Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations with Prof. Ussama Makdisi

In his 2011 book Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations: 1820-2001, Professor Ussama Makdisi  of University California Berkeley wrote, “No matter how one turns the kaleidoscope of US-Arab relations, one always returns, or is returned to, the picture of Palestine.” In his book Makdisi highlights several historical pivot points to chart the trajectory of the two-hundred-year-long relationship between the Arab world and United States, one that has been fraught with tension and resentment. What began in the nineteenth century as a favorable exchange of cultural understanding and economic opportunity deteriorated with America’s increasing interest in oil, and finally collapsed when America pushed for the legitimization of the State of Israel. The United States’ support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Palestinian people of Gaza, unprecedented in its ferocity and wanton disregard for civilian life, has driven the final nail in the coffin of America’s reputation in the Arab world.

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