ToC: Israel Studies Review 31.2 (2016)

Israel Studies Review 31.2 (2016)

Table of Contents

Articles

Reviews

  • Uri Ram, The Return of Martin Buber: National and Social Thought in Israel from Buber to the Neo-Buberians [in Hebrew].
  • Christopher L. Schilling, Emotional State Theory: Friendship and Fear in Israeli Foreign Policy.
  • Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby, Popular Protest in Palestine: The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance.
  • Erella Grassiani, Soldiering under Occupation: Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • Assaf Meydani, The Anatomy of Human Rights in Israel: Constitutional Rhetoric and State Practice.
  • Yael Raviv, Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel.
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New Article: Almog, Israel, Romania and the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Accord

Almog, Orna. “Unlikely Relations: Israel, Romania and the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Accord.” Middle Eastern Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2016.1186015

 

Abstract

The history of Israel’s turbulent relations with the Eastern bloc nations during the Cold War has one exception, Romania. Unlike other Warsaw Pact members, Romania did not sever relations with Israel following the 1967 war. Central to these relations was Romanian Communist leader Nicolai Ceausescu, who managed to establish himself as an important figure among both Arabs and Israelis. This article will examine Romanian–Israeli relations during the 1970s and especially Ceausescu’s role in the Egyptian–Israeli peace negotiations. Recent Israeli and some Romanian documents released from the Israeli State Archive and the Begin Centre reveal much about Israel’s attitude towards Romania and Ceausescu’s involvement in the Middle East, and serve to shed light on a heretofore neglected aspect of Israeli foreign policy. Some of the main issues to be addressed are Ceausescu’s influence on Egyptian and Israeli decision makers, Israel’s prime motives in maintaining a close relationship with Romania, the importance of Romanian Jewry’s position to Israel’s policy vis-à-vis Romania and the extent to which these relations represented a back channel that facilitated some contact with the Kremlin. All these will be examined against the larger backdrop of the Cold War and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

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: Burton, Beijing’s Shift in Relation to the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Burton, Guy. “Explaining Beijing’s Shift from Active to Passive Engagement in Relation to the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” Sociology of Islam 4.2 (2016): 93-112.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22131418-00402001

 

Extract

As a ‘rising power’, China is expected to play a greater global role. But current Chinese involvement in the long-running and internationalised Arab-Israeli conflict is limited. How to explain this? What does it suggest about China’s regional and global role? Studying Beijing’s involvement since the 1950s, I note Chinese military assistance to the Palestinians during the 1960s-70s and strong criticism of Israel. But from the 1980s Beijing adopted a more diplomatic approach and endorsed the two-state solution. The change was due to China’s broader regional and international relations. During the Cold War Beijing’s ‘active’ pro-Palestinian stance was associated with being ‘outside’ the superpower-dominated international system. By the end of the Cold War Beijing was ‘inside’ the international system and increasingly integrated into the global economy. Commercial considerations trumped political ones, emphasising diplomacy. This suggests China’s exercise of global power may be more nuanced and less overt than otherwise assumed.

 

 

 

New Article: Rabkin, From Left to Right – Israel’s Repositioning in the World

Rabkin, Yakov M. “From Left to Right – Israel’s Repositioning in the World.” IDE Middle East Review 2 (2015): 80-102.

 
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2344/1448 [PDF]

 

Excerpt
In the course of a few decades, the image of Israel has undergone a radical transformation. From one of an underdog, a successful socialist experiment and an incarnation of left-wing collectivist utopias it has turned into an assertive militarized state with an advanced economy open for foreign investment and a society deeply polarized between Arabs and non-Arabs, and between rich and poor. It is not surprising that the Zionist state of Israel appeals to rightists around the world.

Israel embodies not only a successful, albeit small-scale, attempt to re-colonize the world but also the belief that, as Margaret Thatcher used to say, “there is no alternative”. The campaign to discredit socialist alternatives, from the mildly socialdemocratic Sweden to the more regulated Soviet Union, makes good use of the little country in Western Asia. The state of Israel, in spite of its socialist origins, has come to symbolize the many features of globalized capitalism and of habitual reliance on force. While certainly not the most right-wing regime in existence, Israel has nonetheless become a beacon for right-wing movements around the world thanks to a gamut of ideological, political, economic and military values contained in political Zionism. This is why the right and the extreme right have come to constitute the backbone of Israel’s international support.

 

 

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 Book: Rabinowitz, Bargaining on Nuclear Tests

Rabinowitz, Or. Bargaining on Nuclear Tests. Washington and Its Cold War Deals. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

 

9780198702931_450

 

Most observers who follow nuclear history agree on one major aspect regarding Israel’s famous policy of nuclear ambiguity; mainly that it is an exception. More specifically, it is largely accepted that the 1969 Nixon-Meir understanding, which formally established Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity and transformed it from an undeclared Israeli strategy into a long-lasting undisclosed bilateral agreement, was in fact a singularity, aimed at allowing Washington to turn a blind eye to the existence of an Israeli arsenal. According to conventional wisdom, this nuclear bargain was a foreign policy exception on behalf of Washington, an exception which reflected a relationship growing closer and warmer between the superpower leading the free world and its small Cold War associate. Contrary to the orthodox narrative, this research demonstrates that this was not the case. The 1969 bargain was not, in fact, an exception, but rather the first of three Cold War era deals on nuclear tests brokered by Washington with its Cold War associates, the other two being Pakistan and South Africa. These two deals are not well known and until now were discussed and explored in the literature in a very limited fashion. Bargaining on Nuclear Tests places the role of nuclear tests by American associates, as well as Washington’s attempts to prevent and delay them, at the heart of a new nuclear history narrative.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction
2: The Paradox of Hegemony
3: The NPT, Nuclear Tests and Their Changing Legal Status
4: The American Test Ban Debate
5: Israel
6: South Africa
7: Pakistan
8: India
9: Conclusions

New Article: Blanga, Egypt’s Relations with the US and Israel

Blanga, Yehuda U. “Nasser’s Dilemma: Egypt’s Relations with the United States and Israel, 1967–69.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.2 (2015): 301-26.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00263206.2014.942648

 

Abstract

The article examines the American political efforts to bring about an agreement between Israel and Egypt between 1967 and 1969 and analyses the reasons for their failure. But it does not focus exclusively on the Americans; it also outlines the alternatives for Egyptian action during the period in question and looks at the political and military steps taken by Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, vis-à-vis Israel and the United States. The main conclusion is that despite Egypt’s dependence on the Soviet Union for economic aid and the rebuilding of the decimated Egyptian army, Nasser knew that the only route to a political process to regain Sinai ran through the United States. His diplomatic efforts were all derived from this insight. At the same time, the Egyptian president’s attempts to exploit American pressure to his benefit, as he had done in 1957, was undercut by his overestimation of his bargaining chips, a mistake that was one factor in the collapse of the efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement in the region.

New Article: Mitelpunkt, US Visions of Israeli Soldiers and the Cold War Liberal Consensus

Mitelpunkt, Shaul. “The Tank Driver who Ran with Poodles: US Visions of Israeli Soldiers and the Cold War Liberal Consensus, 1958–79.” Gender & History 26.3 (2014): 620-641.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-0424.12091/abstract

 

Excerpt

The liberal re-evaluations of Israeli society and of US responsibility towards Israel depended on the changing fortunes of Israel’s wars, as well as on the sharp shift in values and social order triggered by the increasingly wrenching Vietnam War. The depreciation in liberal understandings of warfare as a potentially constructive social endeavour fed a liberal wish to see the United States as the champion of negotiation and civility, and to purge still vexing memories of the Vietnam War. Perceptions and geostrategic developments fed one another in unpredictable ways. Supporting Israel, whether that support was expressed in enthusiasm for the Israeli citizen-soldier in the late 1960s, or in negotiating peace between Israel and Egypt in the late 1970s, was not purely a matter of geostrategic calculation, nor one of domestic politics. It was also a way for Cold War liberals and later post-Vietnam liberals to fashion themselves as forces for good in the world.

In many ways, the US commitment to mediating peaceful agreements between Israel and its neighbours was more performance than policy: the United States reinforced its military support to Israel in the 1980s and came to see it as an ally within the ‘War on Terror’. Yet even as neoconservative ascendency and explicit military alliance came to define the ideological basis of US-Israeli relations through the 1980s and beyond, the ambition to conceive of the US as a tireless and responsible mediator, as originally envisioned by post-Vietnam liberals, remained a key part of the way Americans saw their patronage of Israel in the decades that followed.

By making, watching and identifying with the story of Ari Ben Canaan in Exodus, Cold War liberals were invited to see themselves as the benevolent patrons to emerging young states in the postcolonial world; by describing Israeli soldiers such as Yossi Israeli as colourful figures who managed to combine the uniformity of national military service and the liberties of individual choice, writers such as Mauldin and Friendly eulogised the Second World War citizen-soldier model in the United States during the midst of the Vietnam War. Finally, in the mid-1970s, by identifying Israel as ‘Spartan’ and assuming the authority of ‘marriage councilors’ to Arabs and Israelis, post-Vietnam liberals branded the United States as a civilian superpower wielding the pen and not the napalm. Each construction was informed both by changing American experiences and by events in the Middle East.

 

New Article: Šmok, Jewish Social Assistance Networks in Communist Czechoslovakia

Šmok, Martin. “‘Every Jew is a Zionist, and Every Zionist is a Spy!’ The Story of Jewish Social Assistance Networks in Communist Czechoslovakia.” East European Jewish Affairs 44.1 (2014): 70-83.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501674.2014.904586

 

Abstract

This article explores some of the major operations of the Czechoslovak secret police (State Security Forces, StB) against individuals involved in organising Jewish social assistance networks during the 1950s, as documented by fragments of case files preserved in the Security Services Archive in Prague. While there is much focus on victims of the Prague show trial of the so-called “Conspiracy Centre,” all of whom were members of the top echelons of the Communist Party, the individuals who tried to revive Jewish life and secure the well-being of the needy in a country swept by anti-Jewish sentiment raked up by that trial remain largely unknown. In this work, we learn who these people were and what they did, and how the Communist regime punished them for their involvement. As an original contribution, the article details the search for safe methods of delivering humanitarian aid to Czechoslovak Holocaust survivors after the expulsion of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in 1950, from the initial attempts to use Israeli channels to the gradual legalisation of JDC aid under Swiss cover organisations.

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).

 

 

URL: http://www.resling.co.il/book.asp?series_id=3&book_id=759&back=catalog

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

Articles

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

Moshe Gat
pages 603-622

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829610
The impact of the cold war on the Thatcher government’s Middle East policy

Azriel Bermant
pages 623-639

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829607

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

Shmuel Tzabag
pages 640-659

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829614
The ‘Annapolis Process’: a chronology of failure

Amira Schiff
pages 660-678

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829612

War and peace in Judaism and Islam

Moshe Cohen
pages 679-692

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829608

A reassessment of the 1967 Arab oil embargo

Joseph Mann
pages 693-703

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829611

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

Nitza Davidovitch
pages 704-712

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829609

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

Tal Shahor
pages 713-730

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829613

Review Essay

The politics of the Israeli Pantheon

Nissim Leon
pages 731-734

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829615

Book Reviews

60 years: Israel navy

David Rodman
pages 735-736

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829616

Legacy: a genetic history of the Jewish people

David Rodman
page 736

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829618

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

David Rodman
pages 737-738

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829619

Moshe Dayan: Israel’s controversial hero

David Rodman
pages 738-739

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829620

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

David Rodman
pages 739-740

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829621

Israel: the will to prevail

David Rodman
pages 740-741

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829622

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

David Rodman
pages 741-742

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829623

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

David Rodman
pages 742-743

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829624

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

David Rodman
pages 743-744

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829625

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

David Rodman
pages 744-746

DOI:10.1080/13537121.2013.829617

Editorial Board

Editorial Board