Is Israel Losing the Six-Day War?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

From my New York Times review of Gershom Gorenberg's new book about Israel's current predicament:

"The Unmaking of Israel" argues, in essence, that Israel is losing the 1967 Six- Day War. How can it lose a war it won so decisively more than 44 years ago? By believing it can swallow whole the territories it gained in that war and flourish in perpetuity as a law-abiding democratic nation with a Jewish majority. And Israel is losing another war, as well, Gorenberg argues, against twin religious fundamentalisms, the first that of the haredim, or ultra-Orthodox, variant, whose adherents deplete the Israeli treasury while rejecting any notion of responsibility to the state. The second, and even more ominous fundamentalism is the type followed by many West Bank settlers and their supporters, who have sanctified the acquisition of land to the detriment of all other Jewish values.

Gorenberg is at his most incensed, and most eloquent, on the issue of the Jewish settlements, which many Palestinians see as concrete proof of Israeli lack of interest in a two-state solution. It is an understandable Palestinian view, but the truth is more complicated. The majority of Israelis say they support a two-state solution, and the majority of Israelis, if they ever loved the settlements, appear to love them no more (Israelis are not, in my experience, unaware that settlements are the main weapon in the arsenal of Israel's adversaries). But the majority is powerless in the face of the relentless settler minority.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/is-israel-losing-the-six-day-war/248787/