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

This book 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.

Michell Mart, Eye on Israel: How America Came to View Israel as an Ally, State University of New York Press, 2006.

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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