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American Policy Toward Israel: the power and limits of beliefs

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Speaker(s): Dr Michael Thomas
Chair: Professor Arne Westad

Recorded on 30 May 2007 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

Most scholars explain America's nearly unconditional support of Israel either as a result of inordinate influence by a small pro-Israel lobby or as the product of strategic choices by presidents. Studies of the Reagan and first Bush administrations demonstrate a more useful way to understand American policy and to predict when it might change. That method involves analysing how policy advocates redefine, institutionally embed, and enforce versions of long-standing American beliefs favourable to their preferred policies, and under what conditions those efforts are less effective.

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