Paratroopers in iconic photo from the Six-Day War at The Temple
USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer speaks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Sheila Poole
Tensions had been building to an explosive level. Israel claimed it had to make a pre-emptive strike and virtually destroyed the Egyptian air force and severely crippled Syria’s. At the end of the war, Israel had gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem’s Old City.
For Palestinians, the aftermath of the war brought occupation, checkpoints, land seizures and other issues, said Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
“The photograph is important, not just for what it shows but also for what it doesn’t show,” Munayyer said. “The photo, which has become iconic, particularly for Israelis, shows these paratroopers looking up at the Western Wall. Israelis look at this and they see the fulfillment of a vision and hope for the establishment of that vision in the territory they occupy. What you don’t see in the picture is at that time, right next to the Western Wall, there were well over 100 homes. The (Mughrabi Quarter) neighborhood had been in existence for well over 800 years, and within a couple of days of the war, during the ceasefire period, the Israelis evicted everyone from the neighborhood and bulldozed the homes.”
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