Six Days In June: The War that Redefined the Middle East (2007)

SBS Australia

GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP - AUGUST 4, 1967: In this handout photo from the GPO, Palestinian mounted policemen who answer to the Israeli military government patrol the city's main street almost two months after the 1967 Six-Day War, August 4, 1967, in Gaza City in the Gaza Strip. Source:
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Date Added: 11 years ago.

Documentary Description

This program examines the six-day conflict 40 years ago that pitted the Israelis against the Arabs and the U.S. against the Soviet Union, setting up today's problems in the Middle East. Short-lived but revolutionary, the Six Day War transformed the map of the Middle East, forging many of the conflicts that continue to plague the region. Using firsthand accounts and recently declassified information, this documentary not only explores the war--waged between Israel and its Arab neighbors--but also the forces and individuals that led to it, and its far-reaching consequences.

The shooting lasted only six tense days in June 1967, but the Six Day War has never really ended. Every crisis that has ripped through this region in the ensuing decades had its roots in these fateful days. On the 40th anniversary of the war, the region remains trapped in conflict.

This war has long been seen by Israel as the miraculous victory of their "little state" - this enclave surrounded by an "ocean" of tens of millions of Arabs from all over the Middle East. For the Arab states, this was a humiliating defeat suffered at the hand of imperialistic plotters. Six Days In June is a two-part film recounting the true story of the Six Day War - beyond the images and propaganda cliches.

Forty years on, it is safe to say that the Six Day War was a key turning point in the history of the Middle East. It marked the end of the dream of a united Arab nation that would be free of the dominance of leading powers. After the defeat of the Arab states, the Palestinians came to realize that, henceforth, they would have to rely on themselves.

The occupation by Israel of the West Bank and East Jerusalem further contributed to strengthen the sense of national identity of the Arabs of Palestine. The war sparked a profound religious awakening in Israel, ultimately triggering a rise in Islamic fundamentalism throughout the region.

Finally, the events marked the beginning of a historical cycle which saw Israeli military victory lead to a tragic political deadlock that has been causing suffering for the people in the region ever since. To this very day, the return to pre-1967 war borders are still considered the condition for any peace plan based on the coexistence of an Israeli and a Palestinian state.

Shot in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, Six Days In June offers an impressive choice of archives, and an extraordinary amount of new testimonies from varied sources; from ordinary soldiers to generals; from politicians to secret service agents. Part One leads us onto the march to war, while Part Two concentrates on the war itself.

In an in-depth analysis of history, the film offers a greater understanding of the key issues at stake today in the Middle East.



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