March 26, 2010
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
ISBN: 978-0-374-53150-8, ISBN10: 0-374-53150-1,
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
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