Kennedy, Israel and the Cold War before the Cuban Missile Crisis (1961–62)
in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
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Kennedy's presidency marked a new era, but not to the extent of fulfilling Israel's goals. It stopped treating Jewish emigration to Israel as escalating the conflict with the Arabs, and took Israel's security issues more seriously. That led to the American decision to supply Israel with the Hawk missiles, although Israel was disappointed because they were defensive missiles, while Egypt had already offensive weapons, such as bombers and missiles. However, US was trying hard to convince Egypt side with the west by launching a new initiative to solve the Arab refugee question. Israel knew the return of the refugees would be the equivalent of the annihilation of the state of Israel. Ben-Gurion met Kennedy but could not convince him that Israel should be treated as an ally. Kennedy did not promise the immediate supply of Hawk missiles, and warned Israel against developing nuclear weapons, which would damage American-Israeli relations, In view of Soviet –Arab alliance Israel was left with no choice but to build the Dimona nuclear facility, thus gaining a powerful bargaining card.


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