As Israel commemorates the anniversary of the Six-Day War - and the reunification of Jerusalem which occurred 49 years ago - it also looks to the future. Israel Hayom's Dr. Haim Shine recalls that conflict and its victorious result, but also sees victory ahead for a nation and people who have no other alternative:
During the Six-Day War in 1967, I was a high school student in Tel Aviv. Ahead of the war, my classmates and I were sent to dig trenches on Jerusalem Boulevard in Jaffa. On the homefront, there was a sense of being under siege, as Israel once again faced the threat of being overrun by large enemy armies. Israel's political leaders, as revealed by recently published documents, were tired and frightened. Israel's military leaders, on the other hand, demonstrated determination and a fighting spirit. Believing in the IDF's power, they were prepared to stare down our enemies and defeat them.
Then-GOC Northern Command David Elazar advocated a pre-emptive strike and believed the IDF should take the fight to the enemy on the other side of the Green Line. GOC Southern Command Yeshayahu Gavish complained that Israel's political leaders did not believe in the IDF's power. GOC Central Command Uzi Narkiss told Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren to prepare a shofar to blow after the IDF liberated Jerusalem's Old City. Over the course of six days, IDF troops changed the face of Jewish history forever. "When the Lord brought back Zion's exiles, we were like dreamers" (Psalm 126:1).
We will never forget the images of IDF troops breaking through Lions' Gate and heading toward the Western Wall. Both religious and secular soldiers felt the Jewish commonality that unites us all. Our liberated capital emanated rays of golden light. The people of Israel have always kept Jerusalem in their hearts...
Most Israelis identify with the words of Prophet Zechariah: "After having saved my people from the land of the east and from the land of the west, I will also bring them back to live in the midst of Jerusalem" (Zechariah 8:7-8).
We have won in the past and we will win in the future, because we have no other country.