From Publishers Weekly
Fleshler, former media strategist for the Israel Policy Forum, offers a clear-eyed and dispassionate assessment of what he terms the conventional Israel lobby and its real and imagined influence on Congress and the president. Observing the irony that both the lobby and its opponents benefit from overstating its power, Fleshler debunks conventional wisdom about the lobby and its methods, using, for example, a study of Federal Election Commission records to demonstrate that pro-Israel political contributions are in fact minor compared to those connected with dozens of other causes. With less specificity, Fleshler outlines how liberal supporters of Israel can simultaneously promote the country's security and push American officials to make greater demands on its government, particularly concerning settlement expansion. The book accurately explains Jewish-American fears about criticism of Israel, acknowledging legitimate historical anxieties even as Fleshler calls on young and unaffiliated members of the community to lead new lobbying efforts on behalf of a less divisive approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. (May)
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"In a fairer world, Fleshler's book would occupy the space in our public discourse taken up by Walt/Mearsheimer. . . . Fleshler's book offers a veritable cornucopia of common sense about how AIPAC and other 'pro-Israel' organizations manage to remain so effective in controlling the debate and securing their aims from Congress."
-- www.Forward.com, May 20, 2009
"Read Dan Fleshler's book for a primer on how [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee] is 'not the 800 pound gorilla in the room . . . just the 400 pound gorilla in the room.' Learn from the past mistakes and triumphs of the pro-peace camp and see how AIPAC's relations with government have begun to fray over the years. Kick 'em off their pedestal and consider anew the size of the left and why it's growing. Fleshler--a lifelong advocate of peace since the beginning--is providing a young person like me invaluable perspective on how far we have come."
-- www.jewschool.com, May 22, 2009
"Incisive and thoughtful"
-- historynewsnetwork.org, May 4, 2009
"Well-written and well-researched...Fleshler clearly knows his way around the Jewish organizational world."
-- The Jewish Week, April 29, 2009
"An extraordinarily frank, courageous, and truly illuminating book. It dispels many myths while frankly exploring some perennial dilemmas faced by peace-seeking American Jews, and outlines a pro-peace, pro-Israel, and pro-American road forward for them to take. A genuine tour de force!"
-- Sam Lewis, U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan
“This is a brilliant study of two intriguing contradictions pertaining to the story of America's Israel lobby. One is the contradiction between the reality and limits of Jewish power, on the one hand, and the popular perception of that power, on the other. Another has to do with the yawning gap between the Israel lobby's hawkish policies and the liberal views of the majority of American Jews. Fleshler's work is a timely reminder of the need for Israel's friends in America to focus their advocacy efforts on promoting one of Israel's most vital, indeed existential, interests: advancing a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians.”
-- Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Israeli Foreign Minister, current Vice-President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace
“In the best tradition of the participant-observer, Dan Fleshler has written from the trenches where American Jews have been waging a struggle over the nature of and prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. Imbedded ideologues of the left and right are disarmed in his bold, original analysis and call to action. Readers who accompany Fleshler in his fascinating journey will discover the pragmatic idealism of an ethical, security-based dovishness that may yet help President Obama broker a secure peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors.”
-- Mark Rosenblum, Professor of History, Director of the Jewish Studies Program & Director of the Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change, Queens College, City University of NY
“This informed analysis points out that the ‘conventional Israel lobby’ does not speak for the American Jewish majority on U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and does not promote the real interests of Israel or the United States. Dan Fleshler offers wise advice on how a dovish - but still too silent - majority of American Jews can strengthen the voice of progressive Jewish groups and encourage stronger U.S. leadership to help rescue Israel and America from a tragic conflict that gravely endangers our respective national interests.”
-- Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., President, Foundation for Middle East Peace and former Chief of Mission and U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem