Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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See also the 2004 interview
with Tom Segev: Israeli National

Israel and the 1967 War: Conversation with Tom Segev, Columnist, Haaretz; March 22, 2007, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guest today is Tom Segev, who is a columnist for Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, an a historian whose publications have had a major impact on contemporary debates within Israeli society. These works include Elvis In Jerusalem: Post-Zionism and the Americanization of Israel, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, and The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust. He has just published 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East. Mr. Segev is in residence at the Berkeley campus in spring 2007 as the Helen Diller Family visiting professor.

  1. A Watershed Event ... Israeli society before and after the war ... New Historians ... unconventional scholarship ... a soldier's diary
  2. Before the War ... astounding success to 1965 ... recession of 1966 ... early terrorism; public disillusionment ... Eshkol succeeds Ben-Gurion ... Holocaust anxiety ... ethnic tension around Israeli identity ... Zionism as a European movement ... immigration of Jews from Arab nations ... unease ... sense of failure of original mission
  3. The War Begins ... terrorists entering via Syria ... Israel strikes Syria ... Egypt responds ... Israeli panic ... military leaders vs. political leaders ... waiting for green light from America ... ethnic tension among leadership ... nearly a coup d'état
  4. Irrational Forces ... politics and ego ... Eshkol, Ben-Gurion, and Dayan ... scenarios for the West Bank ... occupation is not in Israel's interest ... rationality tossed aside in taking East Jerusalem ... mistake haunts present-day policy
  5. Consequences ... militaristic euphoria ... "administration" becomes occupation ... lost opportunity ... self-image of moral superiority ... "we hate war" ... Jerusalem ... the painful choice that Israel can't make ... the role of American Jews ... LBJ's conflation of Israel, Jews, Democratic funding, and the Vietnam war ... the green light ... the future

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