Arms for Arabs-and What for Israel?
Dilemmas in the Search for a Middle East Balance of Power
A new and unpleasant season has opened in relations between the United States and Israel, a season of cold climate and angry winds, more dangerous—so Israel believes—than any such season before.
In the great debate since 1948 between Washington and Tel Aviv-Jerusalem on how to make peace with the Arabs, differences, while often sharp, still revolved in the main around an Israeli center. Should Israel be given more American aid or less, in view of Arab resentments? Ought Israel be more restrained and conciliatory toward her neighbors? What must Israel do to find her place in the Arab world? If anything, it was the United States that felt alarm at Israel’s positiveness, and Israel that deplored an American tendency to avoid action involving the Arabs.
With the Eisenhower-Dulles administration, all this began to change, and it is now no longer a question of what Israel should do, or of striving to hold the line on dollar aid. Israel is even reconciled to the possible end of Congressional economic grants altogether in two or, at best, three years. And it is no longer a question of restraining Israel vis-a-vis the Arabs. It has become, in the Israeli view, a question of restraining the United States from plans and policies which, if fully developed, must make aggression by the Arabs inevitable. It is, in short, a question of whether America is going to contribute to Israel’s possible destruction.
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