by Haya Luftig
February 26, 2017
The 1967 War (June 5-10, 1967) was a transformative event in the history of Israel and the Jewish people. Surrounded on all its borders and threatened with annihilation, Israel emerged after six days with a decisive military victory against the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. The city of Jerusalem was reunified after 19 years of imposed division with no access to Jewish holy sites. Since 1967, Israel has restored Jewish holy and historic places, protected Christian and Muslim sites, and the ensured right of all peoples to visit their holy sites, subject to security requirements.
While we commemorate this important time in history, the 1967 War also created unresolved challenges with which Israel continues to grapple. The war left Israel with control over the lives of millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. This situation, which has lasted half a century, has caused trauma and suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians. Throughout its history, Israel has consistently made painful concessions, such as dismantling settlements, in order to achieve peace with its neighbors. In 1979, Israel forged a peace treaty with Egypt withdrawing from the Sinai. Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, which has led to vital security cooperation in the face of threats to both nations.
In the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, Israel has engaged in direct negotiations with Palestinian leadership since 1993,forging interim agreementsand developing a working administrative and security relationship with the Palestinian Authoritydespite tensions, terrorism, and other difficulties. Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005, with the aim of improving the situation for Palestinians on the ground.
The enactment of United Nations Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016 has significantly set back the peace process by seeking to impose an unjust solution on the Israel-Palestine conflict through United Nations dictate rather than a negotiated peace. As in previous resolutions, we believe it is in the best interest to come to a successful peace agreement that the two parties need to negotiate directly. Despite numerous efforts by Israel and the international community over the years, a peace agreement between Israel and Palestinian leadership has not been realized.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes that:
- The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes that the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem in Israel’s 1967 War of self-defense is an occasion to be celebrated by the organized American Jewish community.