The 1953 Qibya Raid Revisited: Excerpts from Moshe Sharett's Diaries

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VOL. 31


No. 4
P. 77
Special Documents
The 1953 Qibya Raid Revisited: Excerpts from Moshe Sharett's Diaries

This document reproduces excerpts from the diary--hitherto unpublished in English--of Moshe Sharett, Israel's first foreign minister (1948-56). The entries cover October-December 1953 and pertain exclusively to the 14-15 October raid on the village of Qibya in the West Bank, then Jordan, by IDF unit 101 led by Ariel Sharon during which 69 villagers were blown up in their homes. The diary excerpts, by a well-known "dove," provide an inside view of the repercussions of the raid and particularly the debates within the government as to how to handle the diplomatic fallout. The introduction provides the historical context and discusses the light shed by the Qibya incident and its follow-up on patterns that continue today.

Walid Khalidi, a founder of the Institute for Palestine Studies and its general secretary, is a former professor at Oxford University, the American University of Beirut, and Harvard University, and is the author, among other works, of Before Their DiasporaNeil Caplan teaches humanities and Jewish studies at Vanier College, Montreal, and is the author, most recently, of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: Patterns, Problems, and Possibilities (with Laura Zittrain Eisenberg).