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  • Author: Benjamin Tua
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Efforts to portray Muslims and their faith as threatening diminish our society by stigmatizing a significant American minority. They also can facilitate costly foreign policy blunders such as the 2017 Executive Order banning entry into the US of visitors from several Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries, an order purportedly based on terrorist activity, technical hurdles to properly document these countries’ travelers, and poor coordination with US officials. Two recent books, “Mohammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires” and “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why it Matters,” take on the task of broadening Americans’ still unacceptably low understanding of Islam. The authors – Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize winning lay scholar of American Catholicism – approach their subject in distinctly different manners. Yet, their message and conclusions are remarkably similar – namely, that ignorance of and distortions of Islam and what the Quran says both alienate vast numbers of Muslims and have led to foreign policy missteps. The books complement each other nicely.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Judaism, Islamophobia, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Fred Lazin
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Polish Political Science Yearbook
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: The JDC is an American Jewish organization that assists overseas Jewish commu- nities in distress. It is responsible to “American Jewry” and those organizations that fund it. Bauer (1974, 19) argued that the JDC has been guided by its founding “pledge of impartiality – it steers clear of political involvements” and takes pride in being “probably the only really non-partisan organization in Jewish life.” This paper examines the role of the JDC in caring for Soviet émigrés who left on visas for Israel but chose to resettle elsewhere. They were known as “dropouts” (Noshrim in Hebrew). It also deals with the JDC policy toward recently settled Russian Jews who left Israel to resettle elsewhere. In its work with Soviet Jewish emi- gres did the JDC serve the interests of the Israeli government, its donors and or the emigres? Did the JDC abide by its pledge of impartiality? Did the JDC try to force them to resettle in Israel against their wishes? The paper focuses on the spring of 1976 when the number of dropouts outnumbered those resettling in Israel. This led to a joint committee of Israelis and American Jews to coordinate a response. The ‘freedom of choice’ debate ensued; should So- viet Jews resettle in Israel or have the freedom to choose where to resettle? The findings here are based on archival records in the JDC, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the CJF (Jewish federations) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The author also conducted interviews and reviewed secondary sources. The paper should contribute to a better under- standing of the JDC and its past ties to Israel and the American Jewish community.
  • Topic: Migration, Religion, Culture, Judaism, Displacement, NGOs
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, North America
  • Author: Dov Waxman
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although Jews make up just 2 percent of the United States population, they have exercised a disproportionate influence on the relationship between the United States and Israel. The strength of the U.S.-Israeli alliance is driven by numerous strategic, political, cultural, and economic factors, but American Jews have played a key role in the promotion and defense of the U.S.-Israel alliance in large part through the work of the pro-Israel lobby (represented by powerful groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Today, however, American Jewish political support for Israel can no longer be taken for granted, as growing numbers of American Jews become increasingly critical of Israel. In contrast to the old attitude of “Israel, Right or Wrong,” more and more American Jews, especially younger ones, are challenging the Israeli government’s policies and actions, particularly those concerning Palestinians. In short, the age of unconditional American Jewish support for Israel is over.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Ethnicity, Judaism, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North America, United States of America