The Bride and the Dowry

The Bride and the Dowry: Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War

Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    The Bride and the Dowry
    Book Description:

    Israel's victory in the June 1967 Six Day War provided a unique opportunity for resolving the decades-old Arab-Zionist conflict. Having seized the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights, Israel for the first time in its history had something concrete to offer its Arab neighbors: it could trade land for peace. Yet the political deadlock persisted after the guns fell silent. This book sets out to find out why.

    Avi Raz places Israel's conduct under an uncompromising lens. He meticulously examines the critical two years following the June war and substantially revises our understanding of how and why Israeli-Arab secret contacts came to naught. Mining newly declassified records in Israeli, American, British, and UN archives, as well as private papers of individual participants, Raz dispels the myth of overall Arab intransigence and arrives at new and unexpected conclusions. In short, he concludes that Israel's postwar diplomacy was deliberately ineffective because its leaders preferred land over peace with its neighbors. The book throws a great deal of light not only on the post-1967 period but also on the problems and pitfalls of peacemaking in the Middle East today.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-18353-5
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Maps
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PROLOGUE: Two Peoples, One Land
    (pp. xi-xii)

    On a hot summer day in July 1967 Bashir Khayri, a young man from the West Bank town of Ramallah, rang the bell of a house in the Israeli town of Ramla. Founded in the beginning of the eighth century by the future Umayyad Khalifah Suleiman Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik along the road connecting the port city of Jaffa with Jerusalem on the Judean hills, al-Ramlah was a vibrant Arab town until the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. Then, also on a hot summer day in July, the Palestinian inhabitants of al-Ramlah, together with the people of the adjacent town of...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
  6. Dramatis Personae
    (pp. xxv-xxxi)
  7. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxii-xxxv)
  8. [Map]
    (pp. xxxvi-xxxvi)
  9. Introduction
    (pp. 1-24)

    The year 1967 would go down in Israeli and Jewish history asannus mirabilis,prophesied Michael Hadow, the British ambassador in Tel Aviv, in the opening paragraph of his annual review. Not only was there the astonishing feat of the Israeli armed forces in the Six Day War in June, but also, after 2,000 years, a united Jerusalem had returned to Jewish authority.¹ The British diplomat neglected to mention the return of the entireEretz Yisrael,or the Land of Israel, to Jewish authority following the conquest of the Palestinian-inhabited West Bank and Gaza Strip. Still, he was right: 1967...

  10. ONE The Two Options: 5 June–Early July 1967
    (pp. 25-52)

    Shortly after Israeli jets started blasting the Egyptian Air Force on its runways on the morning of 5 June 1967, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Dayan stated in a radio address to the nation, “Soldiers of Israel, we have no aims of conquest. Our purpose is to bring to naught the attempts of the Arab armies to conquer our land and to break the ring of blockade and aggression which threatens us.”¹ Soon afterward Foreign Minister Abba Eban echoed Dayan’s declaration in a press conference in Tel Aviv. “The policy of Israel’s government does not include any intention of conquest,” he...

  11. TWO The Jerusalem Syndrome: Late June–July 1967
    (pp. 53-78)

    The annexation of Arab Jerusalem was the first concrete demonstration of the growing Israeli wish to have the dowry without the bride. On 11 June, less than twenty-four hours after the final ceasefire had taken effect, the cabinet agreed to annex the Arab part of Jerusalem.¹ The decision was carried out on 27 June by swift passage in the Knesset of three laws which deliberately did not mention Jerusalem or use the term “annexation.” But this was annexation in all but name. The annexed area was twelve times bigger than the municipal territory of Jordanian Jerusalem. It encompassed, wholly or...

  12. THREE In Search of Docile Leadership: July–September 1967
    (pp. 79-102)

    From the beginning of the occupation Defense Minister Dayan was convinced that a Palestinian uprising was a matter of time. The day after the war he advised one of his underlings to tour the West Bank “before the revolt begins!”¹ The occupied territories were Dayan’s responsibility. His pessimistic prognosis, coupled with the lessons he drew from the American experience in Vietnam, led him to formulate a policy of indirect rule, or “invisible administration,” under which “an Arab can be born, live and die in the West Bank without ever seeing an Israeli official.” The “open bridges” that allowed the Palestinians...

  13. FOUR The Right of No Return: June–September 1967
    (pp. 103-135)

    The exodus of Arab inhabitants from the territories seized by Israel in the six days of fighting was enormous. These new refugees were designatednazihunby the Arabs and “displaced persons”—which means the same thing—by the United Nations, in order to distinguish them from the “old refugees” of 1948.¹ In fact, many were both. According to an investigation conducted by Nils-Göan Gussing, a special representative of the UN secretary general, some 200,000 people crossed the Jordan River from the West Bank to the East during the war or immediately afterward; about 93,000 of them were 1948 refugees, registered...

  14. FIVE An Entity versus a King: September–November 1967
    (pp. 136-164)

    The emergency special session of the UN General Assembly adjourned on 21 July without producing a resolution demanding that Israel withdraw from the lands it had conquered during the June hostilities. Foreign Minister Abba Eban was jubilant. “A favorable impasse has been created,” he told his party’s leaders at the end of July. Eban suggested maintaining the diplomatic impasse by avoiding a cabinet decision regarding the West Bank.¹ But as the summer of 1967 drew to a close, the scene for the political struggle over the fate of the occupied territories shifted again farther from the disputed area, first to...

  15. SIX A One-Way Dialogue: December 1967–January 1968
    (pp. 165-193)

    Moshe Sasson’s terms of reference as the “Prime Minister’s Representative for Political Contacts with Arab Leaders in Jerusalem, the [West] Bank, and Gaza” were indefinite and broad: Israel demanded peace and direct negotiations and was willing to make a deal with the highest bidder; all the rest was left to his discretion. Sasson’s interpretation of his task was to find out whether “the Palestiniansin Israel” could play a role “in the political events” and, if necessary, “to activate them.”¹ The forty-two-year-old Foreign Ministry official was an opinionated man with a distinct perception of the Arab psyche. He held that...

  16. SEVEN Go-Betweens: February–Early May 1968
    (pp. 194-226)

    On 5 February 1968 Premier Eshkol successively received two Palestinian politicians in his office. The first was Ayub Musallam of Bethlehem, a former mayor, member of Jordan’s Chamber of Deputies, and cabinet minister, who carried limited political weight outside his constituency and was “warm in his praise of the Military Government.”¹ The second guest, the maverick ‘Aziz Shehadeh, was well connected countrywide but ineffective in attracting influential West Bankers to his Palestinian entity enterprise. The attainable documentation does not reveal why these two men were chosen to see the prime minister or how the idea of holding this series of...

  17. EIGHT The Double Game Redoubled: Mid-May–October 1968
    (pp. 227-261)

    By mid-1968 the prevailing perception in the world was, according to Foreign Minister Abba Eban, that the Arab-Israeli conflict involved a sheep and a wolf—and Israel was not the sheep.¹ Even friendly Europe, Eban said, believed that Israel was interested not in achieving peace but in maintaining the status quo.² The Americans, Israel’s most steadfast supporters, felt the same and advised the Eshkol government to concentrate on its deteriorating global image.³ “Tell Israel they better work out a peace plan,” President Johnson snapped in late February, when he was informed of the Israelis’ claim that they were losing their...

  18. NINE “The Whole World Is Against Us”: Epilogue
    (pp. 262-286)

    On 1 September 1968 the Israeli cabinet passed a secret resolution entitled “Lily North” (Havatselet Tsafonin the original Hebrew) that authorized “preliminary preparations in Deganyah,” which included paving roads to the local cemetery and building parking lots there.¹ “Lily” is the Israeli code name for a state funeral, and Deganyah Bet was Prime Minister Eshkol’s old kibbutz. Remarkably, six months before he passed away, the government—with Eshkol himself presiding—was planning the funeral of its incumbent head. Indeed, these were the dying days of Levi Eshkol. Although doggedly hidden from the public, the premier’s fast deteriorating health was...

  19. Notes
    (pp. 287-376)
  20. Sources and Bibliography
    (pp. 377-416)
  21. Index
    (pp. 417-438)