Nixon and Israel

Forging a Conservative Partnership

By Noam Kochavi

Subjects: Israel Studies, International Relations
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9781438427829, 156 pages, July 2010
Hardcover : 9781438427812, 156 pages, August 2009

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Table of contents


Introduction: Beyond Geostrategy
1. Joining the Conservative Brotherhood
2. Israel, Soviet Jewish Emigration, and Idealpolitik
3. Kissinger, Soviet Jewish Emigration, and the Demise of Détente
4. Nixon’s Final Months, the Legacy of the Period, and the Lessons of the Case

New insights into the cementing of the American-Israeli relationship during the Nixon years.


Using a wealth of recently declassified American and Israeli documents, Nixon and Israel argues that ideational and psychological factors are an important complement to standard geopolitical explanations of American-Israeli relations during the Nixon years. Noam Kochavi looks at the emotional impact on senior American leadership of specific choices made by Israel outside the Middle East in the early 1970s, such as the acumen and sensitivity of Israel with regard to Nixon's fundamental concerns—"honorable extrication" from Vietnam and winning reelection. The book takes issue with the controversial argument that Israeli and American Jewish leaders joined forces to orchestrate a campaign designed to tilt American foreign policy in Israel's favor. To the contrary, the picture that emerges suggests that while Israel did adopt policies that altered Nixon's image of Israel, these policies were adopted not in concert with American Jews but despite American Jewish disapproval.

Noam Kochavi is Lecturer at the International Relations Department, Hebrew University. He is the author of A Conflict Perpetuated: China Policy During the Kennedy Years.


"Kochavi's book, despite its small size, is one of the first books dealing with U. S.-Israeli relationships during the Nixon administration based on recently declassified archival materials. It is hence an important book. " — Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

"Using a wealth of recently declassified Israeli and American documents, Kochavi has unraveled the evolution of Nixon's policy shift toward Israel … Kochavi's valuable contribution … stands as a corrective to those scholars who have tended to treat the Nixon administration's Vietnam policy and his Middle Eastern policy separately. " —Jewish Book World

"…this readable and exceedingly well-documented study casts new light upon interest group politics as well as the variety of personal factors and strategic considerations that influenced the issue of this emigration … It also highlights the manner in which ideational factors contributed to the evolving 'special relationship' between Israel and the US during the Nixon administration. " — CHOICE