American Policy toward Israel: The Power and Limits of by Michael Thomas

By Michael Thomas

This booklet explains the institutionalization of approximately unconditional American aid of Israel through the Reagan management, and its endurance within the first Bush management when it comes to the contest of trust platforms in American society and politics. Michael Thomas explains coverage alterations over the years and offers insights into what situations may bring about lasting adjustments in coverage. the quantity identifies the $64000 household, social, non secular and political components that experience vied for primacy on coverage in the direction of Israel, and utilizing case reports, equivalent to the 1981 AWACS sale and the 1991 personal loan promises, argues that coverage debates were struggles to embed and implement ideals approximately Israel and approximately Arabs. It additionally establishes a framework for higher knowing the affects and constraints on American coverage in the direction of Israel. An epilogue applies the teachings realized to the present Bush management. American coverage towards Israel should be of curiosity to scholars people overseas coverage, heart jap politics and diplomacy.

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Its founders were strong anti-communists, Jabotinsky Zionists and supporters of Herut and the settler movement. AFSI sought to expose “enemies” of Israel, particularly within Jewish organizations (O’Brien 1986: 253–5). In the late 1970s, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) was formed. JINSA began as a group of pro-Israel military analysts who believed that to be stable, support for Israel must be based upon strategic value to the United States, rather than on moral or political grounds.

Nevertheless, there was always tension between American Jews and Israelis as to the meaning of Zionism. David Ben-Gurion, when asked what American Jews should do for Israel, said “What we need is Jews” (Tivnan 1987: 29). He pressed for aliyah (“going up,” or immigration to Israel) by American Jews. In August 1950, Jacob Blaustein, then head of the AJC, traveled to Jerusalem to tell Ben-Gurion that American Jews did not consider themselves in galut (exile), and that an America strong in democratic values and safe for Jews was essential for the continued well-being of Israel.

Aid to the struggling infant state was miniscule as compared with that from Europe. Eban at first lobbied Congress directly, but found that awkward for an ambassador. It also did not address the legislators’ primary interest, which was re-election. , Roosevelt’s treasury secretary (Melman and Raviv 1994: 54–6). However, what was needed was a permanent and knowledgeable advocate in Congress, and that person was at hand. I. L. (“Si”) Kenen had been public relations aide to Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, Zionist movement leader after the Biltmore Conference.

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