To mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day-War, in which Israel defeated multiple Arab armies and acquired the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem, the Israeli National Archives has declassified hitherto unseen transcripts of the top secret government deliberations that took place following Israel’s remarkable victory. The plan that emerged in those deliberations was to trade all the land back, except Jerusalem, for regional peace. Highlights of the transcripts include hardliner Menachem Begin proving surprisingly amenable to territorial concession and several religious parties favoring a return of land they would ultimately build settlements in.You can read the 200-page document in Hebrew here, or view a five-page English extract here. Israel’s Chief Archivist Yaacov Lozowick, who is spearheading efforts to declassify, modernize and democratize Israel’s National Archives, has an excellent English summary and historical contextualization of the material here.Anyone interested in unraveling the thorny political present in the Middle East needs to understand its past. For this reason, documents like these are essential reading for both interested laymen and professional historians, and they have Via Meadia‘s recommendation.