Conversations with the Palestinians of 1967: Has Anything Changed?

Just after the Six-Day War, an Israeli professor met and took notes on his discussions with Palestinian intellectuals. They reveal as much about now as about then.

Palestinians in a car checked by Israeli soldiers in July 1967. Manuel Litran/Paris Match via Getty Images.

Palestinians in a car checked by Israeli soldiers in July 1967. Manuel Litran/Paris Match via Getty Images.

Observation
Aug. 29 2016
About the author

Menahem Milson is professor emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where among other posts he served as head of the department of Arabic language and literature, director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies, and dean of humanities. A co-founder and academic adviser of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), he is the author of, among other books, Najib Mahfuz: The Novelist-Philosopher of Cairo.

A former paratrooper and intelligence officer in the IDF, Milson also served as adviser on Arab affairs to the Israeli military government in the West Bank and Gaza (1976-78) and in 1981-82 headed the civil administration of Judea and Samaria.


Editor’s Note: In the period immediately following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Menahem Milson, then a young instructor in Arabic literature at the Hebrew University, had occasion to meet and converse at length with Palestinian writers, intellectuals, and public figures—engaging them in debate over Zionism, Israel, and the prospects of reconciliation, helping them experience Israeli life at first hand, and in some cases forming enduring personal connections.

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More about: 1967, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Six-Day War