Kennedy's Middle East & the making of the U.S.-Israel Alliance By Warren Bass (336 Pages)Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2003
In Support Any Friend, Warren Bass takes readers inside the corridors of power to show how Kennedy's New Frontiersmen grappled with formidable, stubborn leaders in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and elsewhere. From Oval Office meetings to secret diplomatic missions to Cairo and Tel Aviv, Bass provides new insights into the dramatic events shaking the Middle East in the early 1960s. He explains why the fiery Nasser ultimately spurned Washington's overtures and stumbled into an unwinnable war that he called "my Vietnam." He shows how Israeli diplomats, including a young Shimon Peres, persuaded the Kennedy administration to start arming the Jewish state through the groundbreaking 1962 decision to sell Israel Hawk missiles. And he describes the 1963 showdown in which JFK himself went eyeball to eyeball with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion over Israel's secret Dimona nuclear reactor.