Henry “Scoop” Jackson, J. William Fulbright, and Military Sales to Israel
The themes of national security and domestic politics intersect in the second chapter. Based on the papers of Henry “Scoop” Jackson and J. William Fulbright, the chapter uses the conflict between the two Democratic senators to show how the growing Soviet presence in the Middle East, combined with the deteriorating situation in Southeast Asia in the late 1960s and early 1970s, brought about a major upheaval within the Democratic Party as well as a rise in conservative support for Israel from the halls of Congress. Jackson, who ran for president in 1972 and 1976, and Fulbright, the longest-tenured chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, staked out very different positions for the proper relationship between the United States and Israel. A discussion about the Jackson-Fulbright conflict encourages broader thinking about congressional participation in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and also exposes significant political fault lines that would complicate the making of U.S. policy toward Israel for years to come. The United States and Israel developed a strategic alliance during this period, in addition to the special relationship, which involved an enormous increase in weapons sales from the United States to Israel.
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