In a move that would forever alter the map of the MiddleEast, Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and SinaiPeninsula in 1967’s brief but pivotal Six Day War. Cursed Victory is the firstcomplete history of the war’s troubled aftermath—a military occupation of thePalestinian territories that is now well into its fifth decade.
Drawing onunprecedented access to high-level sources, top secret memos andnever-before-published letters, the book provides a gripping and unvarnishedchronicle of how what Israel promised would be an “enlightened occupation” quickly turned sour and the anguished diplomatic attempts to bring it to anend. Bregman sheds fresh light on critical moments in the peace process, takingus behind the scenes as decisions about the fate of the territories were made,and more often, as crucial opportunities to resolve the conflict were missed.
As the narrative moves from Jerusalem to New York, Oslo to Beirut, and from thelate 1960s to the present day, Cursed Victory provides vivid portraits of thekey players in this unfolding drama, including Moshe Dayan, King Hussein ofJordan, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat. Yet Bregman always reminds us howdiplomatic and backroom negotiations affected the daily lives of millions of Arabs and how the Palestinian resistance, especially during the first and second intifadas, in turn shaped political developments. As Bregman concludes, theoccupation has become a dark stain on Israel’s history and an era wheninternational opinion of the country shifted decisively.
Cursed Victory isessential reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the ongoingconflict in the region.