Israel and the Soviet Union prior to the Suez Crisis (1953– 56)
in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
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This chapter shows the inexorable deterioration of Soviet-Israel relations. The first Soviet veto demonstrated that whatever Israel did to improve relations, the Kremlin image of Israel was fixed as part of the western bloc. The height of the worsening relations was the Czech-Egyptian deal, which tipped the military balance in the Arabs' favour. The Israeli government. Headed by Moshe Sharett, realized its ominous strategic implications. Sharett himself failed to realize to convince western statesmen to compensate Israel. Egypt's Nasser gained crucial Soviet military and economic aid, while Israel suffered a serious strategic and diplomatic defeat. The only option for Israel was to join the Anglo-French 'collusion' against Egypt. The lack of American support, and joining Britauin and France in attacking Egypt, left Israel with the danger of Soviet offensive. Khrushchev's threat to bomb Israel was taken seriously by Israel, particularly in view of Soviet support for the Arabs in their conflict with Israel.


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