US-Israel ties: first 50 years


1947 UN partitions Palestine into two states - one for Jews, one for Palestinians.

1948 Mideast states invade; Jewish forces prevail, declaring Israeli independence. More than 300,000 Palestinians flee or are forced out of Jewish-controlled areas.

President Truman recognizes Israel.


1953 CIA helps Iran's military stage a coup against the democratically elected prime minister, whom the US views as a Communist threat.

1955 Egypt turns to Czechoslovakia for arms, raising US fears of a Soviet foothold in Middle East.

1956 Suez crisis. Israel attacks Egypt for control of the Suez Canal, with the support of Britain and France. US threatens Britain with oil sanctions and eventually forces an end to the war.

US announces it will not sell arms to Israel because it fears confrontation in the Middle East.

1957 US announces Eisenhower doctrine, offering military and economic aid to any Middle Eastern nation threatened by communism.


1962 President Kennedy authorizes sales of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel.

1966 US sells its first jet bombers to Israel.

1967 Six-Day War. Israel launches strike against Arab neighbors, capturing Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. It is the last time Israel will fight without US-supplied weapons. UN calls for Israel to withdraw. Israel refuses.


1972 Members of Palestinian group Black September kill 11 Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics.

1973 Yom Kippur War. Egypt and Syria attack Israel over the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. US airlifts $2.2 billion in emergency aid and weapons, turning tide in Israel's favor. Arab states cut US oil shipments.

1978 Egypt and Israel sign US-brokered Camp David peace treaty. Eighteen Arab states impose an economic boycott on Egypt.

1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini leads Islamic revolution in Iran.

Iranian students storm US Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage for 15 months.

US aid to Israel reaches a peak of 34 percent of total US foreign aid.


1981 Israel bombs Iraqi nuclear reactor.

Egypt President Anwar Sadat is assassinated by Muslim militants opposed to peace.

1982 Israel invades Lebanon to expel the Palestine Liberation Organization and try to influence Lebanese election.

It creates a buffer zone along its border. More than 600 Lebanese are massacred by Christian militants allowed into refugee camps by Defense Minister Ariel Sharon.

US and other nations send peacekeepers to Lebanon.

1983 A truck bomb explodes in US Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 soldiers. US forces withdraw.

1987 Start of the Palestinian intifada in the West Bank.


1990 Iraq invades Kuwait; links pullout to Israeli withdrawal from occupied areas.

1991 Gulf War. US and coalition lead three-month operation from Saudi Arabia that liberates Kuwait. US troops still stationed in that country.

1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sign peace declaration.

1994 Jordan and Israel sign peace treaty.

1995 Rabin is assassinated by an Israeli gunman opposed to peace.


2000 US-brokered negotiations at Camp David between Israel and Palestinians fail.

Prime Minister Sharon visits the Al Aqsa Mosque, a site sacred to both religions, with an armed entourage. This sparks the Palestinian uprising that continues today.

2001 A plan designed by US Sen. George Mitchell, outlining the current framework for Mideast peace, is released.

Members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine assassinate Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi. In retaliation, Israel sends tanks deep into Palestinian towns.

SOURCES: 'The Middle East' (Congressional Quarterly), Federation of American Scientists, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.