The biggest outcome of the Six Day War was that the State of Israel wasn't destroyed.
For the Arabs, the biggest outcome was the discrediting of the Arab nationalist idiom, the movement which had dominated the previous half century. It was discredited because the embodiment of that idea was Gamal Abdul Nasser, the president of Egypt, and he was humiliated. And once that ideology was discredited, it opened the door to the emergence of a more indigenous and long standing idiom, and that's the Islamic idiom.
You can trace the resurgence of what we call Islamic extremism to the Six Day War.
The other major impact was the reemergence of the Arab-Israeli conflict into much more of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians, who had been very quiescent for the most part for the previous 19 years, and had looked to Nasser and other Arab leaders as their saviors in liberating Palestine, quickly concluded that neither Nasser nor any other Arab leader was going to be able to do it, and they could only rely on themselves.
And it's not accidental that the year after the Six Day War, the PLO,
which had been created in 1964 as an Egyptian sort of straw organization
- a propaganda tool - is refashioned as a serious umbrella organization
comprising most Palestinian organizations. And a year after that, Yasser
Arafat brings in Al Fatah and he [Arafat] becomes the chairman of the PLO,
which then proceeds to become the major force, if not the dominant force
in regional politics, or certainly inter-Arab politics."
article from Jerusalem Post...]
- Michael B. Oren is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center. He is the author of the best-selling Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.