40th Anniversary of the 6 Day War (audio)

June 7th, 1967 - after nearly 2000 years, Jerusalem is in Jewish hands, again.

I'd like you all to listen to an excellent recorded audio documentary of the events that took place as Israel recaptured, after nearly 2000 years, the City of David, Jerusalem. It's very moving as you hear the soldiers and rabbis enter the Old City of Jerusalem, sounding the shofar and dedicating the city to God. Hearing the soldiers rejoice and the rabbis weep as Jerusalem is returned to Jewish hands after 2 millenia. Here it is:

Part 1: Sh'ma Yisrael.mp3

Part 2: Baruch Haba BaShem Adonai.mp3

Today, June 7th, marks the 40th anniversary of Israel's overwhelming, one might say miraculous victory in the 6 Day War of 1967, when Israel was fought off a unified Arab onslaught by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria. Not only did Israel end up fighting off the invaders, but they actually defeated them soundly, destroying almost the entire Egyptian military, winning land and expanding and strengthening Israel's borders.

On the eve of the war, Egypt massed around 100,000 of its 160,000 troops in the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan's army had a total strength of 55,000. Syria's army had 75,000 troops. Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria contributed smaller numbers of troops. Israel's forces, numbering 264,000, outnumbered Egypt, Jordan, and Syria combined. However, this number included reservists -- mostly the civilian population of Israel; this number could not be sustained. Fighting a war on multiple fronts -- Egypt in the south, Syria and Jordan in the north, Iraq and others from the east -- made for a very dangerous situation that threatened the very existence of Israel. Israel expected heavy losses.

However, at the war's end, Israel had gained control of eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. The political importance of the 1967 War was immense; Israel demonstrated that it was not only able, but also willing to initiate strategic strikes that could change the regional balance. The Israeli casualties of the war, far from Israel's anticipated heavy estimates, were quite low, with 338 soldiers lost on the Egyptian front, 550 dead and 2,400 wounded on the Jordanian front, and 141 on the Syrian front. Egypt lost 80% of its military equipment, 10,000 soldiers and 1,500 officers killed, 5,000 soldiers and 500 officers captured, and 20,000 wounded. Jordan suffered 700 killed and around 2,500 wounded. Syria lost 2,500 dead and 5,000 wounded, half the tanks and almost all the artillery positioned in the Golan Heights were destroyed. The official count of Iraqi casualties was 10 killed and about thirty wounded.

Israeli casualties: 880 of 260,000 troops, or 0.3% of total troops killed.
Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian casualties: 14,700 of 230,000 troops, or 15% of total troops.

Playing around with some figures here, that means for every 1 Israeli soldier killed, 16 enemy soldiers were killed. Ouch! In short, the Islamic forces got a damn good spankin'. :-)

I'm not a fan of war; at the same time, I am a fan of fighting and defeating evil, and I know that Islamic fundamentalism is evil. I know the spirit of Islam that wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is evil. Moreover, I believe Israel fighting for its only historical and ancient homeland is a just and righteous cause. So today I remember the 1967 War as an awesome triumph over evil -- l'chaim!

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