By Noam Kochavi
New insights into the cementing of the American-Israeli courting throughout the Nixon years
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Extra resources for Nixon and Israel: Forging a Conservative Partnership
R. Haldeman that he would not “play the Jewish game” of “strin[ging] us along until the elections . . 94 It was only at a meeting with Meir in early December 1971 that Nixon’s shift toward Israel was truly completed. Only then did he raise the Joining the Conservative Brotherhood 19 scale of his administration’s commitment to Israel in all crucial areas. 97 Third, heeding Meir’s complaints about State Department intrusions and probably spurred on by the proven utility of back channels in other policy contexts, Nixon and Meir found means to intensify and institutionalize the practice of communicating through Rabin and Kissinger while keeping the State Department and the Israeli foreign ministry in the dark.
The Israeli ambassador generally refrained from confronting Kissinger. But by the end of September, he faced down Kissinger’s aforementioned threats on Jackson-Vanik by faulting the newly appointed secretary of state (and still national security adviser) for casting the issue as an internal Soviet problem. 71 His overture, however, was nipped in the bud by the unexpected intrusion of a cataclysmic event that would destabilize the policy–making environment and dominate Israeli-American relations for the rest of Kissinger’s tenure: the October 1973 War.
89 Following Rogers’s May 1971 visit to Egypt, however, Nixon changed tack. 90 Convinced by Rogers that Sadat was mellowing in his attitude toward Israel and that the expulsion of Soviet military advisers from Egypt could be had in exchange for Israeli carrots, he authorized the secretary to press the Israelis into an interim agreement on the Suez Canal, providing this explanation: “[I]t is essential that no more aid programs for Israel be approved until they agree to some kind of interim action on the Suez or some other issue .
Nixon and Israel: Forging a Conservative Partnership by Noam Kochavi