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 Book: Ross, Doomed to Succeed

Ross, Dennis. Doomed to Succeed. The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.

 

9780374141462

 

When it comes to Israel, U.S. policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. Today our ties to Israel are close–so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way.
Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton’s envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president’s attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach.
Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned. Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape U.S. policy in that light.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
1. The Evolution of US Policy toward Israel
2. The Eisenhower Administration and the Pursuit of Arab Allies
3. The Kennedy Administration: Breaking Taboos and Pursuing a New Balance
4. Lyndon Baines Johnson: Emotional Ties but Constrained by Vietnam
5. Nixon and Ford: Dysfunction, War, and Interim Agreements
6. The Carter Presidency: The Pursuit of Peace and Constant Tension with Israel
7. The Reagan Administration and the Policy of Duality
8. George H. W. Bush and Israel: Discord and Responsiveness
9. The Clinton Administration and Israel: Strategic Partners for Peace
10. Bush 43: Terror, Partnership, and Bureaucratic Divisions
11. Obama and Israel: Support for Security, Little Chemistry, and Constant Challenges
12. Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index
 

 

Dennis Ross is the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown. He was the director of policy planning in the State Department for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton’s Middle East Peace envoy, and a special assistant to the president under Barack Obama.

 

 

New Article: Bourdon, Historical Analogies in the Coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Bourdon, Jerome. “Outrageous, Inescapable? Debating Historical Analogies in the Coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Discourse & Communication (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750481315576835

 

Abstract

This article explores the debate that has surrounded the use of analogies in coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, analyzing in depth two ‘analogy affairs’ on the basis of a LexisNexis corpus: the 2002 Auschwitz-Saramago affair (64 items) and the 2006–2007 Apartheid-Carter affair (154 items). Using the classic Aristotelian tripartition of logos, ethos, and pathos, the article unfolds the argumentative structure of the controversies. Carter and Saramago used the combination of their own personal status and the controversial nature of their analogies to trigger a debate. Commentators focused very much on the ethos (arguments around the authority and the character of the authors) and the pathos, and tended to ignore the logos (the factual relevance of the analogy). Opponents, who made up the majority of commentators, considered analogies as a way of passing judgment on and mobilizing against one of the actors in the conflict (Israel in our cases). This analysis suggests that despite the call for a more cautious use of (or even a prohibition of) the analogies discussed, participants in the debate on the Israeli–Palestinian conflicts are bound to resort to them – even if only to condemn them.

New Article: Gries, How Ideology Divides American Liberals and Conservatives over Israel

Gries, Peter Hays. “How Ideology Divides American Liberals and Conservatives over Israel.” Political Science Quarterly 130.1 (2015): 51-78.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/polq.12288/abstract

 

Excerpt

This article has argued that Main Street American liberals and conservatives differ substantially in their feelings and foreign policy preferences toward the Middle East. Conservatives feel warmer toward Israel but cooler toward Iran, the Palestinians, and Muslims than liberals do. Conservatives, furthermore, desire a friendlier foreign policy toward Israel than liberals do.

It has further argued that these differences have their origins in many of the same ideological fissures that cleave domestic American politics. The same culture wars that divide Americans on abortion and gay marriage also divide Americans on Israel and the Palestinians. For instance, our 2011 survey revealed that biblical literalism is a powerful predictor of both opposition to abortion (β= .62), and warmth toward Israel (β= .36). Similarly, the racial politics that has divided Americans from the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the voting rights battles of today also divides social liberals and conservatives in their feelings toward the Palestinian people. Conservatives tend to view Palestinians and other Muslims as threats to both Christianity and established authorities, while liberals have a greater tendency to view their plight in the West Bank and Gaza as analogous to segregation or even apartheid, triggering liberal moralities of compassion and social justice.

[…]

Many Republican politicians today appear to be representing the extreme pro-Israel views of their core constituents—very conservative primary voters. It is Democratic elites that may be more disconnected from their core constituents, adopting more pro-Israel and anti-Arab positions than their liberal primary voters, who our survey reveals are ambivalent toward Israel and sympathetic toward the Palestinians and Muslims.

By demonstrating that American opinion on the Middle East is divided along ideological lines, I hope that this article has shown that the dominance of the right wing of the Israel lobby today does not represent the subversion of the democratic process by a Jewish elite; it is instead the natural product of an American electoral system that increasingly represents and responds to the extreme ends of Main Street American opinion.

 
 
 
 
 

Lecture: Lawrence Wright on Camp David’s Complex Peace

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:30 – 8:45pm

Lawrence Wright: Camp David’s Complex Peace

In September of 1978, three nations came together at Camp David to create what ultimately became the first Middle Eastern peace treaty. Through a day-by-day account of the peace talks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright looks at how this landmark agreement was reached. Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David is the untold story of Carter’s push for peace, hard feelings felt by participants, and far-reaching implications of the agreement. By analyzing the actions of President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, he offers “hallmark insight” into those tense days. He’ll also analyze the ripple effects created by this tumultuous process. Wright is also the author of Going Clear, The Looming Tower, and a staff writer with The New Yorker.

Post-Event Discussion: Following the program, there will be a post-event discussion moderated by Resat Kesaba, Director of UW’s Jackson School of International Studies, as part of Town Hall’s Civic Roundtable Series. Stay for this 9 pm discussion to share thoughts on Wright’s lecture and learn about the Jackson School’s resources for staying up-to-date on current affairs in the Middle East.

Presented by: Town Hall, World Affairs Council, and University Book Store, as part of the Civics series. Series supported by The Boeing Company, the RealNetworks Foundation, and the True-Brown Foundation. Series media sponsorship provided by The Stranger and KUOW.
Tickets: $5.
Town Hall member benefits: Priority seating, discounted onsite book sales.
Doors open: 6:30 p.m.

URL: http://www.townhallseattle.org/lawrence-wright-camp-davids-complex-peace/