Fortress Israel: The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country — And Why They Can’t Make Peace by former New York Times and Washington Post reporter Patrick Tyler is an unflinching history of the role of militarism in Israeli society. Tyler previously wrote A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East — from the Cold War to the War on Terror (2009), which examined how US presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush responded to events in the Middle East.
In this new work Tyler narrows his focus to the Israeli establishment. He sums up his thesis in the prologue: “Israel, six decades after its founding, remains a nation in thrall to an original martial impulse, the depth of which has given rise to succeeding generations of leaders who are stunted in their capacity to wield or sustain diplomacy as a rival to military strategy, who seem ever on the hair trigger in dealing with their regional rivals, and whose contingency planners embrace worst-case scenarios that often exaggerate complex or ambiguous developments as threats to national existence. They do so, reflexively and instinctively, in order to perpetuate a system of governance where national policy is dominated by the military.”
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