chapter  3
Breakthrough with Egypt
Pages 28

This chapter addresses first the failures, of which there are more cases than breakthroughs, the over-riding factor would indeed appear to have been intangible ideological identity-related factors on the part of the Israeli leadership, to which domestic spoilers contributed. Mistrust, born of the deeply engrained belief that the Arabs would never accept Israel's legitimacy, nurtured by an historical sense of persecution and victimhood, had become part of Israelis' identity. The rejection of Egyptian offers before the Yom Kippur War, and Rabin's hesitations in talks with both Egypt and the Syrians, were signs of this attitude. The transformation-the breakthroughs and near-breakthrough that did occur in the Arab-Israel conflict - were due to many factors, but most of all to an evolution or series of changes that occurred in Israel. Other changes, first of all in Israel's adversaries, but also in the region and beyond, clearly contributed; they were even vital.