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Advocating for Israel

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Transitions: From the Jewish Agency to the State of Israel, 1948-1952 Chapter 2: Securing Aid, 1948-1952 Chapter 3: Winds of Criticism and the Downgrading of Israel Chapter 4: The Hasbara Struggle in the Wake of US Coercive Diplomacy, 1954-June 1956 Chapter 5: The Ramifications of Israel's Sinai War Chapter 6: Surmounting Obstacles in the Mending of Fences, April 1957-December 1960 Chapter 7: Great Expectations of the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963 Chapter 8: The Johnson Administration, 1963-1969 Chapter 9: The Nixon and Ford Administrations, 1969-1975

About the Author

Natan Aridan is a researcher at the Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism and lecturer in Israel studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.


Aridan (Ben Gurion Univ., Israel) is the coeditor of Britain, Israel, and Anglo-Jewry: 1949-1957 (Routledge, 2004). His new book is an extensive diplomatic history of Israel's relationship with the US government during the early Cold War period. He brings to bear a wealth of research into historical and archival sources in this work, which explores the triangular relationship between the Israeli state's foreign services, the US government, and American Jews. He argues that the domestic Israel lobby did not have influential standing during the period. Rather the gradual movement of US policy toward a pro-Israel position reflected the groundwork of both the Israeli foreign service and their partners among American Jews.... [T]he book presents a strong historical narrative. Better editing of the book's English content would help improve its readability, but it is a unique contribution to the diplomatic history of US-Israel relations. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE * This study is a well-researched corrective to those who believe Israel has ignored or undervalued diplomacy. Israel's diplomats, working closely with politically well-connected American Jewish supporters, advanced Israeli interests, even when government-to-government relations were strained. Israel and its supporters worked `the system' effectively, especially in the early years of the state, to obtain critically needed assistance. This is an important read for academics and the general public interested in Israeli affairs. -- Daniel C. Kurtzer, Princeton University Advocating for Israel: Diplomats and Lobbyists from Truman to Nixon is the best-researched, most reliable history yet of the fraught relationship between the young State of Israel and the United States government. Making use, for the first time, of hitherto secret Israeli government archives, FBI files, and the results of government wiretaps, Natan Aridan overturns previous scholarship concerning a supposed `Jewish lobby' and shows how Israel's leaders, through effective advocacy, transformed US policy toward the Jewish State in the years following its creation. Even as they employed American Jews to further their goals, neither those Jews nor AIPAC leaders proved nearly as significant in shaping policy toward Israel as the Israel government itself. Aridan's study provides crucial background for anyone interested in Israeli-American relations today. -- Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University The purpose at the heart of this significant analytical book is to discern and report to what extent Israel's politicians, diplomats, and supporters succeeded in influencing US policy towards Israel, in terms of political, economic, and military aid. This study is a worthwhile read on this significant issue that affects both Israel and the United States. -- Gabriel Sheffer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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