focused in (The defeated ideology) on the absence of democracy in the Arab society.Al Hafiz thinks that the reasons behind the defeats lie in the despotic regimes, the absence of the Arab masses in the political life,the social and the political backwardness, where the levels of illiteracy among Arabs has reached more than 6o percent, and the failure to construct a scientific and techgnogical base, and in general the failure in modernizing the Arab societies. Both trends expressed two main thinking trends which characterized the Arab thinking since the Arab Nahda (renaissance).The political trend focused upon the priority of the political reform. This trend assumes that it is easier to begin with the political reform because it needs political will in the first place, while the social reform is a long process that takes many generations. It argues that the political reform opens the possibility towards weakening the metaphysical thinking in the Arab societies. While the social trend focused on the importance of the social trend because the experience of the national secular trend in Egypt and Syria in the fifties and sixties demonstrated that the political reform was not enough. The emergence of the political Islamic phenomenon is in their perspective a good example that the political reform is not enough to make deep changes.
The third approach is found with Abdulla Al munjed's book (The seven pillars of the catastrophe) (Nakhba) in which he interprets the defeat from a religious point of view, focusing on the role of religion, and that the absence of strong commitment towards Islam is the reason for the defeats...
The Islamic trend linked between the absence of Islam as a political governing ideology in Arab societies and the defeat. Many researchers in political Islam postulate that the defeat of June 67 was a turning point in the Arab world. The Egyptian Islamic thinker Fihmi Huwedi for example, links between the 1967 defeat and the increasing of the number of mosques in Egypt by 30% from the year1967 to 1969.Yet this defeat has to bring new players in the Arab Israeli conflict.
The emergence of the Palestinian resistance put the conflict on new tracks. Until the 1967 Palestinians were the (object) of the conflict rather being an active players due to the Arab dominant role .And despite the great sacrifice Palestinians paid in the thirties and the forties of the past century they had little to say in the politics of their country. In 1948 Palestinians lost their home country without being able to practice their right of self determination. Palestine was divided by the Zionist Jews and the Jordanian regime until 1967 when the rest of Palestine was occupied by Israel. The Palestinian resistance which emerged in that period was a response to the unjust inflicted on them in 1948 and in 1967. The common thread of the Zionist ideology based on negating Palestinians remained the same: Firstly, to justify invading Palestine they invented the lie that Palestine is a land without people to a people without land. Secondly to justify occupation and murdering Palestinians they denied the Palestinian historical existence (Goldamaer declared in 1968 that Palestinians do not exists) thirdly to escape the pressure of the international community and to justify imposing political facts on Palestinians they say there is no Palestinian partner for peace .The question is what peace Israel seeks, a peace based on the UN resolutions or the Pax Romana peace? The future of the region depends how Israel answers this question.
Dr. Salim Nazzal is a Palestinian Norwegian researcher. The author of (Educating Palestinians in exile.1993). He has written extensively on social and political issues in the Middle East. E mail: email@example.com