Addicted to novelty since 2001

Understanding the Six-Day War

To understand the last forty years in the Middle East, you need to understand the Six-Day War of 1967. That’s one of the messages of a fascinating, enlightening four-part BBC radio documentary about those formative days in June:

After the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, there was a sense of unfinished business in the region.

On the eve of war, Arab civilians believed propaganda broadcasts from Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s Egypt promising an easy victory over Israel; for Israeli citizens there was the feeling of anticipation of terrible defeat.

But the Israeli capability was underestimated – and Arab generals thought so too.

I’ve only listened to the first two parts, but it does a fantastic job of blending historical recordings with new interviews with those decision-makers and innocent bystanders who are still around. I’ve only ever had the vaguest grasp of Middle Eastern politics and history, and it’s a longterm project improve. This series has certainly helped in that regard.

2 Responses to “Understanding the Six-Day War”

  1. DaveO

    Yup, these BBC documentaries are key for filling in knowledge gaps allowing me to talk less out of my hind-end. Besides the killer documentary archive (Illegal Dumping in the Czech Republic or a series on Rice perhaps?) are Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time shows with a round table of expoerts breaking down minute details of moderately obscure intellectual concepts. Get smart and listen up on your commute sez i!

  2. gillian

    I agree with DaveO that the “In Our Time” podcast is excellent, though I can’t listen to it at work as I can to other podcasts (too smart to have as background talk).

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