The United States And Israel Essay

2652 words - 11 pages

The United States and Israel

Many people think that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict dates back to several centuries ago, but in truth, the conflict began with the creation of Israel in 1948. Tensions first arose between Jewish people and Palestinians after World War II, after many Jewish people immigrated to Palestine. The Palestinian people consisted of more than one faith, including a majority of Muslims and some Christians as well. Palestinians wanted the Jews to live in Palestine as a minority, however Zionist organizations wanted at least a partition to be approved by the U.N. General Assembly. The idea of a Jewish state became relevant to the United States in the 1940s, ...view middle of the document...

Ultimately, the U.S. did not support the creation of a Jewish state openly during President Wilson’s administration, although President Wilson himself supported Israel discreetly.

Harry S. Truman was President at the time of the creation of Israel and preceding it. President Truman supported the immigration of 100,000 Jews - a number he declared in a speech - during his elections for presidency. He also issued a statement of support for the UN Partition Plan, which would withdraw the United Kingdom from Palestine and establish Jewish and Arab states in Palestine. However, it became apparent after his victory that he was simply trying to win the Jewish and Zionist votes. President Truman first agreed that a partition would be impossible to impose, but he was later pressured to back the partition because supporting “a Jewish state would not threaten peace or American interests in the Middle East.” Establishing a Jewish state and supporting it would also guarantee a U.S. ally in the Middle East. President Truman’s fickle views are reflective of the United States’ views on Israel throughout history.

Around 1957, Congress started turning to Israel with greater sympathy due to effective lobbying by Jewish groups. There were two reasons that congressmen – and the American public – began looking at Israel with sympathy. First off, the United States had just pressured Israel to withdraw from Sinai Peninsula, which was under Egyptian territory; Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser was not a close American ally, partly because Egypt recognized Communist China. Secondly, Israel could easily go under Soviet threat because Israel had just attacked Nasser. The Soviet threat existed because the 1950s was a time of increasing tension during the Cold War, and the idea of containment dominated all U.S. foreign relations. Also in 1957, President Eisenhower then approved a strategy known as the Eisenhower Doctrine, which provided military and economic assistance to any nation that requested aid against “armed aggression from any nation controlled by International Communism.” This later brought the United States much closer to Israel.

Ten years later, Israel would conquer new territories that are “still subject to negotiation.” In 1967, the U.S. State Department pursued a resolution hoping for peace between Israel and its neighboring Arabs countries. However, the Israeli government “had been told unofficially” that the United States “would not object” to Israel’s attack on Egypt. So when Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, Israel had a justified reason to attack Egypt. Israel presented its arguments for war to the United States and Johnson accepted them on the condition that Israel would return the territories it would occupy. Israel was victorious in the Six-Day War not only in occupying Sinai, but also Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. Prime Minister of Israel, Levi Eshkol, then stated that Israel would not return the territories, but...

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