Levi Eshkol - Radio Address

May 28, 1967

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On the eve of the Six day war, Israel appeared to be isolated. On May 28, 1967 Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol delivered this address to the nation. The text had been prepared by others and he read from a typescript in which there was a handwritten correction, without his glasses. Supposedly, he asked for clarification of a word and this was heard as "stuttering." This "stuttering" induced panic, and forced Eshkol to include Moshe Dayan as defense minister in his government.  


The introduction above is copyright 2008 by Ami Isseroff. The translation below is copyright 2008 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism-Israel.com. Except for brief citations, no part of this work may be reproduced without permission. Please feel free to link to link to this page, but do not copy it to your Web site, and do not use it in a printed work without obtaining written permission.  

Dear citizens:

The government today met to discuss the situation. At the conclusion of the discussions the following resolutions were accepted:

1. The danger to Israel owing to the concentration of the Egyptian army in Sinai and following the blockade of Israel shipping in the Red Sea is in full force. In view of this danger, as long as it exists, the need remains to continue our military alert. The government received a report on the measured of preparedness that had been taken, and it concludes, that the IDF is properly deployed to defend the security of Israel. The government notes with satisfaction the indomitable spirit of the nation and of the Israel Defense forces, which are an expression and a guarantee of the strength of the state.

2. The government of Israel maintains that the closure of the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping is equivalent to an act of aggression against Israel. We shall defend ourselves against it when necessary based on the right of self defense that is reserved to every state.

3. The government heard a report of the Foreign Minister concerning his discussions with the President of France, the Prime Minister of Britain and the President of the United States. It heard of contacts with many other states, including the Soviet Union, and on the growing willingness in the international arena to act without delay for rapid removal of the blockade that Egypt has imposed in the straits of Tiran. There is no doubt that the mobilization of the IDF and its readiness for every test were and are a crucial factor in motivating world diplomatic activity.

The government has specified guidelines for continuation of the diplomatic activity in the world arena, with the aim of pressing international powers to take steps to secure international freedom of navigation in the straits of Tiran.

Likewise, directions of activity were specified for removing the military concentrations from Israel's southern border and for action to secure our sovereign rights, for our border security and for prevention of aggression, so that we shall not have to act for our defense using our military forces.

The government has concluded and announces, that the power of the IDF is sufficient to overcome any aggressor and to secure the sovereign rights of Israel.

Tomorrow I shall have an opportunity to clarify the stance of the government in my speech before the plenum of the Knesset.

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