Israel / Palestinians / Six-Day War

“…taking on the identity of being the world’s wanderers is more of a punishment than a badge of honor”

…as we converge on marking 50 years since the 1967 war reshaped the relationship between Israel and its neighbor states, and between Israel and the Palestinians, that its most paradoxical legacy was that the same war that granted a kind of earthly permanence and security for the State of Israel—an implausible transformation of the fate of the Jewish people just one generation removed from the nadir of its powerlessness–cost the Jews a piece of our core mythology, and offered it as a pyrrhic concessionary gift to the Palestinians. It is a gift, needless to say, that I’m sure the Palestinians would prefer came in the form of their land; taking on the identity of being the world’s wanderers is more of a punishment than a badge of honor. But it is an identity nonetheless, and one that, fortified by pathos, seeks to animate a people. It is the majestic, tragic-mythic story that the Jewish people told itself about itself for a long time.

Yehuda Kurtzer, “Unsettled”, Tablet (5 June 2017) [http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/235527/unsettled-2]