chapter  10
The end of the friendship
Pages 21

On the morning of June 5, Israel launched a surprise aerial assault on the Egyptian and Syrian Air Forces and, over the following days, dealt a crushing blow to the armies of the Arab states, including Jordan. The French embargo proved inadequate in persuading Israel to accept the new status quo or even wait until conditions ripened for a quadruple convention. Israel viewed the crisis very differently from the French: it was not about returning to the pre-1956 status quo but rather ensuring the country’s survival. Even without the possibility of an immediate Arab attack – which was realistic considering the size of the Egyptian force stationed in the Sinai – idleness would erode Israel’s deterrent and, combined with economic suffocation due to Egypt’s blockade of the Tiran Straits, this may have encouraged a coordinated Arab attack at some point in the near future.1