“The most blatantly racist slur is the Israeli theft of our humanity." -Hanan Ashrawi







The War of Attrition

After the Six Day War, Israelis remained encamped in Sinai and closed the Suez Canal to shipping. There was constant fire across the fortified line established by the Israelis, and Egypt was determined to test Israel’s ability to keep hold of its newly conquered territory. The conflict reached its greatest intensity between 1969 and 1970, when the cease-fire from the 1967 War was declared void and the Egyptians attacked along the whole line. In the end, Egypt failed to take back the Sinai peninsula.


The Yom Kippur War

Egpyt and Syria attacked together on October 6, 1973, the holiest day of the Jewish year, recapturing the Suez Canal and Golan Heights. However, Israel pushed back the Syrian occupying forces and retook Golan Heights. Israeli troops pushed Egyptian defense back to within 42 miles of Cairo. Finally, the UN ordered a cease-fire which was signed by Israel and Egypt on October 22 and the war was “over.” However, it took more negotiation before the borders were settled for the longer term. Israel and Egypt signed an agreement which gave Egypt all the territory up to the eastern bank of the Suez Canal. Israel was given the rest of Sinai including the Straits of Tiran. These negotiations paved the way for the signing of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979. The gist of the agreement between Israel and Syria was that Israel would withdraw from all territory it captured in the 1973 war as well as some areas occupied since 1967. [1974 Egypt-Israel Treaty and Syria Israel Treaty]


Invasion of Lebanon

In 1964, the PLO had been formed, and had called for the destruction of Israel—whether that is in the sense of destroying the state of Israel or in the sense of changing it to a state where Palestinians could live with equal rights has been contested. However, the organization had grown, and on June 6, 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon to fight the PLO in southern Lebanon and in response to regular attacks on the Israeli northern border as well as to evict Syrian troops. The UN demanded that Israel withdraw, without response. In August, a US ambassador negotiated the withdrawal of the PLO from Lebanon. The situation remained extremely unstable until 1985, when all troops except an Israeli-sponsored militia on the border pulled out. The situation remains comparable today.