RED STAR OVER BETHLEHEM: Russia Drives to Capture the Middle East by Ira Hirschmann

RED STAR OVER BETHLEHEM: Russia Drives to Capture the Middle East

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hirschmann, a sometime U.S. diplomat and well-known pro-Israeli propagandist, uses his experiences in the former capacity as fuel for his latter task, and much of this short book is as hokey as the title. In 1955 when Nasser was feuding with the American ambassador Hirschmann talked with him informally. Nasser's ""fanatical brown eyes seemed to drill through me as he leaned his swarthy face toward me. . . . 'If I can't get my arms from the Americans, I will get them from the Russians.'"" Both Arabs and Russians feel a cultural ""duty to lie"" (free of such compulsions, Hirschmann's claim that the Fatah is committed to ""Moscow-brand communism"" must simply be misinformed); but in this case Nasser upheld his pledge and the door was opened. The reader actually gets little more than a taste of Soviet machinations, however, and nothing about U.S. intervention except when Hirschmann repeatedly laments Dulles' refusal to pitch in on the Suez invasion. Given the fact that Laqueur, Dagan, Moseley and scores of others sharing anti-Soviet sentiment have provided vastly superior material, the book must rest on its anecdotes -- ""You're the only man who has ever seen Nasser and Ben-Gurion on the same day.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1971
Publisher: Simon & Schuster