Learn about the regional atmosphere leading up to the 1967 Six Day War, the build up to war, the iconic battles that defined the war, and its resolution and aftermath.
Yom Yerushalayim marks a significant day in the religious and historical nature of the Jewish people in Israel, yet it has also elicited different feelings and reactions for many Jews and Jewish communities throughout the world. The downloadable classroom materials are meant to be utilized in one class period (approximately 45 minutes) and combines film, journaling, and discussion activities to engage your students with the magnitude and complexity of these six days of war.
Click on the print icon to download student handout and additional resources.
Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz, Occupation and Terror, 1976 Yeshayahu Leibovitz is considered one of Israel’s leading and controversial public intellectuals. In the following source, he speaks of his concerns regarding Israel’s victory in the Six Day War. In a world from which colonialism has been eliminated, Israel, since 1967, is endeavoring to impose colonial rule on the territory of a foreign people. Two aspects of Israeli rule over the West Bank and Gaza ought to be considered…The question of the internal implications of including one and a quarter million Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza under the rule of the state of Israel…the second problem involves the implications for Jewish Arab relations. The occupation rule in the West Bank and Gaza will bring about solidarity of the half a million Israeli Arab citizens with their brothers in the occupied territories. This will lead to a radical change in their state of mind. Inevitably, they will no longer regard themselves as citizens of the State of Israel, but rather as members of a people exploited by a state.
When reading this, do you find yourself frustrated by what Leibovitz argues or in agreement with his point of view?
Natan Sharansky, Foreword to Gil Troy’s The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland ―Then, Now, Tomorrow The Zionist Idea gave me – and millions of others – a meaningful identity. In June, 1967, when I was nineteen, the call from Jerusalem – ‘The Temple Mount is in Our Hands – penetrated the Iron Curtain. Democratic Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, defeating Arb dictatorships threatening to destroy it, inspired many of us all over the world to become active participants in Jewish history…Forging a mystical link with our people, we discovered identity, or as we call it “peoplehood.” Suddenly, we soviet Jews, Jews of silence, robbed of our heritage by the Soviet regime, realized there is a country that called us its children.
After reading both Sharansky and Leibowitz, whose reaction do you identify with more and what impact can this view have on your life?