New Book: Starr and Dubinsky, The Israeli Conflict System

Starr, Harvey, and Stanley Dubinsky, eds. The Israeli Conflict System. Analytic Approaches, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : crossing disciplinary and methodological boundaries in conflict systems analysis / Harvey Starr and Stanley Dubinsky — Event Type, sub-state Actor and Temporal Dimensions of the Dissent-Repression Relationship : Evidence from the Middle East / Philip A. Schrodt and Ömür Yilmaz — Turbulence in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict System : Predicting Change / G. Dale Thomas — Causes and Consequences of Unbalanced Relations in the International Politics of the Middle East, 1946-2010 / Zeev Maoz and Belgin San-Akca — Trade Networks and Conflict Processes in the Israeli Conflict System / Nadia Jilani, Ashley Murph-Schwarzer, Dona Roy, Matthew Shaffer, and Brian Warby — Trade in Conflict Zones : The Israeli Conflict System / Katherine Barbieri and Adrian R. Lewis — The Geography of Conflict : Using GIS to Analyze Israel’s External and Internal Conflict Systems / Harvey Starr, Roger Liu and G. Dale Thomas — Language, Conflict, and Conflicting Languages in Israel/Palestine / Stanley Dubinsky and William D. Davies — The Role of Holocaust Memory in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict / Andreas Musolff — An Experimental Procedure Comparing How Students in Middle Eastern and Western Democracies Cope with International Conflicts / Ranan D. Kuperman — Subjectivity in the Application of the Just War Doctrine to Collateral Damage : An Experimental Test in Israel and the US / Nehemia Geva and Belinda Bragg — Predicting Revolution and Regime Instability in the Middle East : The Uncertain Future of Arab-Israeli Relations / Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith.

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New Article: Ginor & Remez,Veterans’ Memoirs as a Source for the USSR’s Intervention in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Ginor, Isabella, and Gideon Remez. “Veterans’ Memoirs as a Source for the USSR’s Intervention in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Fluctuations in Their Appearance and Character With Political Change in Post-Soviet Russia.” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 29.2 (2016): 279-97.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13518046.2016.1168136

 

Abstract

Shortly before and after the USSR’s demise, a new literature emerged: memoirs by veterans of the Soviet Union’s massive military intervention in the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1960s and ’70s. Resurgent Russian pride, coupled with condemnation of its corruption by Soviet crimes, permitted startling disclosures. Tools we developed to evaluate these sources found them remarkably reliable and necessitated a reassessment of existing historiography. The Putin administration marked a reversal. Russian nationalism now stressed continuity with the USSR’s great-power status. ‘Falsification of history against Russian interests’ was criminalized. Some veterans resorted to purported ‘fiction’, which if challenged could be disclaimed. But under even stricter scrutiny, these narratives generally proved to reflect the authors’ actual experience, providing significant pointers for further research.

 

 

 

New Article: Aboultaif, Just War and the Lebanese Resistance to Israel

Aboultaif, Eduardo Wassim. “Just War and the Lebanese Resistance to Israel.” Critical Studies on Terrorism (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2016.1175268

 

Abstract

The literature on Lebanese resistance to Israel is overwhelmed with work on Hezbollah, the role of religion, and its connection to Iranian influence. However, few of these studies have looked at the totality of Lebanese resistance, from its secular origins to its Islamic monopoly. Moreover, no work to date has looked at Lebanese resistance through the prism of just war theory. This article aims at addressing this gap by applying the criteria introduced by Childress regarding the justness of war. Moreover, the article examines resistance as a practice of non-state actors and its terrorist label, and at the same time, evaluates Israel’s military response to Lebanese resistance through the prism of state terrorism.

 

 

 

New Article: Meiton, Electrifying Jaffa

Meiton, Fredrik. “Electrifying Jaffa: Boundary-Work and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” Past & Present (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtw002

 
Extract

In the summer of 1923 the Russian-born Jewish engineer Pinhas Rutenberg threw the switch at Mandate Palestine’s first electrical distribution system, lighting up a portion of Allenby Street in Tel Aviv. It was the first step in an endeavour that, according to Rutenberg, was ‘destined to become the most important instrument for the sound development of the country’. The local British government in Jerusalem agreed, as did Whitehall. Major Hubert Young of the Middle East Department predicted that ‘the successful inauguration of Mr. Rutenberg’s schemes will do more than anything else to pacify Palestine, facilitate immigration, and develop the country’. The excitement was echoed among Tel Aviv’s Jewish residents. To them, the roadside pylons could not multiply fast enough. To the Palestinians in neighbouring Jaffa, however, the grid’s expansion was a mixed blessing. The high-tension cable wound its way into town with promises of modernity and the creature comforts of civilized life, but it also signalled the encroachment of Jewish nationalism on Arab Palestine. A significant portion of the Palestinian Arab community was staunchly opposed to Rutenberg’s electrification, and a few weeks before the lights went on along Allenby Street, an angry crowd made its way through the city chanting ‘The lamp-posts of Rutenberg are the gallows of our nation’.

This article argues that electrification played a part in making Palestine an object of nationalist contention, and that properties of the technology itself had a fundamental and lasting impact on the character and strategies of both Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. Far from being part of a neutral backdrop, then, the process of electricity generation and distribution was inherently political.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Book Chapter: Diab, al-Sādāt’s Knesset Address, Ṣulḥ, and Diplomacy

Diab, Rasha. “From the Egyptian People’s Assembly to the Israeli Knesset: al-Sādāt’s Knesset Address, Ṣulḥ, and Diplomacy.” In Shades of Ṣulḥ. The Rhetorics of Arab-Islamic Reconciliation (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016): 112-60.

 

Shades of Sulh

Extract

In late November 1977, Muḥammad Anwar al-Sādāt undertook a risky and highly visible trip across the Egyptian-Israeli border to visit with the Knesset . The epigraph above comes from his Knesset address (hereafter KA) and sums up its overall goal, which sought to enable deliberation commensurate with the gravity of a series of wars and to attain peace. al-Sādāt’s KA interrupted and transformed a prolonged diplomatic stalemate, resuscitated peace talks, and eventually led to the Camp David Treaty. The KA and texts it deliberates with and against are the focal point of this chapter.

This chapter offers a bidimensional reading of ṣulḥ discourse, underlining how al-Sādāt’s diplomatic deliberations resuscitated Egyptian-Israeli peace talks in 1977 by drawing on a long tradition of public, formal ṣulḥ in addition to the three main features of ṣulḥ, namely initiating peace through commitment; mobilizing witnesses; and creating a community, political structure included, of peace pursuers. As such, this chapter provides yet another case where the three main features of ṣulḥ are conspicuous. I contend that these features of ṣulḥ are crucial to understanding al-Sādāt’s 1977 peace initiative and that they are the backbone of the address. However, ṣulḥ continues to be invisible in scholarship on al-Sādāt’s initiative. It is important to note that in this case ṣulḥ expresses itself in relation to other discourses that also seek to create transformative encounters, namely diplomatic discourse, border crossing, war/peace epideictic rhetoric, and policy articulations at moments of crises. In this mix, ṣulḥ can be forgotten unless we deliberately tease out its manifestation in both the symbolic and procedural dimensions of peacemaking.

 

 

New Article: Steinberg, EU Foreign Policy and the Role of NGOs

Steinberg, Gerald M. “EU Foreign Policy and the Role of NGOs: The Arab-Israeli Conflict as a Case Study.” European Foreign Affairs Review 21.2 (2016): 251–68.

 

URL: http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/abstract.php?id=EERR2016016

 

Abstract

The European Union’s structural weakness in foreign policy making, and the emphasis on soft power in promoting norms, contribute significantly to its close cooperation with civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).The EU provides core funding to hundreds of NGOs and receives legitimacy, information, and analysis from them. In return, this interdependence allows NGOs to expand their impact in many areas, including foreign policy.

This study analyses the relationship between NGOs and EU decision-making in the foreign policy realm, particularly in the context of the Arab-Israel conflict. By examining EU documents on key issues, such as Jerusalem, settlements, Israeli-Arab citizens, and guidelines for cooperation with Israeli institutions, the article highlights the direct impact of selected NGOs. We argue that the close and mutual NGO-EU dependency has significant political and theoretical ramifications.

 

 

 

New Article: Gutfeld & Vanetik, The American Airlift to Israel During the Yom Kippur War

Gutfeld, Arnon, and Boaz Vanetik. “‘A Situation That Had to Be Manipulated’: The American Airlift to Israel During the Yom Kippur War.” Middle Eastern Studies 52.3 (2016): 419-47.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2016.1144393

 

Abstract

As he had hoped, Kissinger’s wartime policy indeed led to his anticipated post-war diplomatic achievements. In this respect it could be said that it was his finest hour. Immediately upon the cessation of fighting, Kissinger launched the disengagement agreement in what became known as a ‘shuttle diplomacy’ to the Middle East. During his visit to Cairo on 7 November, Sadat and Kissinger announced that diplomatic relations between Egypt and the US would resume shortly. In the months to follow, Kissinger worked fervently to bring about a disengagement agreement between Egypt and Israel, which was finally signed on 18 January 1974. In this Sinai I Agreement, Israel consented to withdraw entirely from the west bank of the Suez Canal and 20 kilometres from its east bank. In the agreement it was also stated that the Suez Canal would be reopened, which indeed was cleaned and opened in January 1975. The Egyptians presented the agreement not as a diplomatic, but as a military one; however, the agreement included a clause stating that it was a first step toward a future peace agreement, indicating that the conflict between the two countries would be resolved by peaceful means. Furthermore, the agreement stipulated that a new agreement would replace it within a year’s time. Indeed, on 4 September 1975, Sinai II, an interim agreement between Israel and Egypt was signed. These agreements were vital and necessary stages of the path toward the Israeli–Egyptian Peace Treaty that was signed on the White House lawn on 26 March 1979. Moreover, another disengagement agreement mediated by Kissinger was signed between Israel and Syria on 31 March 1974. It is doubtful whether these impressive agreements could have come to fruition had the Yom Kippur War ended differently because of the roles played by the delay tactics, leading to Israel’s difficulties on the battlefield and Egypt’s and Syria’s impressive wartime advances, followed by the massive airlift to Israel, which sealed the Israeli victory but did not allow for a humiliating defeat of its Arab foes. Washington’s wartime policy clearly underscored the central, vital role played by the US in the Middle Eastern arena. Moreover, the manner in which Kissinger managed and manipulated the crisis highlighted his own role as the key policy-maker of the Arab–Israeli conflict; he was the only one who possessed the necessary clout and communication channels with all of the parties involved: the USSR, Egypt, Syria, and Israel.

Based on newly published documentation, this study depicts a clear and unequivocal picture of Washington’s policy toward Israel during the first week of the Yom Kippur War. A policy adopted by all sections of the US executive branch, which necessitated coordination among these sections. This policy can be defined as ‘sophisticated manipulation’ in all communications with Israeli officials, with the purpose of delaying and limiting the transfer of military aid. Secretary of State Kissinger had overwhelming influence over the planning and execution of this foreign policy, receiving the full support of all components of the executive branch. Kissinger also succeeded in creating the false impression that the Pentagon was responsible for the delays in supplying military aid. Indeed, Israeli officials refused to believe that Kissinger had a hand in the delay tactics. When Prime Minister Meir was asked in 1977 whether she believed Kissinger purposely acted to delay arms shipments to Israel, she responded ‘I honestly still do not know.’.

 

 

 

Lecture: Morris, A New Look at the 1948 War (Georgetown, April 20, 2016)

The Department of Government  invites you to

The 201​6 Goldman ​Lecture

“A New Look at the 1948 War”

Benny Morris, Professor of History
Middle East Studies Department, Ben-Gurion University

Wednesday, April 20
5:00 pm6:30 pm
Copley Formal Lounge

Please RSVP by ​Monday, April 18
at the Eventbrite page

Benny Morris is Professor of History in the Middle East Studies Department at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba, Israel, where he has taught since 1997. He was born in Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh and was brought up in Jerusalem and New York. He earned his BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Cambridge University. Between 1978 and 1991 he was a journalist and diplomatic correspondent at The Jerusalem Post. 

He has been a fellow at the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute and a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, St Antony’s College in Oxford and at Oxford’s Centre for Hebraic and Jewish Studies, Yarnton Manor. In addition, he has taught at the University of Florida, Dartmouth College, the University of Maryland, Munich University and Harvard University.

Professor Morris has published ten books, including The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (1988); The Roots of Appeasement, the British Weekly Press and Nazi Germany during the 1930s (1991); Israel’s Border Wars 1949- 1956 (1993); Righteous Victims (1999); and 1948, A History of the First Arab Israeli War (2008) – winner of the Jewish National Book Award. He is currently completing a book on Turkey’s relations with its Christian minorities, 1876-1924. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York TimesThe New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Review of BooksThe New RepublicThe National InterestThe GuardianThe ObserverThe Daily Telegraph, and other newspapers and journals in Europe.

Thesis: Olafsdottir, The Druze and the Zionists in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Olafsdottir, Gunnhildur Eva. The Druze and the Zionists in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: An Inter-Ethnic Alliance, BA Thesis. Haverford, Pa.: Haverford College, 2015.
 
URL: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/26366/
 
Abstract

The Druze community is an Arab minority with populations inhabiting Israel/Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. They are distinct from other Arabs in the region due to their religion and culture, yet in Israel/Palestine, they participate in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) alongside Israelis. In 1956 the Druze Conscription Agreement was passed into law requiring all non-religious Druze males to participate in the IDF. However, the Druze fought alongside the Zionists long before 1956, and even before the establishment of the Israeli State in 1948. The Druze have a unique history in the region unlike the histories of other Arabs and the Zionists, and this unique history is an element that has had a major influence on the relations with the Zionists and other Arabs. The Druze are the only Arab minority in Israel/Palestine that are required to participate in the IDF. What is puzzling about this fact is that at first glance the Druze have far more in common with other Arabs than they do with Zionists in terms of their shared Arabic language and Arab ethnic origins. The goal of this thesis is to understand why the Druze have a generally good relationship with the Zionists and a bad relationship with other Arabs. In addition, this thesis will focus on the puzzle of why this Arab minority participates in the IDF by analyzing the Druze-Zionist/Israeli alliance that emerged before 1948 and has continued through the present.

 

 

 

New Book: Wittstock, 50 Years of German-Israeli Diplomatic Relations

Wittstock, Alfred, ed. Rapprochement, Change, Perception and Shaping the Future. 50 Years of German-Israeli and Israeli-German Diplomatic Relations. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2016.

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The relations between the two states and societies have been rather complex during both the previous half-century and beyond. Embedded in changing political landscapes, the ramifications reach back to the early 19th century. Yet the uniqueness of the relationship network only shows in light of the wholesale murder of Jews in Europe, the creation of the State of Israel, the discussions surrounding the initiation of diplomatic relations and their arrangement until the present day. The development and intensity of the relations with regard to civil society and politics are quite astonishing when considering the beginnings. Approaches, changes and the in part greatly-varying perceptions of the other side can be observed over the course of 50 years of history, and these give rise to questions concerning the current state of the relationship and its future design.

 

Click here for Table of Contents (PDF).

ALFRED WITTSTOCK is the Director of the Israel Study Unit at the Department of Political Science at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. Co-founder of the German Study Program “Study in Israel – One year at the Hebrew University Jerusalem”. Teaching activities at several secondary schools and Universities. Research interests: state and society of Israel, role of religions in the Middle East conflict, German-Israeli Relations.

 

 

 

New Book: Setton, Spanish–Israeli Relations

Setton, Guy. Spanish–Israeli Relations, 1956–1992. Ghosts of the Past and Contemporary Challenges in the Middle East. Sussex: Sussex Academic Press, 2016.

Spanish-Israeli Relations

Despite a common heritage dating back centuries and mutual national interests, such as their joint fear of Soviet influence across the Mediterranean, it took 38 years after the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) and a decade after Franco’s death (1975) for relations to be established between Jerusalem and Madrid (1986). The absence of ties between both countries prior to 1986 was an anomaly that requires explanation. There was no apparent reason why both countries should not have established full diplomatic ties prior. Indeed, during the first years of Israeli statehood until 1952, Spain sought unsuccessfully to establish official ties with Israel as a means to overcome international isolation. But adhering to a moral foreign policy standard, Israel refused formal ties with the former Axis supporter. By 1953, however, Israel began adopting a more pragmatic view.

 

Despite a common heritage dating back centuries and mutual national interests, such as their joint fear of Soviet influence across the Mediterranean, it took 38 years after the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) and a decade after Franco’s death (1975) for relations to be established between Jerusalem and Madrid (1986). The absence of ties between both countries prior to 1986 was an anomaly that requires explanation. There was no apparent reason why both countries should not have established full diplomatic ties prior. Indeed, during the first years of Israeli statehood until 1952, Spain sought unsuccessfully to establish official ties with Israel as a means to overcome international isolation. But adhering to a moral foreign policy standard, Israel refused formal ties with the former Axis supporter. By 1953, however, Israel began adopting a more pragmatic view.

Five centuries after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain bilateral ties were formalized after Spain’s successful transition from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy and Madrid’s ascension to the EEC in 1986. Once in the Community, Madrid had to align its foreign policy with Brussels which necessitated diplomatic relations with Israel. Without this systematic pressure on Madrid, the anomaly of Israeli–Spanish relations would have likely continued. Post 1986 the ties between the two countries were overshadowed by strong international political forces – the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Israeli–Palestinian struggle – which delayed bilateral progress. Explaining the impact of these forces is key to understanding the relationship. Although many positive milestones have been reached there are substantive issues of concern for both sides, and a feeling that much work remains if the relationship, and indeed friendship, is to become worthy and rewarding.

 

GUY SETTON has a PhD in History from Tel Aviv University after majoring in International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He obtained a Master’s degree in International History at the London School of Economics.

 

 

 

New Article: Petrucci & Fois, Attitudes towards Israel in Tunisian Political Debate

Petrucci, Filippo, and Marisa Fois. “Attitudes towards Israel in Tunisian Political Debate: From Bourguiba to the New Constitution.” Journal of North African Studies (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2016.1152188
 
Abstract

Tunisia has developed an original diplomatic approach to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Relations between Tunisia and Israel (and more generally between Israel and the Arab world) have also influenced internal relations within Tunisia and the reactions and decisions of its Jewish community. This paper describes the evolution of the Tunisian government’s attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinian issue in the post-independence era until the approval of the new Tunisian Constitution in 2014. The debate over whether to include an article regarding ‘the criminalisation of normalisation with Israel’ in the recently approved Constitution was considerable. Issues related to Israel have thus gained prominence in national debate, following a period in which they were primarily discussed by Ben Ali’s political opponents. Through an analysis of articles, books, Internet sources and presidential speeches, this article examines the different positions taken by Tunisia towards Israel and how they have evolved over time.

 

 

 

New Article: Revel, European Neighborhood Policy in the Middle East

Revel, Sammy. “European Neighborhood Policy in the Middle East: The Test of Reality.” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23739770.2016.1159043

 

Extract

When it was inaugurated in 1995, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership presented a vision of political cooperation, economic development, and cultural understanding between Europe, Arab countries, and Israel. The atmosphere was one of relative optimism, both in Europe and the Middle East. Ten years later, the regional approach took a back seat and the main emphasis was placed on a more bilateral framework, with the introduction of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Following the big wave of European Union enlargement, the gravitational force pulling neighboring countries to the EU was at its peak. The objective was to extend the zone of peace and prosperity beyond its enlarged borders.
Today, at the beginning of 2016, this vision seems to be a faraway dream. In the Middle East and North Africa, the upheavals in Arab countries have brought about growing instability and bloodshed. This situation presents important humanitarian challenges, including major refugee flows within the region and into Europe. Terrorist organizations are exploiting the current situation to spread hatred and commit acts of violence.
In view of this dramatic, unsettling reality, there is a clear need to examine the flaws in the implementation of the ENP and to rethink its most basic elements. A new strategy should include effective tools with which to solidify meaningful cooperation between like-minded countries.

 

New Article: Rozin, Infiltration and the Making of Israel’s Emotional Regime

Rozin, Orit. “Infiltration and the Making of Israel’s Emotional Regime in the State’s Early Years.” Middle Eastern Studies (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1124416
 
Abstract

After the 1948 war, the cease-fire lines between Israel and its neighbours remained porous. Palestinian refugees crossed the borders. Some returned to cultivate their fields; others crossed the border as thieves. Some intended to murder Israelis and wreak terror. Most of the refugees who made their way into Israel were not violent, but their presence frightened Jewish civilians living in frontier regions. Policy-makers and cultural agents of the social elite mobilized to mould the threatened population into Israelis who could display fortitude. The article analyzes the emotional regime the Israeli state sought to inculcate and the desirable and undesirable outcomes of this policy.

 

 

 

New Article: Kochavi, British Policy in the Middle East following the 1967 War

Kochavi, Arieh J. “George Brown and British Policy in the Middle East following the 1967 War.” Middle East Journal 70.1 (2016): 91-110.

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/70.1.15

 

Abstract

In the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, relations between Britain and the Arab world improved, particularly with Egypt, and also with Jordan. This article shows the driver of this decisive shift in policy was the initiative of Foreign Secretary George Brown. Well aware of the aversion some of his colleagues felt toward Egyptian president Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser and anger over King Husayn of Jordan’s defense pact with the Egyptian leader, Brown opted to maneuver behind the government’s back and did not hesitate to manipulate and even deceive both the government and Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

 

 

 

New Article: Waage and Stenberg, The 1949 Armistice Negotiations between Israel and Syria

Waage, Hilde Henriksen, and Petter Stenberg . “Cementing a State of Belligerency: The 1949 Armistice Negotiations between Israel and Syria.” Middle East Journal 70.1 (2016): 69-89.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/the_middle_east_journal/v070/70.1.waage.html

 

Abstract

After the Arab states’ devastating defeat in the 1948 war with Israel, Syria refused to give in without a fight. Syria held on to several bridgeheads inside the former Palestine. Proving as skillful as their Israeli opponents at the game of contradictory arguments, the Syrians steadfastly refused to concede to Israel’s demands. The negotiations in 1949 eventually resulted in a demilitarized zone on the Syrian-Israeli border, and with it a state of belligerency was cemented.

 

 

 

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: 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: Kober, Arm Races and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Kober, Avi. “Arm Races and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” In Arms Races in International Politics: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century (ed. Thomas Mahnken, Joseph Maiolo, and David Stevenson; Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016): 205-23.

 
Cover: Arms Races in International Politics
 

Extract

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the dynamic nature of the Arab-Israeli arms race, to identify the external and internal factors that have affected it, to discuss the role played by technology in this arms race, to point to the linkage between conventional and unconventional arm races in the Middle East, and to assess the connection between arms racing and the outbreak of Arab-Israeli wars.