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Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories [Kindle Edition]

Ahron Bregman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 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 back-room 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.

Editorial Reviews


Bregman tells this bleak story well, and what a catalogue of grief it is ... A damning verdict -- Max Hastings Sunday Times Bregman has also enjoyed unparalleled access to high-level sources that enabled him to quote directly from top-secret memos, letters, and intelligence reports that are unlikely ever to be made public ... Bregman's account of the conflict born of the cursed victory is intelligent, informative and rich in telling details. -- Avi Shlaim Guardian The headlines notwithstanding, this is not primarily a book about who spied on whom. It is the best available book on the Israeli occupation of the Territories and why it should be ended ASAP; and one written with the kind of lucidity and insight only somebody who passionately loves his country can muster -- Martin van Creveld A bombshell book... The nuggets provided in Bregman's book shed light on the extent of Israel's intelligence collection agencies' work not only in times of war, but also as Israel engaged with its neighbors in peace talks... Bregman has a flair for exposing sensational details kept in secret by all parties for years The Jewish Daily Forward Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on phone calls between President Bill Clinton and Syria's late strongman Hafez al-Assad during sensitive Middle East peace negotiations 15 years ago... Evidence is cited in verbatim transcripts of the calls revealed by political scientist and author Ahron Bregman in his forthcoming book Cursed Victory -- Jeff Stein Newsweek Lucid ... timely ... Bregman has assets which lift this account above many on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One is access to some hitherto secret material ... [Cursed Victory is] a highly readable study, an excellent starting point for those wanting to know more about how military victory turned into a tragedy -- Donald MacIntyre The Independent Explosive... [Bregman's] insight into the tragedy of post Six-Day-War Israel, which the title encapsulates in two words, is impeccable -- Mira Bar Hillel The Oldie Although only nine years old in 1967, [Bregman's] insight into the tragedy of Israel after the Six Day War is impeccable -- Independent Mira Bar Hillel Detailed and well thought-out... A former Israeli soldier in Lebanon, Mr Bregman knows his subject first-hand. In 1988 he left Israel, unhappy about the country's policy towards the Palestinians. As an academic at King's College London, he has accumulated copious documents, many of them secret and unpublished Economist The definitive chronicle of how Israel's control over Palestinian life has transformed from a temporary system to a fully functioning colonial administration... Cursed Victory excels in unpacking exactly how Israel's administration of the occupation has adapted over five decades to ensure its continuation The National (UAE) Cursed Victory is briskly written ... [An] incisive, thoroughly documented and readable account -- Adam Lebor Literary Review A well-researched, probing book. It is the work of a man troubled by his country's policies and the dilemmas with which those policies have saddled the people of Israel. The detail he has gleaned from often highly classified sources is fascinating and thought-provoking The Australian The cry of an anguished conscience and a work of scholarship based on hitherto undisclosed material. The revelations are stunning Frontline An intelligent, critical account... The book utilises to good effect unpublished intelligence files, transcripts of telephone calls and interviews with the many protagonists The Jewish Chronicle

Product Details

  • File Size: 8940 KB
  • Print Length: 373 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141017236
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (June 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H7O87R0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,589 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the previous review... July 28, 2014
By Anya
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book provides a thorough documentation of intervention in The Occupied Territories and paints a vivd picture of Israeli policy. Though the author's occasional use of "Top Secret Memos" to bolster claims is dubious, his detailed descriptions of Israel's political, social, and military operations suffice to build an argument: that Israel never intended on withdrawing from the territory it occupied in the aftermath of the Six Days War. I recommend directing your annoyingly Pro-Israel acquaintances to this book in order to remind them that modern Palestinian insurgency is rooted in years of colonial-style oppression.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult subject, easy read. August 2, 2014
By OnlyMe
This is a very accessible book, describing the different areas and events of the occupation in appropriately organized chapters rather than in a strictly chronological order. Resisting the urge to overload the reader with as many facts as can be squeezed into a book whilst maintaining a semblance of legibility, the author has instead created a focussed and balanced narrative centring around (mostly) the post-1967 history of the occupation. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of transcripts, for example of when Israel bugged the phone lines and office (one side only of some phone calls?) of the President of the USA, which gave great behind the scenes glimpses at the diplomatic efforts being attempted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true and sad. human beings do not know how to live ... August 21, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
true and sad. human beings do not know how to live in peace.
a testimonial to a racist nation who has not learned from their past experiences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dry but frank, well defended thesis September 7, 2014
It's a dry read. That's why 3 stars for interest. But! ... I give the author 5 stars for courage and honesty to take on this difficult topic so fraught with (in US) media bias nearby unwavering toward Israel. So net 4 stars.

The book is laid out in an organized format, by chronological then geographic theme. The book gets bogged down in facts and details, which the author believes - probably justifiably - is needed since his thesis runs counter to mainstream media in US: Israel wrongly took land in 1967 from Palestine people and has WILLFULLY, and perhaps disingenuously, methodically settled that land in direct opposition to Geneva convention rules on "occupied territories."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i thought this was a great review of isreal's handling of the lands taken in the 1967 war; if you are a believer in the isreali propaganda put out by their lobby as our whole gutless congress is & almost all our presidents since that war ex jimmy carter, then you will not like this book; the truth hurts at times & the right wing isreali continuing attempt to have an apartied/jewish state which is little different from what white rodesia & south africa did for having a state that disenfrancised the majority & our south for centuries to keep the whites in power over the blacks, isreal is trying to insure the palestinians do not take over a majority in isreal & change its jewishness; i have no issues with the jewish culture & most of its people but the isreali policies against the palestinians is getting real old with me esp now as they bomb woemn & children in gaza & our politicans fall over each other trying to show out support for our supposed ally in the middle east; so this book is not for everyone esp those that cannot take criticism
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