chapter  17
35 Pages

War and the Quest for Peace

WithArthur Goldschmidt, Aomar Boum

The June 1967 War had destroyed whatever influence the United States had possessed in Egypt and Syria. After the 1967 War revealed the inadequacy of the Arab states' armies, the Palestinians decided it was time to declare their own nation, obtain arms, train themselves to fight, and regain their lands. Yet one could reasonably argue that retaining and settling the occupied territories, then containing more than 2 million discontented Palestinians, only increased Israel's insecurity. The Arab-Israeli conflict was muted between 1956 and 1967, and yet there was no peace. The Arabs believed that a just solution was more apt to come from the United Nations than from direct negotiations. Meanwhile, Washington tried to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict through an accord among the major outside powers: the Soviet Union, Britain, and France. Israel's right-wing parties, which equated territorial expansion with security, had left the broad coalition government and denounced the Rogers Peace Plan.