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Soviet-Israeli Relations Under Gorbachev

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Master's thesis

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Upon Mikhail Gorbachevs accession to power on March 10,1985, Soviet- Israeli relations were generally in the same state as they had been since 1967 formal relations between the states did not exist. From this point in 1985, relations between the two states progressed from a state of virulent verbal exchanges to the restoration of full diplomatic relations on October 18,1991. When receiving this process, one can be mislead to point to 1987 as the year when the Gorbachev government began the active pursuit of relations, relegating the 1985 to 1986 to a period of little change form previous administrations. The years 1985 and 1986 were a continuation of the status quo, but not because of the desires of the Gorbachev government. Instead, this group did not believe that their situation was secure enough to initiate change in this period. Thus, in their view, before starting out on this obviously controversial path, they had to attack each of these forces. Then once these forces were weak enough for them to act decisively, they would do so. In the following pages, this paper will present how the Gorbachev team sought to reestablish ties with Israel within the framework of new thinking. First, the factors contributing to their belief that relations could, indeed, be reestablished will be examined. Second, a six step Soviet approach to relations will be presented. Third, the period 1985-1986 will be examined in regard to this six step approach. Fourth, the period 1987-1991 will be examined in the same manner. Fifth, the conservative resurgence in the final months before reestablishment of relations will be reviewed. The sum of this information will reinforce the view that the Gorbachev team had to creat and initiate a coordinated plan in order to surmount the obstacles and reestablish relations with Israel.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Geography

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