The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship

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9781574884142: The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship

On June 8th 1967, at the height of the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbours, Israeli air and naval forces attacked the USS Liberty, an intelligence-collection ship in the service of Israel's closest ally, while that vessel steamed in international waters off the Sinai Peninsula. The Israelis killed 34 Americans, wounded 171 and nearly sank the ship. Dozens of theories exist about what happened that day. Official inquiries conducted in both the United States and Israel attributed the event to faulty communications and tragic error, but survivors remain outspoken and not alone in their belief that the Israelis acted deliberately. Federal judge and former naval aviator A. Jay Cristol places the incident in context. The Israeli strike, he argues, can only be understood in the light of the Cold War, the outbreak of war in the Middle East, inter-service rivalry within the Israeli defence forces and the chaos of an operational environment. That both the United States and Israel kept much of the data concerning the incident classified for more than 10 years served only to fuel the fires of intrigue and charges of conspiracy to cover up the truth, but since the incident significant portions of most of the official inquiries have now been declassified. Cristol draws on these documents recently obtained by him through the Freedom of Information Act, as well as on extensive oral history interviews, to deliver a comprehensive treatment of the episode that threatened to ruin Israel's relations with the US and has been a nagging source of suspicion for so many years.

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About the Author:

A. JAY CRISTOL, J.D., PH.D., is a federal judge serving the southern district of Florida. An aviation enthusiast, he spent eighteen years as a naval aviator and twenty in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps. He retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve

Review:

" . . .an exhaustive analysis . . .the author knows more about than anyone else who has written on it." -- U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings

"A painstakingly detailed and footnoted account." -- The Miami Herald

"The most thorough study to date...Those who are interested in this story will want to read this book." -- Middle East Journal

"This is the definitive book on the Israeli attack during the Six-Day War.... A superb account." -- Foreign Affairs

"[Cristol’s] research is stunningly complete." -- Middle East Quarterly

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