"THE PASSIONATE ATTACHMENT: America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present" by George W. with Douglas Ball Ball

"THE PASSIONATE ATTACHMENT: America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present"

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A sweeping indictment that claims that America's political, military, and economic ties to Israel have obstructed the path to peace and run counter to both countries' interests. The authors--father George (The Past Has Another Pattern, 1982, etc.), a former undersecretary of state, and son Douglas (Financial Failure and Confederate Defeat, 1990--not reviewed)--charge that Israeli leaders, through much of their nation's history, have subjected the American government to ""a mirage of untruths and bureaucratic obfuscation."" Except for Eisenhower, who forced David Ben-Gurion to pull troops out of the Sinai during the Suez crisis, US Presidents have hacked off from pressuring this US ally after initial protests against settlement policy or lack of military restraint (e.g., during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon). The authors' moral balance-scale sometimes seems unfairly stacked here: Arab terrorism, briefly mentioned, is labeled self-defeating, while Israeli attacks, explored in depth, are deemed attempts to wrest a people of their land, in violation of international law. Still, the Balls score points in arguing that America's ""passionate attachment"" (the phrase comes from Washington's farewell address) is imposing mounting costs, both fiscal ($3-4 billion in annual aid) and moral (Israel regularly defies Washington's attempt to slow the international arms bazaar). As recounted here, the Jonathan Pollard spy case, Israel's 1967 attack on the Liberty, and the nation's legal mistreatment of Arabs in the occupied territories are shocking, as is the authors' detailing of how leery US politicians are of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC (in his presidential campaign, Walter Mondale returned five $1,000 checks from Arab-Americans to avoid offending this powerful group). Often too lenient on the Arab part in this deadly stalemate--but a frequently convincing call for a new Middle East diplomacy, shorn of cold-war tensions and reconciling Israeli security with Palestinian desire for a homeland.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1992
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Norton