Two Recommended Books from Din Merican

March 26, 2010

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks, September 2008
ISBN: 978-0-374-53150-8, ISBN10: 0-374-53150-1,
496 pages

The “Israel Lobby” by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in  recent times. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, this article provoked  both outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging  a taboo issue in America. The impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy is indeed taboo when this article by Mearsheimer and Walt appeared in the aforementioned review.

The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy is now  a book of  importance;  Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They provide  evidence of a remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds.

This special relationship– which Churchill, Thatcher and  Blair claim to be  for Anglo-American  links exclusively — is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively suggest that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America’s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest. The lobby’s influence also affects America’s relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle

by Daniel Senor and Saul Singer
A Council for Foreign Relations, Twelve Books
November 2009
320 pages
ISBN 978-0-446-54146-6

Start-UP Nation

Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion-dollar question: How is it that Israel—a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources—produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom? Drawing on examples from the country’s foremost inventors and investors, geopolitical authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer describe how Israel’s adversity-driven culture fosters a unique combination of innovative and entrepreneurial intensity.

Israel, as the authors argue, is not just a country but a comprehensive state of mind. Whereas Americans emphasize decorum and exhaustive preparation, Israelis put chutzpah first. “When an Israeli entrepreneur has a business idea, he will start it that week,” one analyst put it. At the geopolitical level, Senor and Singer dig in deeper to show why Israel’s policies on immigration, R&D, and military service have been key factors in the country’s rise—providing insight into why Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than those from all of Europe, Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, and India combined.

Surprisingly little is understood about the story and strategy behind Israel’s economic growth. As Start-Up Nation shows, there are lessons in Israel’s example that apply not only to other nations including our country Malaysia , but also to individuals seeking to build a thriving organization.  Malaysia  must reboot its can-do spirit (Malaysia Boleh), there’s never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient nation for clues.

I enjoyed reading these books and thought you, my friends, should have a peek at them–Din Merican

34 thoughts on “Two Recommended Books from Din Merican

    No wonder Erwin, you are what you are. I am truly sorry for you and your type. I admire people, even if they are Jews and Palestinians–I had wonderful Jewish friends and also brilliant Palestinian classmates when I was a student at the George Washington School of Business, The George Washington University in Washington DC– who succeed through hard work, competency and have guts to be different. Chutzpah is the word.—Din Merican

  2. Hi Encik Din

    The most notorious group is AIPAC
    (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

    But we also have more progressive Jewish-American
    groups that are countering AIPAC e.g a group called “J Street”

  3. Yes, Dr. Phua.

    We must find out more. We too must learn to lobby to defend and protect our national interest.

    That is why we have our embassies abroad. If they are effective, host nations will understand our policies and actions. But if our diplomats are just marking time and have no interest in standing up for our country, we are doomed. –Din Merican

  4. We too must learn to lobby to defend and protect our national interest.

    Agreed Din.

    But, can you try to prepare speaking notes for our diplomats to defend Najib in Atlantuya’s murder. What about Anwar’s sodomy 1 and 2.

    Yes, diplomats were told “my country, right or wrong” but when the government is idiotic you simply cannot fool others to trust us. No?

  5. Daniel Senor made some pointed comments on his book (jointly with Saul Singer) on that youtube video about Israel as a start-up nation. “Israel is a mind-set”. Their culture encourages chutzpah and tolerates failure.

    I am reading the book but this clip sums up the essence of the book. But I think one should read the book to challenged by it. It is a great story about an encircled nation. I am convinced that Iran will be attacked if it goes nuclear and threatens Israel’s survival. That will bring the world to another round of war and uncertainty.

    Maybe Malaysia can learn a few things from this Jewish state about what it takes to be in the big league. Let us hope the Malays too can reflect on what it would take to build a rugged and resilient society and compete globally. The message out of Israel is that adversity strengthens the human character. The Malays must now learn to accept that there are no more hang-ups, no PERKASA and no handouts, commissions and corruption, and no more nanny state from here on and out.

  6. Listening to the interview, Tok Cik should be the innovative leader in our blog. We shall wait for Tok Cik to come up with cutting edge technology to floor Shahrizat behind his Cooper S.

  7. “The Malays must now learn to accept that there are no more hang-ups, no PERKASA and …” kakrubi56
    Err, what are you smoking/drinking dear lady? Won’t happen if the status quo persists.

    Btw, Israel means “Struggle with God”… that’s where the chuztpah comes comes from. 3+ millenia of that, with the idea of being God’s chosen people and persistent persecution tends to make for a larger than life entity. There are things about the Jews that aren’t confined to Israel and their innate bravery and intelligence is a result of ‘survival of the fittest’.

  8. correction tean it is pointing edge technology and not cutting edge technology. tok cik is busy telling me not to point my weapon anywhere else but to the sky on the other thread …. i should say pointing it downwards is more appropriate

  9. Netanyahu is being grilled by Obama as we speak for Israel’s resumption of construction of housing units in East Jerusalem. Joe Biden his deputy was embarrassed when the very announcement was made during his state visit to Israel. This is a slap in the face of the visiting Vice President of Israel’s strongest ally.

  10. Mr. Din, where can i get a copy for each?
    Just go to Kinokinuya and see my friend, Arthur Law. I am sure he will help you.–Din Merican

  11. Bean, the secret to understanding the Israelites is to understand that they think in terms of epochs – while we think in terms of years and decades. Do you honestly think Obama can deal with Netanhayu? That guy is a predatory hawk. Hillary would be better ‘equipped’ to handle him.

  12. the secret to understanding the Israelites– Menyalak-er

    They are ISRAELIS, Israelite is a term used for a nomadic people mentioned in the bible.

    Christians have a bad habit of”biblicising” modern day Zionists/Israelis ( the majority of whom in my view are adopting the attitude of the Nazis, who persecuted them or their fore fathers in WWII) with the Israelites etc.

    The problem in the Middle East does not lie in Israel or with Benjamin Netanyahu, it lies with the US, the White House and the US Congress who are being intimidated by the Jewish diaspora in US and the western world with their money and media control.

    As I said, America is a real estate of hypocrites, who lecture other people about freedom etc yet they are the financial backers of Israel in denying the Palestinian a homeland.

    They lecture on other people about giving health care to the poor and needy and yet significant number of Americans through their elected representatives (read: Republications) rejects the health care reform which give health care to the poor and marginalised 32 million Americans.

    When I say, Americans, it include recent Asian migrants living in USA today.

  13. There is no doubt that it is a good read written by a Prof. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

    It makes a good case for the lobby being both effective and counter-productive. Something we all already know for a while now.

  14. I have an electronic ( pdf) copy of ,The “Israel Lobby” by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. when they first published it as a working paper. An edited version was published in the London Review of Books Vol. 28, No. 6 (March 23, 2006) .

    It is only 83 pages.

    The paper/book got all the Jewish/Israel Lobby’s noses disjointed.

    The book was published later with more details and after the Jewish lobby attack dogs in the US academia went after them and blackmailed the universities they were attached to.

    If you have an e-book reader or would like to read it on your computer, give me your email address and I can send you a copy of the e-book version of the paper which the book was based.

    If you guys are interested to know more about the Israel influence in US and the power of the Israel Lobby, go to this website and read how Israel sucks up American citizens’ blood sweat and tears for the Zionists to keep on killing innocent Palestinians : WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS (WRMEA) or at its home page

    On its website it says:

    The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is a 100-page magazine published 9 times per year in Washington, DC, that focuses on news and analysis from and about the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region.

    The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.

    AET’s Foreign Policy Committee has included former U.S. ambassadors, government officials, and members of Congress, including the late Democratic Senator J. William Fulbright, and Republican Senator Charles Percy, both former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Members of AET’s Board of Directors and advisory committees receive no fees for their services.

    The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs does not take partisan domestic political positions. As a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, it endorses U.N. Security Council Resolution 242´s land-for-peace formula, supported by seven successive U.S. presidents. In general, the Washington Report supports Middle East solutions which it judges to be consistent with the charter of the United Nations and traditional American support for human rights, self-determination, and fair play.

  15. Yes Israelis’, Frank. But still Israelite behavior – they didn’t wipe out the Palestinians/Philistines did they? Not listening to YHWH…

  16. Not listening to YHWH… -Menyalak-er

    YHWH?…. that must be the talking burning bush that fired up a clay tablet which we would call today Ethics 101 for the nomads of the kingdom of Judah (ie Jews) and the nomads of the kingdom of Israel (ie Israelites) with some writings on it and brought down from a tree-less mountain by a man Muslims call today Nabi Musa.

  17. As much as what the Zionists want to propagate, the notion that the Jews are God’s chosen people, that theory has been debunked by a prominent Jewish scholar, Arthur Koestler, who through his academic research proved that there are real and fake Jews and have a guess which category do the Zionists belong !?!

    Check out the following website. It will give you an interesting and enlightening read :-

    Isn’t it strange that there are true and false Jews like there are true and fake Malays !?! 🙂

    So, what do the Zionists, Taiwanese, Singaporeans and the UMNO Slum lords have in common ?
    Their governments thrive and derive their power and rule by imposing a terrorizing grip on their masses by inculcating in them a siege/doomsday mentality of paranoid proportions. 🙂

    But before we begin to condemn them for their behaviors , perhaps we must also look into the cause of their psychosis, the way a criminologist will attempt to reduce crime by way of understanding and eliminating criminal behavior by tackling the extenuating circumstances or factors that lead to a crime.

    So, can we rightly blame the Jews, true or fake, for what they have become as a race of people ?

    They have been taking all the shit thrown and trampled on them, faced down over the centuries, being treated like pariahs, hounded and persecuted wherever they go. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when they were exterminated almost to extinction by the Nazis .

    So, is it so hard to comprehend why among them, rose the Zionists, who, secular in doctrine, unlike the religious Torah Jews who are against the forced creation of the Israeli State, decided that they are not going to take any shit from anyone anymore.

    But the tragedy of the story of the Jews is that having escaped from their tormentors they in turn became worse in behavior than their tormentors the way, an abused child grows up to be a heartless abuser.

    And till today, as intelligent a people as they are, the Jews still do not understand the elementary truth that two wrongs do not make a right, that there will never be peace in the Middle East as long as they do not acknowledge and return to the Palestinians their rights or at the very least to get into their thick skulls that it is against natural justice for them to build their homes by means of evicting its previous rightful owners of their land there by making them homeless .

  18. “..talking burning bush..” Frank.
    See, i toldja that’s where Republican lil’ Bush was coming from.
    Trouble starts when one takes things too literally…

    “..there will never be peace in the Middle East..” ocho-onda
    Honestly ocho, was there ever peace in there since the dawn of history. If memory serves me, the first recorded battle between nation states was in Kadesh (Meggido) between the that lil’ firaun, Tutmoses and the Caananites. Nah, there’ll never be peace there until kingdom come… Armaggedons’ (Valley of Meggido) happening there every generation or so – last was in the Yom Kippur war and before that during WW2. There is a persistent rumour circulating abt. that should present-day Israel be threatened with extinction, Mecca and Medina will be wiped off the face of the earth. Any guesses how this will pan out? So don’t play-play…

  19. “There is a persistent rumour circulating abt. that should present-day Israel be threatened with extinction, Mecca and Medina will be wiped off the face of the earth. Any guesses how this will pan out? So don’t play-play…”

    Menyalak-er – March 27, 2010 at 12:04 am
    That is the false propaganda the Zionists are spreading and want the whole world to belief but the truth is that will never happen because the Zionists will make sure Israel is the only state in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons which succinctly means they want to be the only bully in the block.

    Even if Israel gets wiped off the map, the Jews will never perish from the face of the Earth. There are more Jews in America and else where than in Israel itself and even as we write, the persecuted “European” Jews are beginning to use their dual citizenship status to send their adult children off to emigrate to Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

    The cause of of the time bomb ticking waiting to explode and causing all the tension is the Israeli/Palestinian issue . So help us all if 2012 becomes a reality !

  20. If the Israeli/Palestinian issue is resolved peacefully then there will no longer be grounds for Israel to lay claim its paranoia of being wiped off the map by a rogue Islamic state nor will there be further justification for Israel to use her nuclear arsenal as a deterrent factor unless Israel wants to perpetuate the tension to use it as an excuse to continually subjugate the oil rich states in the area.

  21. there’ll never be peace there until kingdom come… – Menyalak-er

    The “kingdom” will NEVER COME, because the days of kings and emperors are long gone… dead and buried… and the remaining ones will disappear, a matter of time.

    Whatever is return in the Bible are myths and fairy tales intermixed with little stories about the history of the Jews recorded by the Jews so that their history is not lost. To put importance to themselves, they colored their stories with Divine intervention, giving the impression they are the Chosen One from their Imaginary Friend in the Sky and with some silly Muslims calling them one of the People of the (Fairy Tale) Book.

    It is as good as living your life and preparing your death and hopes of after life reading and believing Shakespearean plays like MacBeth or King Lear or Midsummers Night Dream.

    Never understood while non Jews ie gentiles still place their way of life on some ancient writings of fairy tales and tall stoies about the end of time ( even the Mayas had their Amageddon- 21 December 2012) and nobody has gone over the other side and come back after their bodies rot under the ground or cremated.

    The power of religious brainwashing is so complete that the belief of waking up after you are dead ( forget about soul, it does not exist and nobody has proven there is such a thing) and saying hello to Jesus or with 72 virgins like an eagle, that even educated chaps with university degrees and Ph.D swear they are true… I mean those religious Muslims, including holier-than-thou Malay Muslims, and halucinatory Malaysian Chinese Muslims, and Christians and Jews.

    Fortunately people like Albert Einstein although, Jew and biologiists like Richard Dawkins, and Thomas Jefferson who gave so much to human society are atheists.

    People like Hasan Ali from religious PAS, and those holier than thou Malay Muslims, and Pat Robertson of the hand-waving right wing Christian fundamentalists and Osama bin Laden etc are the ones who destroy the social fabric of human society.

    Religion kills humanity…it does not unite humanity and never has and will never do.

  22. Frank, there are a growing number of atheists like yourself mindful of their First Amendment rights over here who are working frantically to rid religion from the workings of government institutions and from its intrusion into public space. Now you cannot greet customers with greetings of “Merry Christmas” and shopping malls cannot play music that is even remotely connected to religion or any such beliefs, display religious symbols and icons – even outside courts. The tablet of the Ten Commandment has had to be dragged out in one such case of the court building. Soon you cannot swear on the Bible or the Koran when taking the oath of office in the U.S. Congress? I doubt it. ‘In God we trust’ says it all. Not ‘In aliens we trust.’

    The reality is this country has been built on Judea-Christian tradition and will remain that way. As for Thomas Jefferson, there is some evidence that he was an atheist but he was a strong supporter of religion.

    Today we have the Tea Party movement inspired perhaps by the Boston Tea party but not quite just that because it has embraced all sorts of causes. Much like Perkasa though the latter is racial in character. A champion of conservative values – and religion.

  23. “…we would appreciate if you show a lot more sensitivity to those who do…” – Mr Bean

    Isn’t it hypocritical, on one hand you talk about freedom of speech and denying others and here you imply an imposition of a restriction.

  24. Mr Bean, “respect” is a subjective term. It is one man’s meat and another man’s poison. You take it as it is.

    If you cannot take it with respect, press the delete button. That is your option for freedom of speech

  25. Don’t hesitate to use the delete button on your computer if you feel over sensitive.

    Clarify what is “more” sensitivity. I say it as it is , without derogatory language. Criticisms of religion is par for the course. If people cannot take the language (as long as no pornographic language is used), they can always get away from the kitchen heat andgo to the bathroom and wash themselves.

  26. Mr. Din,

    I managed to have a copy of the “Start Up Nation” and found it interesting and motivating.

    Though I condemn the inhuman acts that overwhelming
    West bank, it would not stop me from admiring Israel in the sense of their achievement and successes. Comparing the nation and ours, we’ll found that we are very far from what they are today.

    I wonder whether Malaysian can achieve anything like what they had, following NEM which recently unveiled.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s