What do the NHL, Israel, and the Six-Day War have in common?

June 5, 1967 — a very important day for hockey fans.

And for people who know their history.

Today’s most popular post on the Hockey “subreddit” page on Reddit celebrates the 48th birthday of six expansion teams in the National Hockey League (NHL). On this day in 1967, the NHL was doubled in size as new teams were awarded to California, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.

Reddit is a popular online forum with thousands of special interest pages. It is currently ranked the 30th most popular website in the world, according to Alexa.

Instinctively, I searched for the word Israel and found this comment:

The best part about about the comment is its accuracy. Over the decades, the Israeli government has elicited support through its commemoration of the Six-Day War, constantly and consistently referring to it as a time when the surrounding Arab countries marked Israel with their sights. Consequently, the myth that Israel was minding its own business before a handful of Arab states waged war began to replace the public’s understanding of what truly unfolded. It didn’t help that the Israeli regime and its supporters maintained a general ambiguity about the opening hours of the war and used the ensuing battles as part of a greater PR campaign to give Israel the appearance of an innocent bystander.

In reality, Israel was among the many countries in the region preparing for combat. I once heard the lead-up to the Six-Day War referred to as a miniature Cold War of sorts. On June 4, the Israeli government decided to wage war. The following morning, Israel launched a massive assault on Egyptian airfields, surprising the unexpecting Egyptians and virtually eliminating their air superiority.

As the Reddit comment goes on to say, the two Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights fell to Israeli military control. The land has been occupied ever since.

Incidentally, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website calls those under its occupation “Israeli Muslims and Christians”, as if to suggest that the occupied land had somehow become incorporated into Israel and that the residents have the same rights as those residing in Israel proper.

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