Divided We Stand: American Jews, Israel, and the Peace Process

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - History - 272 pages

The relationship between Israel, American Jews, and the peace process has been a subject of passionate debate among scholars, political activists, and lay observers alike. This book is the first rigorous attempt to chart the impact of the peace process on the American Jewish community and its relationship with Israel, as mediated by the changing identity needs of American Jews. Overall, the trajectory of this relationship has been from a wide consensus of support for Israeli foreign policy, toward increasing polarization.

On one side is the peace camp composed mainly of those whose Jewish-American identity is based on a religious-universalistic definition of Judaism; on the other, those who identify as nationalistic, or orthodox in religious terms, and support a hard-line vision of Greater Israel. The acrimony between the two, combined with demographic change, has undermined Israel as a symbol of Jewish identity in America, and impeded effective lobbying for Israel.


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Warming Up to the Jewish State
The Six Day War and the Emergence of Sacred Unity
Straining the Sacred Unity American Jews in the Era of Likud
The War in Lebanon Defending an Offensive War
The Long Shadow of the Intifada American Jews and the Palestinian Problem
The Oslo Agreement Cementing the Split in the American Jewish Community
Lurching to the Right Responding to Netanyahus Vision of the Peace Process
Lurching to the Left Responding to Baraks Vision of the Peace Process
Conclusion Competing Visions of Israel in American Jewish Identity
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2002)

OFIRA SELIKTAR is Professor of Political Science at Gratz College, and the author of Failing the Crystal Ball Test.

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