The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War


A controversial examination of the internal Israeli debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a best-selling Israeli author.

Since the Six-Day War, Israelis have been entrenched in a national debate over whether to keep the land they conquered or to return some, if not all, of the territories to Palestinians. In a balanced and insightful analysis, Micah Goodman deftly sheds light on the ideas that have shaped Israelis’ thinking on both sides of the debate, and among secular and religious Jews about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Contrary to opinions that dominate the discussion, he shows that the paradox of Israeli political discourse is that both sides are right in what they affirm—and wrong in what they deny. Although he concludes that the conflict cannot be solved, Goodman is far from a pessimist and explores how instead it can be reduced in scope and danger through limited, practical steps. Through philosophical critique and political analysis, Goodman builds a creative, compelling case for pragmatism in a dispute where a comprehensive solution seems impossible.


“The author’s voice is calm, rational, analytical. . . . Beneath the narrative lies a strong foundation of historical and religious research, solid organizational principles, and clear, informed prose. . . . An eloquent expression of the distant hope that deeply committed human beings can stop, inhale deeply, listen, change, and compromise.”

—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Probably the best guide produced in recent years to the present state of Israeli political discourse, and to its woeful limitations.”
—Haviv Gur, Mosaic, The Best Books of 2018

“Micah Goodman offers us a way forward through introducing a different kind of dialogue into a deeply divided Israeli society. By shifting the debate away from empty slogans and towards concrete solutions, he provides a way out of the rut that we’ve been in since 1967 and enables us to make the tough decisions, heal the rifts and continue to live as one people.”

—Tzipi Livni, former Foreign Minister of Israel