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This Day In History: The Six-Day War Begins…

IDF Soldiers at the Wailing WallOkay boys and girls, it’s history time!

Forty years ago, the Israeli Air Force launched Operation Focus, a massive airstrike that destroyed more than 450 Russian-built warplanes belonging to Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Nearly 200 Israeli aircraft participated in the strike, which allowed the Israelis to claim air superiority and permitted their jets to effectively support ground units. Egypt’s air force, which had been the largest and most modern air force in the Arab world at the time, was demolished and rendered nearly useless, while the Israelis lost only 19 planes.

The Israeli victory is one of the most astonishing in modern military history, with Israel tripling the area of its territory, humiliating the Arab community and stunning the international community. However, the victory was bittersweet as it led to the growing perception of Israel as a neo-colonial power rather than a scrappy underdog. More importantly, it dragged Israel into the never-ending conflict in the now occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Anyway, if you have the time, it’s interesting to take a look at a historical moment that has lasting repercussions to this day.