WE ARE ONE! by Melvin I. Urofsky
Kirkus Star


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How Eddie Jacobson talked ex-haberdashery-partner Harry Truman into granting a crucial interview to Chaim Weizmann and other vital, intriguing particulars of the ""special relationship"" between America's settled Jews and the reclaimed Promised Land. As in American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust (1974), Urofsky combines a wide reach with clear-cut organization, and balances thematic development with appreciation for individual contributions. He carefully positions each organization, from the ""assimilationist"" American Jewish Committee to the militantly Zionist groupings, attending to both philosophical differences and personality clashes; he scrutinizes U.S. government policy from Roosevelt's disillusioning unconcern for Hitler's victims to Nixon's surprisingly staunch support of Israel (reproached for praising him, Golda Meir retorted: ""Have you any liberals who can supply us with Phantoms?""); but the central thread is the fluctuating attitude of American Jews, the first in history to be entirely at home abroad, toward first the ideal and then the reality of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The dramatic moments of identification are recaptured--exaltation at Israeli independence and instant U.S. recognition; dismay, in May 1967, at the prospect of another Holocaust (""'What shall we do if Israel fights and we lose?'"")--but always with an underlying recognition of American Jewish identity (hence Urofsky's impatience with Ben-Gurion and others who insisted on aliyah, or emigration to Eretz Yisrael). He also takes up such recent sticklers as black hostility to Jews, New-Left antipathy toward Israel, and the virtual ban on mentioning Israeli shortcomings. Save for his references to Arab intransigence (the book was apparently completed before Sadat's peace overture), Urofsky's tone is moderate and, whatever his biases, every assertion is documented. This is a flavorful and scholarly work that will not only be of immediate interest to Jews but of lasting value to students of American politics and foreign affairs.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1978
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday