Shared interests?

Professor Amy Kaplan explores how American support for Israel developed and calls for it to come to an end

By GLENN C. ALTSCHULER
October 11, 2018 13:24
4 minute read.
AMERICAN AND ISRAELI flags fly during a demonstration in support of Israel at the US Capitol in 2002

AMERICAN AND ISRAELI flags fly during a demonstration in support of Israel at the US Capitol in 2002.. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

 
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Writing in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Richard Crossman, a British Labour MP and member of an Anglo-American Committee investigating the impact of mass immigration on the inhabitants of Palestine, attributed the enthusiasm of Americans for Zionism to their “frontier mentality.” The idea of a Jewish state ruling over an Arab majority did not offend Americans’ democratic ideals, Crossman declared, because they had long ago concluded that if the cause of “red Indians” had prevailed, “half of the United States would still be virgin forest today.”

Other things being equal, he predicted, Americans “will always give their sympathy to the pioneer and suspect an empire which thwarts the white settler in the name of native rights.”

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