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Recent Books empire in the history of the world?” Becker replies, as he must, with a hackneyed answer: “The answer to all of these questions is no. Israel is part of the U.S. global empire, not the other way around” (p. 9). The notion seems to be that imperial designs are self-evident and elementary— “Let’s dominate the world, lads!”—and mere reflexes of the expansive power of empire. It does not seem to occur to Becker, a writer and commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, that imperial interests require passage through human beings who must interpret them and who routinely differ among themselves in doing so. In other words, ruling classes can have sharp differences that are expressed in struggles over policy. Crucially, Becker passes over the period when the United States first advanced the interests of the nascent Israeli state in 1947 and rushed to recognize it upon its declaration of statehood in 1948. The incident has the clarity of compression, owing to the fact that for “United States” here, we can insert Harry S. Truman, whose dislike of Jews was of anti-Semitic proportion (see his memoirs) but was overridden, first, by his Protestant-Zionist belief that they were divinely http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Palestine Studies University of California Press

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