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November 01, 2002 - Image 107

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

11

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Unique In History

Author explores the ramifications of the brief, yet
profound, Six-Day War.

DON COHEN
Special to the Jewish News

A

t a time when anyone who can bring some
clarity to the tangled and troubling situation
between Israel and the Palestinians is more
than welcome, author Michael Oren
deserves a hearty hello.
Oren's book, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the
Making of the Modern Middle East, provides a fascinating
and fact-filled framework to understand the complexi-
ties, and the simple truths, of the ongoing conflict.
An American who has lived in Israel for more than 25
years, Oren is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, a
Jerusalem-based institute for Jewish social thought and pub-
lic policy where he heads the Middle East history project.
Oren's book, which came out in June, the week of the
35th anniversary of the Six-Day War, has received rave
reviews and made Oren a "go-to" commentator on the
current situation. Though he has published many schol-
arly articles on modern Middle East history and the
Arab-Israeli conflict, his latest book
brought him to the news show circuit
and onto the editorial pages of the
New York Times and other publications
nationwide.
According to Oren, "The Six-Day
War, as it is widely known, was totally
unique in history. Never has a conflict
so short yielded such profound and
far-reaching results. Seldom has a war,
unforeseen and mostly unwanted,
Michael Oren
concluded so astonishingly."
Drawing on thousands of formerly
top-secret documents, on rare papers in Russian and
Arabic, and on exclusive personal interviews, Six Days
of War reads like a suspense novel. Even though we
know how it turns out, the attention it gives to the
leaders and policymakers provides important depth and
understanding to what transpired and why.
Oren describes how, if a Jordanian apology for the killing
of three Israeli soldiers had been immediately delivered to
Israel by the American ambassador instead of sitting on a
desk for the weekend, the war might have been averted.
Chillingly, Oren writes that the significant numerical
advantage of the Egyptian Army might have brought
them to victory if only the political infighting and
deception in the Egyptian military and political spheres
would have allowed for it.
Oren's upcoming talk at the 51st Annual Jewish Book
Fair will be no mere history lesson, no matter how fasci-
nating that would be. Anyone who attends looking for
insights into the current crisis will not be disappointed. ❑

Michael Oren speaks 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov.
10, at the Jewish Community Center in West
Bloomfield and 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at
the JCC in Oak Park.

SIX DAYS
of WAR

JUNE 1967 AND THE MAKING OF
THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST

MICHAEL B. OREN

Southfield

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1 1/ 1

2002

107

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