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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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Stepping Forward?

Stepping Forward?

Congress, the Nixon Administration, and Step-by-Step Diplomacy

Chapter:
(p.81) 3 Stepping Forward?
Source:
America's Israel
Author(s):

Kenneth Kolander

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813179476.003.0004

The third chapter, based on research from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, FRUS, and the Congressional Record, explores congressional reactions to Nixon’s request for $2.2 billion in emergency military aid for Israel, as well as U.S. efforts to restart the peace process. Despite efforts by Fulbright and several other legislators, along with the Nixon administration’s lack of effort to justify such a massive aid package, Congress passed the emergency aid bill in full. Legislators successfully argued that Israel needed the immense amount of aid in order to feel strong enough to take risks in peace negotiations. But by May 1974, fearful that Israel felt too strong, the Nixon administration started to threaten to cut off all military aid to soften Israel’s position in peace negotiations. The fall of Nixon due to Watergate sapped the power of the White House at precisely the moment when a strong president was needed to advance such an ambitious program of U.S. peace diplomacy. Also important, Kissinger had to work against pro-Israel elements that sought to scuttle his gradual approach to a comprehensive peace.

Keywords:   Military Aid, Vietnam, Cold War, Israel, October War, Yom Kippur War, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, oil embargo, step-by-step diplomacy

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