Download American Jewry and the Oslo Years by N. Rubin PDF

By N. Rubin

The Oslo means of September 1993 to January 2001 finally caused an enduring holiday in American Judaism's conventional wall-to-wall aid for any Israeli govt. Drawing on large new assets, Rubin analyzes what this intended for the yank and Israeli Jewish communities―critical constituencies in previous and destiny negotiations.

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Meanwhile American Jews were dealing with a new internal crisis when it came to Jerusalem’s new prime minister. Shortly after taking office, Rabin, known for his gruff persona, had criticized AIPAC for exacerbating tensions with Washington in the way it plowed ahead with the loan guarantees request. 67 The animosity went both ways, as some American Jewish leaders did not spare their criticism of Israel’s new government. For example, on June 6, 1993, AIPAC vice president Harvey Friedman, accompanying a congressional delegation, met in Florida with Israeli deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin.

Israel, while an undeniable regional military power and a close US ally, was formally left out of the effort. Washington and Jerusalem policymakers knew the Jewish state’s inclusion could negate the participation of Arab states, particularly Syria, which was still officially at war with Israel; Saddam Hussein knew this, too. Seeking to weaken the US-led forces and rally the Arab masses to his side, his troops hurled 39 Scud missiles toward Israel. The weapons, however, resulted in more hysteria than deaths due to Israeli fears of chemical warheads.

In the United States, Jews, many of whom were ambivalent about Israel’s fate before the war, became increasingly committed to its well-being. Indeed, advocating on behalf of the Jewish state quickly became the top item on US Jewry’s advocacy agenda. Meanwhile, the United States increasingly became seen as the only country able to both bring Israel into a peace process as well as protect the Jewish state’s interests. In fact, between 1967 and 1993, almost every major effort at IsraeliArab peace making was initiated by high-level US involvement.

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