Last updated on: 5/14/2008 11:29:00 AM PST

What Effect Did the 1967 "Six Day" War Have on the Palestinians?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Benny Morris, PhD, Professor of History at Ben-Gurion University, in his 2001 book Righteous Victims, wrote:

"Israel's conquest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip reawakened the Palestinian issue, largely dormant since 1949. In the main the Palestinians had endured the first two decades of exile quietly, 'living and partly living' in the Arab states on handouts from UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and waiting for eventual deliverance at the hands of the Arab armies.

Before June 1967 about half the Palestinians, close to 1.5 million, lived in Jordan, where they received citizenship and were gradually integrated into the sociopolitical fabric. Fewer than half lived in the East Bank, the rest -- perhaps 800,000 -- in the West Bank. Of the total, 600,000 to 700,000 were refugees or children of refugees, of whom 40 percent lived in camps. Another 350,000 to 400,000 Palestinians lived in the Gaza Strip, three-quarters of them refugees. Another 300,000 lived in Lebanon and Syria, mostly in camps.

The Six-Day War made Israel the country with the largest Palestinian population: In round figures, 400,000 lived within its pre-1967 borders (the Israeli Arab minority), and 1.1 million in the now-occupied territories -- 600,000 in the West Bank (200,000 or more, mostly denizens of refugee camps, had fled during the war and its immediate aftermath to the East Bank), 70,000 in East Jerusalem, and 350,000 in the Gaza Strip. Of the West Bank population, only 60,000 now lived in camps; in the Gaza Strip, some 210,000 had refugee status, 170,000 of them in camps.

The traumatic demolition of the status quo reawakened Palestinian identity and quickened nationalist aspirations in the conquered territories and in the Arab states."

2001 - Benny Morris, PhD 

Edward Said, the late Columbia University Professor, in his 1994 book The Politics of Dispossession, wrote:

"On the cultural and intellectual level, the appearance of an organized Palestinian movement of resistance against the Israeli occupation began as a critique of traditional Arab nationalism whose ruins were strewn about the battlefields of 1967. Not only did Palestinian men and women take up arms on their own behalf for the first time, but they were part of a national experience that claimed primacy in the modern Arab discourse...

After 1948 most Palestinian refugees had been obliged to take on the identities of the Arab states to which they came as refugees. In Syria, many became Baathists, in Egypt they were Nasserists, and so on. For the first time, after 1967 it became possible not only to become Palestinian again but also to choose Fatah, or the Popular Front, or the Democratic Front as one's movement of choice."

1994 - Edward Said, PhD 

Albert Hourani, the late Director of St. Antony's College Middle East Centre at Oxford University, in his 1991 book A History of the Arab Peoples, wrote:

"The most important result in the long run was the Israeli occupation of what was left of Arab Palestine: Jerusalem, Gaza and the western part of Jordan (usually known as the 'West Bank'). More Palestinians became refugees, and more came under Israeli rule. This strengthened the sense of Palestinian identity, and the conviction among them that in the end they could rely only on themselves; and it also posed a problem for Israelis, Arab states and great powers. Should Israel remain in occupation of what it had conquered, or trade land for some kind of peaceful settlement with the Arab states? How could the Arab states win back the land they had lost? How could the powers achieve a settlement which would not result in another war, into which they might be drawn?"

1991 - Albert Hourani