Cite: Waxman and Lasensky, Jewish Foreign Policy

Waxman, Dov and Scott Lasensky. “Jewish Foreign Policy: Israel, World Jewry and the Defence of ‘Jewish Interests’.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 12.2 (2013): 232-52.





Is there such a thing as a “Jewish foreign policy”? This article argues that Jewish foreign policy does in fact exist. It is not Israeli foreign policy, nor is it an aggregation of American Jewish political power and interests. Jewish foreign policy is not controlled by the Israeli Prime Minister, nor is it led by the myriad of Jewish communal organizations in the United States or elsewhere. It defies the traditional ‘Israel-diaspora’ dichotomy that all too often defines Jewish political discourse. Jewish foreign policy, like other systems of foreign policy, has its own distinctive set of interests and actors. It is a complex, informal, and de-centralized system of ethno-nationalist foreign policy. This article maps out the Jewish foreign policy system. In doing so, the following questions are addressed: Who are the actors involved? What are its interests? What are the challenges and problems facing the system?

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