Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

by John B. Judis
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Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Lawrence_Von_Frederick More than 1 year ago
Judis details the history of Israel, looking at the Zionist Movement and how it eventually founded modern Israel. He traces the influence of the movement on American politics and how under people such as Rabbi Silver it becomes a very effective political interest group. The story line clearly explicates the origins of the current Arab/Israeli conflict and sees Truman as responding to politics in his handling of the founding of Israel in ways that he opposed policy-wise. The historical treatment is a very honest, detailing the considerable differences among Zionists, while avoiding a judgmental evaluation of the pugnacious founding of Israel and how the Palestinians were seen - and in many ways not seen - as legitimate citizens of the area even though they had been there considerably longer than the ancestors of the Israelis. The history explains well the expansionist policies of Israel with little regard for the Palestinians. Judis explains the ardent Zionism of people such as Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter who backed settlement without regard for those currently living there. As Brandeis and Frankfurter were important liberals in American politics their actions seems highly incongruous. They apparently pictured Palestine through the lens of the founders of our country who saw the natives as savages and that the immigrants could put the land to better use. In fact, some Zionists described Palestine as "desolate" and ripe for settlement regardless of how those who became Palestinians responded. Justification was similar to how our treatment of Native Americans was seen. Moreover, a significant segment of evangelicals see the rise of Israel as necessary for the Biblical unwinding of history. The political combination of American Jewish and evangelical support has made it difficult for the US to be more even-handed in its policies on the Middle East generally and Israel specifically. The book takes the story up to the start of the Obama administration and how his diplomatic opening to the Arabs was reined in by important Jewish political donors. The book is truly a must read if you want to understand how the Middle East arrived at its current situation and why American policy has not been as effective as it could be in dealing with outcomes. Very well written and researched, a hard and honest look at history and American politics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago