Israeli political culture in Israel's relations with the United States over the Palestinian question 1981-96
This thesis makes a contribution to the study of Israeli foreign policy, Israeli-American relations and the role of Israeli political culture in foreign policy. First, all the works on American-Israeli relations focus on American policy. Second, works examining the role of Israeli values in foreign policy focus primarily on the values of the Israeli right, usually purely in regard to the Palestinian question and use a concept of political culture that is static. In contrast, this thesis examines, US-Israeli relations from the Israeli view point and encompasses the impact of the Israeli left's values on policy. Moreover, it uses a concept of political culture that is fluid rather than static. Following a brief introductory section outlining the interpretative concept of political culture employed, the thesis turns towards a section on Israeli political culture. Here two main sub-cultures are identified; a universalist orientation which views Israel as a normal country and which aspires to normalisation and a particularist orientation which sees Israel as 'a nation that dwells alone', with a particular mission to fulfil. From this basis, four approaches within the Israeli elite towards relations with the United States over the Palestinian question are drawn out. The next section then examines and accounts for shifts in Israeli political culture, first towards particularism and then towards universalism, as well as the impact of these shifts on underlying foreign policy attitudes and their political strength. The third section consists of a number of chapters which demonstrate the role of the various approaches, motifs, values, and developments within Israeli political culture on relations with the United States over the Palestinian question 1981-96. It covers the main issues that arose in that period including the Lebanon War, the London agreement, the Madrid Conference, the loan guarantees question and the Oslo accords. The final part of this section focuses on relations between Israel, pro-Israel groups in the US and Congress.