- Israel Harel Haaretz 10th June 2007
"...Euphoria reigned after the Six-Day War, say the "forgive-us-for-winning" people. That is not true. There was a feeling of relief; the human joy of victory, pure and simple. And yes, a feeling of elation because, in addition to having been saved from annihilation, we had also arrived - Moshe Dayan put those feelings best - at the places the people had longed for thousands of years. And there was also a rational conclusion: There would not be another opportunity to slice across our narrow hips, and that our security was assured for a long time to come.
Those were the justifiable, natural and rational reactions of millions of people in the three weeks before the war. People lived in existential anxiety and feared the worst, 22 years after the Holocaust.
The government did not assert, as it should have, the national rights of the Jewish people over its liberated homeland. It did not even treat them in this way, as it should have from a historical perspective. "Bargaining chips," it called them. By relying on this status, relating to areas of the homeland as bargaining chips, for 40 years most of our troubles and evils have come to us: the Yom Kippur War, the intifada, the terror war of September 2000, the deep rift among the people and the distancing of most of the world from identifying with Israel.
There is no precedent in the history of Israel of an army handing its rulers such a great military victory with the goal of deriving maximum political achievements. Neither is there a precedent of a government that so missed a historic opportunity, as the Levi Eshkol government did in 1967, to advance national, security and political interests. At historic junctures, when there is no understanding of the greatness of the achievement and the greatness of the opportunity, the greatest of victories is also missed.