Beyond Alliance: Israel in U.S. Foreign Policy.

AuthorAoude, Ibrahim

This rigorous work subscribes to mainstream meta-theoretical commitments and illustrates how American interests and the Jewish lobby have both influenced U.S. Middle Eastern policy. Mansour privileges (in the post structuralist terminology as favoring "x" over "y") American culture as a determinate of Israel's place in U.S. strategic doctrine.

Chapter one, "The Doctrine of Israel as a Strategic Asset," classifies the services attributed to Israel by the Strategic Asset Doctrine (SAD) supporters. These services (geographic location, infrastructure and logistics; experimentation, R & D, intelligence; defensive capability and intervention capability) are then discussed and presented with figures and graphs that represent Israel as an "Intrinsic" (active, dynamic, relatively autonomous) asset at the top of the ladder of services, and "Extrinsic" (passive, static, auxiliary) asset at the bottom. The SAD advocates privilege the "Intrinsic" attributes. The political implications of this are that the SAD advocates identify Israel with the West and deny any instrumental role for other pro-Western Middle Eastern states.

Mansour points out contradictions in this community of values and interests argument: (1) There is no mention of a U.S. "moral commitment" to Israel, which would imply Israel's vulnerability and dependence and its inability to defend western interests; and (2) possible Israeli-American divergences that advocacies refuse to admit. The SAD advocacies deny that the Arab-Israeli conflict would transform Israel into a liability. SAD's essential function is to be a counter-weight to the idea of Israel,s dependence on America. Finally, the Gulf war, and the collapse of the Soviet Union constitute gaping holes in the SAD argument despite its claim that Israel is still a strategic asset because of the Arab-Muslim threat.

In Chapter two, "A Doctrine of Israel as a Burden," the proponents of this doctrine advance a "Guarantee Linked to a Settlement" (GLS) and argue that U.S. policy must take Arab interests into account. They are also critical of Israeli intransigence but do not call for abandoning it. SAD advocates refuse a GLS as an instrument of control. However, SAD and GLS advocates display "pro-Israeli sensibility and an identical, strongly negative vision of Arabs in general" (p. 49).

Mansour then discusses the different types of guarantees and paybacks to Israel in order to determine if these variants reduce the distance between SAD and GLS: (1) Guarantee as "Moral Commitment: (MC). Here Ullman emerges as a third pole while Waldavsky emphasizes Israel as a "moral asset" which is at the heart of America's raison d'etre. SAD advocacies think that the moral commitment is antithetical to their position. GC, GLS, and SAD reflect pure positions that are modes of articulation between...

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