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America's IsraelThe US Congress and American-Israeli Relations, 1967--1975$
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Kenneth Kolander

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179476

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179476.001.0001

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Johnson, Congress, and the Special Relationship

Johnson, Congress, and the Special Relationship

An American Commitment to the Survival of Israel

(p.23) 1 Johnson, Congress, and the Special Relationship
America's Israel

Kenneth Kolander

University Press of Kentucky

Using research from the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, FRUS, and the Congressional Record, the first chapter explores U.S.-Israel relations during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. In 1967, provocative moves made by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and an Israeli first strike plunged the region into war. Legislators took to the House and Senate floors to proclaim the essence of the special relationship—an unwavering American commitment to ensure Israel’s survival. In the aftermath of the war, the Johnson administration decided to abandon existing U.S. policy regarding territorial integrity in the Middle East and support Israeli occupation of Arab lands in order to pressure Arab states to finally recognize Israel and make peace with it. The Johnson administration, like the administrations before it, could not solve the riddle of Arab-Israeli conflict and regarded the war as an opportunity to pursue a different path. The decisions to not push Israel out of the territories and to increase weapons sales to Israel were both justified by the American commitment to Israel’s survival.

Keywords:   Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson, Gamal Abdel Nasser, King Hussein, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Palestinians, Soviet Union, Cold War

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