In a move that would forever alter the map of the Middle East, Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and Sinai Peninsula in 1967's brief but pivotal Six Day War. Cursed Victory is the first complete history of the war's troubled aftermath-a military occupation of the Palestinian territories that is now well into its fifth decade. Drawing on unprecedented access to high-level sources, top secret memos and never-before-published letters, the book provides a gripping and unvarnished chronicle of how what Israel promised would be an "enlightened occupation" quickly turned sour and the anguished diplomatic attempts to bring it to an end. Bregman sheds fresh light on critical moments in the peace process, taking us 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 the late 1960s to the present day, Cursed Victory provides vivid portraits of the key players in this unfolding drama, including Moshe Dayan, King Hussein of Jordan, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat. Yet Bregman always reminds us how diplomatic 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, the occupation has become a dark stain on Israel's history and an era when international opinion of the country shifted decisively. Cursed Victory is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the ongoing conflict in the region.
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