ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

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New Article: Xu & Rees, Comparing the Anglo-American and Israeli-American Special Relationships in the Obama Era

Xu, Ruike, and Wyn Rees. “Comparing the Anglo-American and Israeli-American Special Relationships in the Obama Era: An Alliance Persistence Perspective.” Journal of Strategic Studies 39.4.

 

URL: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/33077/

 

Abstract

The Anglo-American and Israeli-American security relationships have proved to be unusually close and have confounded expectations that they would wither away with the changing international environment. In order to explain this, the article proposes a theory of ‘alliance persistence’ that is based on reciprocity over shared geostrategic interests, sentimental attachments and institutionalized security relations. The article employs this theoretical framework to explore how Anglo-American and Israeli-American relations have developed during the Obama administration. It argues that the Anglo-American relationship has been closer because of the two countries’ shared strategic interests, whilst the Israeli-American relationship has experienced divergences in how the security interests of the two sides have been pursued. The article concludes by assessing how the two relationships will fair in the post-Obama era and argues that there are numerous areas of tension in the US-Israeli relationship that risk future tensions.

 

 

 

New Article: Felson and Silk, National Affairs

Felson, Ethan, Mark Silk. “National Affairs.” American Jewish Year Book 115 (2015):89-106.

 

URL: dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24505-8_3

 

Abstract

This chapter details the major events of the past year, international and domestic, and how they impacted the American Jewish community. Tensions between the Israeli prime minister and the American president, the threat of a nuclear Iran, a war in Gaza, rising Islamic radicalism, and the growth of the boycott, divestment and sanction movement consumed the attention of much of the organized Jewish community. Closer to home, racial unrest in several major cities roiled during the year – and the country awaited a Supreme Court decision requiring recognition of same sex marriage nationwide, a move that liberal Jews sought but which raised concerns among more traditional Jews, particularly those who might be called upon to recognize such unions in their businesses and communities.

 

 

New Article: Bloch-Elkon & Rynhold, Israeli Attitudes to the Obama Administration

Bloch-Elkon, Yaeli, and Jonathan Rynhold. “Israeli Attitudes to the Obama Administration.” In US Foreign Policy and Global Standing in the 21st Century: Realities and Perceptions (ed. Efraim Inbar and Jonathan Rynhold; Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016): 248-66.

 
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Extract

Overall, the polls show that Israelis strongly support the United States, while also being very critical of the Obama administration’s Middle East policies. More specifically, the findings are that Israelis overwhelmingly view the relationship with the United States as vital to Israeli security. Indeed, they rank it as more important than any factor other than Israel’s own military capabilities. They also clearly view the United States in general as a reliable ally of Israel. However, Israelis are evenly divided as to whether Obama’s approach to Israel is a positive one, and, even more significantly, a clear majority of Israelis view Obama’s policies in the Middle East in a negative light. This is true for the administration’s policies toward the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), the Iranian nuclear issue, and the Israeli-Palestinian process.

 

 

New Book: Ross, Doomed to Succeed

Ross, Dennis. Doomed to Succeed. The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.

 

9780374141462

 

When it comes to Israel, U.S. policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. Today our ties to Israel are close–so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way.
Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton’s envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president’s attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach.
Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned. Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape U.S. policy in that light.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
1. The Evolution of US Policy toward Israel
2. The Eisenhower Administration and the Pursuit of Arab Allies
3. The Kennedy Administration: Breaking Taboos and Pursuing a New Balance
4. Lyndon Baines Johnson: Emotional Ties but Constrained by Vietnam
5. Nixon and Ford: Dysfunction, War, and Interim Agreements
6. The Carter Presidency: The Pursuit of Peace and Constant Tension with Israel
7. The Reagan Administration and the Policy of Duality
8. George H. W. Bush and Israel: Discord and Responsiveness
9. The Clinton Administration and Israel: Strategic Partners for Peace
10. Bush 43: Terror, Partnership, and Bureaucratic Divisions
11. Obama and Israel: Support for Security, Little Chemistry, and Constant Challenges
12. Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index
 

 

Dennis Ross is the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown. He was the director of policy planning in the State Department for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton’s Middle East Peace envoy, and a special assistant to the president under Barack Obama.

 

 

New Article: Klieman, The United States and Israel: The Road Ahead

Klieman, Aharon. “The United States and Israel: The Road Ahead.” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23739770.2015.1073463

 

Excerpt
When historians of relations between the United States and Israel come to write their chapter on Barack Obama’s White House years, surely one of the high-water marks will be his speech on March 21, 2013 before an enthusiastic audience of Israeli students in Jerusalem’s Convention Center. To thunderous applause, the forty-fourth president declares, “So long as there is a United States of America, Ah-tem lo leh-vahd. You are not alone.”

Today, several years further down the road, as the Obama presidency begins to wind down, those earlier words of comfort no longer sound quite so convincing, unequivocal, or altogether reassuring to Israeli ears. Rapturous references to relations between the two countries as “unbreakable” and “unshakable,” even if less frequently expressed, now tend to ring hollow. If anything, the mounting sense of an American-Israeli divide – over Iran and the peace process, but not only – is brought into sharp relief by the storm of public controversy surrounding the behind-the-scenes, firsthand account offered by Israel’s former ambassador Michael Oren of what he personally experienced, and often had to endure, in Obama’s Washington.

 

 

New Article: Gries, How Ideology Divides American Liberals and Conservatives over Israel

Gries, Peter Hays. “How Ideology Divides American Liberals and Conservatives over Israel.” Political Science Quarterly 130.1 (2015): 51-78.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/polq.12288/abstract

 

Excerpt

This article has argued that Main Street American liberals and conservatives differ substantially in their feelings and foreign policy preferences toward the Middle East. Conservatives feel warmer toward Israel but cooler toward Iran, the Palestinians, and Muslims than liberals do. Conservatives, furthermore, desire a friendlier foreign policy toward Israel than liberals do.

It has further argued that these differences have their origins in many of the same ideological fissures that cleave domestic American politics. The same culture wars that divide Americans on abortion and gay marriage also divide Americans on Israel and the Palestinians. For instance, our 2011 survey revealed that biblical literalism is a powerful predictor of both opposition to abortion (β= .62), and warmth toward Israel (β= .36). Similarly, the racial politics that has divided Americans from the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the voting rights battles of today also divides social liberals and conservatives in their feelings toward the Palestinian people. Conservatives tend to view Palestinians and other Muslims as threats to both Christianity and established authorities, while liberals have a greater tendency to view their plight in the West Bank and Gaza as analogous to segregation or even apartheid, triggering liberal moralities of compassion and social justice.

[…]

Many Republican politicians today appear to be representing the extreme pro-Israel views of their core constituents—very conservative primary voters. It is Democratic elites that may be more disconnected from their core constituents, adopting more pro-Israel and anti-Arab positions than their liberal primary voters, who our survey reveals are ambivalent toward Israel and sympathetic toward the Palestinians and Muslims.

By demonstrating that American opinion on the Middle East is divided along ideological lines, I hope that this article has shown that the dominance of the right wing of the Israel lobby today does not represent the subversion of the democratic process by a Jewish elite; it is instead the natural product of an American electoral system that increasingly represents and responds to the extreme ends of Main Street American opinion.

 
 
 
 
 

Cite: Durbin, Christian Zionism as American Redemption

Durbin, Sean. “‘I am an Israeli’: Christian Zionism as American Redemption.” Culture and Religion 14.3 (2013): 324-47.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14755610.2012.758161\

 

Abstract

This article argues that discourse used to define and understand Israel
by prominent American Christian Zionists is a discourse of national
idealisation. Drawing on Durkheim’s (2008)
notion of symbols as sources of social solidarity, I argue that this
imagined Israel reflects conservative social and military values that
are shared among Christian Zionists and their supporters – values which
many in this broad category see the United States failing to uphold.
Following this, I show how one of America’s most prominent pastors –
John Hagee – and his organisation – Christians United for Israel – have
taken on the role of a contemporary Jeremiah, criticising the American
government for not adequately supporting Israel. This article concludes
by considering how Christian Zionists are calling America to renew and
align itself with God by ‘blessing’ Israel, and acting like Israel.

ToC: Israel Affairs 18,4 (2012)

Israel Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 4, 01 Oct 2012 is now available on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Original Articles

Existential threats to Israel: learning from the ancient past
Steven R. David
Pages: 503-525
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717386

Leadership, preventive war and territorial expansion: David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol
Shlomo Aronson
Pages: 526-545
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717387

‘Two & three air raids daily. What a bother’: an American diplomat in Israel during the War of Independence
Henry D. Fetter
Pages: 546-562
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717388

The failed Palestinian–Israeli peace process 1993–2011: an Israeli perspective
Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Pages: 563-576
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717389

The birth of the core issues: the West Bank and East Jerusalem under Israeli administration 1967–76 (part 1)
Moshe Elad
Pages: 577-595
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717390

The social representation of incapacity: a psycho-cultural analysis of Israel’s political arena
Mira Moshe
Pages: 596-614
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717391

The advent of Israel’s commercial lobby
Hila Tal
Pages: 615-628
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717392

The games must go on? The influence of terror attacks on hosting sporting events in Israel
Yair Galily, Ilan Tamir & Moshe Levy
Pages: 629-644
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717393

Combat stress reactions during the 1948 war: a conspiracy of silence?
Eldad Rom & Dan Bar-On
Pages: 645-651
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717394

The US, Hezbollah and the idea of sub-state terrorism
Hussain Sirriyeh
Pages: 652-662
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.717395

Book Reviews

India’s Israel policy
David Rodman
Pages: 663-665
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718493

The West and the Middle East
David Rodman
Pages: 665-666
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718494

Nation and history: Israeli historiography between Zionism and post-Zionism
David Rodman
Pages: 666-667
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718495

Israeli statecraft: national security challenges and responses
David Rodman
Pages: 667-668
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718496

Confidential: the life of secret agent turned Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan
David Rodman
Pages: 669-669
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718497

The anatomy of Israel’s survival
David Rodman
Pages: 669-670
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718498

Perspectives of psychological operations (PSYOP) in contemporary conflicts: essays in winning hearts and minds
David Rodman
Pages: 670-671
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718499

Holy wars: 3000 years of battles in the holy land
David Rodman
Pages: 671-671
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718500

Crossroads: the future of the U.S.–Israel strategic partnership
David Rodman
Pages: 671-673
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718501

Israel’s national security law: political dynamics and historical development
David Rodman
Pages: 673-674
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.718502

Cite: Waxman, The Real Problem in U.S.–Israeli Relations

Waxman, Dov. “The Real Problem in U.S.–Israeli Relations.” Washington Quarterly 35.2 (2012): 71-87.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0163660X.2012.666172

 

Abstract

The real debate is not over whether Obama is pro-Israel enough. The real debate we should be having is: how much do U.S. and Israeli interests in the Middle East really overlap today? Put simply, the fundamental problem in U.S.—Israeli relations is not a matter of individuals, however important they may be, but increasingly divergent interests.

As two states of very different size in very different areas, and with very different capabilities (one a superpower, the other a regional power), it should be expected that the United States and Israel will not agree on everything and will sometimes have different concerns. The sooner we are able to recognize this fact, the sooner we will be able to have a more productive discussion about
U.S.—Israeli relations. Given the tensions that will continue to surface in this relationship, regardless of who gets elected president in November, it is essential that we are able to have this discussion. Without it, misunderstandings and resentments on both sides will steadily accumulate and gradually sour the U.S.—Israeli relationship. For the sake of that relationship, therefore, more honesty and openness are badly needed, and less partisan polemics.

Cite: El-Khawas, Obama and the Middle East Peace Process

Mohamed A. El-Khawas. "Obama and the Middle East Peace Process: Challenge and Response." Mediterranean Quarterly 21.1 (2010): 25-44.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/mediterranean_quarterly/summary/v021/21.1.el-khawas.html

 

Abstract

The author examines the steps taken by the new administration to resolve the decadesold Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The search for a solution requires dealing with many players with conflicting interests and contradictory agendas. President Obama’s relaunch of the Middle East peace process soon ran into problems. His two-state solution was not endorsed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until June 2009. President Obama’s early call for a settlement freeze in the occupied territories was hailed by the Palestinians, but US envoy George Mitchell was able to get Netanyahu to agree only to a partial freeze, which was rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama’s subsequent retreat on a settlement freeze shocked the Palestinians, who refused to start the peace talks.

Cite: Peleg & Scham, Breakthroughs in Arab-Israeli Negotiations

Peleg, Ilan & Paul Scham. "Historical Breakthroughs in Arab-Israeli Negotiations: Lessons for the Future." Middle East Journal 64,2 (2010): 215-233.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/the_middle_east_journal/summary/v064/64.2.peleg.html

 

Abstract

This article analyzes the conditions that might facilitate the long awaited diplomatic breakthrough in the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians in the Obama presidency. In order to identify ten specific factors, the article relies on the rich historical record of peace negotiations, particularly since 1967. The analysis indicates that, despite the presence of a number of the factors which have facilitated past agreements, there are others which militate against excessive optimism.