New Article: Caplan, Why Was Moshe Sharett Sacked?

Caplan, Neil. “Why Was Moshe Sharett Sacked? Examining the Premature End of a Political Career, 1956.” Middle East Journal 70.2 (2016): 275-97.





Drawing mainly on the diary of Israeli politician Moshe Sharett, this article examines the circumstances surrounding his forced resignation as foreign minister in 1956. It was Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion who insisted on Sharett’s removal but refused to reveal his reasons publicly. This examination of why Sharett was sacked also offers wider insight into conflicts between activism and restraint within Israel’s political and military elite in the lead-up to the Sinai War.




New Article: Donaghy, Canada, the Middle East, and the Suez Crisis, 1950–1956

Donaghy, Greg. “The Politics of Accommodation: Canada, the Middle East, and the Suez Crisis, 1950–1956.” International Journal (early view; online first).





This paper re-examines Canada’s response to the Suez Crisis within the context of its overall approach to the Middle East in the early 1950s. It reminds contemporary readers that most Canadian policymakers, including Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and his Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, viewed the distant and unfamiliar region with reserve, as one better left to the Great Powers to sort out. That view only changed in 1956, when the Suez Crisis, Anglo-American discord, and the possibility of nuclear war threatened Canadian strategic interests, transforming Canada into a small regional stakeholder.




ToC: Israel Affairs 22.1 (2016)

Israel Affairs, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2016 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles Sixty-two years of national insurance in Israel
Abraham Doron
Pages: 1-19 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111632

Rethinking reverence for Stalinism in the kibbutz movement
Reuven Shapira
Pages: 20-44 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111640

Making war, thinking history: David Ben-Gurion, analogical reasoning and the Suez Crisis
Ilai Z. Saltzman
Pages: 45-68 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111638

Military power and foreign policy inaction: Israel, 1967‒1973
Moshe Gat
Pages: 69-95 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111636
Arab army vs. a Jewish kibbutz: the battle for Mishmar Ha’emek, April 1948
Amiram Ezov
Pages: 96-125 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111633
Lip-service to service: the Knesset debates over civic national service in Israel, 1977–2007
Etta Bick
Pages: 126-149 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111630
State‒diaspora relations and bureaucratic politics: the Lavon and Pollard affairs
Yitzhak Mualem
Pages: 150-171 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111637
Developing Jaffa’s port, 1920‒1936
Tamir Goren
Pages: 172-188 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111634
University, community, identity: Ben-Gurion University and the city of Beersheba – a political cultural analysis
Yitzhak Dahan
Pages: 189-210 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111631
The Palestinian/Arab Strategy to Take Over Campuses in the West – Preliminary Findings
Ron Schleifer
Pages: 211-235 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111639
Identity of immigrants – between majority perceptions and self-definition
Sibylle Heilbrunn, Anastasia Gorodzeisky & Anya Glikman
Pages: 236-247 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111635
Book Reviews
Jabotinsky: a life
David Rodman
Pages: 248-249 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.112095

Ethos clash in Israeli society
David Rodman
Pages: 250-251 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120967

Nazis, Islamists and the making of the modern Middle East
David Rodman
Pages: 252-254 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120968
The new American Zionism
David Rodman
Pages: 255-257 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120969
Rise and decline of civilizations: lessons for the Jewish people
David Rodman
Pages: 258-259 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120970

ToC: Israel Studies 20.3 (2015) | Special Issue: Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

Israel Studies 20.3 (2015)

Special Issue—Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective



  1. Introduction (pp. v-vii)
    Natan Aridan and Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer
  2. Gabriel Sheffer
  3. Yaakov Sharett

New Article: Siniver, Abba Eban and the Development of American–Israeli Relations

Siniver, Asaf. “Abba Eban and the Development of American–Israeli Relations, 1950–1959.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26.1 (2015): 65-83.





Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador in Washington and representative at the United Nations from 1950 to 1959, had a central role in the transformation of American–Israeli relations during a period of frequent discord over key strategic issues. This analysis examines the influence of one prominent actor upon bilateral ties that would eventually become the American–Israeli “special relationship.” Eban’s oratory talent, linguistic skills, and effective style of diplomacy augmented both Israel’s image in the view of the American public and relations with official Washington. The article explores several critical elements of these relations during the 1950s, re-examining both Eban’s involvement in events such as Israel’s approach toward the problem of borders, its policy of military retaliation, and the response to severe American pressure following the 1956 Sinai campaign. Whilst not attributing the development of close relations between the two Powers solely to the works of a single individual, evidence suggests that Eban was the right man in the right place and time to provide the necessary foundations for the elevation of American–Israeli relations to “special” in the following decade.





New Article: Laron, The Domestic Sources of Israel’s Decision to Launch the 1956 Sinai Campaign

Laron, Guy. “The Domestic Sources of Israel’s Decision to Launch the 1956 Sinai Campaign.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42.2 (2015): 200-18.





This article examines Israel’s decision to launch the 1956 campaign against Egypt. While the current literature tends to argue that, in 1956, the campaign was a response by Israel to security threats, it is suggested here that, if so, these threats certainly did not predetermine any specific response. Israel could, for example, have responded by adopting a defensive posture. In reality, domestic factors were just as influential as external ones. The most important of these was the severe economic crisis caused by mass immigration to Israel during 1948–1951. This crisis in turn led to the creation in 1953–1956 of a war coalition whose three components—David Ben-Gurion (Prime Minister and Minister of Defence), MAPAI’s party bosses and the army—had different interests but shared the idea of a war against Israel’s Arab neighbours as a way in which each could advance its preferred aims.

Bligh, The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), 1956–67

Bligh, Alexander. “The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), 1956–67: Past Experience, Current Lessons.” Middle Eastern Studies 50.5 (2014): 796-809.






With the conclusion of almost every round of hostilities between Israel and one of its neighbours the idea of international forces is being raised once again. This is basically an improved and revised initiative for stationing international forces to supervise (and perhaps impose) a ceasefire between the parties. In the Arab–Israeli framework, it is in essence the old approach which has been in service since 1948. Only one force, UNEF, stands out as not having been approved by the Security Council and clearly failing its intended but vaguely defined mission. The current analysis leads to the conclusion that in this particular regional conflict, the positioning of international forces must always come within the context of a more comprehensive settlement. That way, by violating a force’s mandate, each party would lose either land or diplomatic recognition. Moreover, if a Middle Eastern peacekeeping operation is to take place in the future, it has to include organic units of the warring parties, encouraging peaceful interactions. Such units should reinforce organic units from countries acceptable to all parties. Hopefully, future missions, taking into consideration some of the approaches suggested here, can continue to contribute to regional processes for peace.

New Book: Rosman, France and Israel, 1947-1970

Rosman, Miriam. France and Israel, 1947-1970. From the Creation of the State of Israel to the Cherbourg Boats Affair. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2014 (in Hebrew).




Hebrew translation from French original: La France et Israël, 1947-1970 : de la création de l’État d’Israël au départ des vedettes de Cherbourg (Paris : Champion, 2009).

 רוסמן, מרים. יחסי צרפת-ישראל. מקום המדינה עד לפרשיית ספינות שרבורג. תרגום: הילה קרס. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

בשנים 1947-1970 בלטו יחסי ישראל-צרפת בשילוב שבין כובד משקלה של השואה, צילה של המדיניות הצרפתית ביחס לערבים והמקרה הייחודי של מדינה שאך נולדה והמשך קיומה בלתי ודאי. ספרה של מירי רוסמן מבקש לרדת לשורשם של היחסים בין שתי המדינות ולבחון את המטען המורכב שביסוד מדיניות החוץ שלהן. לפנינו מחקר חדשני המבוסס על עדויות חדשות וארכיונים שלא היו פתוחים בעבר. המחברת הצליחה להגיע למסמכים נדירים כמו אוספים של מדינאים צרפתים, מסמכים של האו”ם ושל משרד החוץ הצרפתי. לאלה הצטרפו הארכיונים של חיל האוויר וצבא היבשה הצרפתים שבוַונסֶן, ארכיוני צה”ל, ארכיוני המדינה והארכיונים הלאומיים. את המסמכים הכתובים משלים מספר רב של עדויות מפי אישים מהשורה הראשונה, למשל רנה בלוך, קוב דה מורוויל, מוקה לימון ושמעון פרס.

הספר פותח בניצחון בעלות הברית ובמלחמה הקרה: צרפת כבר איננה מעצמה, ובמקביל היא מתמודדת עם קשיים כלכליים ופוליטיים מפנים ומחוץ. היא מסייעת לפעילות הציונית אך גם מהססת ביחס לתוכנית החלוקה, כמו גם ביחס לעצם ההכרה במדינת ישראל. חלקו השני של הספר עוסק בשנים 1953-1962, והוא מתאר כיצד עברו יחסי צרפת וישראל מנורמליזציה ל”אידיליה” אשר בשיאה שיתוף הפעולה במבצע קדש. החלק השלישי והאחרון מתאר את מדיניות החוץ הצרפתית בעקבות עצמאות אלג’יריה בשנת 1962, בעיקר חידוש קשריה עם העולם הערבי. פרשת ספינות שרבורג בשנת 1969 בראשות מוקה לימון וגירושו מצרפת מגלמים את סופה של הקרבה הייחודית בין המדינות.

ToC: Israel Affairs, 19.4 (2013)

Israel Affairs: Volume 19, Issue 4, 2013


Anatomy of decline: Anglo-Soviet competition in the Middle East, 1956–67

Moshe Gat
pages 603-622

The impact of the cold war on the Thatcher government’s Middle East policy

Azriel Bermant
pages 623-639


Ending the Second Lebanon War: the interface between the political and military echelons in Israel

Shmuel Tzabag
pages 640-659

The ‘Annapolis Process’: a chronology of failure

Amira Schiff
pages 660-678


War and peace in Judaism and Islam

Moshe Cohen
pages 679-692


A reassessment of the 1967 Arab oil embargo

Joseph Mann
pages 693-703


Paradigmatic changes in perceptions of disciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching in Israeli higher education system: fad or challenge?

Nitza Davidovitch
pages 704-712


Election year economics and political budget cycle in Israel – myth or reality

Tal Shahor
pages 713-730


Review Essay

The politics of the Israeli Pantheon

Nissim Leon
pages 731-734


Book Reviews

60 years: Israel navy

David Rodman
pages 735-736


Legacy: a genetic history of the Jewish people

David Rodman
page 736


Mossad; Spies against Armageddon: inside Israel’s secret wars

David Rodman
pages 737-738


Moshe Dayan: Israel’s controversial hero

David Rodman
pages 738-739


Abdullah al-Tall, Arab Legion officer: Arab nationalism and opposition to the Hashemite regime

David Rodman
pages 739-740


Israel: the will to prevail

David Rodman
pages 740-741


The promise of Israel: why its seemingly greatest weakness is actually its greatest strength

David Rodman
pages 741-742


Judah in the Neo-Babylonian period: the archaeology of desolation

David Rodman
pages 742-743


Struggling over Israel’s soul: an IDF general speaks of his controversial moral decisions

David Rodman
pages 743-744


Asset test: how the United States benefits from its alliance with Israel

David Rodman
pages 744-746


Editorial Board

Editorial Board

Cite: Stauber, The Impact of the Sinai Campaign on Relations between Israel and West Germany

Stauber, Roni. “The Impact of the Sinai Campaign on Relations between Israel and West Germany.” Modern Judaism 33.3 (2013): 235-59.





Following the military campaign that Israel waged in the Sinai Peninsula in the fall of 1956, it found itself, at the beginning of 1957, involved in a political controversy over the international demand that it retreat from captured areas. Both the military and diplomatic campaigns were to have a significant influence on the development of the special political relationship and ensuing security rapport between Israel and the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany). It was during these months of military confrontation and political tensions that the particular and distinct ties of trust and understanding also began to crystallize between Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. These were based on a similarity of views held by these statesmen regarding the inter-bloc confrontation, but, in particular, on Ben-Gurion’s full realization of Adenauer’s commitment to the existence, security and prosperity of the State of Israel. Following the Sinai Campaign a change also occurred among leading FRG politicians, who now began to see Israel as a strategic asset in the Cold War.


It can therefore be concluded that at the end of 1956 and beginning of 1957, both in Bonn and in Jerusalem, policy makers began to think in new terms of the relationship between Israel and the FRG, even if the issues were not yet being discussed in depth in either of the capitals. In Bonn, the chancellor and those close to him, as well as the foreign minister and the new defense minister, were deeply impressed by the military campaign that Israel conducted and showed their understanding, without letting this be known publicly, of its security needs.

Based on various statements made by Adenauer, it appears that in complete opposition to the stance of the U.S. government, he accepted Israel’s declared position that defined the attack on Sinai as an act of self-defense. More than anything else, Israel began to be seen in the minds of the FRG leadership as a Western stronghold against Soviet expansion. At the same time, an understanding in Jerusalem developed that Bonn was likely to help Israel not only because of its “historic debt” but also on account of political considerations that were connected to the inter-bloc confrontation in the international arena, and specifically to NATO and the U.S.



Reviews: Stein, The Making of Modern Israel

Stein, Leslie. The Making of Modern Israel, 1948-1967. Cambridge, UK and Malden, Mass. : Polity Press, 2009.





  • Lintl, Peter. “Review.” H-Soz-u-Kult Reviews, 2009.
  • Corney, Hyam. “Crucial Period, Less Crucial Book.” Jerusalem Post, 9.3.2009.
  • Shindler, Colin. “Review.” History Today – Book Reviews 2009.
  • Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. “Review.” Democracy and Security 6.1 (2010): 88-96.
  • Schwartzman, Bryan. “Review.” Hadassah Magazine, May 2010 – Web extra.
  • Feldt, Jakob Egholm. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 11.1 (2012): 133-134.

ToC: Israel Studies 15,3 (2010)

Israel Studies 15,3 (2010)

Table of Contents

Special Issue: The Making of Israeli Foreign Policy

Guest Editors: Gabriel Sheffer and Natan Aridan

View Cover Art


Natan Aridan
Gabriel Sheffer

pp. v-xi

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Moshe Sharett and the Origins of Israel’s Diplomacy

Moshe Yegar

pp. 1-26

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Subject Headings:

Moshe Sharett, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jewish Diaspora

Gabriel Sheffer

pp. 27-46

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Jewish Issues in Israeli Foreign Policy: Israeli-Austrian Relations in the 1950s

Ronald W. Zweig

pp. 47-60

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A Small Nation Goes to War: Israel’s Cabinet Authorization of the 1956 War

Pnina Lahav

pp. 61-86

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On Two Parallel Tracks—The Secret Jordanian-Israeli Talks (July 1967–September 1973)

Moshe Shemesh

pp. 87-120

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Africa in Israeli Foreign Policy—Expectations and Disenchantment: Historical and Diplomatic Aspects

Arye Oded

pp. 121-142

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Incoherent Narrator: Israeli Public Diplomacy During the Disengagement and the Elections in the Palestinian Authority

Shaul R. Shenhav
Tamir Sheafer
Itay Gabay

pp. 143-162

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Ambiguity and Conflict in Israeli-Lebanese Relations

Oren Barak

pp. 163-188

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Israel’s Refusal to Endorse the American Friends of Israel (1956)

Natan Aridan

pp. 189-201

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pp. 202-204

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