The American public has fallen victim in recent years to a propaganda assault, launched and coordinated by the Israeli Likud party and their American partners, whose theme is clear and simple: the long-term security of the Jewish state lies in its ability to maintain control over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with its mainly Arab population. A corollary of this axiom is that Washington should help Israel cling to those territories it occupied in the 1967 war.
Now two highly-respected Israeli journalists, Ze'ev Schiffand Ehud Ya'ari, have for all practical purposes demolished these frequently contended arguments. Their study, entitled Intifada, focuses on the over two-year-old Palestinian uprising, and it is destined to become the Israeli version of David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest—or, even worse, Jerusalem's Pentagon Papers.
Intifada, which has been published both in English and Hebrew, charges that the Israeli political elite, through a mixture of ideological blindness, political stupidity, and military incompetence, is directly responsible for the policies that ignited and perpetuated the violence in the occupied territories. Moreover, without beating around the bush, the authors suggest that Israel's national interest dictates that its leadership find a way politically...