TIMELINE: U.S.-Israeli relations since | Reuters
WASHINGTON: A recap of key developments in Israeli-US relations, after the period, the most generous military aid in US history. Learn about some of the historical figures and events that have contributed to the rocky relationship between the U.S., Israel, and Palestine. One version of the US-Israel relationship is all sunshine and rainbows: deep and America's backing for the historical justice of safeguarding a.
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".
Israel–United States relations
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.
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.
U.S. Department of State
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. 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 With the May election of Likud 's Menachem Begin as prime minister, after 30 years of leading the Israeli government opposition, major changes took place regarding Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories.
The two frameworks included in the Carter-initiated Camp David process were viewed by right-wing elements in Israel as creating US pressures on Israel to withdraw from the captured Palestinian territoriesas well as forcing it to take risks for the sake of peace with Egypt.
It led to Israeli withdrawal from Sinai by Likud governments have since argued that their acceptance of full withdrawal from the Sinai as part of these accords and the eventual Egypt—Israel Peace Treaty fulfilled the Israeli pledge to withdraw from occupied territory. Reagan administration — President Ronald Reagan meeting Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ephraim EvronIsraeli supporters expressed concerns early in the first Ronald Reagan term about potential difficulties in US—Israeli relations, in part because several Presidential appointees had ties or past business associations with key Arab countries for example, Secretaries Caspar Weinberger and George P.
Shultz were officers in the Bechtel Corporationwhich has strong links to the Arab world; see Arab lobby in the United States. However, President Reagan's personal support for Israel, and the compatibility between Israeli and Reagan perspectives on terrorismsecurity cooperation, and the Soviet threat, led to considerable strengthening in bilateral relations. InWeinberger and Israeli Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon signed the Strategic Cooperation Agreementestablishing a framework for continued consultation and cooperation to enhance the national security of both countries.
In Novemberthe two sides formed a Joint Political Military Groupwhich meets twice a year, to implement most provisions of that agreement. Joint air and sea military exercises began in Juneand the United States constructed two War Reserve Stock facilities in Israel to stockpile military equipment.
Although intended for American forces in the Middle East, the equipment can be transferred to Israeli use if necessary. US—Israeli ties strengthened during the second Reagan term. Israel was granted " major non-NATO ally " status ingiving it access to expanded weapons systems and opportunities to bid on US defense contracts.
Since then all customs duties between the two trading partners have been eliminated. However, relations soured when Israel carried out Operation Operaan Israeli airstrike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad.
Reagan suspended a shipment of military aircraft to Israel, and harshly criticized the action.
US-Israeli relations since - Channel NewsAsia
Relations also soured during the Lebanon Warwhen the United States even contemplated sanctions to stop the Israeli Siege of Beirut. The US reminded Israel that weaponry provided by the US was to be used for defensive purposes only, and suspended shipments of cluster munitions to Israel.
Although the war exposed some serious differences between Israeli and US policies, such as Israel's rejection of the Reagan peace plan of 1 Septemberit did not alter the Administration's favoritism for Israel and the emphasis it placed on Israel's importance to the United States. But, despite the US—PLO dialogue, the Pollard spy case, and the Israeli rejection of the Shultz peace initiative in the spring ofpro-Israeli organizations in the United States characterized the Reagan Administration and the th Congress as the "most pro-Israel ever", and praised the positive overall tone of bilateral relations.
President Bush raised the ire of the Likud government when he told a press conference on 3 Marchthat East Jerusalem was occupied territory and not a sovereign part of Israel as Israel says. Israel had annexed East Jerusalem inan action which did not gain international recognition.The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship: Money, Mossad, and the
The United States and Israel disagreed over the Israeli interpretation of the Israeli plan to hold elections for a Palestinian peace conference delegation in the summer ofand also disagreed over the need for an investigation of the Jerusalem incident of 8 Octoberin which Israeli police killed 17 Palestinians.
The United States urged Israel not to retaliate against Iraq for the attacks because it was believed that Iraq wanted to draw Israel into the conflict and force other coalition members, Egypt and Syria in particular, to quit the coalition and join Iraq in a war against Israel.
On several occasions Washington attempts to match its role as Israel's main backer with that of mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The subsequent Camp David Accords pave the way for a peace treaty signed the year after by Egypt and Israel. On Sep 13, president Bill Clinton orchestrates the historic handshake in Washington between Israel's prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, after they sign a five-year transitional agreement on Palestinian self-government in Gaza and the West Bank.
In June Obama calls on Israel to stop settlement building in the occupied territories and expresses his commitment to a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In MarchIsrael's authorisation of the construction of 1, houses in a settled neighborhood in east Jerusalem, during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, sours relations.
In MarchNetanyahu defies Obama, secretly arranging to address a joint meeting of the Republican-controlled US Congress where he openly tries to scupper the agreement between Iran and world powers on Tehran's nuclear program. Obama refuses to meet him during his stay in Washington. On Feb 15, Trump warmly welcomes Netanyahu to the White House and hails the "unbreakable" bond between their countries.
Trump backs away from Washington's quest for a two-state solution to the conflict, saying he would back a single state if it led to peace.
And in September Israel inaugurates with its US ally a joint air base, the first on Israeli territory.