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Editor: Jan)h Sonnta~

Edilorial Advhory Board: Alexander Baron Hanoch Banov Chaim Bermant Frank Ca" Jo•el Herman Barnet Lilvinoll Hyam Maccob~ Louis Mark~ J, 8. Se!(al Alfred Werner Renee Wine~ancn

Dbtribution & tradt.' United Kingdom: Vallenl ine Mitchell h7 Great Ru~~ell Street London WCIB JBT Israel: Weidenfeld & Nicobon 19 Herzo~ Street Jeru•akrn, P.O.B. 7>4:; USA & Canada: Media J ud;o ica ll6H Fairfield Avenue Brid!(eporl, Conn. 06606

Annual ~ub~cription £1·50, SS·OO 1£15·00 Single copy 40p, Sl·25, 1£4·00 (plu• postage)

Published four 1 irnes a year by Jewish Literary Publications Ltd. 68 Worcester Crescent, London, NW7 4NA. () The Jewish Quarterly 1974

Editorial DISSENT AND CHANGE DISSENT fROM GENERALLY ACCEPTED ATTITUDES IS AN essential part of the democratic process. The strength of a democracy can be measured by the degree to which it allows dissenting views to be expressed freely. To say "no" is not necessarily to be right but is to assert the right to doubt, to question. It is a first step towards change.

Since the Yom Kippur War of last October many Israelis began to question certain assumptions pronounced and promoted by the established leadership. A process of re-thinking has begun, the outcome of which cannot be foreseen. Such a diligent observer of the Israeli scene as Eric Silver, who writes regularly for the Guardian and the Observer, in his "Letter from Jerusalem" in this issue, describes the mood of the country. The picture he presents is one of gloom. Occasional visitors to Israel will confirm this impression. In place of self-assurance there is uncertainty. Clarity of aim has been replaced by confusion.

What lies behind this uncertainty and confusion? In public discussions and private conversations people speak openly of a "political earthquake" which would leave its mark for a long time to come. Yet it would be wrong to think that this sudden awareness of Israel's position as a small country exposed to the rivalries of the two super-powers in their struggle to maintain and strengthen their own position in the area, has come as an unexpected revelation. Long before the outbreak of the October war there was no lack of warning voices, and long before the discovery of what the Israelis now call ".\1achdal" -- a newly coined word which roughly translated means: "that which should have been done and was not done" - there were not a few people who pointed to the dangers of complacency in disregarding the reality and relying on superior force as a precondition of a final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such voices of dissent were, at best, dismi~sed as the rumblings of "professors" and woolly-headed intellectuals, and, at worst, rejected as treacherous subversion. By now it is generally accepted that the situation


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