Unformatted text preview: Lecture Notes
1. Israel has long borders that frequently encounter conﬂicts.
1. Demilitarized zones -‐ problema?cally ill-‐deﬁned borders
2. Figh?ng between Israel and the Arab states ended in an indecisive way, and so the
borders always faced challenges
3. Thus, Israel needed foreign allies 1. No man’s lands were set up in the middle to separate Jordanian/Israel land
2. The UN decided that Jerusalem would become an interna?onal city.
3. Israel declares Jerusalem as its capital and moves the Knesset there to prevent its
interna?onaliza?on. 1. Non-‐alignment -‐ the policy that Israel followed in order to keep all of its allies
1. However, the nonaligned countries did not like Israel.
2. By 1950, it was clear that this would not work.
America or the Soviet Union?
1. Israel and the Jewish people had a special connec?on to Russia/Soviet Union because of
the country’s role in WWII and the Holocaust. Early-‐Israel was also very socialist, in a
form similar to that of the Soviet Union.
1. Stalin was not seen as an enemy.
2. There were also many Jews in Russia. If Israel turned its back on Russia, it would be
cuXng oﬀ all of these Jews.
3. Golda Meir
Nevertheless, it becomes clear that Israel has to choose the West, for economic and poli?cal
1. Israel is a liberal democracy, even if it’s socialist.
An1-‐Semi1sm in the USSR
In early 1952, the Czech Communist par?es arrests its own Jewish leaders, including Slansky.
1. Show trials -‐> execu?on
2. Purges begin in all of the exis?ng USSR countries remove and kill as many Jews in
3. Doctor’s Plot — Stalin freaks out and thinks doctors are trying to kill him. A dozen Jewish
doctors are arrested. 1. Israel sets oﬀ a bomb in Moscow or something
The USSR thus adopts an an?-‐Israel stance. USSR cuts of diploma?c rela?ons.
The USSR becomes the leader of the an?-‐Israel forces in the United Na?ons.
No big city in Israel is far from a hos?le border.
Aaer Israel’s crea?on, the Arab states put an economic blockade on Israel, banning all shipping
from going through the Suez Canal. This was liaed in 1957. In the long run, it doesn’t have a
nega?ve eﬀect on the Israeli economy.
The Quest for Security Guarantee from the U.S. 1954-‐1956
1. Israel was basically desperate for rela?ons with the Western powers in order to obtain
arms, but especially the U.S. 1. By 1952, Israel had departed from its policy of nonalignment to stress the link
between itself and the West.
2. “There is only the wretched posi?on of dependent na?on that must follow any
power willing to have it.”
2. Henry Morgenthau Jr. (American Zionist leader) conﬁrmed that Israel and the U.S. were
on the same side.
1. The Republican administra?on of the ?me did not support closer ?es with Israel.
3. Israel applied to the U.S. for arms in 1950 and later turned to France and Britain when
the U.S. con?nued to refuse.
4. Israel sought for US support once again in 1954, mainly because it felt the Arabs were
gaining strategic favor.
Three Approaches to a Security Guarantee
1. Ben-‐Gurion thought that a security guarantee would be good but was scared it would
limit Israel’s ability to act on its own when there were regional conﬂicts.
It worried that the U.S. would erode Israel’s sovereignty.
The U.S. was the only sensible country to obtain arms from.
2. Sharei believed that geXng arms from America was more important than obtaining a
security guarantee. He also believed that Israel was willing to stop its raids if it were to
get aid. He aiempted to present himself as more sensi?ve to Washington’s regional
3. The Israeli embassy was very eager to obtain a security guarantee. ...
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