Many journalists have mastered the Washington political scene, while others have gained entree to the highest echelons of Israeli politics. Wolf Blitzer is one of the few to have done both. An American fluent in Hebrew, Blitzer has interviewed and gained the respect of nearly all the major policy-makers in Israel and the United States over the past dozen years. The late Anwar Sadat credited Blitzer with first giving him the idea of making his historic trip to Jerusalem.The U.S.-Israeli relationship is like no other and this book helps explain why. Most importantly, it outlines the limits of the relationship, explaining why neither country can afford an all-out confrontation. There is special emphasis on the way decisions are made in Washington–the role of the foreign policy bureaucracy, Congress, the press, the Jewish community, the Arabs and their supporters, and the official Israeli presence. In addition, chapters cover the special U.S.-Israeli cooperation in military, strategic, and intelligence matters.The book is filled with fascinating vignettes of people: the career diplomat responsible for the explosive (in 1975 terms) Saunders document which said, “In many ways, the Palestinian dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the heart of that conflict.”…the American industrialist who became involved in some spectacular diplomatic back-channel efforts to save Soviet Jews…the German-Jewish refugee secretary of state who came to play such a decisive role in American-Israeli affairs…the three deeply religious leaders, Begin, Sadat, and Carter, “who progressed from an agreement to pray together to an agreement to make peace once and for all.”From his unique vantage point, Blitzer considers the potential for either sharp strains or even closer collaboration in the future.
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