There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.
— “For What it’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield, 1967
The birth of “The Summer of Love” occurred on June 1, 1967, with the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
On June 5, 1967, the Six-Day War began and led to Israel’s occupation of the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza and the West Bank.
On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, a spy ship was attacked by Israel while navigating in international waters. Although they were flying the American flag, 34 men were killed and 172 were wounded out of a crew of 294. After eighteen hours of enduring a failure to support the troops by the Johnson Administration, they were finally rescued.
On Nov. 8, 2009, Haaretz reported on a “classified, unreleased” portion of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s ‘Plan’ that offers elements of Netanyahu’s call for “economic peace” and adds justice and common sense.
Concerns are growing in Israel’s government over the possibility of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence within the 1967 borders, a move which could potentially be recognized by the United Nations Security Council.
The reports indicated that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration over U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state.
This would expose that any Israeli presence across the Green Line, including east Jerusalem, is what it is under the rule of law: an illegal incursion.
The plan specifies that at the end of a designated period for bolstering national institutions the PA, in conjunction with the Arab League, would file a “claim of sovereignty” to the UN Security Council and General Assembly over the borders of June 4, 1967 during the Six-Day War, in which Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza.
During the summer of ’67, the Republican representative from Iowa, H.R. Gross stood up in The House and said:
Is this Government now, directly or indirectly, subsidizing Israel in the payment of full compensation for the lives that were destroyed, the suffering of the wounded, and the damage from this wanton attack? It can well be asked whether these Americans were the victims of bombs, machine gun bullets and torpedoes manufactured in the United States and dished out as military assistance under foreign aid.1
By November 1967, lawmakers were willing to spend six million USA tax dollars to build schools in Israel but during the debate, Representative Gross introduced an amendment that “not one dollar of U.S. credit or aid of any kind [should] go to Israel until there is a firm settlement with regard to the attack and full reparations have been made [and Israel] provides full and complete reparations for the killing and wounding of more than 100 United States citizens in the wanton, unprovoked attack…I wonder how you would feel if you were the father of one of the boys who was killed in that connection-or perhaps you do not have any feelings with respect to these young men who were killed, wounded and maimed, or their families.”2
Gross’s amendment failed, justice remains delayed and American tax payers continue to support the Jewish State which has reaped a more violent and insecure planet for innocent civilians.
Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.3
Congressman Paul Findley said:
It is time to speak openly and honestly about Israel. But, in American politics, that is still forbidden. Pity that we cannot seem to shed our fear of Israel. We are afraid to speak out on Capitol Hill, for fear of losing the next election. They are more like trained poodles jumping through hoops than leaders!
Why this fear? How did we get here? Forty years ago to this day, June 8, 1967 the change occurred, the floodgates opened and money poured into Israel as never before. When President Johnson heard about the U.S.S. Liberty being attacked by Israel he ordered the rescue fighter planes to return to the deck. The rescue mission was aborted and the survivors have said they heard LBJ’s voice tell Admiral Giess, ‘Get those planes back on deck. I don’t care if the ship sinks, I will not embarrass Israel.’
LBJ also threatened to court martial anyone who reported what had happened. Johnson accepted Israel’s false claim of “mistaken identity” and he knew it was a lie. That is when the change began and Israel learned they could get away with murdering U.S.A. soldiers.
In June 2005, the whistle blower of Israel’s WMD program, Mordechai Vanunu told me:
When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them. Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.
In the 1970s, Israel built many fortresses and spent lots of money on equipment, but nothing on the people I saw, who were oppressed and under occupation. I got really mad and upset every time I thought about how much money they wasted, but I kept my mouth shut and kept it all to myself. After a year, I finished my training and was assigned to train more soldiers. For me it was all futility and waste; I saw these children become soldiers and thought, What a complete waste. When the Yom Kippur War broke out, I was home on leave. I returned the next day to my station near Ramallah. Soldiers with less than a month of training got called to go with me to the Jordan Valley. There weren’t enough trained troops, and we were lucky we didn’t see any fighting and got to return to base after three days. After a few months, we all went to Syria and the Golan Heights. When Kissinger coordinated the cease-fire, the Israeli army destroyed the area before leaving there…
Fast forward to 2009: Vanunu awaits another High Court date seeking the right to leave the Jewish State while Prime Minister Fayyad, is winning international support seeking a Security Council resolution to replace Resolutions 242 and 338.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War. The preamble refers to the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security.”
242 requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and required the withdrawal of Israel armed forces from the territories occupied in the then ‘recent’ conflict.
On October 22, 1973, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 338 called for a ceasefire in the Yom Kippur War in accordance with a joint proposal by the United States and the Soviet Union for a bilateral cease fire to take effect within 12 hours.
It also called upon the parties concerned to immediately implement Security Council Resolution 242 and insisted that negotiations between the parties concerned would be aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
Fayyad’s 2009 Plan is garnering positive responses from the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Sweden. Haaretz reported that, “Fayyad added that he presented the proposal to the U.S. administration and did not receive any signal of opposition in response.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a mediator between Israel and Syria during Ehud Olmert’s term as prime minister, has resume the role as an intermediary between the two countries. He said his government can be an “honest broker” in such talks but Netanyahu responded with reluctance over Turkish mediation due to the ongoing tension between Ankara and Jerusalem, which Patrick Seale reported on Oct 16, 2009:
Turkey’s sudden cancellation this week of a major air force exercise with Israel was a salutary wake-up call. Evidently, Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan found it necessary to cancel the drill because of the widespread hostility to Israel among Turkey’s population. He has had to take Turkish public opinion into account. Foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu spelled out the reasons in diplomatic terms: ‘We hope that the situation in Gaza will improve…and that will create a new atmosphere in Turkish-Israeli relations…’
To offend the Turks is no small matter. Israel cannot afford to ignore the warning or sweep it under the carpet. Turkey has for many years been Israel’s main regional strategic partner — indeed its only one since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979. Losing Turkey could turn out to be the worst setback Israel has suffered for a very long time.
Turkey’s army is the largest in the region; so is its industrial base. Its GDP, at over $1,000bn (in 2008) dwarfs that of the oil producers, whether Arab or Iranian, and is four times larger than Israel’s own. In recent years, Turkey has greatly improved its relations with Iran and with neighboring Arab states — Syria in particular — and is emerging as the wise ‘big brother’ of the greater Middle East. It has offered to mediate local conflicts and is attempting to spread stability and security all around it.
With the Fayyad Plan gaining steam and a ‘big brother’ like Turkey, peace in the Holy Land no longer seems to be just a pipe dream.
- James Scott, The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship (Simon & Schuster, June 2009): 271-272. [↩]
- Scott: 272-273. [↩]
- “U.S. Military Aid and the Israel/Palestine Conflict,” If Americans Knew. [↩]