On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Six–Day War of 1967 that was fought between the State of Israel and the neighboring Arab countries (Egypt, Syria and Jordan), it makes sense to retrace the events that led to a conflict that altered the modern history of the Middle East and marked the emergence of Israel as a true regional power. In the Arab world, this event is considered a defeat not only in military terms, but also in political and cultural terms. Some have even spoken of “the Arab unhappiness syndrome”1 and the rancor toward Zionists and their Western allies.
Until the appearance of the so–called “Islamic State” (2014), the struggle against the Zionist enemy was one of the main points in the programs of radical Islamic movements and transnational terrorism (such as al–Qaeda). With IS this aspect has become secondary. This does not mean, however, that it has ceased. Indeed, it can be reactivated as a point of propaganda at any time by the radical movements – as has happened in the recent past – to unite the Arabs.
Before the Six–Day War
At the apex of his popularity and prestige, Nasser became a champion of the Palestinian cause and a defender of the Arab “nation” with an anti–Western and anti–Israeli focus. According to some historians, what the Israeli leadership defined as the “Six–Day War” – simply called the “June War” in Arabic – should be understood in the context of Nasser’s diplomatic and military maneuvers that seemed to indicate the preparation for armed conflict.