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‘Catch-67’ Debuts in English to Strong Reviews

Each side of the Israeli political divide believes they can solve 'the Palestinian problem.' Both are incorrect, but in their own ways, are also correct.

Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War, the English translation of Micah Goodman’s 2017 Hebrew-language, Israeli best-seller, has debuted with strong reviews.

Robert Orkand, writing in Reform Judaism , said that Goodman’s hope in publishing Catch-67 “is that both sides of the debate over Israel’s future will come to hear each other.” The book is written for an Israeli readership, Orkand said, but “this book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the tectonic forces underlying Israeli politics.”

Stu Halpern, writing for the Jewish Book Council , said, “In Catch-67, already a bestseller in Israel, Micah Goodman convincingly argues that although each side of the Israeli political divide believes they know the path to solving “the Palestinian problem,” both are incorrect. But at the same time, in their own ways, they are each also correct; that is what makes the issue so intractable.”

Watch Micah discuss ‘Catch-67’ at the Hartman Institute

From the book:

The Israelis in the center are not between the right and left. They are both right and left. That’s why we are so perplexed.

The right is correct that a withdrawal would endanger Israel; the left is correct that a continued presence in the territories would endanger Israel. The problem is that since everyone is correct, everyone is also incorrect – and the State of Israel is trapped in an impossible bind.

Catch-67 is published by Yale University Press . It was translated by Israeli journalist Eylon Levy.

Yale calls the book “a controversial examination of the internal Israeli debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Read more from the Yale website:

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.

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