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Review Essay

Israel's Questionable Quixote

What Michael Oren Gets Wrong in "Ally"

In This Review

Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide
Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide
By Michael B. Oren
Random House, 2015, 432 pp. $16.66 Purchase

It’s not easy to be the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Israel’s most important ally. Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt in the 1970s, once pointed out that “the United States gives Israel everything from a loaf of bread to a Phantom jet.” At the time, he was exaggerating about the loaf of bread. He could never have imagined that, 50 years later, Israel would be the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance (to the tune of over $3 billion a year), that its prime minister would be invited to address joint sessions of Congress more often than any other foreign leader, and that its defense and intelligence relations with the United States would become even closer than those between the United States and the United Kingdom.

The U.S. relationship with Israel is so deep and broad that an ambassador’s job is difficult, complicated, relentless, and

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