This conflict has caused untold misery for those living its consequences.
A week today the world will note the 50th anniversary of the start of the most enduring conflict of the modern era, and one which has caused untold misery for those living with the consequences.
On June 5, 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against surrounding Arab states in retaliation for an Egyptian blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba.
In a matter of hours, Israel had destroyed 90 per cent of Egypt's Soviet-supplied air force, and over succeeding days, in what became known as the Six Day War, it seized the Sinai Desert and Gaza Strip from the Egyptians, Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria.
Overnight, the Jewish state trebled the size of territory under its control.
By any standards this was an extraordinary military achievement, but the question a half century later is whether Israel, as an occupier of several million Palestinians, has been cursed by that success.
Might it not have been desirable for the country's leaders to declare victory and pull back to defensible boundaries, and thus avoid the opprobrium that inevitably accompanies occupation?
can tell you, having observed it in various parts of the Middle East over many years, that occupation is as corrosive for the occupiers as it is for the occupied.
Anticipating criticism in the letters pages, let's assert that Israel was a victim of aggression by the Arabs led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, that it had every right to defend itself to the best of its ability and, in the process, make use of territory gained in the conflict to negotiate a just peace.
What a smashing victory in 1967 did not entitle Israel to was to be a permanent occupier of territory and its people and settlers of land seized in war in defiance of international law.
Much will be published in the next several days hailing a stunning victory, but significantly less attention will be paid to voices in Israel who have sought to question that triumphalist perspective.
We should heed these voices since they represent, in many cases, fine Jewish traditions of moral courage and intellectual curiosity.
The distinguished Israeli writer, Amos Oz, had this to say in the aftermath of the 1967 war: "We are condemned now to rule people who do not want to be ruled by us. I have fears about the kind of seeds we will sow in the near future in the hearts of the occupied. Even more, I have fears about the seeds that will be planted in the hearts of the occupiers."
Some might describe Oz as a prophet without honour in his own country.
Or Benny Morris, the historian, quoted in The Guardian who said of the great paradox of the Six Day War victory:
"On the one hand, it contributed to peace because it was so decisive that it persuaded the Arab regimes that Israel couldn't be beaten militarily … On the other hand, it gave rise in Israel to a messianic right-wing expansionism and ideology that had not really existed before 1967."
Or Tom Segev, author of the definitive work on the 1967 war, 1967: Israel, the War and Year that Transformed the Middle East, who observed in 2007 on the 40th anniversary:
"Forty years of oppression and Palestinian terrorism, both extremely cruel, have undermined Israel's Jewish and democratic foundations."
It is interesting to compare Australia's cautious responses to Israel's 1967 war victory with alignments of today in which conservative politicians fall over themselves to identify with Israeli right-wing nationalists wedded to settlements on Palestinian land.
The recent visit to Australia by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a case in point. Hardly a word was heard from government ministers about Israel's continued settlement expansion.
This brings us to the arrival in the White House of a man who has described peace between Israel and the Palestinians as the "ultimate deal".
On his visit to the Middle East this month, including time in Saudi Arabia, in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories Donald Trump evinced what seemed like a naive faith in his ability to bring about a resolution of arguably the world's most vexed conflict.
But if there is reason for the slightest optimism it may well lie in Trump's unpredictability, and one other important ingredient best summed up by the Arab saying: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Thus, Israel and the Sunni Arab world led these days by Saudi Arabia – in lieu of an impoverished Egypt – might find common ground in their fear and loathing of the Islamic Republic of Iran whose shadow is lengthening across the entire Middle East.
Trump left the region without making any concrete suggestions about a way forward, and may well prove to be a false god, but at least in his public statements he did no harm. Fifty years after the Six Day War remade the contours of the Middle East, Israelis and Palestinians deserve a fresh start.