The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1948-67

Superpower rivalry

By Joseph Heller

The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1948-67


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0382-6
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: November 2016
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern, HISTORY / Middle East / Israel & Palestine, Society & social sciences / Jewish studies, Middle East, Politics, Politics & government, Middle Eastern history, The Cold War, Israel, The Cold War, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General


The Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be properly understood without considering the larger context of the Cold War. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of Israel's relationships with the United States and the Soviet Union from 1948 to 1967, showing how the fledgling state had to manoeuvre between the two superpowers in order to survive. Collating information from hundreds of sources, many of them unavailable to the general public, it will be of great interest to students and scholars in international relations and political history, but also to the general reader, providing as it does a wide perspective of both Israel and the Arab countries and their interaction with the superpowers.


'Joseph Heller is the doyen of historians of Zionist diplomacy. This book represents the crowning achievement of a lifetime devoted to study of the subject. It is the best-informed, most up-to-date, most thoroughly researched and most cogently argued analysis of Israel's relations with the superpowers between 1948 and 1967. Drawing on newly available Soviet, American, and Israeli archival sources, it sheds light on the Cold War framework within which Israeli foreign policy was perforce conducted. It will be essential reading for all those who seek to understand the basic underpinnings of the Arab-Israeli conflict in its formative phase.'
Bernard Wasserstein, University of Chicago

'Joseph Heller's latest work has delved deeply into Israeli archives to uncover hitherto unpublished diplomatic correspondence which illuminates the evolution of Israeli policy during the maelstrom of superpower rivalry in the Middle East. The complexity of Israel's position was accentuated by its desire to secure the emigration of Soviet Jews - and Professor Heller describes the tortuous balancing acts that were performed between national interests and ideological necessity. This is an interesting work of detailed research and casts new light and different interpretations on the triangular relationship of Israel, the US and the USSR.'
Colin Shindler, SOAS, University of London

'Using Russian and Hebrew as well as European sources, Joseph Heller argues persuasively that Israeli leaders saw themselves "trapped" between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviets were a ferocious enemy, believing Israel to be an American puppet while apprehensive that Zionism might create a Jewish nationalist awakening in the Soviet Union itself. The Americans provided indispensable economic support yet kept an insufferable hand on the Israeli collar, fearing that Israel could further alienate the Arab states from the West. Building to the climax of the 1967 war, this is an indispensable book.'
Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas


1 The Soviet Union and Israel: from the Gromyko declaration to the death of Stalin (1947-53)
2 The United States and the Cold War: from Truman to Eisenhower (1948-53)
3 Israel and the Soviet Union prior to the Suez Crisis (1953-56)
4 Sharett versus Eisenhower and Dulles (1953-56)
5 Israel and the United States on the road to war (November 1955-November 1956)
6 The Eisenhower Doctrine and Israel (November 1956-January 1958)
7 Soviet- Israeli relations after the Suez War (1956-61)
8 How the Middle East crises affected US policy toward Israel (1958-60)
9 Kennedy, Israel and the Cold War before the Cuban Missile Crisis (1961-62)
10 Was Kennedy the 'father' of the US- Israeli alliance? (1962-63)
11 Khrushchev, Israel and Soviet Jewry (1961-64)
12 Was Johnson the 'father' of the US- Israeli alliance?: the Memorandum of Understanding (1964-65)
13 Johnson, Israel and the Cold War: testing the Memorandum of Understanding (1965-67)
14 The Soviet Union, Israel and Soviet Jewry (1964-67)
15 The United States and the crisis of the Six Day War (May 14-June 5, 1967)
16 The Soviet Union and the Six Day War (May 14-June 5, 1967)


Joseph Heller is Professor Emeritus in International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1948-67

By Joseph Heller

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Paperback £21.00 / $30.95

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