As a scholar, I learned my trade in an era in which the Internet and cheap flight have enabled historians to access an ever-increasing selection of archives. For that reason, my research covers more archives, including several in the former Communist bloc, and in more languages, than any of the books mentioned above. Furthermore, the same process of globalization that allowed me to travel the world also exacerbated tensions between developed and developing countries. Indeed, most discussions of international politics today, from terrorism to the growing number of refugees, revolve around this theme. For that reason, I prefer to discuss the war in its global context. For instance, I argue that Third World countries were in bad shape during the 1960s, which explains why there were so many coups and regional wars, such as the Six-Day War, in that decade. You would think that, with all this self-confident sales talk, deep in my heart I believe that my book is the last word on the subject. It is not, and no book is the last word on anything. Historians are going to keep on arguing about how the 1967 war came about. American and Israeli writers who believe that the Arab-Israeli conflict is intractable and unsolvable are still searching for ways to portray Israel’s attack in 1967 as an act of self-defense. This is part of a larger narrative that depicts Israel as a Western citadel surrounded by a hostile Arab world. Historians who believe that Arab-Israeli coexistence and cooperation are possible seek to show that the war was avoidable and that a diplomatic solution to the crisis of May 1967 was within reach. In short, when we debate the Six-Day War, what we are actually arguing about are the chances for peace in the Middle East today. Guy Laron Guy Laron is the author of The Six Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East (2017).
But the story does not end here. In the eyes of a growing number of Western observers of the Middle East, the alleged Israeli machinations against Syria, whether or not in cahoots with Washington, were not related to actual developments on the ground (., the all-Arab attempt to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River so as to deny them to Israel). Rather, such maneuvers were a vital link in a long chain of aggressions stemming from the Jewish state's very existence as a colonial outpost in the midst of the Arab world. David Hirst gave this thesis a name: "Greater Israel."