On one side is the peace camp composed mainly of those whose Jewish-American identity is based on a religious-universalistic definition of Judaism; on the other, those who identify as nationalistic, or orthodox in religious terms, and support a hard-line vision of Greater Israel. The acrimony between the two, combined with demographic change, has undermined Israel as a symbol of Jewish identity in America, and impeded effective lobbying for Israel.
Drawing on a wealth of in-depth interviews with American Jewish leaders and activists, Waxman shows why Israel has become such a divisive issue among American Jews. He delves into the American Jewish debate about Israel, examining the impact that the conflict over Israel is having on Jewish communities, national Jewish organizations, and on the pro-Israel lobby. Waxman sets this conflict in the context of broader cultural, political, institutional, and demographic changes happening in the American Jewish community. He offers a nuanced and balanced account of how this conflict over Israel has developed and what it means for the future of American Jewish politics.
Israel used to bring American Jews together. Now it is driving them apart. Trouble in the Tribe explains why.
The book explores the political expressions of the secondary groups in Israel (Mizrahim, Religious, Russians and Palestinian-Arab) and how these groups where treated by the Ashkinazim as a threat to its hegemony over the state. Looking at the instability created by the struggle of these marginal groups against the state, and the discrimination policy practiced by the Ashkenazi 'hegemonic ethnic state' regime against the other, non-Ashkenazi, groups, the book illustrates how this has contributed to the failure to establish an ‘Israeli people’.
Ethnic Politics in Israel will be of great interest to students and researchers in the fields of Middle East, Palestinian, Arab, Jewish and Israeli studies, political science, sociology and psychology.
Written from the singular perch of a liberal American Jew who wants to create an alternative lobby in order to encourage more evenhanded U.S. policies in the Middle East, Fleshler's new book, Transforming America's Israel Lobby, sheds new light on how Israel's American supporters exert their influence in Washington. With original research, it skewers myths propounded by the defenders of America's mainstream, pro-Israel community as well as its detractors, notably John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. It demonstrates that much of AIPAC's power is based on smoke and mirrors, on its ability to manage the perceptions of the political elite and promote exaggerated notions of its resources and clout.
Having put AIPAC and its allies in proper perspective, the book provides the first detailed examination of the opportunities for—and obstacles to—creating a domestic political bloc that is pro-American, pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. It offers concrete, provocative suggestions to Americans—Jews and non-Jews alike—who want to embolden the U.S. government to disagree with Israel when necessary, and to press both Israelis and Palestinians to make the compromises required for peace.
Why have American Jews, one of the most liberal communities in the United States, allowed hawks and neoconservatives to speak for them in Washington on matters related to Israel? Where have all the Jewish doves been hiding all of these years? Why didn't more of them speak out against America's invasion of Iraq? What can be done to mobilize Americans who believe that stopping both Israeli settlement expansion and Palestinian terrorism are vital American interests, and who want to give U.S. officials more political leeway to lean on both sides of the conflict, rather than just one side?
Dan Fleshler, who has spent a quarter century as a consultant, board member and volunteer for a wide range of Jewish organizations, is in a unique position to answer these questions. He does so based on his own extensive experience in the American Jewish community, as well as interviews with Washington insiders, American Jewish leaders, Arab American and Christian church activists who focus on the Middle East, Israeli diplomats and politicians, and other experts.
This book is a clarion call to “passionate moderates” who want to see an end to the Israeli occupation and who envision a viable Palestinian state; both goals can be achieved, according to Fleshler, via a robust American diplomacy that does not sell out the interests of either Israelis or Palestinians.
From King Hussein's little known overtures immediately after the Six-Day War, through President Sadat's futile efforts to avoid war in the early 1970s, to repeated third-party-mediated talks with Syria, factors including deep-seated mistrust, leadership style, and domestic political spoilers contributed to failures even as public opinion and international circumstances may have been favourable. How these and other factors intervened, changed or were handled, allowing for the few breakthroughs (with Egypt and Jordan) or the near breakthrough of the Annapolis process with the Palestinians, provides not only an understanding of the past but possible keys for future Israeli-Arab peace efforts.
Employing extensive use of archival material, as well as interviews and thorough research of available sources, this book provides insight on just which factors, or combination of factors, account for breakthroughs or failures to reach agreement; a framework useful for examining both the Israeli-Arab conflict and intractable conflicts in general.
Rubin demonstrates that the nearly instantaneous translation of texts by George Orwell, Thomas Mann, W. H. Auden, Richard Wright, Mary McCarthy, and Albert Camus, among others, into interrelated journals that were sponsored by organizations such as the CIA's Congress for Cultural Freedom and circulated around the world effectively reshaped writers, critics, and intellectuals into easily recognizable, transnational figures. Their work formed a new canon of world literature that was celebrated in the United States and supposedly represented the best of contemporary thought, while less politically attractive authors were ignored or even demonized. This championing and demonizing of writers occurred in the name of anti-Communism--the new, transatlantic "civilizing mission" through which postwar cultural and literary authority emerged.