The Six Day War
The 1967 Arab-Israeli War is known in Israel as the Six Day War. Many Israelis believe that the war began as a preemptive move against Egyptian and Arab aggression. Israel’s quick deployment soon crushed the superior numbers of the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. In the process, Israel gained control over the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights. A victory of this scale was seen by many Jews and Christians as a biblical miracle in the 20th century. The capture of Jerusalem brought about a resurgence in messianic thinking and major revival in Jewish religiosity. It was the first time since the Jewish-Roman War in AD 70, that the Jewish people held political control over Jerusalem and had unrestricted access to pray at the Western Wall below the Temple Mount. Since 1967 secularism has been on the wane in Israel as more and more devout Jews have begun to call Israel home.
For the Palestinians, 1967 War is the Naksa–the Setback. In their view, the war began when Israel initiated hostilities against Egypt. Once again, the Israelis had a technological advantage over the combined Arab militaries and were able to achieve a quick, stunning victory. Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip, Jordan lost the West Bank, and Syria lost the Golan Heights. When Israel took control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip, another wave of Palestinian refugees fled into neighboring Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. For those Palestinians who did not flee their homes,1967 marks the end of living under Jordanian and Egypt rule and the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. The Arab defeat was just as significant as the 1948 war.