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The Bride and the Dowry - Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War [Hardcover]

Avi Raz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

17 July 2012
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 neighbours: it could trade land for peace. Yet the political deadlock persisted after the guns fell silent. This book sets 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 neighbours. 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.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (17 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300171943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300171945
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 743,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"[An] essential, meticulously researched study of post-war diplomacy."--Gershom Gorenberg, "The Daily Beast"--Gershom Gorenberg"The Daily Beast" (07/05/2012)

About the Author

Avi Raz is associate member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and research fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, specializing in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He was formerly a journalist at a leading Israeli daily, where his assignments abroad included bureau chief in New York and Moscow. He lives in Oxford.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading. 7 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Superb. It's good to see a scrupulous and truthful account of events that doesn't skew the narrative in favour of 'your' side. Brave and very interesting study.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good coverage of the subject 31 Oct 2012
By Mark bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a book on the aftermath of the 1967 war. The author has an excellent command of the source material and manages to bring something close to seeming new to a topic that was long ago written to death. Its best in its study of the options available to and choices made in terms of Israeli foreign policy in the aftermath of the war. The book is particularly good at pointing the disconnect between public statements and private actions of many of those at the top of Israeli politics such as Dayan and Eshkol. The whole thing sort of leaves an impression that future historians should almost entirely discount or disregard the public statements of these people in gaining understanding of events.

The fault in the book that the author lacks an appropriate detachment. He often wants to preach rather than just letting events speak for themselves. He also sometimes sees deliberate action in decisions when there was none. Rather than seeing a coordinated cynical policy, it would be equally possible to see a weak, divided "national unity" government full of individuals out for themselves whose "decisions" were often the result of the government as a whole not being able to make decisions. He has a mastery of the sources but his tendency to editorialize undermines the book. His statement at the end of the book in that the inequality in the outcome of the 1967 war allows for an account of its aftermath to be unequal is a foolish and self-destructive thing to say.

On the positive side, he doesn't confine the narrative to just events in Israel or perhaps Egypt/Syria (as many books have done). Jordan and the whole range of palestinian leadership is covered as well.

In terms of the United States, his ideas are on occasion rather odd. He takes note of the victory fever the swept Israel after 1967 and had people like Dayan thinking that in a next war they could occupy Cairo, Damascus and Amman if not restructure all the governments of the region. He oddly sees the antidote to that victory fever to have been a different response from Washington. That is rather unrealistic. At best, American action could curtail the options a particular Israeli government might have available to it. But it cannot ever change the political viewpoint or agenda in Israel. They can be stopped from doing something foolish, but they cant be stopped from thinking something foolish.

The author makes the mistake, as all too many do these days, of overtly editorializing rather than allowing the material itself to make the same point in a more subtile manner. In the end, an interesting book. But a book that could have been better still.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book 25 Jun 2013
By Christopher M. Whitman Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book when it came out, which was over a year ago I think, hence I will not be going into detail about what the book is about. Basically the book delves into the issues that Israel dealt with immediately after the 1967 war. The author details what the government, army, and various ministries were debating regarding specifically the West Bank and Gaza Strip. I thought it was a great read if you are interested in the subject. This is not an intro book, it is a very specialized topic, dealing with a small time frame, the first 6 months or so after the beginning of the occupation. The detail and research are superb, as is the writing style. I highly recommend.
4 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Groom and the Dowry 28 Sep 2012
By Zinovy Y. Vayman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Raz Dva Tri

The cover of the book is superb. It shows well that the Arabs of the Eastern Palestine (the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) and the Arabs of the Western Palestine (Arab Authority with the seat in Ramallah) share the same flag and the same national colors. After all, there are East and West Banks in Palestine bisected by the River Jordan.
The author proclaims his intention to "avoid value-laden phrases" but he does not keep his promise and he brings his terminology in sync with his Oxford masters who allow him to reside and write volumes in their midst. His book cannot be considered a serious research project since even the border between Palestine (Transjordan, later Jordan) and the Saudi Arabia in 1948 is not shown correctly.
The author writes a lot about the assassinated Aziz Shehadeh without much investigation in his roots. Mr. Shehadeh was an Anglican; his ancestors converted from the Greek Orthodox faith when the British came to the Middle East. He was not "forced to flee from Jaffa to Ramallah" as Avi Raz wants us to believe. The Shehadeh family owned a great summer home in Ramallah. Aziz could stay in Jaffa in the winter 1948-1949. Yet Mr Shehadeh was an ethnic Greek who aspired to be a leader of Muslim Arabs in the hills of Judea and Samaria. In his post-1967 negotiations with the Palestinian Jews leading the winning State of Israel, he "made it appear as gaining support in his quest towards the independent state on the West Bank." But another prominent Jerusalem family led by Anwar Nuseibeh--a Muslim whose victorious ancestors were close to Prophet Muhammad-- had another opinion. His supporters insisted--according to the book--on the 1947 partition plan (it meant that the State of Israel, as a result of the Six Day war, must cede the territories won in the Independence war in 1948 in Galilee, move from the large tracts of land near Gaza and transfer Beer Sheva to the Arab rule. Jewish Jerusalem must be deep inside the Arab state occupying the entire Judea and Samaria.) Mr. Nuseibeh's faction demanded the return of the Arabs who left the areas of confrontation initiated in 1948 by the British-led Arab Legion based on the East Bank, by the militants based in Lebanon and the local brigands and skirmishers. The Muslim leaders also called for the referendum to approve all the negotiation results. Such a referendum could have sent all the peace plans in a tailspin since the Arab masses got their own sense of justice which has never included the Palestinian Jews. As Albert Camus wrote, there are many truths, not one.
To serve his British colonialist masters well, Avi Raz allows himself leaps in logic.
Since British officers lead the Arab Legion of the Eastern Palestine (Transjordan) in 1948, Mr. Raz is bound to pay great respect to his Oxford bosses providing him his sustenance and the (shameful) sense of self-esteem. He goes as far as claiming that "the 1949 armistice agreement amounts to the recognition of the annexation of the West Bank in the Western Palestine by the Eastern Palestinian Kingdom of Transjordan.
A new Oxonian Avi Raz even invents a new geography--he calls the Golan Heights a "Syrian Plateau." This topology is not found in any atlas except the erroneous book by our Avi.
In his fervor to make his British hosts happy, Mr. Raz repeats-- after Jew-haters-- that "Jewish settlers lived lavishly among 1.4 million destitute Palestinians."
He forgets to say how hard the Gaza Jews worked in agriculture and how well the rich Gaza Arabs lived.
They got dinners from the best Israeli restaurants and brought many fair-skinned Slavic wives from Eastern Europe.
Mr. Raz does not care that the density of the Jewish population in Palestine including Tel Aviv is three times higher than the Arab population. He does not notice that Arabs who are Israeli citizens control more land than Israeli Jews and buy more land from Jews. He forgets to inform us that his beloved Arabs are punished by death if they sell any land to Jews.
Avi Raz claims that "the Israeli volte-face was influenced by Intifada." He conveniently forgets to mention which one--a first one or second one.
Why does Avi Raz hate Jews corralled in Palestine, in their Bantustans?
Why does he want the Jewish revolt in Palestine to be rolled back and suppressed?
Ah, it is easy. The "laurels" of Josephus Flavius are deemed desirable by many people in academia. They want to hover above and, better yet, aside.
In exchange, they get their pounds of sterling instead of shekels.
No wonder, a competing "Josephus Flavius"--Avi Shlaim--praises another Avi.
The ancestors of Avis tried to become free people, they Hebraized their names, and they studied Ivrit.
Ginuk!
Their much smarter offspring study the Germanic tongue of the Brits and enjoy the Bodleian Library before their non-kosher lunch with polished anti-Semites. Splendid!
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