Forty years ago today, Israel swept aside three Arab armies and occupied an area almost three times its size.
| Syrian soldiers giving themselves up to Israeli|
soldiers on the Golan Heights [AFP]
The June 1967 war lasted a total of six days and created an entirely new reality in the Middle East – a reality that the region continues to wrestle with decades later.
The occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, Syrian Golan Heights, and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula gave the Israeli army a reputation of invincibility – although that was short-lived.
For the Arabs, it was a blow to their psyche and to the credibility of their regimes.
For the Palestinians in particular, it gave momentum for their own struggle for statehood – a goal which seems as elusive now as it did then.
For the Israelis, the initial euphoria of victory has been replaced with a debate over a 'Greater Israel' and the full territorial price that Israelis must pay to make peace.
In the meantime, the conflict has assumed religious overtones, with all the harsh absolutes of any religious conflict.
On Tuesday Riz speaks with two experts who have been following the Arab-Israeli conflict closely.
Tom Segev is an Israeli historian and journalist whose latest book, 1967, was just published last week.
Segev draws on unpublished letters and diaries, as well as Israeli government memos and military records, to reconstruct the events that led up to the war and its aftermath.
Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland, and the author of The Stakes: America in the Middle East: The Consequences of Power and the Choice for Peace.
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This episode of Riz Khan aired on 5 June 2007
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