If You Can Imagine That, You Will Begin to Understand.

It is now June 4th. In Israel, forty years ago, the world was about to end.

Abba Eban had been dispatched to the US days earlier to plead for the life of Israel. Successive members of the Johnson administration said that Israel was being alarmist and that she would get no help. Finally, President Johnson himself shook his head.

To his credit, the President did ask the CIA whether the Mossad might have a better picture of the situation. However, the CIA could not accept the possibility that anyone could have better intelligence, especially since their own sources were coming up empty. The CIA was unable to believe that Israel’s intelligence services had intercepted agreements between Syria, Egypt, and Jordan to annihilate Israel.

With the numerical and strategic superiority of the Arab armies, Israel knew that her existence was now measured in hours – unless something could be done first.

Rebuffed by the Johnson administration and faced with her imminent destruction, Israel made the fateful decision to try and even the heavy odds against her by initiating the attack. With so little support from the West, maintaining a static defense and allowing the Arab armies to choose the time and place of battle was suicide – unthinkable. So, late on June 4th, sealed orders went out to the air force to launch Operation Focus the next morning.

But, on June 4th, the average Israeli could not have known what would transpire the next day. The soldiers on the front lines could not have known that the next morning would begin the war. The wives and children and parents could only wonder if tomorrow, or the next day, would be the end.

No one, except a select few knew anything of Israel’s plans. Some few more knew parts of the plan, and the Israeli army and air force had trained with the hope of winning, not losing. But, for all that, optimism was in short supply.

Those who knew what Israel faced had little to hope for, and everyone prayed for a miracle.

Israelis crouched around their radios waiting to hear some ray of light that they could pin some expectation of survival to. Instead, they heard the steady drum beat of rejection. Each and every nation of the West shook their head. The U.N. said that they could do nothing.

At the same time, Arab radio stations spoke of the annihilation of Israel. The calls to prayer from the mosques reverberated with the rejoicing of Israel’s eventual destruction.

In Israel, each day saw the cloud of despair pressed tighter and tighter. June 4th had to have been the darkest of them all. To the average Israeli, it was The Holocaust all over again. Just a generation before, their fathers and grandfathers had died in the gas chambers and death camps of Hitler, and now they were about to die at the hands of the Arabs.

If you can imagine that, you will begin to understand.

2 thoughts on “If You Can Imagine That, You Will Begin to Understand.

  1. Not to sound stupid or anything, but haven’t you been talking about that for a few weeks now? Six Day War, right? I think I get how majorly important it is. A miracle. The Arabs are eternally humiliated.

    What I don’t understand is your organization…not that mine is any better..but if I remember correctly, you talked about before and after and parts of the war, but is there any significant order? It must just depend on our perspective.

    I had an AWESOME World Civ. professor who concentrated on each country: India, China..etc. We had to remember the exact dates, but it was so much easier/meaningful to focus on one country at a time, and then put it all together..nothing like in High School when we studied chronological years throughout the world..blahblahblah..I learned absolutely nothing.

  2. Actually, that really wasn’t too long ago..I wasn’t even born yet:)
    Wow, they (the angry Arabs) have really become organized into little, radical cells since then

Comments are closed.