Israel: A Foreign Affair by Dr. Joyce Starr

Israel: A Foreign Affair by Dr. Joyce Starr

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This is one memoir of Israel that should not be missed. Dr. Joyce Starr has written an insider’s account of Israeli life that covers all of Israeli social strata from kibbutz life to the leaders of Israel’s governments over time…through her lovely written prose you feel the same sense of discovery and adventure that she felt when she served as a kibbutz volunteer.” – Dr. Kenneth C Leiter, Amazon 5 Star Review

Israel: A Foreign Affair offers an insider’s view of Israel, those who shaped Israel’s destiny, and the American-Israel relationship during the peace process era – stories only the author can tell. Melding journey, insight and historic photos, Joyce sheds critical light on the US/Israel relationship.

This volume spotlights: initial hopes for the Middle East peace process; the revolution forged by Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat and Jimmy Carter; a rare glimpse of Yitzhak Rabin; and General Arik Sharon’s most heart-wrenching challenge.

Raphael, Ratzi & Rachel

A courageous family background and fateful turning points transform the author into a war volunteer, witness, and champion for the State of Israel. Her journey catapults Joyce to a key White House role and to the trust and respect of Israeli prime ministers, defense ministers, foreign ministers, and legendary Israeli personalities. Her unusual career – quasi-diplomat, activist, analyst, and writer – is a tale unto itself.

A leading authority on US-Israel relations, Dr. Starr highlights the human dimension, while unraveling the policy consequences. The great divide between Israelis who can’t fathom the American mentality and Americans who know and/or “love” Israel in superficial terms, results in an emotional tension and yearning that affects so many. This fast-paced work will enrich your understanding of Israel and those who loved her. Historians will discover missing pieces and valuable clues.

Dr. Starr also contributes precious kernels of Jewish history: how the Uman grave site of revered Chassidic master Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was saved from destruction; a rabbi who risked all during the Russian Pogroms; a rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife) who led the escape from sure death to American shores; brave Christians who jeopardized their own lives to rescue a Jewish family; and the determination of four generations of Jewish women.


Dr. Starr has a fine knack of weaving history into her own personal narrative so that the reader learns, almost first hand it seems, how and why the Zionist movement was supported by Eastern European Jews whose physical survival depended on a Jewish homeland. In this segment of the series, we briefly meet Ariel Sharon and Itzhak Rabin yet we are left yearning to know more about them and the interviews that Dr. Starr had with them. Hopefully details of Dr. Starr’s meetings and interviews with these and other Israeli leaders will be forthcoming in future volumes in the series. If so, the reader is in for a delightful treat: an insider’s view of Israel.”
– Rabbi Shlomo Ackerman, Amazon Review

Dr. Starr writes with great fluidity and has the knack of pulling the reader inside her story–so much so that the reader is left wanting to know more and read more about Dr. Starr’s experiences in Israel and the people she has met. There is something of a bitter sweet quality to her story. From the first few pages one senses that Israel has gone through many changes in emerging as the economic powerhouse that it is today and that those changes have come at a price, namely that some of the pristine beauty of the land and its people has been lost forever. In short, Israel A Foreign Affair is a unique memoir that blends history, personal experiences, access to political leaders, with a cautionary tale of the challenges of the technological age.”
– Dr. Kenneth C Leiter, Amazon Review

Dr. Starr’s Israeli memoir is an important work from several perspectives. She provides a real insider’s view of the evolving complexities and dynamics of the search for peace in the Middle East. Her uniquely personal narrative brings out the impact of little recognized but critical forces on key Israeli and American decision makers striving for peace in the Middle East while providing a human touch. This tale of diplomatic conflict would not have been written had her family failed to escape the Russian Pogroms.” – Dr. David I. Goldenberg