Israel’s March of Folly

Israel was now in an excellent position to make a serious attempt to put an end to its decades-long conflict with the Palestinians

In her book The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman noted that Lyndon Johnson’s failure to seize the opportunity presented by his 1964 astounding defeat of Goldwater to enact his Great Society, and his growing entanglement in Vietnam instead, as his irreparable folly.

In his essay Israel’s March of Folly, Shlomo Swirski, claims Israel’s failure to seize the opportunity presented by her astounding defeat of the Arab armies in 1967 in order to continue with nation building and social and economic development, and its growing entanglement instead in the settlements project – the greatest practical obstacle in the way of peace with the Palestinians – was Israel’s great folly.

In the essay, Shlomo Swirski details the social, political, economic and military aspects of this folly, touching on such themes as the expansion of poverty, limitations to economic growth, low investments in higher education, the right/left divide, and the military costs.