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.


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: Orkaby, The 1964 Israeli Airlift to Yemen and the Expansion of Weapons

Orkaby, Asher. “The 1964 Israeli Airlift to Yemen and the Expansion of Weapons Diplomacy.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26.4 (2015): 659-77.





Based on oral history accounts of surviving members of Israel’s first International Squadron and organisers of the military airlift to Yemen in 1964, this analysis examines the origins of the squadron, its mission to Yemen, and its impact on Israeli foreign policy in Africa. The founding of the International Squadron in 1963 incorporated the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser into the Israeli air force and gave the military and Foreign Ministry the country’s first long-distance transport capability. The initial successful military airlift to Yemen in May 1964 opened the possibility for additional clandestine military aid missions to sub-Saharan Africa and Kurdistan and marked the beginning of an era of Israeli “weapons diplomacy.” The Squadron’s incorporation of more advanced transport planes during the 1970s presented the Foreign Ministry with the capability of reaching Latin America and Asia, an essential factor in Israel’s expanding global arms market and later humanitarian missions.




New Article: Orkaby, Israel’s International Squadron and the “Never Again” Mentality

Orkaby, Asher. “Israel’s International Squadron and the “Never Again” Mentality.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 6.2 (2015): 83-101.





Israel’s International Squadron 120, founded in 1964, embodied the “Never Again” post-Holocaust imperative of Israel’s identity ahead of its adoption on a national level. Beginning with an airlift mission to Yemen’s northern highlands in 1964, the squadron emerged as the long arm of Israel’s foreign policy during the nation’s “golden era” of the 1960s and subsequent decades. Through the continued influence of its early members, many of whom were survivors of the Holocaust, the squadron assumed the forefront of international humanitarian aid and rescue efforts. This article tells the story of this squadron through the oral histories of five of its original members.

New Article: Rodman, Combined Arms Warfare in the Yom Kippur War

Rodman, David. “Combined Arms Warfare: The Israeli Experience in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.” Defence Studies 15.2 (2015): 161-74.





Traditional combined arms warfare is premised on the assumption that a symmetrical mix of different kinds of units and weapons offers an army the best prospect of achieving optimal results on the battlefield. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been accused by critics over the years of essentially abandoning the practice of traditional combined arms warfare before the 1973 Yom Kippur War in favor of a nontraditional (asymmetrical) variant that relied much too heavily on tanks and aircraft. While this criticism certainly has substantial merit, the IDF’s reverses in the early days of the war were not due solely to a lack of emphasis on traditional combined arms warfare, but rather also to a “perfect storm” of circumstances that obtained at the outset of hostilities. To its credit, the IDF learned rapidly from its prewar mistakes in force structure and war-fighting doctrine, reverting within days to a traditional approach to the practice of combined arms warfare, at least on the ground. Though not a battlefield panacea by any means, traditional combined arms warfare clearly contributed to the IDF’s eventual victory in the war.


ToC: Israel Affairs 16, 2 (2010)

[Items will be posted separated, time permitting]

Israel Affairs: Volume 16 Issue 2 is now available online at informaworldTM.
This new issue contains the following articles:

Original Articles

‘Forthcoming three months represent best remaining opportunity for accomplishment’: Israeli diplomacy and the 1948 US presidential election (part II)
Pages 201 – 218

Author: Henry D. Fetter

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643854

The Israel Air Force in the 1967 and 1973 wars: revisiting the historical record
Pages 219 – 233

Author: David Rodman

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643862

Israel and the West Bank, 1948-1951
Pages 234 – 250

Author: Tancred Bradshaw

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643870

The role of the educational system in retaining Circassian identity during the transition from Ottoman control to life as Israeli citizens (1878-2000)
Pages 251 – 267

Author: Nirit Reichel

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643896

The mythical post-2005 Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip
Pages 268 – 296

Authors: Avi Bell; Dov Shefi

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643912

Female soldier-teachers: army, education and a new state
Pages 297 – 313

Author: Tali Tamdor-Shimony

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643920

Review Essay

Major Farran’s hat
Pages 314 – 321

Author: Simon A. Waldman

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643946

Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Pages 322 – 333

Author: David Rodman

DOI: 10.1080/13537121003643961