This Time, the Loser Writes History

May 23, 2017: Fifty years ago today, state-run media in Cairo announced that Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser had closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, cutting off the Jewish state’s access to the Red Sea. Then-President Lyndon Johnson later said of the Six-Day War, which erupted two weeks later, “If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Straits of Tiran would be closed. The right of innocent, maritime passage must be preserved for all nations.”

A half-century later, however, a “historiographical rewriting” of the Six-Day War has “effectively become the received dogma, echoed by some of the most widely used college textbooks about the Middle East”

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