95 Foreign Aff. 132 (2016)
The Crisis in U.S.-Israeli Relations: Are Washington and Jerusalem Drifting Apart

handle is hein.journals/fora95 and id is 1338 raw text is: 




The Crisis in U.S.-

Israeli Relations

Are Washington and
Jerusalem Drifting Apart?

Philip Gordon



Doomed to Succeed: The US. -Israel
Relationship From Truman to Obama
BY DENNIS ROSS. Farrar, Straus and
Giroux, 2015, 496 pp.

Our Separate Ways: The Struggle for the
Future of the US. -Israel Alliance
BY DANA H. ALLIN AND STEVEN N.
SIMON. PublicAffairs, 2016, 304 pp.

Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish
Conflict Over Israel
BY DOV WAXMAN. Princeton
University Press, 2016, 328 pp.


s the U.S.-Israeli relationship in
    serious trouble? Do the public
    disputes of the past few years-over
Iran, the Palestinians, and the state of
Israel's democracy-represent nothing
more than the latest round of a long-
standing family feud, or do they amount
to a more fundamental breach? And is
there anything the next U.S. president
can do to repair the relationship?

PHILIP GORDON is a Senior Fellow at the
Council on Foreign Relations. From 2013 to
2015, he was Special Assistant to the President
and White House Coordinator for the Middle
East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region.


   Three new books, each in its own way,
help answer these questions. Dennis
Ross' survey of U.S.-Israeli ties since
the Truman administration reminds
readers that crises in the relationship,
even serious ones, are hardly new.
Ross contends that common interests
and values still bind the two countries
together, and with sound management
by both sides, the partnership can
continue to flourish.
   Dana Allin and Steven Simon are not
so sure. They argue that powerful demo-
graphic, political, and cultural trends in
both Israel and the United States are
changing the relationship in fundamental
ways. In their view, the tensions between
U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
constitute symptoms of more serious,
underlying problems-ones that portend
real trouble in the future.
   Dov Waxman, focusing on shifting
attitudes among American Jews, also has
his doubts. He argues that the American
Jewish community is increasingly divided
and that its support for Israel-or at least
certain Israeli policies-can no longer
be taken for granted.
   Together, these excellent studies
provide a deep understanding of the
historical, strategic, and political roots
of one of the closest and most enduring
bilateral partnerships in the world. They
also make clear, however, that the circum-
stances that have sustained the relation-
ship in the past are changing. Jerusalem
and Washington still share many basic
interests, but it would be naive to assume
that the partnership can automatically
withstand future challenges. Without
real effort by both sides, the divisions of
the past eight years will likely intensify
under the next U.S. administration and


132 FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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