Occupied with Peace: On the Viability of Land for Peace
Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War led to the conquering of the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Judea and Samaria.
Immediately following the war, the Israeli cabinet approved offering all the territories won in battle back to Egypt and Syria in exchange for peace. Abba Eban famously wrote, “This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace, and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender.” The original Israeli overture was met with rejection, and numerous subsequent attempts at “land for peace” have yet to resolve this thorny
issue. This has recently given rise to the global BDS movement that seeks to use diplomatic and financial means to pressure Israel to come to the negotiating table.
This lesson discusses contemporary Jewish perspectives on these territories: Should Israel hold on to them regardless of the cost? Is there a way to trade land to achieve a lasting and sustainable peace? The lesson also discusses the related theme of displaced Palestinians refugees who seek to return to their ancestral homes.