Schoenbaum's book is a history of one of the most remarkable liaisons in international experience, a portrait of the special relationship between the last remaining superpower and the tiny Jewish state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and a study of how that relationship grew and works. From Truman to Bush, the United States has assured Israel's existence, while providing billions in military and economic support. Over the same period, no U.S. president has ever submitted a formal treaty of alliance to the Senate, or even moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In fact, cross-purposes and mutual doubts have always coexisted with shared values, complementary interests, great expectations, and real achievements. Schoenbaum's book traces Israeli-American relations from their roots in both American and Jewish experience to the risks and opportunities of the current peace process. It also examines the relationship in the perspective of two world wars, the Cold War, the Gulf War, European colonialism and Middle Eastern nationalisms, global policy, and domestic politics in both countries. The result is the story of one of history's oddest international couples, hard-pressed to live together, but unable to live apart.
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