New Article: O’Connell, The ‘Lessons Learned’ Trap and the Israeli Armoured Experience

O’Connell, Damien. “The ‘Lessons Learned’ Trap and How to Avoid It: Drawing from the Israeli Armoured Experience, 1948-1973.” Journal on Baltic Security 2.1 (2016): 117-28.

 

URL: http://www.baltdefcol.org/files/files/JOBS/JOBS.02.1.pdf#page=121 (PDF)

 

Abstract

The following essay explores some of the problems with “lessons learned.” It offers a few tentative observations on the limitations and dangers of lessons. To illustrate these (but not necessarily prove them), it then looks at the experiences of the Israel Defence Forces, particularly its armoured forces, from 1948 to 1973. Finally, three recommendations discuss how military organizations might reduce the danger of lessons leading them astray.

 

 

 

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New Article: Ginor & Remez,Veterans’ Memoirs as a Source for the USSR’s Intervention in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Ginor, Isabella, and Gideon Remez. “Veterans’ Memoirs as a Source for the USSR’s Intervention in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Fluctuations in Their Appearance and Character With Political Change in Post-Soviet Russia.” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 29.2 (2016): 279-97.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13518046.2016.1168136

 

Abstract

Shortly before and after the USSR’s demise, a new literature emerged: memoirs by veterans of the Soviet Union’s massive military intervention in the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1960s and ’70s. Resurgent Russian pride, coupled with condemnation of its corruption by Soviet crimes, permitted startling disclosures. Tools we developed to evaluate these sources found them remarkably reliable and necessitated a reassessment of existing historiography. The Putin administration marked a reversal. Russian nationalism now stressed continuity with the USSR’s great-power status. ‘Falsification of history against Russian interests’ was criminalized. Some veterans resorted to purported ‘fiction’, which if challenged could be disclaimed. But under even stricter scrutiny, these narratives generally proved to reflect the authors’ actual experience, providing significant pointers for further research.

 

 

 

New Book: Herf, Undeclared Wars with Israel

Herf, Jeffrey. Undeclared Wars with Israel. East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967–1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

 
undeclared-wars

 

Undeclared Wars with Israel examines a spectrum of antagonism by the East German government and West German radical leftist organizations – ranging from hostile propaganda and diplomacy to military support for Israel’s Arab armed adversaries – from 1967 to the end of the Cold War in 1989. This period encompasses the Six-Day War (1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973), Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and an ongoing campaign of terrorism waged by the Palestine Liberation Organization against Israeli civilians. This book provides new insights into the West German radicals who collaborated in ‘actions’ with Palestinian terrorist groups, and confirms that East Germany, along with others in the Soviet Bloc, had a much greater impact on the conflict in the Middle East than has been generally known. A historian who has written extensively on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Jeffrey Herf now offers a new chapter in this long, sad history.

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. East Germany and the Six-Day War of June 1967
3. An anti-Israel left emerges in West Germany: the conjuncture of June 1967
4. Diplomatic breakthrough to military alliance: East Germany, the Arab states, and the PLO 1969–73
5. Palestinian terrorism in 1972: Lod airport, the Munich Olympics, and responses
6. Formalizing the East German alliance with the PLO and the Arab states: 1973
7. Political warfare at the United Nations during the Yom Kippur War of 1973
8. 1974: Palestinian terrorist attacks on Kiryat Shmona and Maalot and responses in East Germany, West Germany, Israel, the United States, and the United Nations
9. The UN ‘Zionism is racism’ revolution of November 10, 1975
10. The Entebbe hijacking and ‘selection’ and the West German ‘revolutionary cells’
11. An alliance deepens: East Germany, the Arab states, and the PLO: 1978–82
12. Terrorism from Lebanon to Israel’s ‘operation peace for Galilee’: 1977–82
13. Loyal friends in defeat: 1983–9 and after
14. Conclusion.

 

JEFFREY HERFis a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. His publications on modern German history include Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Cambridge, 1984); Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (1997), winner of the American Historical Association’s George Lewis Beer Prize; The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (2006), winner of the National Jewish Book Award; Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (2009), winner of the bi-annual Sybil Halpern Milton Prize of the German Studies Association in 2011 for work on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. He has also published essays and reviews on history and politics in Partisan Review, The New Republic, The Times of Israel, and The American Interest.

 

 

 

New Article: Sherrard, American Biblical Archeologists’ Responses to the Six-Day War

Sherrard, Brooke. “Mystical Unification or Ethnic Domination? American Biblical Archeologists’ Responses to the Six-Day War.” Journal of the Bible and its Reception 3.1 (2016): 109-33.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2016-1002

 

Abstract

After the Six-Day War, members of the American Schools of Oriental Research experienced conflict over how and whether to maintain the organization’s policy on political neutrality. This article argues that ASOR members who supported Israel framed their views as theological, lauding the war for achieving a mystical unification of Jerusalem, while members who opposed the war’s outcome responded that appeals to theology and neutrality were being deployed to justify one ethnic group’s domination over another. I present two main examples, George Ernest Wright and Paul Lapp, and connect their scholarly views on objectivity versus relativism to their political views on the conflict. Wright, a biblical theologian, argued the Old Testament was an objective record of a religion revealed by God to the Israelites and defended the slaughter of Canaanites in terms that echoed justifications for Palestinian displacement. Conversely Lapp, who read the Old Testament as a polemical text, overtly connected his perspectivalism to his pro-Palestinian politics. In 1968 Wright clashed with ASOR residents, including Lapp, who protested Israeli plans to reroute a parade through recently captured areas of East Jerusalem. A reading of the correspondence record created after the protest analyzes the political implications of these differing scholarly positions.

 

 

 

Syllabus: Greenberg, Sociology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Greenberg, Lev. “Sociology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” – Fall 2015 Syllabus.

URL: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/50b5/1f9d713efbc958e31d57775939bc70885e38.pdf (PDF)

sociology i-p conflict

Review article: Donno, Recenti studi sull’ebraismo, Israele e Medio Oriente

Donno, Antonio. “Recenti studi sull’ebraismo, Israele e Medio Oriente.” Eunomia 4.2 (2015): 627-32.
 
URL: http://siba-ese.unisalento.it/index.php/eunomia/article/view/15754 [PDF]
 
Abstract

This article reviews recent publications such as Artur Patek’s Jews
on Route to Palestine
, Hillel Cohen’s 1929, Eric Gartman’s Return to Zion, Ofer Shiff’s The Downfall of Abba Hillel Silver, Jesse Ferris’ Nasser’s Gamble, Daniel Zoughbie’s Indecision Points, and more.

 

 

 

New Article: Kochavi, British Policy in the Middle East following the 1967 War

Kochavi, Arieh J. “George Brown and British Policy in the Middle East following the 1967 War.” Middle East Journal 70.1 (2016): 91-110.

ְְ 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/70.1.15

 

Abstract

In the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, relations between Britain and the Arab world improved, particularly with Egypt, and also with Jordan. This article shows the driver of this decisive shift in policy was the initiative of Foreign Secretary George Brown. Well aware of the aversion some of his colleagues felt toward Egyptian president Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser and anger over King Husayn of Jordan’s defense pact with the Egyptian leader, Brown opted to maneuver behind the government’s back and did not hesitate to manipulate and even deceive both the government and Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Poppe, Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of Israeli Writers

Poppe, Judith. “I am writing into deserted times” – Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of the Israeli Writers Netti Boleslav and Jenny Aloni, PhD dissertation. Göttingen: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2015 (in German).

 

URL: https://ediss.uni-goettingen.de/handle/11858/00-1735-0000-0028-86AD-7

 

Abstract

This study examines a subject that has been disregarded in literary history, namely Israeli literature written in the German language. Two authors, Jenny Aloni and Netti Boleslav, as well as their poetry, are used as paradigmatic case studies to show the relevance of this literature that crosses political and cultural borders. In the late thirties Boleslav and Aloni emigrated from Nazi-Germany and Prague to Palestine/Israel where they found a new home. They wrote poetry and prose in German until their death in the 1980s and 1990s. Their lives and works are reconstructed on the basis of documents such as diaries, letters and unpublished manuscripts that are contained in their literary estates and made public partly for the first time. From a methodological perspective, the hermeneutical analysis of the poems in their poetic value is here complemented by poststructuralist approaches of the Cultural Studies. Focusing on the construction of the “I” (the “I” in the poetry as well as the “I” of the empirical authors), this study pursues the traces of different times and places, where the literature has left its mark. The oeuvres of Aloni and Boleslav emerges at the intersections of two worlds, the German and the Israeli, and they wander between various regions and political units such as Bohemia, Nazi and post-Nazi Germany, the State of Israel and Czechoslovakia. Their poems draw from “Jewish” and “Israeli” literature, German pop culture, bucolic poetry and Zionist historiography. Until now the unique position of German Literature in Israel has been almost completely neglected. The present study fills this scholarly gap. The research combines concepts by Deleuze/Guattari and Kühne in order to coin the notion of “Kleine Zwischenliteratur”, which describes the main features of this literature. One of the main goals of the present examination is to grant this literature a more prominent place in the history of literary. Based on the results of the present thesis’ analysis it becomes apparent that notions of transdisciplinary and transnationality need to be mobilised in order to challenge the accepted categories of the discipline, enabling us to close the blind spot of the Israeli literature written in German.

 

 

 

New Book: Sasley and Waller, Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society

Sasley, Brent E., and Harold M. Waller. Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199335060
 

This is the first textbook on Israel to utilize a historical-sociological approach, telling the story of Israeli politics rather than simply presenting a series of dry facts and figures. The book emphasizes six specific dimensions of the conduct of Israeli politics: the weight of historical processes, the struggle between different groups over how to define the country’s identity, changing understandings of Zionism, a changing political culture, the influence of the external threat environment, and the inclusive nature of the democratic process. These themes offer students a framework to use for understanding contemporary political events within the country. Politics in Israel also includes several chapters on topics not previously addressed in competing texts, including historical conditions that led to the emergence of Zionism in Israel, the politics of the Arab minority, and interest groups and political protest.

 

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Israel in Historical and Comparative Perspective

Studying Israel
Israel in a Comparative Framework
Major Themes of the Book
A Note on Terminology
 
PART I: HISTORICAL PROCESSES
Chronology of Key Events
Chapter 2: Zionism and the Origins of Israel
Jewish History before Zionism
The Jewish Predicament in the 19th Century
The Founding of the Zionist Movement
Implications of Zionism
Herzl’s Path to Zionism
Organizing the Zionist Movement
Zionist Ideologies
The Palestine Mandate
Summary
 
Chapter 3: Yishuv Politics during the Mandate Period
Constructing a Jewish Society
Development of a Party System
Conflict between Arabs and Jews in Mandatory Palestine
Deteriorating Zionist-British Relations
The End of the Mandate
The Mandate Period in Perspective
Summary
 
Chapter 4: State Building After 1948
Mamlachtiut
The Political Arena
Defense
Education
Economy
Personal Status Issues
Other State-Building Efforts
Summary
 
PART II: ISRAELI SOCIETY
Chapter 5: Political Culture and Demography

The Pre-State Period
Foundational Values of the State
Changes since 1967
From Collectivism to Individualism
Political Culture in the Arab Community
Demography
Summary
 
Chapter 6: Religion and Politics
Religion and the Idea of a Jewish State
Setting the Parameters of the Religion-State Relationship
Growing Involvement in Politics
Issues in Religion-State Relations after 2000
Religious Parties and Coalition Politics
Summary
 
Chapter 7: The Politics of the Arab Minority
What’s in a Name?
Changing Politics of the Community
Jewish Attitudes toward the Arab Minority
Arab Leaders and the Arab Public
Voter turnout
Sayed Kashua as Barometer?
Summary
 
PART III: THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Chapter 8: The Electoral System

The Development of an Electoral System
Election Laws
Parties and Lists
Electoral Reforms
Summary
 
Chapter 9: Political Parties and the Party System
Party Clusters
Leftist Parties
Rightist Parties
Religious Parties
Arab Parties
Center or “Third” Parties
Ethnic or Special Issues Parties
Party Organization
Summary
 
Chapter 10: Voting Patterns
Four Main Issues
Demographic Factors
Voter Turnout
Electoral Trends
Summary
 
Chapter 11: Interest Groups and Political Protest
Changing Access in the Israeli Political System
Interest Groups
Political Protest
Summary
 
PART IV: INSTITUTIONS
Chapter 12: The Knesset

Structure of the Knesset
Legal Aspects
Knesset Members
Functions and Powers of the Knesset
Relationship to the Government
Summary
 
Chapter 13: The Government
The Government at the Center of the System
Powers of the Government
Forming a Government
Maintaining and Running a Government
Relations with the Knesset
The President of the State
Summary
 
Chapter 14: The Judiciary and the Development of Constitutional Law
The Judicial System
Structure of the Court System
The Religious Court System
The Attorney General
Basic Laws: A Constitution in the Making?
Interpreting the Constitution
Summary
 

PART V: POLITICS AND POLICYMAKING
Chapter 15: Political Economy

Ideas about Economic Development in the Yishuv
A State(ist) Economy
Likud and the Free Market
Structural Weaknesses
Summary
 
Chapter 16: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Three Levels of Threat Perception
Israel’s Threat Environment
Hawks and Doves in the Political System
The Defense Establishment
Public Opinion
Summary
 
PART VI: THE TRANSFORMATiON OF ISRAELI POLITICS
Chapter 17: The Changing Political Arena
A More Complex Society
An Economic Transformation
Transformation of the Security Situation
The Israeli-Palestinian Relationship
Dampening of Ideology
Political Culture and the Party System
The Passing of a Heroic Generation
A More Consequential Arab Sector
The Transformation of the Judiciary
Change versus Continuity
 
Chapter 18: Confronting the Meaning of a Jewish State
The Political Question: What is Jewish and Democratic?
The Social Question: Who Belongs?
The Academic Question: Whose Historiography?
Conclusion
 
Appendices
Glossary
Bibliography

 

BRENT E. SASLEY is Associate Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at Arlington.
HAROLD M. WALLER is Professor of Political Science at McGill University.

New Book: Golan | Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet

Golan, John W. Lavi. The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.

Lavi

The Lavi fighter program, the largest weapons-development effort ever undertaken by the State of Israel, envisioned a new generation of high-performance aircraft. In a controversial strategy, Israel Aircraft Industries intended to develop and manufacture the fighters in Israel with American financial support. The sophisticated planes, developed in the mid-1980s, were unique in design and intended to make up the majority of the Israeli air force. Though considerable prestige and money were at stake, developmental costs increased and doubts arose as to whether the Lavi could indeed be the warplane it was meant to be. Eventually the program became a microcosm for the ambitions, fears, and internal divisions that shaped both the U.S.-Israeli relationship and Israeli society itself. But the fighter never made it to operational service, and until now, the full breadth and significance of the Lavi story have never been examined and presented.

Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet traces the evolution of the Lavi fighter from its genesis in the 1970s to its scrapping in August 1987. John W. Golan examines the roles of Israeli military icons and political leaders such as Ezer Weizman, Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Rabin in the program and in relation to their counterparts in the United States. On the American side, Golan traces the evolution of government policy toward the program, detailing the complex picture of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus and of U.S.-Israeli relations in general—from President Reagan’s public endorsement of the program on the White House lawn to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s unremitting attempts to cancel it in succeeding years.

 

JOHN W. GOLAN has served as a designer, structural analyst, and engineering manager in the U.S. aerospace industry for the last two decades, developing future-generation technology concepts. He has published articles with Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation History, and the Jerusalem Post Magazine.

 

New Article: Kolander, The 1967 Arab–Israeli War: Soviet Policy by Other Means?

Kolander, Kenny. “The 1967 Arab–Israeli War: Soviet Policy by Other Means?” Middle Eastern Studies (early view; online first).

ְְ 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1084294

 

Abstract

This paper considers two aspects of historiography about the 1967 Arab–Israeli war – American and Soviet foreign policy in the region – to better appreciate the Soviet role in the outbreak of hostilities, as well as how the war concretized the USA–Israel ‘special relationship’ and weakened American–Arab relations. Relying especially on research from the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library and Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), this paper argues that Soviet officials had little interest in pursuing measures to prevent war during the prewar crisis because the situation promised to undermine American interests in the region.

 

 

 

New Article: Hakim, Affect and Popular Zionism in the British Jewish Community after 1967

Hakim, Jamie. “Affect and Popular Zionism in the British Jewish Community after 1967.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 18.6 (2015): 672-89.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367549415572319
 
Abstract

It is widely accepted within Jewish historiography that the ‘Six Day War’ (1967) had a profound effect on the British Jewish community’s relationship with Israel and Zionism. While this scholarship touches on the affective nature of this relationship, it rarely gives this aspect sustained consideration. Instead of seeing Zionism as an ideology or a political movement, this article argues that the hegemonic way that Zionism has existed within British Jewry since 1967 is as an affective disposition primarily lived out on the planes of popular culture and the British Jewish everyday. As such, it can be more accurately labelled Popular Zionism. In order to make this argument, this article uses a theoretical framework developed by Lawrence Grossberg that brings the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to bear on British cultural studies and supports it by drawing on 12 semi-structured interviews with British Jews and original archival material.

 

 

 

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 34.2 (2015)

Journal of Israeli History, 34.2 (2015)

No Trinity: The tripartite relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization
Daniel Mahla
pages 117-140

Judaism and communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965
Amir Locker-Biletzki
pages 141-158

Olei Hagardom: Between official and popular memory
Amir Goldstein
pages 159-180

Practices of photography on kibbutz: The case of Eliezer Sklarz
Edna Barromi Perlman
pages 181-203

The Shishakli assault on the Syrian Druze and the Israeli response, January–February 1954
Randall S. Geller
pages 205-220

Book Reviews

Editorial Board

New Book: Rodgers, Headlines from the Holy Land

Rodgers, James. Headlines from the Holy Land: Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

 

Rodgers

 

Tied by history, politics, and faith to all corners of the globe, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fascinates and infuriates people across the world. Based on new archive research and original interviews with leading correspondents and diplomats, Headlines from the Holy Land explains why this fiercely contested region exerts such a pull over reporters: those who bring the story to the world. Despite decades of diplomacy, a just and lasting end to the conflict remains as difficult as ever to achieve. Inspired by the author’s own experience as the BBC’s correspondent in Gaza from 2002-2004, and subsequent research, this book draws on the insight of those who have spent years observing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Starting from a historical perspective, it identifies the challenges the conflict presents for contemporary journalism and diplomacy, and suggests new ways of approaching them.

 

Table of Contents

    • Foreword by Rosemary Hollis
    • Acknowledgements
    • Introduction
    • 1 Reporting from the Ruins: The End of the British Mandate and the Creation of the State of Israel
    • 2 Six Days and Seventy-Three
    • 3 Any Journalist Worth Their Salt
    • 4 The Roadmap, Reporting, and Religion
    • 5 Going Back Two Thousand Years All the Time
    • 6 The Ambassador’s Eyes and Ears
    • 7 Social Media: A Real Battleground
    • 8 Holy Land
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

     

     

Conference: Reinventing Israel. Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century (American U, Washington, Oct 28-29, 2015)

reinventing

For full program [PDF], click here.

Please Join The Center for Israel Studies and Jewish Studies Program next week for our Reinventing Israel conference!
FREE WITH 
RSVP (by session).


Featured presentations include
:
“From BG to Bibi: The End of an Era in Israel-Diaspora Relations?” by David Ellenson
 
Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 PM
 
Keynote address to kick off “Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century” conference.  Ellenson is director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University and Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Location: SIS Building Abramson Family Founders Room.  (Free parking in SIS Building garage)   

“Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century” conference featuring international scholars and AU faculty
 
Thursday, October 29, all-day 

Sessions featuring History and Memory, Economy and Hi-Tech, Politics and Law, Religion and Ethnicity.  

Location: Butler Board Room (Floor 6 of Butler Pavilion).
Pre-paid parking by kiosk (on level P-1 by elevator – note parking space number) in Katzen Arts Center or SIS Building Garage (free after 5:00 PM).   

Imagining Israel in 2035 – Different Visions
 
Thursday, October 29 7:30 PM  
 
With Fania Oz-Salzberger (University of Haifa) Mohammed Wattad (Zefat College, UC Irvine) James Loeffler (University of Virginia) Moderator: Michael Brenner (AU). 

Location: Butler Board Room.  Free parking after 5:00 PM in all university parking garages.   

New Book: Gartman, Return to Zion

Gartman, Eric. Return to Zion. The History of Modern Israel. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

 

returnZion

 

The history of modern Israel is a story of ambition, violence, and survival. Return to Zion traces how a scattered and stateless¬ people reconstituted themselves in their traditional homeland, only to face threats by those who, during the many years of the dispersion, had come to regard the land as their home. This is a story of the “ingathering of the exiles” from Europe to an outpost on the fringes of the Ottoman Empire, of courage and perseverance, and of reinvention and tragedy.

Eric Gartman focuses on two main themes of modern Israel: reconstitution and survival. Even as new settlers built their state they faced constant challenges from hostile neighbors and divided support from foreign governments, as well as being attacked by larger armies no fewer than three times during the first twenty-five years of Israel’s history. Focusing on a land torn by turmoil, Return to Zion is the story of Israel—the fight for independence through the Israeli Independence War in 1948, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the near-collapse of the Israeli Army during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Gartman examines the roles of the leading figures of modern Israel—Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzchak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon—alongside popular perceptions of events as they unfolded in the post–World War II decades. He presents declassified CIA, White House, and U.S. State Department documents that detail America’s involvement in the 1967 and 1973 wars, as well as proof that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. Return to Zion pulls together the myriad threads of this history from inside and out to create a seamless look into modern Israel’s truest self.

Eric Gartman is an intelligence analyst for the United States Department of Defense who has lived and studied in Israel and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East.

New Book: Heimann, The End of a Beautiful Friendship (in Hebrew)

Heimann, Gadi. The End of a Beautiful Friendship. Israel-France Relations under de Gaulle’s presidency, 1958-1967. Jerusalem: Magnes, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

endbeautiful

 

Τhis book unfolds one of the most interesting chapters in the history of Israel’s foreign policy. Since the Sinai campaign (1956) France had been a friend and an ally of Israel. It supplied Israel with advanced weapons to maintain the balance of powers in the Israeli-Arab conflict, provided crucial political and economic aid, and assisted in building the nuclear reactor in Dimona. The return of Charles de Gaulle to power in 1958, against the background of the Algerian War, presented a challenge for Israeli leadership: in light of the new French president’s determination to renew the influence of France in the Arab world – could Israel preserve its friendly alliance? The book deals with the efforts of Israeli statesmen, politicians and officials to attain this goal. It also discusses the uncompromising policy of de Gaulle to regain a status of a world power for France and the implications for his relation to Israel. The book sheds new light on a puzzle that has occupied many commentators, and still remains very much unresolved: why did de Gaulle decide to give a cold shoulder to Israel in May 1967, as it faced one of the most difficult challenges in its history, and why did his reticent policy intensify after the Israeli victory in the Six-Day War.

 

New Article: Honig and Reichard, Autocratic Rulers’ Strategic Choices Following Military Defeats

Honig, Or, and Ariel Reichard. “Realism or Radicalism: Explaining Autocratic Rulers’ Strategic Choices Following Military Defeats in the Middle East.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 6.2 (2015): 125-46.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21520844.2015.1055453

 

Abstract

This article explains autocratic rulers’ behavior in the aftermath of costly military defeats in the Middle East. Essentially, military defeats cause political crises of legitimacy for all Middle East rulers, albeit to varying degrees of severity. In responding to these crises, rulers have two broad strategic options: addressing the crisis’ root cause by reversing the strategic consequences of defeat or merely mitigating the immediate political symptoms of the crisis. Crucially, it is the severity of the political crisis that is the primary factor determining the choice of strategy. However, when the crisis is less severe, additional factors—leaders’ own beliefs, perceptions about the viability of each option, and their regime’s particular vulnerabilities—also determine the choice between the two orientations.

New (in paperback): Ferris, Nasser’s Gamble

Ferris, Jesse. Nasser’s Gamble. How Intervention in Yemen Caused the Six-Day War and the Decline of Egyptian Power. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.

NassersGamble

Nasser’s Gamble draws on declassified documents from six countries and original material in Arabic, German, Hebrew, and Russian to present a new understanding of Egypt’s disastrous five-year intervention in Yemen, which Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser later referred to as “my Vietnam.” Jesse Ferris argues that Nasser’s attempt to export the Egyptian revolution to Yemen played a decisive role in destabilizing Egypt’s relations with the Cold War powers, tarnishing its image in the Arab world, ruining its economy, and driving its rulers to instigate the fatal series of missteps that led to war with Israel in 1967.

Viewing the Six Day War as an unintended consequence of the Saudi-Egyptian struggle over Yemen, Ferris demonstrates that the most important Cold War conflict in the Middle East was not the clash between Israel and its neighbors. It was the inter-Arab struggle between monarchies and republics over power and legitimacy. Egypt’s defeat in the “Arab Cold War” set the stage for the rise of Saudi Arabia and political Islam.

Bold and provocative, Nasser’s Gamble brings to life a critical phase in the modern history of the Middle East. Its compelling analysis of Egypt’s fall from power in the 1960s offers new insights into the decline of Arab nationalism, exposing the deep historical roots of the Arab Spring of 2011.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Acknowledgments ix

INTRODUCTION – 1
The Golden Age of Nasserism 3
Idealism and Pragmatism in Nasser’s Foreign Policy 11
The Nature of Middle Eastern Politics 14
The Place of the Intervention in Egyptian Memory 16
Structure of the Book 21

CHAPTER ONE – The Road to War 24
The Coup in Yemen 29
The Struggle for Power in Egypt 37
The Accidental Intervention? 49
The Denouement of the Crisis in Cairo 61

Chapter TWO – The Soviet-Egyptian Intervention in Yemen 70
The Nature of Soviet Relations with Egypt and Yemen 71
The Egyptian Appeal and the Soviet Response 75
Explaining Soviet Behavior 88
Forms of Early Soviet Involvement 94

Chapter THREE – Food for “Peace”: The Breakdown of US-Egyptian Relations, 1962-65 102
Recognition 106
Disengagement 113
The Suspension of US Aid 127
The Balance of Payments Crisis 139

Chapter FOUR – Guns for Cotton: The Unraveling of Soviet-Egyptian Relations, 1964-66 142
Guns for Cotton 144
The Soviet Quest for Base Rights in Egypt 146
From Jiddah to Moscow 151
In the Cracks of Cold War Geology 159
The Final Unraveling 162

Chapter FIVE – On the Battlefield in Yemen–and in Egypt 174
Counterinsurgency 176
Casualties 190
Cost 195
Corruption 199
The Spread of Popular Discontent 206

Chapter SIX – The Fruitless Quest for Peace: Saudi-Egyptian Negotiations, 1964-66 215
The First Arab Summit 217
The Second Arab Summit 222
The Jiddah Agreement 232
From the Islamic Pact to the Long Breath Strategy 249
The Kuwaiti Mediation and the Return of Sallal 258

Chapter SEVEN – The Six-Day War and the End of the Intervention in Yemen 262
The Sinai Option 266
The Syrian Connection 272
The Soviet Spark 275
The Egyptian Initiative 284
The Impact of the Yemen War on Egyptian Military Performance in the Six-Day War 289
The Khartoum Conference and the Withdrawal of the Egyptians from Yemen 290

AFTERWORD – The Twilight of Egyptian Power 295

Bibliographical Note 313
Bibliography 319
Index 335

 

 

Jesse Ferris is vice president for strategy at the Israel Democracy Institute and a historian of the modern Middle East.

New Article: Lustick, Ari Shavit, Baruch Marzel, and Zionist Claims to Territory

Lustick, Ian S. “Making Sense of the Nakba: Ari Shavit, Baruch Marzel, and Zionist Claims to Territory.” Journal of Palestine Studies 44.2 (2015): 7-27.

 

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jps.2015.44.2.7

 

Abstract

Zionist claims to rightful rule of most or all of Palestine/the Land of Israel ultimately depend on naturalizing those claims into common sense, for Jews, of course, but also for the international community. Following the 1967 war, Israelis in favor of withdrawing from occupied territories have relied on distinguishing between the justice of the 1949 Armistice Lines, and the process that led to the State of Israel within those lines, versus the injustice of the occupation of territories conquered in 1967 and of their settlement and gradual absorption. But as the truth of the expulsions and forced dispossession of Palestinians in 1948 becomes accepted by wider swaths of both Israeli-Jewish and international public opinion, the traditional narrative distinguishing the justice of 1948 and the injustice of 1967 breaks down. Ari Shavit’s book, My Promised Land, can be understood as a response by Israeli two-staters to accusations of hypocrisy by the extreme right.