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The United States’ Relationship To Israel During The Cold War

2145 words - 9 pages

The United States and Israel have always shared a passion for democracy. Both countries had similar foundations, established by a majority of immigrants claiming to create a better society, towards religious tolerance and democratic ideas. In 1948, both the United States and the Soviet Union immediately recognized the State of Israel. During a era where these two nations often fought against on another to claim a majority in support and power for either ideologies, the United States, firmly recognized but limited their support for Israel due to it’s alliances with Arab countries in the region and the growing demand for oil in the region.
Many believed that Jews deserved a sanctuary after the horrors that occurred during the Holocaust, the establishment of Israel was therefore greatly supported by President Truman and his legal counsel, Clark Clifford. Some believed this support, was just a scheme to get Jewish votes and that recognizing Israel might endanger United States’ access to Arab oil. Although, Truman and Clifford strongly endorsed the US recognition, much of the United States government, including the State Department, the Defense Department and the CIA, worried about the Israeli declaration of independence. Critics like John Snetsinger, repeated this belief ad nausea. Truman faced an election year, which prompted him a need in the Jewish support, which an overwhelmingly majority were Jews rather than Arabs. Benson, an analyst from the University of Utah, believed that Truman’s pro-Israel outlook “was based prompted on humanitarian, moral, and sentimental grounds, many of which were an outgrowth of the president’s religious upbringing and his familiarity with the Bible”. Truman recognized the influence of the Zionist movement in the United States, which launched private talks with high-ranking Jewish officials and was warned of the risk to recognition and oil as well as the defense interests in 1948. Truman’s sympathy for Zionism and his views were detrimental in regulating the United States support for Israel. Benson also believed that Truman used his personal beliefs and interests in political advantages to make Israel a priority in 1948. Another issue at hand was the United States’ fear of losing Israel to the Soviet Union. The recognition of Israel became not just a personal agenda for Truman, but a political one for the United States during the start of the Cold War.
The Soviet Union found an interest in Israel due to the political control of the Labor Party. Both the Soviet Union and the United States’ interests were battled in Israel, ultimately, choosing the United States, which forced the Soviet Union to create hostile relationships with Israel and support many Arab countries.
The United States recognition of Israel angered many Arabs and made Truman to take a defensive standpoint in Israeli-American foreign policy. This tactic step back in support recognized that the Arab countries were the United States’ main...

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