New Article: Gutfeld & Vanetik, The American Airlift to Israel During the Yom Kippur War

Gutfeld, Arnon, and Boaz Vanetik. “‘A Situation That Had to Be Manipulated’: The American Airlift to Israel During the Yom Kippur War.” Middle Eastern Studies 52.3 (2016): 419-47.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2016.1144393

 

Abstract

As he had hoped, Kissinger’s wartime policy indeed led to his anticipated post-war diplomatic achievements. In this respect it could be said that it was his finest hour. Immediately upon the cessation of fighting, Kissinger launched the disengagement agreement in what became known as a ‘shuttle diplomacy’ to the Middle East. During his visit to Cairo on 7 November, Sadat and Kissinger announced that diplomatic relations between Egypt and the US would resume shortly. In the months to follow, Kissinger worked fervently to bring about a disengagement agreement between Egypt and Israel, which was finally signed on 18 January 1974. In this Sinai I Agreement, Israel consented to withdraw entirely from the west bank of the Suez Canal and 20 kilometres from its east bank. In the agreement it was also stated that the Suez Canal would be reopened, which indeed was cleaned and opened in January 1975. The Egyptians presented the agreement not as a diplomatic, but as a military one; however, the agreement included a clause stating that it was a first step toward a future peace agreement, indicating that the conflict between the two countries would be resolved by peaceful means. Furthermore, the agreement stipulated that a new agreement would replace it within a year’s time. Indeed, on 4 September 1975, Sinai II, an interim agreement between Israel and Egypt was signed. These agreements were vital and necessary stages of the path toward the Israeli–Egyptian Peace Treaty that was signed on the White House lawn on 26 March 1979. Moreover, another disengagement agreement mediated by Kissinger was signed between Israel and Syria on 31 March 1974. It is doubtful whether these impressive agreements could have come to fruition had the Yom Kippur War ended differently because of the roles played by the delay tactics, leading to Israel’s difficulties on the battlefield and Egypt’s and Syria’s impressive wartime advances, followed by the massive airlift to Israel, which sealed the Israeli victory but did not allow for a humiliating defeat of its Arab foes. Washington’s wartime policy clearly underscored the central, vital role played by the US in the Middle Eastern arena. Moreover, the manner in which Kissinger managed and manipulated the crisis highlighted his own role as the key policy-maker of the Arab–Israeli conflict; he was the only one who possessed the necessary clout and communication channels with all of the parties involved: the USSR, Egypt, Syria, and Israel.

Based on newly published documentation, this study depicts a clear and unequivocal picture of Washington’s policy toward Israel during the first week of the Yom Kippur War. A policy adopted by all sections of the US executive branch, which necessitated coordination among these sections. This policy can be defined as ‘sophisticated manipulation’ in all communications with Israeli officials, with the purpose of delaying and limiting the transfer of military aid. Secretary of State Kissinger had overwhelming influence over the planning and execution of this foreign policy, receiving the full support of all components of the executive branch. Kissinger also succeeded in creating the false impression that the Pentagon was responsible for the delays in supplying military aid. Indeed, Israeli officials refused to believe that Kissinger had a hand in the delay tactics. When Prime Minister Meir was asked in 1977 whether she believed Kissinger purposely acted to delay arms shipments to Israel, she responded ‘I honestly still do not know.’.

 

 

 

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Dissertation: Condron, The Nixon Administration between Cairo and Jerusalem

Condron, Aidan. The Nixon Administration between Cairo and Jerusalem, 1969-1974: Concepts, Strategies, and Implementation, PhD thesis. Aberystwyth, Wales: Aberystwyth University, 2015.
 
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2160/30577
 
Abstract

This thesis traces the origins of the Egypt-Israel peace process begun in the immediate aftermath of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War. This American-brokered process led to the restoration of Egyptian land seized by Israeli in 1967 in exchange for a bilateral peace treaty, the first between Israel and an Arab state. Formal US-Egypt diplomatic relations were restored in 1974. By the time of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty in 1979, Egyptian defection from Soviet to American was complete, and Egypt had become estranged from the remainder of the Arab world, which refused to recognise, negotiate, or make peace with Israel. Recontextualising wartime and post-war strategic realignments with reference to developments during the first four and three-quarter years of the Nixon administration, from January 1969 – September 1973, this thesis sets presents a thoroughgoing revisionist account of the origins of this process. Tracing concepts and strategies implemented during and after the war in the antebellum period, the work demonstrates that the concepts implemented during the peace process were developed in negotiations involving Egypt, Israel, the Soviet Union, and the United States from early 1969, and forged into a coherent strategy by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during the period from October 1970 – September 1973. Reversing the usual interpretation that Sadat conformed to an American grand design in the aftermath over the October War, this thesis demonstrates instead that the United States collaborated and colluded in implementing an Egyptian strategy for a new regional order, premised on peace between Egypt and Israel and partnerships both between Washington and Jerusalem and between Washington and Cairo.

 

 

 

New Book: Ross, Doomed to Succeed

Ross, Dennis. Doomed to Succeed. The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.

 

9780374141462

 

When it comes to Israel, U.S. policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. Today our ties to Israel are close–so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way.
Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton’s envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president’s attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach.
Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned. Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape U.S. policy in that light.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
1. The Evolution of US Policy toward Israel
2. The Eisenhower Administration and the Pursuit of Arab Allies
3. The Kennedy Administration: Breaking Taboos and Pursuing a New Balance
4. Lyndon Baines Johnson: Emotional Ties but Constrained by Vietnam
5. Nixon and Ford: Dysfunction, War, and Interim Agreements
6. The Carter Presidency: The Pursuit of Peace and Constant Tension with Israel
7. The Reagan Administration and the Policy of Duality
8. George H. W. Bush and Israel: Discord and Responsiveness
9. The Clinton Administration and Israel: Strategic Partners for Peace
10. Bush 43: Terror, Partnership, and Bureaucratic Divisions
11. Obama and Israel: Support for Security, Little Chemistry, and Constant Challenges
12. Lessons from the Past and Implications for the Future
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index
 

 

Dennis Ross is the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown. He was the director of policy planning in the State Department for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton’s Middle East Peace envoy, and a special assistant to the president under Barack Obama.

 

 

New Article: Pressman, American Engagement and the Pathways to Arab–Israeli Peace

Pressman, Jeremy. “American Engagement and the Pathways to Arab–Israeli Peace.” Cooperation and Conflict 49.4 (2014): 536-53.

 

URL: http://cac.sagepub.com/content/49/4/536.abstract

 

Abstract

This close empirical study of decades of US efforts to bring peace between Arab states and Israel helps reflect on Arild Underdal and Oran R. Young’s leadership typologies. Distinguishing between coercive leadership based on the incentives and sanctions that robust capabilities make possible and instrumental leadership focused more on talking, skilled mediation, and policy innovation is useful. However, this US mediation demonstrates that the two are not wholly distinct as previously suggested. The narrative of US efforts from Richard M Nixon to William J Clinton, including 22 cases of US involvement in Arab–Israeli mediation, suggests successful US mediation has been based on four factors. US involvement has led to breakthroughs when the US administration was highly engaged and kept at the problem after an initial diplomatic setback; benefitted from an exogenous event; managed that event to the US advantage; and dealt with strong Arab and Israeli partners.

ToC: Israel Studies 19.3 (2014)

Israel Studies 19.3 (2014): Table of Contents