For over sixty years the state of Israel has proved adept at practising clandestine diplomacy - - about which little is known, as one might expect. These hitherto undisclosed episodes in Israel's diplomatic history are revealed for the first time by the contributors to this volume, who explore how relations based upon patronage and personal friendships, as well as ties born from kinship and realpolitik both informed the creation of the state and later defined Israel's relations with a host of actors, both state and non-state. The authors focus on the extent to which Israel's clandestine diplomacies have indeed been regarded as purely functional and sub- ordinate to a realist quest for security amid the perceived hostility of a predominantly Muslim-Arab world, or have in fact proved to be manifestations of a wider acceptance - political, social and cultural - of a Jewish sovereign state as an intrinsic part of the Middle East. They also discuss whether clandestine diplomacy has been more effective in securing Israeli objectives than reliance upon more formal diplomatic ties constrained by inter- national legal obligations and how this often complex and at times contradictory matrix of clandestine relationships continues to influence perceptions of Israel's foreign policy.
Clive Jones is Professor of Middle East Studies and International Politics at the University of Leeds and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Tore T. Petersen is Professor of International and Diplomatic History at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim.