Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s article, “Will Egypt Be a
Partner in Peace” (Feb. 20 NYT Op-Ed) erroneously depicts Israel as the historic victim of Egyptian aggression, claiming that Nasser’s “hostility toward Israel set off two wars.” Both the 1967 (Six-Day) and 1956 (Suez) wars were initiated by Israeli attack. In 1967, Israel failed to gain U.S.
approval for a “pre-emptive” war against Egypt because President
Johnson knew that Egypt had no intention nor capacity to war against
Israel. Nevertheless, Israel attacked and went further in that war to
take Palestinian and Syrian land and water. In 1956, after Nasser
nationalized the Suez Canal (to retain revenues for Egypt), Israel
also attacked. President Eisenhower was enraged and forced Israel to
return its ill-gotten territorial gains. If Israel today is “striving
for peace in the region,” why does it not accomplish this by return of Palestinian and Syrian lands invaded in 1967 -- in exchange for which the entire Arab world offered permanent peace in 2002 and 2007 (Beirut and Riyadh Declarations)?