Assembled here are key sources that have shaped the modern Middle East, Zionism, Israel. We have also included items that give texture, perspective, and opinion to historical context.Some of these sources are mentioned in the Era summaries and contain explanatory introductions that provide context to that particular source.
G-d promises Jews a great nation in return for observance of belief and practice of laws.
Liturgical References to Zion and Jerusalem
The Hebrew Bible, Prophetic Books, the Talmud, the daily prayer book, and ancient Jewish texts reinforce Judaism’s relationship to G-d and Eretz Yisrael.
Minister Andrew D. White on the Jewish Situation in Russia
Major motivations for some Jews to choose Zionism included their failure to gain civic equality with their non-Jewish neighbors, and increasing outbreaks of rampant anti-Semitism. This account of the miserable economic situation of Jews in eastern Europe was another impetus for Jews to change their economic, political, and social condition through immigration.
The Jewish State, Theodor Herzl
Eventual head of the World Zionist Organization, Theodor Herzl says anti-Semitism requires a Jewish state.
Max Nordau, Address at the First Zionist Congress, Basel Switzerland
Nordau's impassioned speech summarized the unique Jewish identity to belief, Torah, ritual and community. With those central elements as a people, their state of impoverishment and wretched physical insecurity, he argued, were vital for rebuilding the Jewish national territory.
First Zionist Congress, Hebrew Language Newspaper Reporting
Three European journalists provide their first hand accounts of the First Zionist Congress and reporting of the delegates attending.
The Sherif of Mecca and Sir Henry MacMahon, a British official in Cairo, speaking for the Foreign Office exchanged letters about the current war effort against the Turks, and the future political status of specific Arab lands in the Ottoman Empire. McMahon said then and he repeated the statement again in 1937, that the area of Palestine was definitely excluded from any area to be provided to an Arab leader after WWI. The British allowed the area of Palestine to develop as a 'national home for the Jewish people.'
Britain and France secretly divide the Arab provinces of the former Ottoman Empire to meet their own geopolitical interests; no concern offered to political aspirations of indigenous populations.
British Foreign Ministry promises to set up a Jewish National Home in Palestine with no harm to non-Jewish populations, or to Jews living elsewhere who might want to support a Jewish home.
Emir Feisal – Chaim Weizmann Correspondences
Emir Feisal, acting on behalf of Sherif of Mecca and Chaim Weizmann on behalf of the Zionist Organization exchange recognition of cordiality and kinship between a future Arab state and Palestine, where Zionists seek to establish their national home. Mutual assistance is offered by one of the other.
Palestine Disturbances May 1921, (Haycraft Commission), Reports of Commission of Inquiry with Correspondence Relating Thereto Cmd 1520
In early May 1921, communal riots unfolded in the city of Jaffa and at Jewish settlements along the coast, with considerable loss of life and property for both communities. The British decided that both Arabs and Jews had real as well as exaggerated fears of the other.
1922 White Paper on Palestine
With intentioned ambiguity, Britain asserted that its goal in Palestine was not to make it wholly Jewish or subordinate the Arab population. Self-determination was not promised. Britain wanted to remain 'umpire' between the communities. Naively it thought it could control communal expectations and keep the peace.
The Mandate for Palestine
International legitimacy is granted to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Rules for its establishment clearly give Jews in Palestine distinct advantages over the local Arab population.
Zirin Village Land Sales
The sale of Zirin Village to the Jewish National Fund was collusively undertaken by a local Arab family through the British Courts in Palestine. The process intentionally avoided financial compensation to the resident Arab occupants.
The Census of Palestine, 1931 – An Invaluable Glimpse at Palestine’s Population: Gaping Socio-Economic Distances and Differences between Muslims, Christians, and Jews
An invaluable glimpse at Palestine's population: gaping socio-economic distances and vast communal differences between Muslims, Christians and Jews that set the strong preferences for separation of the populations.
Ken Stein – Socio-economic Differences Preface Palestine’s Political Partition – The Mandate
Primary sources, reputable scholarship and archival materials collectively show major communal (Arab-Jewish) socio-economic separation, factors that foreshadowed geo-spatial partition.
Systematic Agricultural Colonization in Palestine
1934 J. Elazari – Volcani (Issac Vilkanski) SYSTEMATIC AGRICULTURAL COLONIZATION IN PALESTINE REPORT PRESENTED AT THE XVIIITH ZIONIST CONGRESS PRAGUE, 1933 Special Printing from the Protocol of the XVIIIth Zionist Congress 1934 Published by the Zionist Central Bureau 77 Great Russell Street, London W.C. 1 The complete protocol of the XVIIIth Zionist Congress together […]
Peel Commission Report
After outbreak of communal violence, the British investigatory committee suggests partition of Palestine, seeking to create two states for two peoples.
The Political Significance of Land Purchase – 1937
With more Arab sale offers than funds for purchases, Zionist leaders decide on strategic priorities and designate areas around Haifa, Jerusalem-Jaffa road, and the Galilee near headwaters of the Jordan River.
Chaim Weizmann’s Notes for Speech, “Rallying World Jewry to Partition”
After the British suggested partition of Palestine into two states in July 1937, Weizmann, among Zionists, was least opposed to a Jewish state in less than all of western Palestine.
Arab Leaders Meeting in Damascus
This document was secured at the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem. Five months before Hitler invaded Poland, Arab leaders with an interest in Palestine are starkly disappointed that the the German government did not go to war against the Zionists in Palestine. The same leaders give the Zionist national builders high marks for their perseverance against terrorist bands in the Palestinian countryside. They worry that unless Arab states come to the Palestinians’ assistance, Palestine will be lost to the Zionists. A remarkable assessment for Palestinian Arab leaders and their supporters.
British Government: Policy Statement/Advice against Partition
Pressure from Arab leaders in states surrounding Palestine, growing instability in the eastern Mediterranean, and a firm opposition voiced by the British High Commissioner in Egypt, Miles Lampson, caused the British to withdraw the idea of resolving the Arab-Zionist conflict with a two-state solution. Instead, heavy restrictions were imposed in 1939 on the growth of the Jewish National home. Coincidently this policy statement is issued, two days after Nazi Germany attacks Jewish, homes, businesses and synagogues, in what came to be known as Kristallnacht.
Gershon Agronsky: “Palestine Arab Economy Undermined by Disturbances”
A description details the economic devastation caused by the 1936-1939 Arab disturbances in Palestine to the majority rural population. This followed the annually poor crop yields of the early 1930s, and the vast rural wreckage caused by WWI.
The Mufti’s Decision to Reject a Majority Palestinian State
Mufti opposes Arab majority state in ten years contrary to wishes of a dozen key other Palestinian leaders. Mufti wants no Jewish political presence in Palestine whatsoever.
HMG White Paper: Statement of Policy
Zionist leaders—David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Weizmann and Eliezer Kaplan—learning of the British intent to limit severely the Jewish national home’s growth. Increasingly, they are also aware of the German government’s hostilities towards European Jewry.
Remarks by the Right Honorable Winston Churchill
Over four decades, Winston Churchill’s views on Zionism and Jews varied greatly. Without knowing his long held personal beliefs or the policies he adopted while the Jewish state developed, and only reading this speech, one would not know that he was a political opportunist and certainly not a “Gentile Zionist.”
David Ben-Gurion, Guideline for Zionist Policy, 1941
Jewish Agency head David Ben-Gurion emphasizes that a Jewish state will be a place for all, including Arabs, and calls for Jews to be better educated about the elements of a state.
The Biltmore Program
In New York, urging American (Jewish) support, Ben-Gurion proclaims the eventual establishment of a Jewish state.
Sir Harold MacMichael, High Commissioner of Palestine to Oliver Stanley, Colonial Secretary of HMG, Jerusalem
Before ending his term in 1944 as Palestine's High Commissioner, Sir Harold MacMichael suggested the partition of Palestine, "Jews and Arabs alike would enjoy the possession of their own respective territories, the former protected by international guarantees for their security, and the latter relieved from fear of further encroachments."
Jewish Request at the End of WWII: Let My People Go [to Palestine]!
Moshe Sharett urges British and US to open Palestine to unimpeded Jewish immigration from Europe.
Land Transfer Inquiry Committee Report
Circumventing the existing law on prohibition of land sales to Jews, Palestinian Arabs are found selling lands regularly and furtively to Zionists.
The Arab Case for Palestine, The Arab Office
During the 1940s, Arab states become increasingly opposed to Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine. Zionism is vigorously opposed. Arab state views are expressed before a post war American-British inquiry on Palestine's future.
Jewish National Fund – Minutes of a Meeting of Those Involved in Purchasing Lands, November 1946
The JNF estimated that upto 250,000 dunams - (a dunam = quarter of an acre) could be purchased if funds were available despite Arab opposition to sales and a steep rise in prices. By then, Jews owned 1.6 million dunams of land, with more than half of Palestine not owned by anyone.
1947 Truman Doctrine
Fearing Communist penetration of the Eastern Mediterranean, Truman at the beginning of the Cold War defines the region as a sphere of US national interest.
Remarks by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to the UN Special Committee on Palestine
Despite an officially anti-Zionist stance, Stalin’s administration endorsed the partition of Palestine in order to terminate British presence there, leaving the area open to Moscow’s penetration and influence.
Memorandum on the Administration of Palestine, June 1947
Published by the British Administration of Palestine, this summary emphasizes attempts at impartiality in governing the Mandate. It notes that in 1922, the Jewish community already possessed 'national' characteristics, while the Arab community’s composition was sociologically and economically divided and to a large degree impoverished by the war.
David Ben-Gurion and the Status-Quo Agreement – Jewish laws to be protected in the coming state
The Status-Quo Agreement is an understanding reached between David Ben-Gurion, then the chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, and a religious party leader in the period before Israel became a state. The letter stipulates that in the coming state specific Jewish laws and religious freedoms will be protected.
Report of the UN Special Committee on Palestine [UNSCOP], Summary
Earlier in 1947, Great Britain turned the future of the Palestine Mandate over to the newly established United Nations. Then in August 1947, the UN suggested that establishing an Arab and Jewish state with a federal union would be the best solution for the communal unrest there.
Abdulrahman ‘Azzam Pasha Rejects Any Compromise with Zionists
The head of Arab League says Palestine may be lost in a confrontation with the Zionists, but emphatically states that war is the Arab’s only option.
The Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Henderson) to the U.S. Secretary of State (George Marshall)
Loy Henderson's pro-Arab sympathies and anti-Jewish state attitudes represent a powerful view held by many at the US State Department's Near East section in the 1946-1949 period.
Saudi King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud to President Truman
No document better reveals the hostility which most Arab leaders and Arab states had in 1947 for Zionism and for a possible Jewish state. The Saudi King notes "that US support for Zionists in Palestine is an unfriendly act directed against the Arabs." The King's views were totally supported by US State Department officials including Loy Henderson and George Kennan who advocated strongly against Truman's support of a Jewish state.
UNGA (Palestine Partition) Resolution
The UN recommended establishing Arab and Jewish states in Palestine, with an international regime for Jerusalem. Zionists were jubilant; Arab states and the Palestinians were indignant and rejected two state solution. No Arab state is established, Israel is in 1948
US Government’s Position on the Future of Palestine
In March 1948, two months before Israel’s establishment, the US State Department sought to reverse the US vote in favor of partition for the creation of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine.
Israel Declaration of Independence
May 14, 1948: The Declaration recounts the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, the birth of Zionism, and recognition by the UN of a Jewish state’s legitimacy. It also promises that the state will be a democracy for all its citizens.
Great Britain. Palestine: Termination of the Mandate
This 10 page report, written by the British Colonial and Foreign Office, along with the 1937 Peel (Royal) Commission Report, is one of the two best summaries of the British presence in Palestine. Both are substantial in terms of content, detail and analyses; both were written from Britain’s perspective. Read these along with 1931 Census for Palestine to have a fuller grasp of the politics and the populations that shaped Britain’s Palestine’s administration from 1918-1948
Counte Folke Bernadotte’s Report: Conclusions of UN Mediator for Palestine
Subsequent to Israel's territorial successes from May 1948 forward, UN Mediator Bernadotte is assassinated after suggesting smaller borders for Israel. He does not mention Palestinian Arabs in his interim report.
Proposed Constitution for the State of Israel
This draft spoke eloquently about protecting individual, religious, and civil rights for all. Instead individual civil rights in Israel were protected by a series of Basic Laws.
UN General Assembly Resolution 194 Concerning Palestinian Refugees
The resolution states that refugees “wishing to return to their homes and live at peace (with Israel) should do so or compensation be paid…” Israel opposes the idea because it jeopardizes Israel as a majority Jewish state.
Israeli-Egyptian General Armistice Agreement, Excerpts
One of four agreements Israel signed in 1949 with Arab neighbors, it does not end “state of war,” between Israel and Arab states. No treaty is signed until 1979.
Admission of Israel to the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA Resolution 273
Upon admission to the UN, Israel's Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett said, "it was the consummation of a people's transition from political anonymity to clear identity, from inferiority to equal status, from mere passive protest to active responsibility, from exclusion to membership in the family of nations."
Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett to the Israel Knesset
Sharett gives an overview of Israeli foreign policy, key issues, and relationships with UN and Arab states.
Israel’s Law of Return
Jews worldwide are given the right to come to Israel and become citizens.
Menachem Begin on Whether to Accept Reparations from Germany
In an impassioned Knesset speech, Menachem Begin staunchly opposes accepting $1.5 billion in German reparations for Jewish deaths during WWII. No price, he believes, can be put on the lives lost.
Further reinforcing the Truman Doctrine, the US President promises military or economic aid to any Middle Eastern country resisting Communist aggression.
Statement to the Knesset by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion
In response to President Eisenhower’s demand that Israel leave Sinai, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion provides a detailed history of Israel at the UN and Egypt’s denial to Israel of use of the Suez Canal. He stresses Egyptian “injustice, discrimination, hostility, and boycott” imposed on Israel.
David Ben-Gurion’s “Vision and Redemption”
Ben-Gurion elegantly connects modern Israel from messianic redemption to Zionism, building the country through labor and immigration, with dual needs to remain actively linked to the Jewish diaspora and Jewish values through education.
Israel’s Basic Laws
With no constitution, citizen rights and government responsibilities are stated in 14 laws. The Judiciary is covered in the Seventh Basic Law, February 1984.
PLO National Covenant
Palestine Liberation Organization seeks Israel’s destruction through armed struggle. It retains this stated policy until December 1988.
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s Radio Address to the Nation
With tensions on its borders, Eshkol tries to reassure Israeli public. Instead he gives a “painfully faltering” speech. Popular and party disgruntlement follow, opening the way for Eshkol to turn over the Defense Ministry two days later to General Moshe Dayan.
President Nasser Speech to the Egyptian National Assembly
Nasser asserts that the conflict with Israel is not over access to the Gulf of Aqaba but the very existence of Israel; Egypt’s foes are Britain and the US that support Israel.
Israel Ambassador to the UN Gideon Rafael to the UN Security Council
A detailed outline is presented of events that led to the June 1967 War.
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser: Resignation Broadcast
In four days the Israeli army swept through Sinai. He acknowledged Israel’s pre-emptive strike. Nasser blamed the US and Britain for aiding Israel’s success, yet took responsibility for the Arab defeat and resigned. Immediately millions of Egyptians poured into the streets angry that he led the country to defeat, but loving him as a father, demanded that he stay as President. All the Egyptian military command resigned, but Nasser stayed in office till his death in September 1970.
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol Statement to the Knesset at Conclusion of June War
Two days after the conclusion of the June 1967 War, Eshkol, recounts the series of events that led to war, the war itself and the immediate aftermath. He reaches out to Arab states for peace seeking a path to peace with her belligerent neighbors. A week later, Israel will quietly messages Cairo and Damascus through the US, hat Israel seeks an end to the conflict. No answers are received.
Abba Eban Speech at Special Assembly of the UN, June 19, 1967
Following the conclusion of the June 1967 War, the Israeli government sent word to Egypt and Syria seeking peace plan that was intended to jumpstart a peace process with Israel’s belligerent neighbors, Egypt and Syria. The messages were sent through the US, but no response was apparently received.
The Israeli Government Designed Peace Plan Devised After the June 1967 War
Following the conclusion of the June 1967 War, the Israeli government sent word to Egypt and Syria seeking peace plan that was intended to jumpstart a peace process with Israel’s belligerent neighbors, Egypt and Syria. The messages were sent through the US, but no response was apparently received.
Lyndon Johnson’s Five Principles of Peace
President Johnson’s remarks became the philosophical outline for UN Resolution 242 passed in November 1967. Core to his view was that Israel would not need to return to the pre-1967 war borders, and that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states in the region should be protected.
Israeli Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin: The Right of Israel
Receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the Hebrew University following the conclusion of the June 1967 War, Rabin delivers a speech on behalf of Israel’s entire Defence Forces. He highlights the harsh realities of war, yet concentrates on commending the extraordinary efforts of Israel’s armed forces.
The Alon Plan
July 26, 1967: The Alon Plan reflects a response to Israel’s pre-1967 war border vulnerability seeking a future west bank arrangement that is not a strategic/geographic threat to Israel and its coastal plain population centers.
Arab League Summit Resolutions
Arab states declare “no peace, no negotiation, no recognition” with Israel after their collective defeat in the June 1967 War.
UN Security Council Resolution 242
The Resolution calls for unspecified Israel withdrawal from territories in return for right of all states to live in peace. It does not call for full withdrawal. It is the basis of Egyptian (1979) and Jordanian (1994) Treaties with Israel, and PLO (1993) recognition of Israel.
U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers Plan for an Arab-Israeli Settlement
Without any consultation with Jerusalem, Israel rejects US proposal for full withdrawal.
Transcript of Secret Talks between Egyptian National Security Adviser Hafez Ismail and US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger
October 6, 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the outbreak of the October 1973 War. From that war, Egyptian President Sadat welcomed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s engagement to fashion separation of forces agreements with Israel.
The “Galili Plan”
With less than three dozen Israeli settlements in the territories taken in the June War, the proposal is not for a vast settlement increase, but for economic, infrastructure, and industrial development of the areas.
UN Security Council Resolution 338 on a Ceasefire and Direct Negotiations Following October 1973 War
The October 1973 War broke the logjam over whether diplomacy could unfold to kick-off Arab-Israeli negotiations. Sadat used the 1973 war as an engine to harness American horsepower. In that he succeeded since US Secretary of State Kissinger saw Sadat’s leaning to Washington not only as a chance to begin useful negotiations, but of great significance to weaning the Egyptian President away from Moscow.
Memorandum of Conversation between Syrian President al-Assad and U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, December 15, 1973
U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger failed to persuade Syrian President Assad to attend the December 1973 Geneva Middle East Peace Conference. Assad saw the proposed conference, which it was, a ruse to cover up a "pre-cooked" Israeli-Egyptian arrangement. Assad wanted no part of implicitly supporting any agreement where Israel's legitimacy might be enhanced.
Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel
The US promises to implement an Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement and have the Suez Canal cleared. Israel sees eventual repopulation of Suez Canal cities as a sign that Egypt will not go to war again soon.
Israel-Egypt Separation of Forces Agreement
The US mediates an agreement separating forces in Sinai after the 1973 War; Egyptian and Israeli generals will negotiate additional details.
“Agranat Commission” – Yom-Kippur War
The Israeli government assigns responsibility to military leaders for failures leading to and execution of the War; though not assigned direct blame, Prime Minister Meir and Defense Minister Dayan resign in April 1974.
UN Disengagement of Forces Agreement
On Golan Heights, Israel agrees to limited withdrawal; UN places forces between Syrian and Israeli armies. With few exceptions this border remains almost totally quiet for more than forty years.
Promises about the Golan Heights’ Future by President Ford
President Ford promises that the US will give “weight” to any future Israeli peace agreement with Syria that Israel should remain in the Golan Heights.
Sinai II Accords, Egyptian-Israeli Disengagement Agreement
Cairo and Jerusalem agree to additional Sinai withdrawals, demilitarized zones, limited force zones and, importantly, placement of US civilians in Sinai to monitor observance of agreement.
US-Israeli Memorandum of Agreement Dealing with Future Negotiations
The US promises coordination with Israel on resumed negotiations, not to negotiate or recognize the PLO until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and accepts UNSC Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
Zionism is Racism UNGA Resolution 3379
Led by USSR and Arab states, Zionism is labeled as racist; the resolution is revoked in 1991.
Assistant Secretary of State Saunders on U.S. Foreign Policy and Peace in the Middle East
For the first time a US State Department official states the “legitimate interests of the Palestinian Arabs must be taken into account in the negotiating of an Arab-Israeli peace.”
Brookings Institute Report: Toward Peace in the Middle East
Outlining an Arab-Israeli settlement, it calls for Israeli withdrawal to “almost the pre-June War borders” and “extensive Palestinian autonomy.” The Carter Administration embraces the report for its policy.
Memorandum of Conversation: U.S. Secretary of State Vance in Israel with Israeli Foreign Minister, Yigal Allon
With candor, Israeli Foreign Minister Allon tells Secretary of State Vance that the Israeli Labor government would under no circumstances negotiate with the PLO until it gave up terrorism, recognized UNSC 242, and unequivocally accepted Israel’s right to exist. Only in 1993, did the PLO accept these premises, Sixteen years had then passed while Israel built settlements virtually without restraint in the territories.
Palestinian homeland – Jimmy Carter Remarks and a Question-Answer Session at Clinton, Massachusetts Town Meeting
Carefully stated, Carter says that there should be a homeland for the Palestinian refugees. He is the first US president to assert the need for a place for the Palestinians and for Israel’s right to exist in peace.
Minutes of a Policy Review Committee Meeting About the Middle East
When the Carter Administration entered office in 1977, an early foreign policy priority was to kick-start Middle East negotiations. In this Policy Review Committee Meeting, Carter’s staff proposed a negotiating outcome that would pass through a conference, including the withdrawal of Israel’s forces to almost the 1967 borders, bringing the PLO into talks as Palestinian representatives, all the while seeking to uphold Israel's security requirements.
Memorandum of Conversation Between President Carter and President Assad
This meeting between President Carter and Syrian President Assad was the only one they had during the Carter presidency. Carter wanted to learn what Assad’s requirements were for an agreement with Israel: borders, security, nature of peace, and willingness of other Arabs join. Assad doubted that the Saudis would join this process. When the conversation was finished, Assad made it clear that he was not rushing into an agreement with Israel, even if asked by the United States. Carter acknowledged to Assad that he knew little about the Palestinian refugee issue. Carter did tell Assad that the US was committed to the security of Israel. Assad did not say that the Soviet Union’s participation at a conference was necessary, in fact Assad noted how difficult his relations were with Moscow in the immediate past; Assad did tell Carter that it was Secretary of State Vance who first raised the possibility of Moscow attending such a peace conference. From American diplomatic sources we learn that Assad was very pleased to have been squired by Carter. For their part, the Israelis were deeply anxious about Carter’s positive statements about Assad made after this meeting.
Interview with Israeli Prime Minister-elect, Menachem Begin, Issues and Analyses, Jerusalem, Israel, ABC News ©
Prime Minister-elect Begin rebukes President Carter’s assertion that Israel will need to withdraw from almost all the lands Israel secured in the June 1967 war, especially Jerusalem and the West Bank. Begin is adamant opposed to dealing with the PLO. Begin refuses to relinquish Israeli decision-making to US preferences or dictates. These fundamental policy disagreements will remain unresolved between Begin and Carter for the duration of Carter’s presidency, and years after.
Hamilton Jordan, Memorandum to President Jimmy Carter, “Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics: The Role of the American Jewish Community in the Middle East,” June 1977
During their first months in office, the deterioration of the American Jewish community's political support for the Carter administration was so severe that Hamilton Jordan, his chief political strategist, suggested a detailed plan to stop the slide. His suggestions were not acted upon; anti-Israeli actions continued, with them adversely impacting Jewish support for Carter's 1980 re-election campaign.
Memorandum of Conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and US President Jimmy Carter
Following his surprise electoral victory in May, Prime Minister Menachem Begin traveled to Washington in an effort to establish a positive rapport with President Carter. While this initial meeting was cordial, each met the others’ stubbornness, a characteristic that would keep their relationship respectful but acrid for years to come.
Israel Framework for the Peace-Making Process between Israel and its Neighbors
Begin tells Carter that Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip will not be placed under foreign sovereignty; likewise, these areas will not be annexed, leaving them open for possible negotiations.
Conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin with Rumanian President Nicolai Ceausescu
The Rumanian president told Menachem Begin, that Egyptian President Sadat was interested in negotiations with the Israelis. This secret visit took place three weeks before Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan met secretly with Egyptian Vice-President Hasan Tuhami in Morocco where the topic of focus was also possible direct Israeli-Egyptian negotiations. The details of this meeting were not shared with the Carter administration that was focused on a comprehensive Middle East peace via an international conference.
Prime Minister Begin’s Report on Peace Treaties with Arab states and on his visit to Romania
Unknown to the Carter administration and one month before it issued the US-Soviet Declaration to convene an international Middle East Peace Conference, Prime Minister Begin tells the cabinet that he learned from the Rumanian president that Sadat wishes to have Israeli and Egyptian representatives meet in secret talks. That bi-lateral Dayan -Tuhami meeting takes place on September 16. Begin refers to advanced drafts of proposed treaties between Israel and each Arab state; he presents details about Rumanian Jewish immigration to Israel.
Dayan-Tuhami Meeting Minutes: The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations
Israeli and Egyptian representatives meet secretly in Morocco to test intentions for direct talks between their leaders, with details of the meetings unknown to the United States.
Joint U.S.-Soviet Statement of the Middle East
Naively, the Carter Administration believes that a conference with the USSR would start comprehensive negotiations; instead, the fear of Moscow’s engagement helps drive direct Egyptian-Israeli talks.
US-Israeli Working Paper on Conference Procedures
After brutally frank and caustic meetings between Israeli Foreign Minister Dayan and President Carter, the US relents to Israeli demands that a peace conference be only an opening for direct talks.
Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan
Common to both the Labor Party and to Begin’s government was a fear that the US would pressure Israel into unwanted concessions and deny Israel its right to sovereign decision-making. It was a concern that Dayan expressed in this October 1977 meeting, and one that he would articulate on several occasions during the Camp David negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Menachen Begin’s Address to the Israeli Parliament
Begin welcomes Sadat’s bold initiative, seeking an end to the conflict with other Arab states through negotiated treaties. Begin invites other Arab leaders to negotiate as Sadat was doing.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the Israeli Knesset
Sadat tells the Israeli people and world that he seeks a just and durable peace, which is not a separate peace, between Israel and Egypt. He equates statehood for the Palestinians as their right to return.
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s Autonomy Plan
Five weeks after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat flew to Jerusalem in November 1977, to accelerate Egyptian – Israeli negotiations, Begin brought to President Jimmy Carter, Israel’s response to Sadat’s peace initiative: political autonomy for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. No Palestinian state was considered.
Statements by Presidents Sadat and Carter in Aswan, Egypt
As part of a joint statement, President Carter makes promises regarding US’ role in coming Political-Military Committee Talks in Cairo and Jerusalem. Likewise presenting a four-point formula for resolving the conflict, these statements contribute to US-Israeli tensions.
Mark Siegel Resignation Letter and Conversation with President Carter
Siegel resigned over two matters: the administration’s policy of selling advanced fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which he believed a threat to Israel’s national security, and his sharp disagreement with the Carter White House for not allowing alternative views on policy matters to find their way to the President’s desk. Siegel’s detailed interview about the administration’s anti-Israeli viewpoints are explained here.
Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and their Delegations
After a year in office, the Carter administration’s initiative to achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors had stalled. At this White House meeting, Dayan reviewed Israel’s concerns about the West Bank and Brzezinski criticized Begin’s autonomy plan for the Palestinians. Begin and Carter’s mutual dislike over policy decisions continued to rise.
Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter, US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan at Camp David
In this meeting, the contents of which have not been released by the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) but are available from the Israel State Archives (ISA), Begin clearly committed that “perhaps one military settlement” in the Jordan Valley would be established during the three months of the treaty negotiations. The extraordinarily contentious public dispute on the settlements would mar the diplomatic success of the Camp David Accords and add tension to the already fraught Carter-Begin relationship.
September 17, 1978 – Conversation between President Carter with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan – Carter’s promises to Sadat on Jerusalem – Dayan’s reply, Camp David, MD
On the last day of negotiations at Camp David, President Carter asked Israel to accept the US position that Jerusalem was occupied territory; Dayan shot back in vigorous opposition, "if we had known that you would declare your position on Jerusalem, we would not have come here. This is the first time that we are confronted with an American position and specifically on the most sensitive issue. All your positions with regards to settlements are insignificant compared to our confrontation on the issue of Jerusalem."
Camp David Accords
With President Carter mediating, Sadat and Begin agree to two outlines: a framework for a treaty between them and to define Palestinian “autonomy,” not self-determination or a state for them.
Minutes of Departure Conversation Between President Carter and Prime Minister Begin
Begin agrees to halt settlements construction only for the duration of the peace treaty negotiations, not until Palestinian autonomy is applied. Carter erroneously believes that Begin made a promise to halt settlements.
Statement to the Knesset by Prime Minister Begin on the Camp David Agreements
Begin summarizes in great detail the contents and the political implications of the recently signed Camp David Accords. He reiterated Israel's continued presence in Jerusalem, per its June 1967 Law, and clarified the terms used in the agreements.
Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Embedded in the September 17, 1978 Camp David Accords were broad outlines for an Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty and a Framework for Palestinian autonomy. The details of both remained to be negotiated. Yet, obstacles to implementation of the Accords appeared almost immediately.
Memorandum of Conversation Between US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Saudi Arabian Prince Saud on Camp David Accords and Other Regional Issues
Nine days before the March 26, 1979 signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty, US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud carried out an extraordinarily frank conversation. It included discussions about their bilateral relations, common fears of regional turbulence, and Sadat’s building estrangement from Arab leaders.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 446: Territories Occupied by Israel
Carefully sandwiched between Carter’s high-risk presidential visit to Egypt and Israel on March 10, 1979—to solve contentious disagreements between Sadat and Begin—and the Peace Treaty signing on March 26, 1979, his administration gladly votes at the UN to deplore Israeli settlement building; including demographic changes in Jerusalem. After the Peace Treaty signing, until it leaves office in 1981, the Carter administration will continue to barrage Israel with condemnation for settlement building.
Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
Signed sixteen months after Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, it calls for establishment of diplomatic relations, staged Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, and American security arrangements to support the bilateral treaty.
Memorandum of Agreement between the Governments of the United States of America and the State of Israel
If Egypt breaches the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty, the US will enhance its presence in the area, provide military and economic supplies to Israel, and vote against any UN resolution contrary to the treaty.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 452
This was the second UNSC Resolution within four months supported by the Carter administration condemning Israel's settlement building in the territories. It too greatly angered the Israeli government and American supporters of Israel.
UN Security Council Resolution 465 Concerning Jerusalem, Settlements and the Territories
Showing its public opposition to Israeli actions in the lands taken in the June 1967 war, an area that the Carter Administration wanted reserved for Palestinian self-rule, it 'strongly deplores' Israel's settlement policies. Passage of the resolution three weeks prior to the New York and Connecticut presidential primaries, cause many Jewish voters to vote in favor of Ted Kennedy and not for Carter, helping to splinter the Democratic Party.
Venice Declaration on the ME Concerning Inclusion of PLO in Negotiations
It calls for “recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, a just solution to the Palestinian problem, the right to self-determination, [and] for PLO association to the negotiations.”
Summary of President Jimmy Carter’s Meetings with King Hussein
After the September 1978 Camp David Accords ended, the Carter administration diligently tried but failed to persuade Jordan's King Hussein to be part of the follow-on negotiations over Palestinian autonomy. Carter felt Hussein was obstructionist; Hussein did not believe in 1978 that the US could halt Israeli settlement building as promised then. Hussein was correct. He also believed that Palestinian Autonomy might have a negative impact on many Palestinians living in his kingdom. Hussein was skeptical of the US capacity to negotiate for his national interests. At the same time, privately, Egypt's Sadat was not displeased that the Jordanians remained out of favor with the US, and away from any negotiations that would detract from implementation of Israel's promised full withdrawal from Sinai, per their 1979 Treaty. In 1988, Hussein stepped away from the West Bank’s future; in 1994, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 on the Status of Territories Taken in the June 1967 War
(20 August 1980) https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/DDE590C6FF232007852560DF0065FDDB The Security Council, Recalling its resolution 476 (1980), Reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible, Deeply concerned over the enactment of a “basic law” in the Israeli Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, with its implications for peace and security, Noting that Israel […]
MOU Between US and Israel on Strategic Cooperation
It calls for building a mutual security relationship and for enhancing strategic cooperation to deter Soviet threats to the region. Establishment of a consultation framework is a key to the agreement.
Kahan – War in Lebanon
Conclusions suggest that Israel has no direct responsibility for the massacre of Palestinians in refugee camps in Beirut; Defense Minister Sharon resigns for ignoring the danger of potential bloodshed.
President Reagan Statement on the West Bank and the Palestinians
US endorses application of UN Resolution 242 to the West Bank and Gaza, and seeks Palestinian control over land and resources, and for the territories to be affiliated with Jordan.
Reagan and Shamir on US-Israel cooperation
Areas of bi-lateral political and military cooperation are noted to fend off Soviet involvement in the the Middle East, to assist Israel in building the Lavi aircraft, to assure an independent Lebanon, and promote Arab-Israeli negotiations.
London Document, Agreement between Israel and Jordan on an International Peace Conference
In Aprili 1987, the Jordanian King and Israeli Labor Party leaders secretly outlined a plan to convene an international conference to move Israeli-Palestinian talks forward through a conference format, but Likud opposition leaders in Israel squashed the idea.
MOA Between the US and Israel Regarding Joint Political, Security, and Economic Cooperation
It affirms close relationship between US and Israel based on common goals, establishes the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement, and institutes multiple regular meetings between Israeli and US officials.
Jordanian King Hussein on Hashemite Kingdom’s Separation from West Bank
Jordan's King Hussein made a strategic decision to disassociate administratively from the West Bank, leaving it to focus Jordanian national identity on only the east bank of the Jordan River. The PLO subsequently negotiated with Israel to rule over some of these lands, as codified in the 1993 Oslo Accords, but no Palestinian state was promised.
Hamas Charter, Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine
As a militant Islamic Palestinian national organization, Hamas's adherents believe that Israel is illegitimate and should be destroyed through Jihad. Hamas opposes all recognition and negotiation with Israel, and likewise opposes the PLO/PA who have negotiated and collaborated with Israel from time to time. Hamas and the PA's competition severely fragment the Palestinian political community.
Secretary James Baker, American’s Stake in the Persian Gulf, September 4, 1990
US Secretary of State James Baker warns that in a post-Cold War world the US would not let Saddam Hussein’s August 1990 invasion and erasure of Kuwait stand. Baker said that intimidation and force would not be tolerated. In January 1991, the US and its coalition partners ejected Iraq from Kuwait and restored its rulers.
U.S. Memorandum of Agreement to Israel on the Peace Process
As part of the preparations for the Fall 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, US Secretary of State James Baker drafted a memorandum of agreement between the US and Israel regarding the particulars of resuming the Arab-Israeli peace process. He opens by reiterating that the intention of the negotiations is to achieve a regional peace agreement based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
President George Bush I, Opening of the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference
After the 1991 Gulf War, the US orchestrates a conference with Israel, multiple Arab states, and Palestinians participating; the conference leads to bilateral and multilateral negotiations.
Israel-PLO Mutual Recognition Letters
Four days before signing the Oslo Accords, the PLO and Israel recognize each other. Israel’s Rabin worries about the growth of Hamas influence, thus elevates the PLO through international recognition.
Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self- Government Agreements)
Negotiated through the Norwegians, the Accords call for limited Palestinian rule in some of the territories; it did not call for a Palestinian state or an end to settlements.
Israeli-Jordanian Treaty, Excerpts
Jordan becomes the second Arab country after Egypt (1979) to sign a peace treaty ending the state of war with Israel. The Treaty addresses boundary demarcations, water sharing, police and security cooperation, environmental issues, border crossings, administration of Muslim holy sites and other issues.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s Reasons for Signing the Oslo Accords
(November 1, 1995) On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, September 13, 1993, an agreement between Israel and the PLO that spelled out potential Palestinian self-rule, scholars and diplomats who worked back then have written dozens of articles, published interviews, and participated in video documentaries praising and criticizing […]
United States Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995
In 1995, Senators Robert Dole and Jon Kyl introduced the Jerusalem Embassy Act to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The bill was adopted by an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress; it provided Presidential authorization to effectively delay the embassy move every six months, if deemed necessary for U.S. national security interests.
Shamgar Commission Report on the Assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
The Israeli investigation concludes that Yigal Amir is Rabin’s assassin. The Commission does not assess the impact on the assassin of the vicious language directed at Rabin for signing the Oslo Accords.
US-Israel Joint Statement on Strategic Cooperation
President Clinton and Prime Minister Peres agree to deepen cooperation between their countries through regular consultation in all economic, political, military spheres.
Wye River Memorandum on Unilateral Actions, Security and other Matters between Israel and the PA
With Israeli-Palestinian talks in a hapless state, President Clinton rejuvenates them. In the Arafat-Netanyahu agreement Israel shares Hebron, with the CIA playing a role in West Bank security.
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Levy Comments on EU – Israel Association Agreement
This is the third (1971 and 1985) and most extensive trade agreement signed between Israel and the EC/EU, emphasizing that more than half of all Israeli exports are to Europe. Virtually every conceivable area of sharing and exchange is noted in the agreement.
Context and Causes of Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli communal clashes, October 2000
During the May 2021 Israeli-Palestinian clashes, Arab citizens of Israel clashed with Jewish- Israelis. By comparison in October 2000, similar clashes were longer, more intense with similar underlying causation. Read the context with the findings of the Or Commission Report that investigated them.
Clinton Parameters for Negotiating Peace
After trying but not succeeding in having PLO leader Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Barak reach an understanding at Camp David in August 2000, he offers a US view of a final status agreement near the end of his term in office.
In the midst of severe Palestinian-Israeli clashes, the Report concluded as had many previous investigations that the two communities feared, disdained, and wanted to live separately from one another. From the report flowed the EU, UN, US, commitment to a two-state solution suggested in the 2003 Road Map for Peace.
UN Security Resolution 1397 Reaffirming a Two-State Solution
This is the first UN resolution to call for “two States, Israel and Palestine, to live side by side within secure and recognized borders.”
The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative
From an Arab summit, the initiative is revised several times since; it calls for normalization of relations with Israel, Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 lines, but states an imprecise resolution of the refugee issue.
President George Bush II on the Middle East, “The Future Itself is Dying”
He castigates PLO leader Arafat for support of terrorism and condemns Palestinian groups that “seek Israel’s destruction.” Bush suggests to Israel to support economically a viable Palestinian state.
A Roadmap for a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
As a negotiating plan it seeks an end to the conflict with reciprocal performance objectives. Israel accepts the plan with some reservations; Hamas rejects it out of hand. The plan is not enacted.
Address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Fourth Herzliya Conference
In his speech at the annual Herziliya Conference, PM Sharon articulates his view that the Quartet’s 2003 Road Map for Peace “is the only political plan accepted by Israel, the Palestinians, the Americans and a majority of the international community. We are willing to proceed toward its implementation: two states Israel and a Palestinian State living side by side in tranquility, security and peace.”
George Bush (II) and Ariel Sharon Letters
President Bush outlines view of Palestinian-Israeli settlement with Israeli Prime Minister: two state solution, borders to take into account changes in territories since 1967 War, and refugee resettlement in a future Palestinian state.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Address at the Herzliya Conference
In preparing the Israeli public, Prime Minister Sharon outlines his government's preparations for Israel's August 2005 unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Sharon's optimism includes hopes for a long-lasting Israeli-Palestinian agreement, rebuilding the Israeli econonmy, and improving citizen's security. Within a year of the speech, he suffers a debilitating stroke; the Gaza withdrawal in 30 months becomes a hazard to Israel's security.
Annapolis Peace Conference, Joint Understanding Read by US President George Bush II
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian leader Abbas meet in Washington to ‘kick start’ negotiations by implementing previous promises; the US is to judge performance to see if a treaty can result. It does not.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860
Following two weeks of Israeli-Hamas fighting, it calls for a cease-fire, and for a “lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by peaceful means.” The Hamas-Israeli war occurs again in 2013-2014.
Speech by U.S. President Barack Obama at Cairo University
Obama, to improve America’s image with Muslim public opinion, stresses that Islam is not that of the ideological radicals. His advocacy of ‘soft power’ distinguishes his administration from Bush II’s use of force. He did not state directly that Iran should be stopped from developing a nuclear weapon. He said that US commitment to Israel is ‘unbreakable.’ Nine years later Trump’s Secretary of State, also in Cairo heavily criticized Obama’s ‘soft power’ approach.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University
Thirteen years ago, then Prime Minister Netanyahu endorsed the evolution of a Palestinian state, stipulating that it had to be demilitarized, and he would not rule out a complete halt to settlement activity, noting that Palestinian refugees would not be resettled inside Israel's borders.
President Obama Statement on the Middle East, North Africa and the Negotiating Process
Focusing on the Arab spring and Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Obama seeks democratic reform in the region and advocates two states for two peoples based on the 1967 lines with land swaps.
Remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta
The speech is typical of high American office holders in summarizing the US-Israeli relationship; it affirms an unshakable relationship, support for Israeli security, and the need for negotiating progress.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Addresses AIPAC
Netanyahu devotes the bulk of his speech to the Iranian threat, its desire to acquire a nuclear weapon, and its sponsorship of terrorism internationally. He speaks proudly of the US-Israeli relationship.
Joe Biden’s Remarks to the Rabbinical Assembly in Atlanta, Georgia
Vice President Joe Biden emphatically tells a rabbinic group in Atlanta, “unambiguously, were I an Israeli, were I a Jew, I would not contract out my security to anybody, even to a loyal, loyal friend like the United States.”
US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act
Building on a collaborative relationship of over 50 years, the US once again affirms its strategic commitments to Israel through an additional “Security Cooperation Act.” The agreement bolsters American military and financial aid to Israel.
President Obama to the People of Israel
In Jerusalem, Obama affirms the bonds in the US-Israeli relationship, praises Israel’s democracy, calls for Israelis to support a democratic Palestinian state, and Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry at the Saban Forum
Kerry reaffirms that the US-Israeli relationship as an “unshakable bond” and calls for a two-state solution. He promises that the US will “never allow” Iran to gain a nuclear weapon.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Addresses the Knesset
As the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the Knesset, Harper asserts Canada’s long-time friendship with Israel. Two days later, Canada signs a strategic cooperation agreement with Israel.
Remarks on the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations by US Negotiator, Ambassador Martin Indyk
As part of the US negotiating team, Indyk enumerates why talks faltered after nine months. He asserts Israeli settlement activity undermined Palestinian trust for Israel. He also blames Palestinian indecision.
President Obama’s Address to the UN General Assembly
US President announces creation of a coalition of countries to fight against the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. His plan calls for limited US military action with supplies provided to others fighting on the ground.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Prosor’s Statement to the the UN
Prosor accuses the UN of duplicity and hypocrisy because it is constantly critical of Israel, but not of radical Muslims for killing of Yazidis, Bahais, Kurds, and Christians.
European Parliament Calls for Recognition of Palestinian Statehood in Context with Two States Living Side by Side
European Parliament calls for recognition of Palestinian statehood in the context for a negotiated two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis; it outlines the political and geographic contours for a negotiated outcome.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Address to the US Congress
Netanyahu praises the Obama administration for its support of Israel’s security, then roundly criticizes it for negotiating a deal with Iran that will not roll back its nuclear breakout time and for not demanding that before sanctions are lifted that Iran stop its support of terrorism and threats to wipe Israel off the map.
Remarks by President Obama on the Iran Nuclear Deal at American University
Vigorously promoting this Iran Deal as a viable way to block and limit Iran pathways to a bomb. While recognizing Israel’s intense trepidation to the deal, he forcefully claims that war remains the only alternative to accepting this agreement, or to any changes to the agreement.
PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly
Netanyahu reproaches the international community for supporting the Iran deal, the UN for its deafening silence against threats to Israel, and, against Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for promising to cancel all agreements with Israel.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s Address to the Brookings Institute’s 2015 Saban Forum
Kerry states five major objectives for US foreign policy in the Middle East: mobilize partners to defeat ISIS, work diplomatically to end the civil war in Syria, keep it from destabilizing friendly nearby countries, monitor Iranian adherence to the nuclear deal, and seek a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro’s Address to Security Conference in Tel Aviv
Claiming that Israel employs a double legal standard in the West Bank, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro receives a harsh rebuke for his remarks from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu; Obama administration continues to chide Israel for its management of the West Bank.
Remarks by US National Security Advisor Susan Rice at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum
US National Security Adviser, Susan Rice presented the Obama administration’s two pronged outlook toward Israel: strong and unwavering American administration support for Israel’s long term security, and emphatic opposition to continued Israeli settlement activities.
Memorandum of Understanding (military aid) Between the United States and Israel
The US promises Israel $38 billion in military aid over a decade, the assistance promised despite Jerusalem and Washington periodically differing over matters relating to Iran and the Palestinians.
Text of Egyptian-Drafted UNSC Resolution 2334 on Israeli Settlements
Despite a pattern of the US using its veto power to sink UNSC resolutions that were critical of Israel, the Obama administration in its last days in office, and deeply perturbed by Israel's settlement policies, abstained from voting on this resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, including East Jerusalem.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s Remarks about the Middle East and Arab-Israeli Negotiations
With exasperating passion, Kerry lashes out at Israel for its settlements construction as the major barrier to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Trump’s Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Saudi Arabia
Backpedaling from previously hardline statements on Islam, President Trump refers to Islam as “one of the world’s great faiths” calling for “tolerance and respect for each other.” He implored Muslim leaders to fight against radical Islam, which he portrayed as a “…a battle between good and evil.”
Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu in Joint Statement
After visiting Saudi Arabia, Trump meets with Netanyahu where both assert joint views on the peace process, Iran, regional cooperation, and the long-standing relationship between Israel and the US; Trumps second meeting with Netanyahu since taking office.
President Trump’s Speech Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
President Trump’s proclamation to “officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” breaks precedent. In doing so, he incurs bipartisan support in the US congress, but a flurry of criticism from analysts, diplomats and foreign leaders. In his remarks, Trump rebukes claims that he disqualified the US as a “reliable mediator” in future Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
Vice President Pence’s Speech to the Knesset
Vice President Pence firmly expresses American commitments to Israel’s security and commitment to the Arab-Israeli peace process. Palestinian Authority President Abbas and other Arab officials loudly criticize the speech and refuse to meet with Pence during his Middle East visit because of earlier US promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Ambassador Haley’s Remarks at UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East Situation
Responding to PA President Abass’ earlier speech at the UN and the PA’s rejection of the US as a legitimate participant in future Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Ambassador Halley clarified American positions on Jerusalem and the negotiating process.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Anti-Iran Deal Speech in Israel
With reams of evidence secured by Israeli intelligence, the PM calls out Iran for lying about their nuclear activities both before and since signing the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement with six countries.
Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People
(9 July 2018) https://www.timesofisrael.com/final-text-of-jewish-nation-state-bill-set-to-become-law/ 1 — Basic principles A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established. B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination. C. […]
Secretary of State Pompeo’s Speech at The American University in Cairo
(10 January 2019) https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2019/01/288410.htm Ten Years after President Obama spoke at American University in Cairo, Secretary of State Pompeo intentionally uses the same venue to deliver a Trump administration rebuke of the former’s policies in the region. Obama spoke of using ‘soft power;’ his predecessor George Bush II used military force in Iraq and Afghanistan; […]
Benny Gantz Campaign Launch Speech
A former IDF General, Benny Gantz’s speech officially launched his campaign to replace current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April 2019 elections. With pride of ownership, Gantz spoke of his love of Zionism, the Jewish people and the state of Israel. He intoned for new leadership, not-self-absorbed, reminding his listeners that his army career of 38 years reflected a keenness to protect the state, a place where he made tough decisions. He warned Israel’s adversaries while calling for an end to domestic divisions and corruption. He called for a moral government that will do its best for all of its citizens in the fields of education, business, health care. His maiden political speech reflected a definite pragmatic and centrist outlook.
Presidential Proclamation Recognizing the Golan Heights as Part of the State of Israel
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-recognizing-golan-heights-part-state-israel/ (25 March 2019) The State of Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats. Today, aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hizballah, in southern Syria continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel. Any possible future peace agreement […]
Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People
The plan builds on previous proposals for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and contains a US-Israeli agreement that sets forth final borders for two states. The plan contains multiple prerequisites for Palestinian behavior before either the US or Israel might agree to Palestinian statehood as well as a proposed $50 economic development package to be allotted over a decade.
Ambassador David Friedman—The Trump Plan: A Changing Diplomatic Paradigm for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman provides the most detailed Trump administration analyses of the prescribed two-state solution for terminating the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.
Coalition Agreement for the Establishment of an Emergency and National Unity Government in Israel
Israeli Likud and Blue and White parties agree to a three-year national unity coalition government with a rotation of Prime Ministers (Netanyahu and Gantz) to take place after 18 months. The Covid-19 pandemic, earlier paralysis in coalition formation, and President Rivlin's urging catalyze the coalition agreement.
Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates
President Trump announces the diplomatic breakthrough, in which Israel halts its plans to annex parts of the West Bank, and in return, the UAE agrees to full diplomatic relations with Israel. This took place without any Israeli commitments to withdrawal from lands it won in the June 1967 war.
Abraham Accords-US, UAE, Israel, Bahrain Recognition Agreements
Quietly pursued in the past, long-standing strategic ties between Israel and Gulf states have become public. Building on the historic Joint Agreement signed between Israel and the UAE in August 2020, the Abraham Accords serve as a framework for normalizing diplomatic relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.
Interview on Inside the Normalization Agreements Between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain
UAE and Bahraini ambassadors to the US provide incisively sharp assessments about why their peace accords unfolded with Israel in September 2020: to halt West Bank annexation, strengthen ties with the US, enhance national security purposes, and stimulate, if possible Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
Biden Administration provides detail to a two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
A week after Antony Blinken's confirmation as Secretary of State, the Acting US Ambassador to the UN outlined with considerable detail the administration's objective to an agreed, not imposed two-state resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gives his Inaugural Address to the Israeli Parliament
Prime Minister Bennett outlines and offers details for meeting domestic and foreign policy challenges facing Israel. He asks all the citizens of Israel to forge together under the banners of realism and practical solutions.
President Isaac Herzog, Assembled Speeches and Abbreviated Remarks, 2016-2021, June 21, 2021
Herzog recognizes the gap between Israel and American Jews, proclaiming the critical and immediate need for education of each community of the other.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Address to the United Nations General Assembly
Affirming Israel's strong relationship with the US and Jerusalem's normalized relations with six Arab states, Israel’s Bennett castigates Iran for its support of toxic regional insurgencies, and promising to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He makes no mention of the Palestinian issue.
Remarks by Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to the INSS 15th Annual International Conference
Bennett makes remarks about a new self-defense system, fears about Iran, managing the pandemic, economic growth, and Israel’s growing relationship with Middle Eastern Arab countries.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s opening speech as Israel’s 14th Prime Minister
Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid Party, graciously thanked his predecessor, Naftali Bennett for his service. As Prime Minister at least until a month or so after the scheduled November 1, Knesset elections, Lapid emphasized the value of Israel’s inclusive democratic principles. He affirmed a commitment to keep Israel a majority Jewish state, and with that support for a strong economy. While stressing Israel’s security and defense needs including those from “Gaza to Iran,” he spoke hopefully of solidifying Israel’s regional security presence based on the 2020 Abraham Accords.
The Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration
On President Biden's trip to Israel, he and Prime Minister Lapid affirmed the long term US-Israel Strategic relationship. The US committed itself never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and to work with other powers to curb Iran's destabilizing influences in the region. Washington also committed itself to strengthening and broadening the Abraham Accords.
Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly
The focus of Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s first speech at the UN was a political weather report of Israel’s relations with Arab neighbors. He lauded Arab states for embracing Israel, hoped that Israel could move toward a two-state solution with the Palestinians, and blistered the hate spewing from Hamas and Iran; Israel he said, would not tolerate Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.
President Isaac Herzog Op-Ed: Bahrain’s warm peace with Israel: What’s next?
In December President Herzog visited Manama, Bahrain, his fourth visit to a Middle Eastern country in 2022, (Abu Dhabi in January, Istanbul in March, Amman in June, and Sharm El-Sheikh in November), all aimed at bolstering Israel's economic, cultural and bi-lateral relations with Arab states. Talks on this trip focused on expanding trade and sharing among others, Israel's solar and desalinazation technologies.
The Attorney General’s position on the draft bill Basic Law: The Judiciary
After Israel's Attorney General, Gali Baharav-Miara met with Israel's newly elected Justice Minister Yariv Levin about the Netanyahu government’s proposal to overhaul the judicial system, the Attorney General crisply and cogently offers her opposition to that proposal. (Hebrew version included)
Eighteen Retired Israeli Supreme Court Judges state opposition to proposed Judicial Changes
In midst of the massive public protest against the Netanyahu government's suggested four changes to overhaul the Israeli judicial system, In response, Israel's Attorney General outlined her opposition to the changes and the manner in which they were taking place. Then the Israeli Supreme Court Justices petitioned the government to halt the changes and establish a public committee to review Israel's Basic Laws, including the Seventh Basic Law (1984) on Israel's Judiciary.
President Isaac Herzog’s Appeal to Compromise on Reform of the Judicial System
In a rare address to the nation, Herzog called for deliberate compromise in the wake of the Netanyahu government's proposed massive overhaul of the judicial system. It generated the largest public outpouring of opposition to a proposed policy, since the issue of German reparations to Israel was considered in 1951-52. Herzog sought to calm extraordinary high emotions.
President Isaac Herzog’s speech to the nation – Proposed Judicial Overhaul- Impact on the country
Following up his for compromise on the matter of the massive proposed judicial reform overhaul, President Isaac Herzog, in the starkest of terms, said Israel was at the “abyss of a civil war,” as opponents and proponents headed toward a consequential showdown. He characterized the attempted overhaul as “wrong, oppressive, and undermines our democratic foundations.” He suggested a wide ranging consensus compromise plan for the sides to consider. Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected Herzog's compromise plea.
President Isaac Herzog offers a far-ranging “People’s Directive” for a compromise to the judicial overhaul controversy
President Herzog offers a compromise to the coalition's proposed judicial overhaul in the forms of enacting a new Basic Law, and writing amendments to existing Basic Laws. Its detail suggests considerable behind the scenes discussion, and if only portions are enacted upon, this document could be seen in the future as a benchmark in Israel's "constitutional" history.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Two speeches to the Nation – continuing the judicial overhaul and pausing the legislative process
Prime Minister Netanyahu offers two speeches to the nation within four days, emphatically not pausing the judicial overhaul process and then calling for a pause to it. Netanyahu's 2012 firm statement protecting the Supreme Court's Independence is notable.