The June 1967 war was a watershed in the history of the modern Middle East. In six days, the Israelis defeated the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian armies, seizing large portions of their territories. Two veteran scholars of the Middle East bring together some of the most knowledgeable experts in their fields to reassess the origins and the legacies of the war. Each chapter takes a different perspective from the vantage point of a different participant, those that actually took part in the war and also the world powers that played important roles behind the scenes. Their conclusions make for sober reading. At the heart of the story was the incompetence of the Egyptian leadership and the rivalry between various Arab players who were deeply suspicious of each other's motives. Israel, on the other side, gained a resounding victory for which, despite previous assessments to the contrary, there was no master plan.
Wm Roger Louis is the Kerr Chair in English History and Culture at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the editor-in-chief of The Oxford History of the British Empire (5 volumes, 1999), A Revolutionary Year: The Middle East in 1958 (co-edited with Roger Owen, 2002), Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization (2006) and editor of Burnt Orange Britannia: Adventures in History and the Arts (2006). Avi Shlaim is a Fellow at St Antony's College and Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. He is the author of many books, including The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2001), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Second Edition (2007), Lion of Jordan: King Hussein's Life in War and Peace (2007) and Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations (2009).
Introduction; 1. Israel: poor little Samson Avi Shlaim; 2. Egypt: dangerous illusions Laura M. James; 3. Syria: playing with fire David Lesch; 4. Jordan: walking the tight rope Avi Shlaim; 5. The Palestinian national movement Wendy Pearlman; 6. The Yemen war and Egypt's war preparedness in June 1967 Eugene Rogan and Tewfik Aclimandos; 7. The United States and the 1967 war Charles D. Smith; 8. The Soviet Union: the roots of war and a reassessment of historiography Rami Ginat; 9. Britain: the ghost of Suez and resolution 242 Wm. Roger Louis; 10. France and the June 1967 war Jean-Pierre Filiu; 11. The 1967 war and the demise of Arab nationalism: chronicle of a death foretold Rashid Khalidi; 12. The transformation of Arab politics: disentangling myth from reality Fawaz A. Gerges.