בSecurity Cabinet meetings between January 3rd and June 4th 1967

ב.1 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 3 January 1967.

The meeting dealt with border incidents on the Israeli-Syrian border.

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ב.2 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, January 7 1967.

The meeting dealt with the border incidents on the Israeli-Syrian border. The Cabinet decided to redouble the diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation; to continue cultivating the threatened fields; to respond to Syrian fire with equal fire-power; and to escalate the Israeli response with aircraft in the case of shelling of villages.

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ב.3 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, January 9 1967.

The meeting dealt with the escalation of the border incidents on the Israeli-Syrian border. The Syrians had begun to initiate fire at diverse locations. The Cabinet decided to suspend cultivation of the fields of Almagor; to maintain the policy of responding to Syrian fire with equal fire-power; and to refrain from turning the UN Security Council.

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ב.4 |  Transcript of the Security Cabinet, January 12th 1967.

The meeting dealt with the continuing escalation and intensity of the border incidents on the Israeli-Syrian border. Yitzchak Rabin, the Chief of Staff, requested greater leeway in choosing the weapons with which to respond to Syrian fire, since the previous policy of responding with equal fire-power was not working. After much discussion the Cabinet did not authorize his request. The existing policy remained in force.

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ב.5 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, January 15th 1967

The Cabinet discussed the proposal of Gen. Odd Bull of the UN to discuss the escalating tensions with Syria in the framework of the UNTSO. The Cabinet hesitated lest such discussions hamper the ability to retaliate against the Syrian sniping at Israeli fishermen on the Sea of Galilee and the murderous attack the previous day on the village of Dishon. In spite of its hesitations, the Cabinet decided to support Bull’s efforts.

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ב.6 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 19 February 1967

The Cabinet discussed ways to counter allegations published in the New York Times regarding Israeli involvement in the assassination of the Moroccan politician Mehdi Ben Barka.

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ב.7 |  Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 20 February 1967

The Cabinet continued its discussion on countering allegations published in the New York Times regarding Israeli involvement in the assassination of the Moroccan politician Mehdi Ben Barka

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ב.8 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 16 March 1967

Following a brief and inconclusive discussion about the National Security College, the Cabinet discussed the on-going efforts of the UN to reach a stable cease fire with Syria. The Chief of Staff reported on an incident that morning in which terrorists infiltrated from Jordan and attacked an installation in Arad, and was then chased down and hit on its way back to the Jordanian border. The assumption was that this was a Syrian-directed operation. The discussion segued into a discussion of acquiring American military equipment.

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ב.9 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 3 April 1967

The Cabinet held a discussion of the basic principles which should guide Israel’s actions in the face of permanent border infractions and incidents.

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ב.10 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 9 April 1967

Discussion of the air-fights and ground battles with Syria on April 7th 1967.

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ב.11 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 11th of April 1967 (Morning)

The ministers were divided on the best course following the shooting down of six Syrian planes a few days earlier: utilize the event to demonstrate Israel’s determination to cultivate its fields on the Syrian border, or step back to encourage the Syrians to keep the peace. The discussion was sent to the full Cabinet, which met that evening.

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ב.12 | Transcript of the full Cabinet as the Security Cabinet, 11 April 1967 (Afternoon)

The Minsters deliberated the pros and cons of demonstrating Israel’s determination to cultivate fields on the Syrian border in the context of shooting down six Syrian aircraft a few days earlier, versus refraining from any action the Syrians might use as a provocation. Some fields were cultivated under fire as the deliberations took place.

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ב.13 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 10th of May 1967

The ministers discussed Israel’s inability to put an end to the incidents on the Syrian border. In recent weeks there was a rise in the number of infiltrations into Israel, including a recent one where the main road between Tiberias and Rosh Pina was mined. The infiltrators were Palestinians operated by the Syrian military. There was no consensus among the ministers as to the correct response. The prime minister and the army presented a draft plan for a large retaliatory operation against Syria. The draft was not recorded in the transcript.

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ב.14 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 17th of May 1967

The Cabinet heard reports about Egyptian forces moving into Sinai, and implications at the UN and in important capitals, as well as about Israel’s military forces, stockpiles and potential suppliers of additional arms. The assumption was that the Egyptian move was primarily for show, not for war.

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ב.15 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 21 May 1967 (morning meeting)

Most of the meeting was dedicated to reports and information about the situation following the departure of the UN forces in Sinai (UNEF). A further meeting was set for that evening.

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ב.16 | Transcript of the Cabinet sitting as the Security Cabinet, 21 May 1967 (afternoon meeting)

The Cabinet discussed the citizenry’s level of preparedness for war. Then they continued the morning’s discussion about the general situation. Some of the ministers felt war to be inevitable. The Cabinet decided that in the case of an attack by the Egyptian air-force Israel’s air-force would respond with all its might.

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ב.17 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 23 May 1967

The Cabinet heard reports from the Army and the diplomats on the situation following Egypt’s blocking of the Straights of Tiran. In the ensuing discussion there was no consensus as to the proper Israeli response, but it was decided to define the blocking as an act of aggression, while granting the diplomats 48 to resolve the issue without military action.

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ב.18 | Transcript of the Cabinet sitting as the Security Cabinet, 26 May 1967

Faced with a growing Egyptian military buildup in Sinai the Cabinet tried to determine if the time had come for military action, or if additional diplomacy would strengthen America’s support of Israel. No consensus was reached and the decision was postponed. The discussion then turned to the possibility of broadening the coalition by adding opposition parties.

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ב.19 | Transcript of the Cabinet sitting as the Security Cabinet, 27 May 1967

An all-night discussion. Letters from world leaders to Israel to restrain from military action. The Cabinet recognized that war was increasingly inevitable, but was unable to unite around a military plan.

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ב.20 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 1 June 1967

The meeting was dedicated to hearing reports of the situation. Menachem Begin and Moshe Dayan joined for the first time, even before being sworn in as ministers.

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ב.21 | Transcript of the joint meeting of the IDF General Staff and the Security Cabinet, 2 June 1967

The generals assured the ministers of their confidence in the abilities of the IDF, and demanded to know what the government was waiting for.

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ב.22 | Transcript of the Security Cabinet, 4 June 1967

The Cabinet discussed the need to launch a pre-emptive strike. No decision was made and the matter was delayed until the afternoon.

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ב.23 | Transcript of the Cabinet sitting as the Security Cabinet, 4 June 1967 (afternoon)

Divided until the end, the Cabinet decided by a large majority but without consensus to launch a pre-emptive strike.

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ב.24 | To see the transcipts from June 6th onwards

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