Between Washington and Jerusalem

Between Washington and Jerusalem : A Reporter's Notebook

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Many journalists have mastered the Washington political scene, while others have gained entree to the highest echelons of Israeli politics. Wolf Blitzer is one of the few to have done both. An American fluent in Hebrew, Blitzer has interviewed and gained the respect of nearly all the major policy-makers in Israel and the United States over the past dozen years. The late Anwar Sadat credited Blitzer with first giving him the idea of making his historic trip to Jerusalem. The U.S.-Israeli relationship is like no other and this book helps explain why. Most importantly, it outlines the limits of the relationship, explaining why neither country can afford an all-out confrontation. There is special emphasis on the way decisions are made in Washington--the role of the foreign policy bureaucracy, Congress, the press, the Jewish community, the Arabs and their supporters, and the official Israeli presence. In addition, chapters cover the special U.S.-Israeli cooperation in military, strategic, and intelligence matters. The book is filled with fascinating vignettes of people: the career diplomat responsible for the explosive (in 1975 terms) Saunders document which said, "In many ways, the Palestinian dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the heart of that conflict...".the American industrialist who became involved in some spectacular diplomatic back-channel efforts to save Soviet Jews...the German-Jewish refugee secretary of state who came to play such a decisive role in American-Israeli affairs...the three deeply religious leaders, Begin, Sadat, and Carter, "who progressed from an agreement to pray together to an agreement to make peace once and for all." From his unique vantage point, Blitzer considers the potential for either sharp strains or even closer collaboration in the future.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195037081
  • 9780195037081

Review Text

More than the usual collection of old news columns, this is a cohesive volume, offering a rare survey of US - Israeli relations. Blitzer, an American-Jewish reporter for The Jerusalem Post, has a unique perspective, thanks to his link with both countries, from which to analyze the status of these relations. (Anwar Sadat even went so far as to acknowledge Blitzer as the main inspiration for his idea of an initial rapprochement with Israel.) This is a valuable survey for anyone else interested in the twists and turns of Mideast policy. But its uniqueness rests on its uniform theme of actual relations between Israel and all the various segments that make up America. Blitzer here covers the Washington bureaucracy's position (often subtly leaning toward the Arab position in a quest for Arabian oil), the entire panoply of Israeli characters in Washington, the relationship between the CIA and the Mossad, congressional-Israeli relations, and the stance of America's media, think tanks, Big Labor, blacks, Christians, American Jews, et al. He concludes with surveys of Carter's and Reagan's policies vis-a-vis Israel and concludes that Israel will always have to be alert to maintain its edge with the US, even as America will always have a strong bond with Israel. Well-written by one who deeply understands both the issues and the societies. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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