Frantic nations forget that the prophetic vision of world peace is messianic

The Middle East has been set ablaze.

Faced with an increasingly strong Israel and still uncomfortable over the military defeat Israel inflicted on him in 1956, President Nasser of Egypt sought revenge. Egypt’s multiplying population, constantly declining economic situation, and unalloyed hatred of the Jew finally meshed in Nasser’s adventurous anti-Israeli program. Nasser, supported by the Soviet Union and by some other Arab countries, was willing to risk everything to recoup earlier losses, regain leadership of the Arab world, and find a way out of burdensome problems on the home front.

Israel, hedged on three sides by Arab foes and outnumbered twenty to one, began fighting to ensure its survival as a nation. After mounting swift air strikes against Egyptian forces, Israeli troops in three short days circled and captured the old city of Jerusalem, controlled the Gaza strip, reopened the Gulf of Aqaba and reached the Suez Canal.

The fate of old Jerusalem will remain a center of controversy and spiritual concern. Israelis have had no access to its holy places during 19 years of nationhood and only during high holy days have Israel Arabs been cleared through Mandelbaum Gate for brief visits to Jordan. But the popular Israeli toast “next year in Jerusalem!” was crowned last week by anticipatory fulfillment when a rabbi in soldier’s garb blew a ram’s horn at the Wailing Wall.

Some Israeli spokesmen say that, having captured the old city, Israel will never again yield it to Jordan. This poses a dilemma for the Johnson administration, whose commitments in the Middle East apparently include the sanctity of the boundaries of Arab nations and Israel alike prior ...

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