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The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense


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Table of Contents

Part I. A War Is Generated: 1. Who was to blame and why it matters; 2. The Syrian connection; 3. Egypt flexes its muscle; 4. Historical opportunity for Israel; Part II. Cold War Togetherness: 5. Britain has a plan; 6. Southern passage: Aqaba as cause for war; 7. The Americans will not sit shiva; 8. How to attack: we have to be the victims; Part III. The First Victim of War: 9. Turkey shoot; 10. Cover-up in the Security Council; 11. Security Council in the dark; 12. Cover-up in the General Assembly; Part IV. Rallying Round Self-Defense: 13. How to read the silence on aggression; 14. The experts fall in line; 15. No threat? No matter; Part V. War Without Limit?: 16. War by mistake; 17. Defending in advance; 18. A new doctrine of preventive war; Part VI. Peace Sidelined: 19. Permanent takeover?; 20. Blocking the path to peace.

Promotional Information

This book seeks to provide a corrective on the 1967 war between Israel and Arab states using documents declassified by key governments.

About the Author

John Quigley is the President's Club Professor in Law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. After earning his AB, LLB and MA degrees at Harvard University, he was a research associate at Harvard Law School. He has written extensively on international law, in particular on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is the author most recently of The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict (2010) and Soviet Legal Innovation and the Law of the Western World (2007).


'... provides many new insights into the origins of the war ... lucid and splendidly readable account of the Six-Day War ...' Victor Kattan, International Affairs
"A masterly contribution to international law scholarship on the crucial and much contested question of anticipatory self-defense as critically analyzed by way of the 1967 June War, which has been misleadingly relied upon ever since as the main legal precedent to justify weakening legal constraints on aggressive uses of international force." -- Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University
"Quigley shows that the Six Days War, seen by many governments and scholars as a precedent for the legitimate use of force in anticipatory self-defense, is based on a faulty premise. Recently declassified documents reveal that Israel misrepresented the facts of 1967 to justify its attack on Egypt, and that governments and scholars have allowed themselves to be misled without a proper examination of the facts. Quigley raises serious questions about the manipulation of the facts surrounding the Six Days War and the integrity of legal scholarship on this subject." -- John Dugard, Professor of International Law, Universities of Pretoria and Leiden
"In a brilliant and lucidly presented analysis, grounded in recently (circa 1990) publicly available documents from Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia and the United Nations as well as contemporary admissions by Israeli participants, John Quigley repudiates the claim that the June 1967 war was a legal exercise of preventive war against an imminent attack by Egypt. In demonstrating conclusively that Egypt was not prepared to attack Israel and that Tel Aviv was responsible for a war of aggression, Quigley refutes the doctrine of 'anticipatory self-defense' or 'preventive war' for which Israel's claims in 1967 have set a precedent that has been the reference point for many subsequent military actions including the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Simultaneously, he establishes that if Israel's responsibility for initiating the 1967 War had been acknowledged, Israel would have had no claim over the territories occupied in that conflagration and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not have devolved into 40 years of Occupation. This enormously important contribution to the applicability of international law, the failure of scholars to utilize available documents to assign responsibility for the resort to force in 1967, and the deleterious canon of preemptive war that grew out of that failure should be required reading for all scholars, official practitioners, media analysts, etc., who have neglected or intentionally covered-up the facts surrounding the war and perpetuated the dominant dogma officially expressed in our National Security Strategy (2002)." -- Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Editor, The Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
"Quigley, a recognized legal scholar on the applicability of international law to the question of Israel's invasion of Egypt in 1967, argues that the invasion was not a war of self-defense, but rather a "war of aggression"...Summing Up: Recommend"- R.W. Olson, emeritus, University of Kentucky, CHOICE Magazine
"provides many new insights into the origins of the war........lucid and splendidly readable account of the Six-Day War" - Victor Kattan, National University of Singapore, International Affairs

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