ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

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ToC: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (May 2016): Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
May 2016
Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

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ON THE COVER: Haaretz columnist and keynote speaker Gideon Levy addresses the conference, “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?”

5 Introduction

6 Welcoming Remarks Dale Sprusansky

7 PANEL 1: Israel’s Influence on Congress and Government Agencies — Moderator Grant F. Smith

7 Ten Ways the Israel Lobby “Moves” America — Grant F. Smith

11 Did Israel Steal U.S. Weapons-Grade Uranium and Did It Have Help From U.S. Citizens? — Dr. Roger Mattson

15 How Congress Shapes Middle East Policy, and How the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Shapes Congress — Prof. Kirk J. Beattie

20 Questions & Answers

22 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: What I Would Tell a Visiting Congressional Delegation — Gideon Levy

27 Questions & Answers

30 PANEL 2: Israel’s Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy — Moderator Dale Sprusansky

30 A Diplomatic and Military Perspective — Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

35 American Neoconservatives: A History and Overview — Jim Lobe

39 Israel and Foreign Policy Issues in the Presidential Campaign — Justin Raimondo

42 Questions & Answers

44 PANEL 3: Responding to Israel’s Influence on Campus and in Court — Moderator Janet McMahon

44 The Birth of Palestine Solidarity Activism at George Mason University — Tareq Radi

49 Concerted Attempts to Silence Criticism of Israel in the U.S. — Maria LaHood

53 Why We’re Suing the U.S. Treasury Department — Susan Abulhawa

57 Holding Israel Accountable for the Gaza Flotilla Raid — Huwaida Arraf

62 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Voices Prohibited by Mainstream Media and Its Role Spreading Islamophobia — Rula Jebreal

66 PANEL 4: Israel’s Influence on Mainstream Media — Moderator Delinda Hanley

66 Mainstream Media Coverage of Israel and Palestine — Philip Weiss

70 “Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs” — Catherine Jordan

72 Questions & Answers

74 CLOSING REMARKS

75 CONCLUSION

78 ELECTION WATCH: Party Loyalty, Party Schmoyalty — Israel Comes First — Janet McMahon

79 Pro-Israel PAC Contributions to 2016 Congressional Candidates — Compiled by Hugh Galford

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 Book: Barnett, The Star and the Stripes

Barnett, Michael N. The Star and the Stripes. A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

 
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How do American Jews envision their role in the world? Are they tribal—a people whose obligations extend solely to their own? Or are they prophetic—a light unto nations, working to repair the world? The Star and the Stripes is an original, provocative interpretation of the effects of these worldviews on the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews since the nineteenth century. Michael Barnett argues that it all begins with the political identity of American Jews. As Jews, they are committed to their people’s survival. As Americans, they identify with, and believe their survival depends on, the American principles of liberalism, religious freedom, and pluralism. This identity and search for inclusion form a political theology of prophetic Judaism that emphasizes the historic mission of Jews to help create a world of peace and justice.

The political theology of prophetic Judaism accounts for two enduring features of the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews. They exhibit a cosmopolitan sensibility, advocating on behalf of human rights, humanitarianism, and international law and organizations. They also are suspicious of nationalism—including their own. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that American Jews are natural-born Jewish nationalists, Barnett charts a long history of ambivalence; this ambivalence connects their early rejection of Zionism with the current debate regarding their attachment to Israel. And, Barnett contends, this growing ambivalence also explains the rising popularity of humanitarian and social justice movements among American Jews.

Rooted in the understanding of how history shapes a political community’s sense of the world, The Star and the Stripes is a bold reading of the past, present, and possible future foreign policies of American Jews.

 

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One Heine’s Law and Jewish Foreign Policies 19
  • Chapter Two The Making of a Prophetic People (pre-1914) 51
  • Chapter Three Prophets Mugged by Reality (1914–1945) 87
  • Chapter Four The Cosmopolitan and the National (1945–1967) 121
  • Chapter Five The New Tribalism (1967–1990) 155
  • Chapter Six Back to the Future? (1990–present) 195
  • Chapter Seven The Foreign Policies of an Uncertain People 243
  • Notes 275
  • Bibliography 303
  • Index 335

 

MICHAEL N. BARNETT is the University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University. His many books include Empire of Humanity and Dialogues in Arab Politics.

 

 

 

New Article: Riccardelli, U.S. Grand Strategy: Should America Come Home?

Riccardelli, Joseph. “U.S. Grand Strategy: Should America Come Home?” Political Analysis 16, article 7 (2015): 92-118.

 
URL: http://scholarship.shu.edu/pa/vol16/iss1/7/
 
Abstract

The United States needs to re-evaluate its relationship with Israel. Presently, Israel does what it wants and the U.S. constantly stands by to defend it. While Israel is the most important relationship in the Middle East for the United States, it needs to give back to the United States what it receives. Israel is a major reason why the United States is hated by those in Middle Eastern states; they see Israel as a relic of Western Imperialism since Middle Easterners had very little say in its formation.

Regardless of Israeli’s aggressive nature, the United States should also focus on Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two of the largest and most influential states in the region next to Israel. Egypt’s future, because of recent events, is still uncertain. Many posit that regardless of the outcome of nation’s changes, there will be less U.S. influence, and more contention with Israelas Egypt heads towards Islamist populism. This means that the United States must try to show its ability to cooperate with the new regime regardless of their ideological differences.

 

 

 

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: 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 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).

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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: Sandler, The Impact of a Transformed US Global Stance on Israel’s National Security Strategy

Sandler, Shmuel. “The Impact of a Transformed US Global Stance on Israel’s National Security Strategy.” 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): 267-83.

 
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Extract

A reduced US presence in the Middle East would lead to regional instability and upset the balance of power between Israel and its neighbors. Accordingly, Jerusalem may have to reconsider its national security doctrine. Each pillar of Israel’s national security strategy would be affected.

[…]

Finally, without a committed United states to prevent a nuclear Iran, Israel may feel more compelled and less restrained than ever to strike, in order to prevent the nightmare of a potential Iranian “breakout,” and/or the emergence of several threshold Middle Eastern nuclear states.

 

 

 

New Article: Rodman, American Arms Transfers to Israel, 1962–1970

Rodman, David. “American Arms Transfers to Israel, 1962–1970: The Nuclear Weapons Dimension.” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23739770.2015.1114769
 
Extract

The American-Israeli relationship underwent a dramatic transformation during the 1960s. From its establishment in 1948 and throughout the 1950s, Israel had largely been kept at arm’s length by the administration of Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both feared that an intimate relationship with Israel would alienate the Arab world, and therefore threaten access to Middle Eastern oil, as well as encourage Soviet penetration of the region. The truncated logic in formulating its Middle Eastern policy, but eventually came around to adopting a more favorable attitude toward Israel. Presidnet Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration deepened the trend begun by its predecessor. And, by the early 1970s, during the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, Israel had come to be seen as a strategic asset to the United States in its quest to contain Soviet influence in the Middle East.

 

 

 

New Article: Morag, The Strategic Impact of an Iranian Nuclear Weapons Capability on Israel

Morag, Nadav. “The Strategic Impact of an Iranian Nuclear Weapons Capability on Israel.” In Nuclear Threats and Security Challenges, NATO Science for Peace and Security series (ed. Samuel Apikyan and David Diamond; Dordrecht: Springer, 2015): 135-46.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JRME-09-2014-0023

 

Abstract

This paper will address the likely strategic impact of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability on Israeli security, both in terms of the country’s regional standing within the Middle East, and in terms of its homeland security issues. It should be emphasized that an Iranian capacity to produce and deploy nuclear weapons in a fairly short period of time will have largely the same strategic impact on Israel as an already existing Iranian nuclear weapons capability because Iran will be able to claim that, by developing this capacity, it will be able to counter Israeli “aggression” in the Middle East, thus enhancing its prestige in the region and beyond. Moreover, an Iranian capability to develop and deploy nuclear weapons may embolden Iran to risk further confrontation with Israel, the United States, and America’s Arab allies because a nuclear weapons capability is likely to be perceived in Teheran, particularly by regime hardliners, as an insurance policy against a catastrophic attack on Iran that could threaten the regime’s hold on power. Finally, even if Iran does not actually build nuclear weapons, once it has the capacity to build them in a short period of time, Israel will need to think about the implications of their use against Israeli cities and what this means for its homeland security.

 

 

Research in Progress: Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue (Chen Kane, Middlebury Institute of Int’l Studies)

Scoping Study of U.S.-Israel Dialogue
Performer: Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Project Lead: Chen Kane
Project Cost: $70,000
FY15-16

URL: http://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/45427

Objective:
Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in security-related Track 2 dialogues in the Middle East. Yet, with Israel, one of the region’s most important states and a nuclear power, few Track 2 dialogues addressing mutual security concerns have been held. They are needed to foster a more open exchange and discussion of emerging mutual security issues. This study will evaluate the feasibility and scope of a future Track 2 dialogue between the United States and Israel within the 2016 timeframe.

Approach:
This project involves background research and analysis, including of past attempts to establish Track 1.5 strategic dialogues and the reasons they have failed. Additionally, researchers will conduct in-depth consultations with current and former U.S. government and non-government personnel. They will also travel to Israel to discuss the project’s objectives with a select group of Israeli government and non-government interlocutors. Subjects for discussion will include Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, a Middle East WMD-free zone, extended deterrence, missile defense, and other emerging security issues.

Click here for PDF.

Events: Jewish Review of Books, Conversations on Jewish Future (Oct 18, 2015)

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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.

 

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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: Silverman, Free Speech Implications of US Anti-Boycott Regulations

Silverman, Matthew E. “The Free Speech Implications of US Anti-Boycott Regulations.” International Trade and Business Law Review 18 (2015): 1-30.

 
URL: http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/itbla18&div=4

 
Abstract

This article provides an analysis of s 2407(a)(1)(D) of the Export Administration Act and its implications on Americans’ free speech rights. Section 2407(a)(1)(D) is a significant US anti-boycott regulation that prohibits American persons and companies from complying with unsanctioned foreign boycotts. This article analyses s 2407(a)(1)(D) within the context of the development and application of US anti-boycott legislation which grew out of a response to the Arab League Boycott of Israel. As well, this article examines the relevant First Amendment jurisprudence involving both commercial and political speech and argues that s 2407(a)(1)(D) should be subject to a strict-scrutiny analysis in order to account for the social and political interests often inherent within economic-boycott activity. This article concludes that the government interest in enforcing s 2407(a)(1)(D) is outweighed by the significant restrictions imposed on Americans’free speech rights, and thus, there is no justification for this regulation to be constitutionally upheld and enforced.

 

 

New Article: Rabinowitz & Miller, U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan

Rabinowitz, Or, and Nicholas L. Miller. “Keeping the Bombs in the Basement: U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan.” International Security 40.1 (2015): 47-86.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ISEC_a_00207

 
Abstract

How has the United States behaved historically toward friendly states with nuclear weapons ambitions? Recent scholarship has demonstrated the great lengths to which the United States went to prevent Taiwan, South Korea, and West Germany from acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet seemingly on the other side of the ledger are cases such as Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan, where the United States failed to prevent proliferation, and where many have argued that the United States made exceptions to its nonproliferation objectives given conflicting geopolitical goals. A reexamination of the history of U.S. nonproliferation policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan, based on declassified documents and interviews, finds that these cases are not as exceptional as is commonly understood. In each case, the United States sought to prevent these states from acquiring nuclear weapons, despite geopolitical constraints. Moreover, once U.S. policymakers realized that prior efforts had failed, they continued to pursue nonproliferation objectives, brokering deals to prevent nuclear tests, public declaration of capabilities, weaponization, or transfer of nuclear materials to other states.

 

New Article: Marandola, Implications of the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008 on U.S.-Israeli Relations

Marandola, Marissa L. “More Money, More Problems: A Look at the Implications of the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-429, Sec. 201, 122 Stat. 4842 (2008) on U.S.-Israeli Relations.” Suffolk Transnational Law Review 38 (2015): 93-139.

 
URL: http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/sujtnlr38&div=8

 
Excerpt

This note examines whether the United States, despite being legally bound to comply with Israel’s military needs pursuant to U.S. Congressional legislation passed in 2008, should continue to grant considerable foreign military financing (FMF) amounts to Israel, even though these appropriations undermine the United States’ self-interests. Part II explores the precedential special relationship between the United States and Israel and financial extensions of that relationship. Part III discusses current global affairs, Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) in the Middle East region, and Israel’s recent request for future guaranteed U.S. FMF for purposes of maintaining Israeli QME. Israel is relying on U.S. legislation that formally recognizes U.S. commitment to maintaining Israel’s QME in order to support compliance with Israel’s request. Part IV argues that by passing the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-429, § 201, 122 Stat. 4842 (2008) (The Act), the United States made it more difficult for themselves to make sound, independent decisions regarding future FMF amounts to Israel. Part IV further evidences the burdens The Act’s obligatory nature places on the United States through changing political, economic, and international security and strategic climates, and makes recommendations to counteract The Act’s burdens. Finally, Part V concludes that the United States should continue appropriating military aid and FMF to Israel because it is an integral part of the countries’ relationship, but do so more prudently, so as to strike a balance between individual U.S. and Israeli needs.

 

 

ToC: Israel Studies 20.3 (2015) | Special Issue: Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

Israel Studies 20.3 (2015)

Special Issue—Moshe Sharett: A Retrospective

 

 

  1. Introduction (pp. v-vii)
    Natan Aridan and Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer
  2. Gabriel Sheffer
  3. Yaakov Sharett

Reviews: Judis, Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

Judis, John B. Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

 

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Reviews

 

 

Response by John Judis: Conservative Critics Say My New Israel Book Is Anti-Semitic. They Must Not Have Read It Very Closely. New Republic, February 26, 2014.