Eisenhower and Israel
U.S.-Israeli Relations, 1953-1960eBook - 1993
"Incorporates the most authoritative scholarship and exploits recently released archives. . . . This multi-layered analysis should be must reading for a wide audience."--Richard H. Immerman, Temple University
"Alteras writes fairly and intelligently. . . . His book is a welcome addition to the literature on American foreign policy in the Eisenhower years."--Robert A. Divine, University of Texas at Austin
This first detailed analysis of early U.S.-Israeli relations draws on recently declassified documents from both countries, most notably Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's diaries and correspondence and the Israeli State Archives. Alteras explores the relations between the United States and Israel during the Eisenhower administration in the context of U.S. interests in the Arab Middle East and devotes considerable attention to the impact of American Jewry on Eisenhower's and Dulles's policies toward Israel.
Among the controversies this book will be important in resolving: who promised what to whom in the interchanges that preceded the 1956 invasion of Suez, and exactly what the relationship was among Israel, France, and Britain. With persuasive support from primary sources, Alteras argues that although Ben-Gurion understood that Israel stood to lose the most in the event of failure, the British and French were at least as much to blame for the debacle that followed as were the Israelis.
Further, Alteras shows that Eisenhower and Dulles agreed fully on U.S. policy toward Israel and that the secretary of state consulted the president at every stage of policy implementation. He indicates that although Eisenhower at times questioned the wisdom of Truman's decision to recognize the Jewish state, Eisenhower never tampered with that decision or with the U.S. commitment to Israel's survival. Alteras also details the manner in which organized American Jewry successfully lobbied Congress to thwart the administration's attempts to impose economic sanctions on Israel in the aftermath of the Sinai campaign.
In this examination of U.S.-Israeli relations during a crucial stage of their evolution, Alteras breathes life into the political figures whose motivations and decisions helped shape the two countries' attitudes toward each other today.
Isaac Alteras, associate professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York, has published and lectured widely on Jewish history and the Arab-Israeli conflict. From 1986 to 1991 he directed the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College.