In This Review

The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture
The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture
By Jonathan Rynhold
Cambridge University Press, 2015, 311 pp

In a book that refreshingly avoids offering advice about U.S. foreign policy and the Arab-Israeli dispute, Rynhold offers readers a detailed look at U.S. public opinion on the subject of the Jewish state. He contrasts the views of liberals and conservatives and those of Democrats and Republicans, examines the state of opinion among both mainline and evangelical Protestants, and looks at the state of American Jewish opinion. For the general reader looking for an overview of an important subject, there is no better book to read. The big trends are well delineated: the gradual shift of Israel’s core U.S. support from the left to the right, the sharp increase in sympathy for Israel after 9/11 (an increase that is still felt today), the overall decline of anti-Semitism, the cleavages within the American Jewish community, and the long-standing differences between conservative and liberal Protestants. Rynhold’s analysis of past and present data can’t reveal much about the future, and the relationship between public opinion and national policy is anything but simple, but his analysis suggests that at least for now, there is as much continuity as change in American sentiment toward Israel.