New Article: Stanciu, Romania and the Six Day War

Stanciu, Cezar. “Romania and the Six Day War.” Middle Eastern Studies 50.5 (2014): 775-95.

 

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00263206.2014.913575

 

 

Abstract

In June 1967, when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact partners decided to break off diplomatic relations with Israel following the outbreak of the Six Day War, it came as a surprise to many that Romania refused to do the same. This paper investigates previously unpublished documents in order to retrace the decision-making process in Bucharest and offer a rational answer to the question: why did Romania choose to ignore Moscow’s decision? Was it a demonstration of support for Israel as it appeared at the time and, if so, what were the reasons behind it? Archival insight demonstrates that Romania’s decision to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel can best be understood in the general framework of its relations with Moscow. Striving to gain autonomy in the Communist bloc and fight off Soviet domination, Romanian decision-makers preferred to engage in their own analysis of the events in the Middle East before assuming one decision or another. Their conclusions led them to believe that Moscow’s policy had been adventurous and to break relations with Israel would have implied confirmation and reinforcement of Moscow’s role in the Middle East.