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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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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 18 April 2021

The Spirit of the 76

The Spirit of the 76

The Israeli Embassy, Congress, and President Ford’s Reassessment

(p.116) 4 The Spirit of the 76
America's Israel

Kenneth Kolander

University Press of Kentucky

The increasing influence of pro-Israel lobbying groups is a central theme of the entire book, and especially the fourth chapter. Research from the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem shows that the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. proved very able to influence U.S. policymaking during Ford’s reassessment of U.S.–Middle East policy in 1975, which included a freeze on military aid to Israel. In particular, the chapter reveals the efforts made by Israeli officials and pro-Israel lobbyists to secure a Senate letter to President Ford, signed by seventy-six senators in May 1975, that called for the resumption of military aid to Israel; otherwise, the senators threatened to kill Ford’s upcoming foreign-aid request. In effect, the president could not withhold weapons to pressure Israel into returning territory. Unlike the work by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, this chapter exhibits the actual dimensions—the extents and limits—of Israeli influence on U.S. foreign policy.

Keywords:   Reassessment, Israeli Embassy, Simcha Dinitz, Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger, foreign aid, oil embargo, peace process, Israel, Egypt

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