Thursday, July 12, 2012

Inserting the documents into the discourse

A few weeks ago we posted the transcript of the discussion that took place in Israel's cabinet on June 18th-19th 1967. This is the famous meeting at which, a week after the Six Day War, Israel's leadership tried to figure out what to do with the territories which had just been conquered. After two days of discussion they voted to negotiate with Egypt and Syria so as to achieve peace in return for the Sinai and Golan. Jerusalem, it was clear to them, must remain in Israel. When it came to Gaza and the West Bank they were not able to reach agreement.

Since this blog was not yet operative, I posted an English-language summary of the meeting on my old blog.

Last week Gershon Gorenberg published a blogpost in which he rejects the story about an Israeli willingness to trade the West Bank for peace in 1967.

This is an apolitical blog, so I'm not going to engage with Gorenberg. However, since one of our goals here at the Israel State Archives (ISA) is to insert the documentary evidence into the myriad ongoing discussions about Israel, we appreciate his use of, and linking to, our online document. We heartily recommend that as many people as possible join him in reading the document, while forming their independent impression as to its significance. As Gorenberg says:
The picture is also unavoidably incomplete: Once-classified Israeli papers are available, showing the gap between public statements and actual positions. A lack of declassified Arab source material makes it harder to chart that gap on the Arab side.

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