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The first all-encompassing book on Israel’s foreign policy and the diplomatic history of the Jewish people, The Star and the Scepter retraces and explains the Jews’ interactions with other nations from the ancient kingdoms of Israel to modernity.
Starting with the Hebrew Bible, Navon argues that one cannot grasp Israel’s interactions with the world without understanding how Judaism’s founding document has shaped the Jewish psyche. He then sheds light on the people of Israel’s foreign policy through the ages: the ancient kingdoms of Israel, Jewish Diasporas in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Emancipation, the emerging nineteenth-century Zionist movement, and Zionist diplomacy post World War I and surrounding World War II. Finally, Navon elucidates Israel’s foreign policy from 1948 (the birth of the state) to our days: the dilemmas and choices at the beginning of the Cold War; Israel’s attempts to establish “periphery” alliances; the Arab-Israeli conflict; Israel’s relations with Europe, the U.S., Russia, Asia, Africa, Latin America, the UN, and the Jewish Diasporas; and how twenty-first-century energy geopolitics is transforming Israel’s foreign relations today.
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