Elie Wiesel’s Report from Israel in the Aftermath of the Six-Day War

In the 1960s, Elie Wiesel worked as a journalist for the Forverts, then one of America’s leading Yiddish papers. Herewith, a translated excerpt from the column he wrote from Israel immediately after its stunning victory in June 1967:

Future generations will probably never believe it. Teachers will have a hard time convincing their students that what sounds legendary actually occurred. The children will naturally swallow each word, but later on, as adults, they’ll nod their heads and smile, remarking that these were fantasies of history.

They won’t believe that this small state, surrounded by hatred, fire, and murder, had so quickly managed a miracle. It will be hard to describe how, amid a sea of hatred, a tiny army drove off and humiliated several well-equipped military hordes of who knows how many Arab countries.

How does the acclaimed scholar and talmudic genius Saul Lieberman put it? In another 2,000 years, people will consider these events the way we think of descriptions of the Maccabees and their victories. Did I say another 2,000 years? No, make that: in another year, or even tomorrow. . . .

We all need to recite the Hallel thanksgiving prayer for being granted the privilege of witnessing these events. The battle has not yet ended, but the enemy has already retreated and won’t easily recover.

Read more at Forward

More about: Elie Wiesel, Israel & Zionism, Israeli history, Six-Day War

Israel’s Retaliation against the Houthis Sends a Message to the U.S., and to Its Arab Allies

The drone that struck a Tel Aviv high-rise on Thursday night is believed to have traveled over 2,000 kilometers, flying from Yemen over Egypt and then above the Mediterranean before veering eastward toward the Israeli coast. Since October, the Houthis have launched over 200 drones at Israel. Nor is this the first attempt to strike Tel Aviv, only the first successful one. Noah Rothman observes that the Houthis’ persistent attacks on Israel and on international shipping are largely the result of the U.S.-led coalition’s anemic response:

Had the Biden administration taken a more proactive and vigorous approach to neutralizing the Houthis’ capabilities, Israel would not be obliged to expand to Yemen the theater of operations in the war Hamas inaugurated on October 7. The prospects of a regional war grow larger by the day, not because Israel cannot “take the win,” as President Biden reportedly told Benjamin Netanyahu following a full-scale direct Iranian attack on the Jewish state, but because hostile foreign actors are killing its citizens. Jerusalem is obliged to defend them and the sovereignty of Israel’s borders.

Biden’s hesitancy was fueled by his apprehension over the prospect of a “wider war” in the Middle East. But his hesitancy is what is going to give him the war he so cravenly sought to avoid.

In this context, the nature of the Israeli response is significant: rather than follow the American strategy of striking isolated weapons depots and the like, IDF jets struck the port city of Hodeida—the sort of major target the U.S. has shied away from. The mission was likely the furthest-ever carried out by the Israel Air Force, hitting a site 200 kilometers further from Israel than Tehran. Yoel Guzansky and Ilan Zalayat comment:

The message that Israel sent was intended to reach the moderate Arab countries, the West, and especially the United States. . . . The message to the coalition countries is that “the containment” had failed and the Houthis must be hit harder. The Hodeida port is the lifeline of the Houthi economy and continued damage to it will make it extremely difficult for this economy, which is also facing significant American sanctions.

Read more at National Review

More about: Houthis, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy