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8 June 2007  |     mail this article   |     print   |  
Six-Day War deliberately provoked by Israel: former Dutch UN observer
Watch the video
By Daan de Wit
Former Dutch UN observer, Colonel (ret.) Jan Mühren, said last Monday on the Dutch current affairs program Nova that in the run up to the the Six-Day War Israel provoked most border incidents as part of its strategy to annex more land. Jan Mühren, who was stationed interchangeably at the Golan Heights and the West Bank in 1966 and 1967, says Israel was not under siege by Arab countries. Mühren said neither Jordan nor Syria had any intention to start a war with Israel.
Last Tuesday it was forty years ago the Six-Day War started.


Watch the video with English subtitles (the segment is broken down into two parts). Below the video's the subtitles are printed as text.



Downloadable 70 MB Avi (divx4) version: (choose 'free', and then type over the 4 digit code from the image to download).
-
Subtitles:
1 00:00:00,923 --> 00:00:02,647

Tomorrow is exactly 40 years after ..

2
00:00:02,748 --> 00:00:06,091

.. Israel decided to attack it's neighboring countries.

 

3 00:00:06,352 --> 00:00:09,336

In just a few days the armies of Egypt, Syria ..

 

4 00:00:09,504 --> 00:00:11,325

.. and Jordan were devastatingly defeated.

 

5 00:00:11,827 --> 00:00:16,204

The general view then was that Israel would be wiped of the map by their Arab neighbors.

 

6 00:00:16,987 --> 00:00:21,067

But it is exactly the opposite, says Jan Mühren a former UN observer.

 

7 00:00:21,624 --> 00:00:26,879

Our reporter traveled with him to the Middle-East in an attempt to reconstruct what happened.

 

8 00:00:31,294 --> 00:00:33,118

It's a journey in time.

 

9 00:00:33,957 --> 00:00:37,569

40 years after he shot these images with his 8 mm camera..

 

10 00:00:38,138 --> 00:00:41,914

.. Jan Mühren is back for the first time in the West Bank.

 

11 00:00:48,246 --> 00:00:50,881

An unique experience.

 

12 00:00:50,882 --> 00:00:56,153

And I have to say from Jerusalem the landscape has changed so much.

 

13 00:00:56,753 --> 00:00:58,944

We have seen some beautiful settlements.

 

14 00:00:59,828 --> 00:01:05,049

The wall.. this is actually really unimaginable.

 

15 00:01:09,475 --> 00:01:18,356

In 1966 and 1967 Jan Mühren was stationed as UN observer at the Israeli border.

 

16 00:01:20,153 --> 00:01:25,699

Here he witnessed in person how Israel was continuously provoking it's Arab neighbors.

 

17 00:01:25,700 --> 00:01:32,454

He never reconciled himself in the way in which the Six-Day War ended up in our history books.

 

18 00:01:33,914 --> 00:01:35,554

The general view improved a little ..

 

19 00:01:36,039 --> 00:01:40,670

.. but the image we had in the first few decades afterwards was totally outdated.

 

20 00:01:41,373 --> 00:01:46,854

The small Israel being threatened from all sides ..

 

21 00:01:47,426 --> 00:01:48,663

.. that is completely incorrect.

 

22 00:01:49,008 --> 00:01:50,008

It's totally incorrect?

 

23 00:01:50,133 --> 00:01:51,288

- Yes, nothing adds up.

 

24 00:01:53,501 --> 00:01:55,352

This is Samua ..

 

25 00:01:55,711 --> 00:01:58,693

.. a small Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank territory.

 

26 00:01:59,085 --> 00:02:02,179

Before the Six-Day War it was part of Jordan.

 

27 00:02:03,219 --> 00:02:08,509

The inhabitants of this village have never forgotten the date of November 13, 1966 ..

 

28 00:02:09,382 --> 00:02:16,458

.. when a large Israeli force of over 1000 soldiers with planes and tanks attacked Samua.

 

29 00:02:27,178 --> 00:02:30,564

A meeting with the Samua municipality spokesperson.

 

30 00:02:30,617 --> 00:02:33,705

As 17 year old boy he was witness to the Israeli attack.

 

31 00:02:42,318 --> 00:02:48,135

Khalil Abu Lkibash remembers exactly what happened that early Sunday morning in November.

 

32 00:03:07,361 --> 00:03:09,915

He shows the cave where he then sought refuge.

 

33 00:03:34,304 --> 00:03:39,118

While the inhabitants of Samua went in hiding, the Israeli army went on a rampage.

 

34 00:03:40,516 --> 00:03:42,947

More than 80 homes were demolished.

 

35 00:03:42,948 --> 00:03:48,590

15 Jordanian soldiers and 3 civilians lost their lives in the attack.

 

36

00:03:49,220 --> 00:03:54,100

It was an Israeli retaliation for a terrorist strike by Palestinian terrorists ..

 

37 00:03:54,862 --> 00:03:57,464

.. but they didn't come from this place.

 

38 00:03:59,194 --> 00:04:04,160

Had the people from this village anything to do with the attack on Israel?

 

39 00:04:04,411 --> 00:04:11,186

- Well no. Not just from this village but also NOT from the entire West Bank.

 

40 00:04:11,423 --> 00:04:18,241

That last half year we, I mean my UN colleagues and I, Belgians ..

 

41 00:04:18,242 --> 00:04:25,924

.. only western officers operated here and we did patrols. The situation was completely calm.

 

42 00:04:49,530 --> 00:04:55,897

In the UN Security Council the Israeli attack on Samua was condemned in harsh terms.

 

43 00:05:16,143 --> 00:05:21,745

The Israeli historian Michael Oren wrote an authoritative book on the Six-Day war.

 

44 00:05:21,746 --> 00:05:27,002

Also according to him Israel had nothing to fear from Jordan when it attacked Samua.

 

45 00:05:41,630 --> 00:05:46,623

The UN observers were busy in the months prior to the war.

 

46 00:05:47,399 --> 00:05:49,847

They drove from incident to incident.

 

47 00:05:50,297 --> 00:05:52,270

There were firefights going on between the two sides.

 

48 00:05:52,271 --> 00:05:56,562

And in April '66 Israel even took down a Syrian Mig.

 

49 00:06:04,398 --> 00:06:07,242

A former Syrian position on the Golan Heights.

 

50 00:06:07,742 --> 00:06:10,402

Now it's a war memorial.

 

51 00:06:11,466 --> 00:06:14,403

From this place the Jewish kibbutzes were constantly being shot at.

 

52 00:06:14,404 --> 00:06:19,426

At least, according to the Israeli version of events.

 

53 00:06:34,242 --> 00:06:37,019

Frankly I believe this is a case of falsification of history.

 

54 00:06:37,020 --> 00:06:40,921

Last century's largest chapter of falsification of history.

 

55 00:06:41,728 --> 00:06:43,979

This is a lie?

- An absolute lie!

 

56 00:06:45,093 --> 00:06:48,782

Syria posed no threat to Israel, says Mühren.

 

57 00:06:49,038 --> 00:06:51,171

It was the exact opposite.

 

58 00:06:52,399 --> 00:06:56,779

This was the location of the UN observation post.

 

59 00:06:57,402 --> 00:07:01,002

From this place Mühren observed how the Israelis provoked a border incident..

 

60 00:07:01,969 --> 00:07:03,764

.. with armored tractors.

 

61 00:07:05,314 --> 00:07:09,149

Those armored tractors were fully loaded..

 

62 00:07:09,563 --> 00:07:18,292

.. and went in, two in front, one backup in the rear, into the demilitarized zone.

 

63 00:07:18,293 --> 00:07:20,457

Where they had no business going to.

 

64 00:07:20,458 --> 00:07:22,175

It was in breach of the truce.

 

65 00:07:22,675 --> 00:07:26,848

On that moment shots were fired from the Golan Heights.

 

66 00:07:26,849 --> 00:07:32,476

First a couple of gun shots, then later some bursts of machine gun fire.

 

67 00:07:33,476 --> 00:07:36,178

And the Israelis who had positions over there clearly waited ..

 

68 00:07:36,678 --> 00:07:44,728

.. until we took note of the shots. That the first shots originated from the Syrians.

 

69 00:07:45,392 --> 00:07:48,817

And after that within half an hour the whole area was on fire.

 

70 00:08:00,901 --> 00:08:02,698

Why did the Israelis do that?

 

71 00:08:03,432 --> 00:08:09,567

- To take possession of another piece of demilitarized zone.

 

72 00:08:09,568 --> 00:08:16,757

First they simply used the farmers from the kibbutzes to grab land.

 

73 00:08:17,169 --> 00:08:20,966

And later it became military operations.

 

74 00:08:21,905 --> 00:08:25,180

Moshe Dayan, the famous Israeli war hero has admitted ..

 

75 00:08:25,181 --> 00:08:32,268

.. long after the Six-Day war that the majority of incidents were provoked by Israel.

 

76 00:08:33,314 --> 00:08:36,213

He did this in a conversation with journalist Rami Tal.

 

77 00:08:36,214 --> 00:08:40,186

The conversation was only published after the death of Dayan.

 

78 00:09:26,192 --> 00:09:29,202

In the Netherlands little of this transpired.

 

79 00:09:30,157 --> 00:09:33,503

This is the Mannopam gate in Jerusalem, in Israel.

 

80 00:09:33,504 --> 00:09:41,009

The only border crossing into the Arab countries surrounding Israel: Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

 

81 00:09:41,010 --> 00:09:45,298

The only opening in likely the world's most fiercely contested border.

 

82 00:09:45,382 --> 00:09:48,369

The media stands firmly on Israel's side.

 

83 00:09:48,370 --> 00:09:52,227

In November 1966 the current affairs program AVRO Televizier ..

 

84 00:09:52,228 --> 00:09:55,582

.. reports on how the Jewish state is being threatened from all sides.

 

85 00:09:56,449 --> 00:09:58,689

Syria is sending tanks to the Israeli borders.

 

86 00:09:59,168 --> 00:10:03,392

Egypt flew some Mig fighter squadrons to Syria.

 

87 00:10:03,569 --> 00:10:05,975

Around Damascus and near the border with Israel ..

 

88 00:10:06,737 --> 00:10:10,288

.. Russian experts are active installing anti-aircraft rockets.

 

89 00:10:10,667 --> 00:10:15,613

In Israel an increasing number of voices call for teaching the Arabs a heavy handed lesson.

 

90 00:10:15,614 --> 00:10:21,796

Since January 1963 the Arabs conducted no less than 66 raids on Israel ..

 

91 00:10:22,482 --> 00:10:27,386

.. while the Security Council or the Truce Commission is unable to do anything against it.

 

92 00:10:27,387 --> 00:10:31,070

Not one single word about the Israeli provocations.

 

93 00:10:32,529 --> 00:10:37,667

Mühren returned home to the Netherlands just before the start of the Six-Day War.

 

94 00:10:37,668 --> 00:10:41,282

On his return he tells in an interview with the 'Army Courier' what he has seen.

 

95 00:10:41,283 --> 00:10:45,229

The publication of the article was canceled by the upper echelons.

 

96 00:10:45,230 --> 00:10:52,789

That article never got published. A few weeks later we got notice that the article would not ..

 

97 00:10:53,250 --> 00:11:01,616

.. appear in the May '67 issue because it was incompatible with the sentiments of the population.

 

98 00:11:01,617 --> 00:11:03,859

This is literally what they said?

- This is literally what they said.

 

99 00:11:06,884 --> 00:11:14,576

After all these incidents and exchanges of fire on June the 5th, 1967, the war broke out.

 

100 00:11:14,577 --> 00:11:20,697

Israel attacked Egypt and defeated in 6 days all neighboring Arab countries.

 

101 00:11:20,698 --> 00:11:26,850

East-Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights were captured.

 

102 00:11:29,303 --> 00:11:34,600

For Samua the war was the beginning of the occupation that now has endured for 40 years.

 

103 00:11:34,601 --> 00:11:37,879

The village has now been rebuilt ..

 

104 00:11:37,880 --> 00:11:42,249

.. but the inhabitants lost much of their land to Israeli colonists.

 

105 00:11:42,981 --> 00:11:46,105

Since recently there is also 'the wall' ..

 

106 00:11:46,106 --> 00:11:50,097

.. that's why the people from Samua cannot go to their jobs in Israel.

 

107 00:11:50,861 --> 00:11:56,355

The war that lasted 6 days for the Israelis is for the Palestinians far from over.

 

108 00:12:08,934 --> 00:12:11,892

A solution has to be found.

It is there actually ..

 

109 00:12:11,893 --> 00:12:19,977

.. but it has to be executed. And that must happen on short term.

 

110 00:12:19,978 --> 00:12:24,639

Israel has to be pressured.

This cannot continue.

____________________________________________________________________________

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