Israel-US relations | The Times of Israel
Despite appearances, former senior national security official Elliott Abrams warns that Democrats — and American Jews — are moving away. The split-screen images of Israeli and US officials smiling at the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem, while Israel killed Gazans just. Moral, political, and strategic factors have contributed to the emergence and durability of the U.S.-Israel alliance. It took decades for American support for Israel.
US policymakers initially used foreign aid to support these objectives. Foreign policy of US government Eisenhower Administration — Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol meeting Senator Robert KennedyDuring these years of austeritythe United States provided Israel moderate amounts of economic aid, mostly as loans for basic foodstuffs; a far greater share of state income derived from German war reparationswhich were used for domestic development.
France became Israel's main arms supplier at this time and provided Israel with advanced military equipment and technology. This support was seen by Israel to counter the perceived threat from Egypt under President Gamal Abdel Nasser with respect to the " Czech arms deal " of September For differing reasons, France, Israel and Britain colluded to topple Nasser by regaining control of the Suez Canal, following its nationalization, and to occupy parts of western Sinai assuring free passage of shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Afterward, Nasser expressed a desire to establish closer relations with the United States. Eager to increase its influence in the region, and prevent Nasser from going over to the Soviet Bloc, US policy was to remain neutral and not become too closely allied with Israel. At this time, the only assistance the US provided Israel was food aid.
In the early s, the US would begin to sell advanced, but defensive, weapons to Israel, Egypt, and Jordanincluding Hawk anti-aircraft missiles. Johnson 's presidency, US policy shifted to a whole-hearted, but not unquestioning, support for Israel. Inwhen defecting Iraqi pilot Munir Redfa landed in Israel flying a Soviet-built MiG fighter jet, information on the plane was immediately shared with the United States.
U.S.-Israel Relations - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History
In the lead up to the Six-Day War ofwhile the Johnson Administration was sympathetic to Israel's need to defend itself against foreign attack, the US worried that Israel's response would be disproportionate and potentially destabilizing. The primary concern of the Johnson Administration was that should war break out in the region, the United States and Soviet Union would be drawn into it. Intense diplomatic negotiations with the nations in the region and the Soviets, including the first use of the Hotlinefailed to prevent war.
When Israel launched preemptive strikes against the Egyptian Air force, Secretary of State Dean Rusk was disappointed as he felt a diplomatic solution could have been possible.
Israel stated that the Liberty was mistaken as the Egyptian vessel El Quseir, and it was an instance of friendly fire. The US government accepted it as such, although the incident raised much controversy, and some still believe it to be deliberate.
Johnson's presidency America's policy took a definite turn in the pro-Israeli direction". Following the war, the perception in Washington was that many Arab states notably Egypt had permanently drifted toward the Soviets.
Inwith strong support from Congress, Johnson approved the sale of Phantom fighters to Israel, establishing the precedent for US support for Israel's qualitative military edge over its neighbors. However, the US continued to provide military equipment to Arab states such as Lebanon and Saudi Arabiato counter Soviet arms sales in the region. Previously unknown information was subsequently shared with the US.
These designs were also shared with the United States. Rogers formally proposed the Rogers Planwhich called for a day cease-fire and a military standstill zone on each side of the Suez Canal, to calm the ongoing War of Attrition.
It was an effort to reach agreement specifically on the framework of UN Resolutionwhich called for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in and mutual recognition of each state's sovereignty and independence. Despite the Labor-dominant Alignmentsformal acceptance of UN and "peace for withdrawal" earlier that year, Menachem Begin and the right wing Gahal alliance were adamantly opposed to withdraw from the Palestinian Territories ; the second-largest party in the government resigned on 5 August No breakthrough occurred even after President Sadat of Egypt in unexpectedly expelled Soviet advisers from Egypt, and again signaled to Washington his willingness to negotiate.
National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger 's peace proposal based on "security versus sovereignty": Israel would accept Egyptian sovereignty over all Sinaiwhile Egypt would accept Israeli presence in some of Sinai strategic positions.
In OctoberEgypt and Syria, with additional Arab support, attacked Israeli forces occupying their territory since the war, thus starting the Yom Kippur War. Despite intelligence indicating an attack from Egypt and Syria, Prime Minister Golda Meir made the controversial decision not to launch a pre-emptive strike. Meir, among other concerns, feared alienating the United States, if Israel was seen as starting another war, as Israel only trusted the United States to come to its aid.
In retrospect, the decision not to strike was probably a sound one. Later, according to Secretary of State Henry Kissingerhad Israel struck first, they would not have received "so much as a nail". On 6 Octoberduring the Jewish holiday of Yom KippurEgypt and Syria, with the support of Arab expeditionary forces and with backing from the Soviet Union, launched simultaneous attacks against Israel.
The resulting conflict is known as the Yom Kippur War. The Egyptian Army was initially able to breach Israeli defenses, advance into the Sinai, and establish defensive positions along the east bank of the Suez Canalbut they were later repulsed in a massive tank battle when they tried to advance further to draw pressure away from Syria.
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The Israelis then crossed the Suez Canal. Major battles with heavy losses for both sides took place. At the same time, the Syrians almost broke through Israel's thin defenses in the Golan Heights, but were eventually stopped by reinforcements and pushed back, followed by a successful Israeli advance into Syria.
Israel also gained the upper hand in the air and at sea early in the war.
Days into the war, it has been suggested that Meir authorized the assembly of Israeli nuclear bombs. This was done openly, perhaps in order to draw American attention, but Meir authorized their use against Egyptian and Syrian targets only if Arab forces managed to advance too far.
Meir asked Nixon for help with military supply. After Israel went on full nuclear alert and loaded their warheads into waiting planes, Nixon ordered the full scale commencement of a strategic airlift operation to deliver weapons and supplies to Israel; this last move is sometimes called "the airlift that saved Israel". However, by the time the supplies arrived, Israel was gaining the upper hand. Kissinger realized the situation presented the United States with a tremendous opportunity—Egypt was totally dependent on the US to prevent Israel from destroying the army, which now had no access to food or water.
The position could be parlayed later into allowing the United States to mediate the dispute, and push Egypt out of Soviet influences.
US-Israel relations | The Times of Israel
As a result, the United States exerted tremendous pressure on the Israelis to refrain from destroying the trapped army. In a phone call with Israeli ambassador Simcha DinitzKissinger told the ambassador that the destruction of the Egyptian Third Army "is an option that does not exist".
The Egyptians later withdrew their request for support and the Soviets complied. After the war, Kissinger pressured the Israelis to withdraw from Arab lands; this contributed to the first phases of a lasting Israeli-Egyptian peace.
President Ford responded on 21 March by sending Prime Minister Rabin a letter stating that Israeli intransigence has complicated US worldwide interests, and therefore the administration will reassess its relations with the Israeli government.
In addition, arms shipments to Israel halted. The reassessment crisis came to an end with the Israeli—Egyptian disengagement of forces agreement of 4 September Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going.
Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. As a result, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised him effusively. And it is not just Trump, it is the Republicans.
The US-Israeli relationship faces a storm on the horizon
The Republicans do not need to be told to be pro-Israel; the Democrats do. The problem, he said, is that they are all in their sixties and seventies, and there is not an equally ardent pro-Israel cadre among the marquee Democratic names in their thirties and forties. But these are the people who have to go talk to [up-and-coming Democratic leaders] Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom. That is their job.
Their job is not to yell at Netanyahu for being close to the Republicans; their job is to get close to the Democrats.