The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents

Book Panel: “The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People”

Walter Russell Mead, Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship, Hudson Institute; James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities, Bard College; “Global View” Columnist, Wall Street Journal

Discussant: Lisa Anderson, Special Lecturer, James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations Emerita, School of International and Public Affairs

Hosted by Stuart Gottlieb, Adjunct Professor of International Affairs and Public Policy, School of International and Public Affairs and Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies

Tuesday, December 6, 2022
1512 International Affairs

CUID only. Advance registration required via the Columbia/SIPA events calendars.

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About the Book

In this bold examination of the Israeli-American relationship, Walter Russell Mead demolishes the myths that both pro-Zionists and anti-Zionists have fostered over the years. He makes clear that Zionism has always been a divisive subject in the American Jewish community, and that American Christians have often been the most fervent supporters of a Jewish state, citing examples from the time of J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller to the present day.

He spotlights the almost forgotten story of left-wing support for Zionism, arguing that Eleanor Roosevelt and liberal New Dealers had more influence on President Truman’s Israel policy than the American Jewish community–and that Stalin’s influence was more decisive than Truman’s in Israel’s struggle for independence. Mead shows how Israel’s rise in the Middle East helped kindle both the modern evangelical movement and the Sunbelt coalition that carried Reagan into the White House. Highlighting the real sources of Israel’s support across the American political spectrum, he debunks the legend of the so-called “Israel lobby.” And, he describes the aspects of American culture that make it hostile to anti-Semitism and warns about the danger to that tradition of tolerance as our current culture wars heat up.

With original analysis and in lively prose, Mead illuminates the American-Israeli relationship, how it affects contemporary politics, and how it will influence the future of both that relationship and American life.

Author Biography

Walter Russell Mead is the Ravenel B. Curry III distinguished fellow in strategy and statesmanship at Hudson Institute, the James Clarke Chace professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College, and the “Global View” columnist  at the Wall Street Journal. From 1997 to 2010, Mr. Mead was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, serving as the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for US foreign policy from 2003 until his departure. He is a member of Aspen Institute Italy.

Mr. Mead writes on a wide variety of subjects ranging from international affairs to religion, politics, culture, education and the media. He has contributed to a wide variety of leading American journals ranging from Mother Jones to GQ and frequently appears on national and international radio and television programs. He is author of the widely acclaimed Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World (Knopf, 2004), and God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World (Knopf, 2007).

Mr. Mead is an honors graduate of Groton and Yale, where he received prizes for history, debate, and his translation of New Testament Greek. He has traveled widely in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, and often speaks at conferences in the United States and abroad. He is a founding board member of New America, and also serves on the board of Aspenia. He is a native of South Carolina and lives in Washington, DC.