Hardcover ISBN: 9781503636262
Paperback ISBN: 9781503639522
In the late 1960s, Israel became more closely entwined with the United States not just as a strategic ally but also through its intensifying intimacy with American culture, society, and technology. Coca-Cola, Black Panthers, and Phantom Jets shows how transatlantic exchanges shaped national sentiments and private experiences in a time of great transition, forming a consumerist order, accentuating social cleavages, and transforming Jewish identities. Nevertheless, there remained lingering ambivalence about, and resistance to, American influences. Rather than growing profoundly "Americanized," Israelis forged unique paths into the American orbit. As supporters and immigrants, American Jews assumed an ambiguous role, expediting but also complicating the Israeli-American exchange.
Taking an expansive view of Israeli–American encounters, historian Oz Frankel reveals their often unexpected consequences, including the ripple effects that the rise of Black Power had on both extremes of Israeli politics, the adoption of American technology that fed the budding Israeli military-industrial complex, the consumerist ideologies that ensnared even IDF soldiers and Palestinians in the newly occupied territories, and the cultural performances that lured Israelis to embrace previously shunned diasporic culture. What made the racial strife in the US and the tensions between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews in Israel commensurable? How did an American military jet emerge as a national fixation? Why was the US considered a paragon of both spectacular consumption and restrained, rational consumerism? In ten topical chapters, this book demonstrates that the American presence in Israel back then, as it is today, was multifaceted and contradictory.
About the author
Oz Frankel is Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research.