May 25, 2011

The Borders of June 4, 1967 Are Indefensible.. Are They Really?

I don't understand why Bibi, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, keeps saying and insisting that the reason we won't go back to the borders of June 4, 1967 is because those borders are indefensible.

As a matter of fact, those borders proved very defensible. The Six Day War was perhaps Israel's greatest military victory (I only say perhaps because perhaps the War of Independence in 1948 was greater, as there was no real army, nor weapons, at the time) in the 63 years of Israel's existence, fending off three invading armies from hostile neighboring countries with populations far greater than Israel's. And Israel did it fighting from behind the borders of June 4, 1967.

So the 1967 borders are defensible, or at least as defensible or indefensible as any other border delineation.

The only thing I might add is that by saying it, and continuing to repeat it and pound it into the world's minds, we are minimizing the victory, minimizing the intervention of Hashem mind you.

Bibi's speech, as always, was great. There is nobody today who can speak about anything and about Israel in particular, the way Bibi can. The line about the borders being indefensible bothers me.


  1. Remember that in 1967 Israel preempted the Arab attacks. Without that preemption, the borders may very well have proven to be indefensible.

    Another consideration is that in 1967 we fought back invading armies. However, today there is a significant threat of small bands of terrorists infiltrating the border into Israel. In that respect, the borders of June 4, 1967 may prove to be indefensible.

  2. Granted, it was Hashem that oversaw our victory in the Six Day War, but are you saying, Rafi, that since we succeeded in defending ourselves once from the '67 borders, we should be "somech al hanes" and assume it will happen again, regardless of whether our borders are easy to defend?

  3. This video actually explains it pretty well...

  4. Second Menachem; watch the video and then comment.

  5. The video is good, but it doesn't answer Rafi's point, which is if they were defensible once, why are they not defensible now? Very little of what was presented in the video was not true in 1967. What has changed?

  6. As yoni r. wrote, the only reason they were defensible is because we attacked first from them.
    Think about how far the Syrians and Egyptians progressed in 73 before being stopped.
    Now imagine that against a country that is 9 miles wide.

  7. What if they were and are totally indefensible and it's a nes nigleh that we won?

  8. Any place is 'defensible' if you have enough heavy weaponry, but that doesn't make it the best way possible.

    Being prepared doesn't mean that you are not relying upon G-d. One doesn't just sit back and say G-d will protect me. One has to do something about it, and throught those actions, hopefully G-d will deam the person worthy of being saved. For examples, think abt the Mirrer Yeshiva in Europe that was saved b/c they did their utmost to escape. Or even think about Yetziat Mitzrayim, בדמייך חיי בדמייך חיי, only after doing the mitzvos of Bris Milah and Korban Pesach, displaying their dedication to G-d, were they finally deemed worth of being redeemed. And even then, they needed a leader to actually lead and guide them out.

    In short, we need to do our best preparation and let G-d worry about the rest. This is our hishtadlus.

  9. This article shocked me. Since when are we supposed to rely on miracles lechatchila?

  10. nobody said to rely on miracles lechatchila, though we really are relying on the same miracles whether it is 9 miles wide, or 20 miles wide.

    I just said he says they are indefensible, but we already won the war with those borders. the point of it being pre-emptive is a good point, and had we not pre-empted maybe it would not have been defensible. might be true.

  11. Rafi,

    First off like others have said, these borders were irrelevant in '67.

    If, after '67, for some reason we would have returned the WB to Jordon and Jordon joined the attack in '73 from there if we won, which would have been unlikely, in that scenario, the casualties would have been higher by a multiple.

    Also, those were conventional wars fought against nation states. Today's asymmetric terror warfare is a different ballgame as we know better than anyone. And as we know every second counts and the ability to intercede weapons flow is paramount.

    As you can see from the video the issue is not the line on the west side of the West Bank that is being discussed when people like Bibi refer to defensible borders. They are talking about the Jordan valley, which the video makes clear of the importance.

    As for your bitachon issue. The hishtadlut of harping on this issue is no less important that the hishtadlut of having a standing army and up to date military hardware.

  12. Pres.obama focused the need for security measures that are able to curb this kind of terrorism and other threats to the security of Israel. It is a fundamental element, an important foundation of peace we seek and work. And we have to thank him for that, the efforts to move this peace for us and our neighbors, our region and I think we can say that it’s for the whole world.

  13. No experienced soldier chooses ab initio to enter an action or battle with no tactical depth. No room *at all* for mistakes, maneuvering, regrouping, escaping. It isn't rational.

    No national government plans for war on its borders without the same considerations on a strategic level. The pre-Six Day War borders left no margin for error or adaptation even then. With today's updated weaponry, that is even more true.

    Do you recall the Interstate road system in the US? How do you think that came about? Why did the US gov't pay for it with tax dollars? Because those roads are primarily designated as the arteries for military traffice to move troops and materiel within the US in case of invasion and the need to regroup and respond. Israel has no such strategic and geographical depth, even now. It would be a lot worse with tighter borders. Do you realize that in '73, Syrian tanks made it to Gesher Bnot Yaakov? They only stopped because they feared a (non-existent) trap. In '48 they actually reached Degania!

  14. I think I was misunderstood. i am starting to get that feeling. I am not saying we can and should go back to the June 4 1967 borders as they are defensible. I know it would be difficult and maybe devastating.

    I am just commenting on the usage of the "indefensible" when we already won a war on those terms.

  15. The simple answer to your question is that it's hyperbole that is 100% necessary in the war of opinion.

  16. The reason why we preemptively attacked the arab armies in '67 was precisely BECAUSE our borders were indefensible and had they been breached in an attack, it's very possible we would have all been slaughtered.

  17. Today there are much more modern weapons including missiles which can reach every city in Israel from the west bank. Israel is concerned over the smuggling of these weapons into the west bank post a Palestinian state. This is why, if you listen to Bibi, he keeps talking about controlling the Jordan Valley. I don't think he is insisting on settlement there- just a military presence in the Jordan valley for this reason. As we have seen from gaza- if we don't control the borders around the new state the weapons wil be freely smuggled in.

  18. I disagree with Menachem (though a plausible answer).

    I say those borders were *indeed* indefensible.

    1. Hashem truly did a miracle for us.

    2. The borders were not defended. A pre-emptive strike was launched from within those borders; partly because rationally they were *indefensible*.

  19. Somehow the idea that "1967 borders were defensible" feels like an incorrect math equation.

    In 1967 Israel started with one set of borders, but in order to protect those borders it went beyond them - and the war ended beyond them.

    If Israel didn't sit on those 1967 borders and fend off the enemy, what makes them defensible?


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