Was Johnson the ‘father’ of the US–Israeli alliance?
The Memorandum of Understanding (1964–65)
in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
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This chapter shows how Israel persuaded the US to initiate the 'memorandum of understanding' which changed Israel's deterrent capabilities. First, Israel insisted that the balance of power had changed dramatically in terms of heavy armaments and the construction of Arab forces, due to greater Soviet support. Khrushchev's visit to Egypt aggravated anxiety of in Israel regarding a Soviet-Arab plot to destroy Israel in a surprise attack. The visit was not merely symbolic, but rather proofof Soviet solidarity with Arab intentions , including public support for the Palestinian cause. The US promised that the Sixth Fleet was ready to react to any Arab attack, but Israel had little faith in such promises, in view of the Arab summits which bid for military escalation. The Soviet made it clear that without the removal of the western bases in Turkey and the western courting of Iran, no settlement in the Middle East was possible.


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