Eye on Israel: How America Came to View the Jewish State as an Ally

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SUNY Press, Feb 9, 2006 - History - 242 pages
Eye on Israel shows how the seeds of contemporary U.S.-Israeli relations were sown in the cultural narratives of the late 1940s and 1950s, long before American policymakers formed a close political and strategic relationship with Israel. Michelle Mart brings together diverse areas of history and examines the cultural antecedents of this much-heralded relationship. She also tackles the difficult question of the relationship between American Jews and U.S. policy toward the Jewish state. Finally, Mart demonstrates that American images of Israel and Jews were shaped by specific cold war concerns visible in movies, novels, magazines, and newspapers and reflect American identity and political mythology in the midst of the struggle against communism. The result is a unique examination of the intersections of culture, diplomacy, and ethnic and national identity through the specific case of U.S.-Israeli relations and American Jewish identity in the postwar period.
 

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Contents

Building on the Legacies of Antisemitism and the Holocaust
1
A Particularist State with a Universal Mission
23
The Americanization of Israel
53
4 The 1950s Religious Revival and Christianizing the Image of Israel and Jews
85
5 Acceptance and Assimilation Jews in 1950s American Culture and Politics
109
Cultural Images and Changing AmericanIsraeli Relations in the Late 1950s
141
Conclusion
169
Notes
177
Bibliography
209
Index
231
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About the author (2006)

Michelle Mart is Associate Professor of History at Penn State at Berks.

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