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 Book: Oren, Fishing with the President; The Rise of the Diplomatic Spin (in Hebrew)

אורן, יצחק. לדוג עם הנשיא. עלייתו של הספין הדיפלומטי. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

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URL: http://resling.co.il/book.asp?book_id=806

 

Yitzhak Oren’s book examines and analyzes four dramatic events in the relationships between Israel and the United States towards the end of the 20th century, in which the diplomatic spin dominated the chain of events: the loan guarantees crisis, Israel’s willingness to attend the Madrid Conference, the deportation of Hamas leaders, and the receipt of the loan guarantees, accompanied by a journalist speculation about “fishing with the president.” The book further diagnoses and proposes the characteristics of the diplomatic spin as a new and fascinating theoretical field. The author adds to these case studies his personal perspective, as one who experiences the events from within the Prime Minister’s office.

Dr. Yitzhak Oren teaches political science and public diplomacy at the Academic College of Emek Yezreel and Haifa University. In the past he was a political advisor to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, as well as an envoy for US congress matters at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. and an Ambassador in Nigeria.

New Article: Pressman, American Engagement and the Pathways to Arab–Israeli Peace

Pressman, Jeremy. “American Engagement and the Pathways to Arab–Israeli Peace.” Cooperation and Conflict 49.4 (2014): 536-53.

 

URL: http://cac.sagepub.com/content/49/4/536.abstract

 

Abstract

This close empirical study of decades of US efforts to bring peace between Arab states and Israel helps reflect on Arild Underdal and Oran R. Young’s leadership typologies. Distinguishing between coercive leadership based on the incentives and sanctions that robust capabilities make possible and instrumental leadership focused more on talking, skilled mediation, and policy innovation is useful. However, this US mediation demonstrates that the two are not wholly distinct as previously suggested. The narrative of US efforts from Richard M Nixon to William J Clinton, including 22 cases of US involvement in Arab–Israeli mediation, suggests successful US mediation has been based on four factors. US involvement has led to breakthroughs when the US administration was highly engaged and kept at the problem after an initial diplomatic setback; benefitted from an exogenous event; managed that event to the US advantage; and dealt with strong Arab and Israeli partners.