In This Review

Israel, the Superpowers, and the War in the Middle East
Israel, the Superpowers, and the War in the Middle East
By Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov
Praeger, 1987, 328 pp

The story of Israel's war with the Arabs is the subject of so many books and articles that scholars are ever searching for new ways of telling it. This study concentrates on the constraints which the two superpowers have placed upon Israel's decisions in four wars from 1956 to 1973. Although the Soviet side is not neglected, the emphasis is on the patron-client relationship between the United States and Israel, in which there are constraints on both sides. Unique in so many ways, this relationship conforms to no general pattern of great-power small-power relations, but the lessons to be learned from its history can be enlightening to those fated to continue to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict. Or, leaving patterns and theories aside, the book can be read as straight diplomatic history, of which it is a fine example.