If you can think of a more difficult problem to solve than the Middle East conflict I’d be open to hear it. The greatest minds in the world have tried to create an atmosphere of peace throughout the Middle East and have failed. San Francisco native Dennis Ross has had a front row seat to 3 decades worth of negotiations between the U.S. and Israel with every president from Reagan to Obama. His newest book outlines the relationship that the U.S. has had with Israel since the Truman administration.
This excerpt from his new book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, outlines each president’s unique relationship with Israel.
“Today, the relationship between the United States and Israel is extolled by American presidents. We take it for granted that presidents will stress their commitment to Israel and to the ties that bind us. But it was not always this way. Harry Truman faced enormous resistance within his administration to his decision to recognize the Jewish state. Similarly, selling or providing arms to Israel was taboo until President Kennedy decided to do so—again, a controversial decision within his national security apparatus. Later, during the first week of the 1973 war, Richard Nixon initially resisted Israeli near-desperate pleas to resupply weaponry, following the major losses of aircraft and tanks the Israelis had suffered. Although Nixon eventually provided a massive resupply of arms to Israel, his decision had more to do with cold war concerns that Soviet weapons could not be seen to defeat American weapons than with any special relationship that existed between our two countries. From the perspective of history, the relationship has clearly evolved. And to understand where the relationship is today and where it is going, particularly during a period of transition in the Middle East, it is important to understand why the relationship changed. To do so, I will examine the policy and approach of every administration since Israel’s birth.”
Dennis Ross comes to Foster City on the first stop of his Bay Area book tour to share his personal account of decades worth of Washington Middle East policy talks, negotiations, and expectations.
Lecture presented by the Peninsula Jewish Community Center
November 17, 2015 | 7:00 pm
Seating is limited. Registration Required >>
Location: Peninsula Sinai Congregation
Foster City, CA
Dennis Ross is the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown. He was
the director of policy planning in the State Department for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton’s Middle East Peace envoy, and a special assistant to the president under Barack Obama.