The Holocaust Historiography Project

A Brief Chronology of the 'Special Relationship'


U.S. recognizes Israel; Israeli forces occupy territories assigned to Palestinians by U.N. partition plan; massacre at Deir Yasin by forces commanded by Menachem Begin; other massacres, expulsions by Israeli forces create unsolved Palestinian refugee problem; U.N. mediator Folke Bernadotte murdered on orders of Yitzhak Shamir; President Truman authorizes initial U.S. economic aid to Israel, which reaches an estimated $90 billion by 2001


Israeli army unit commanded by Ariel Sharon attacks West Bank village of Kibya, dynamiting numerous homes, killing over 50 civilians


Israeli agents bomb American installations in Egypt in an attempt to rupture U.S.-Egyptian relations


U.S., under Eisenhower, condemns Israeli invasion of Egypt, pressures Israel to withdraw from Sinai in the next year


Israel invades and occupies parts of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, annexes, for all practical purposes, East Jerusalem; U.N. Resolution 242 calls for Israel’s withdrawal from these territories; Israeli aircraft attempt to sink U.S.S. Liberty, monitoring Israel’s impending attack on Syria, murder of Egyptian POWs (34 Americans killed, 171 wounded), as President Johnson orders U.S. fighters sent to relieve the Liberty back to carriers; Washington facilitates cover up of Israel’s responsibility


Jewish Defense League, U.S.-based pressure group, comes under operational control of Yitzhak Shamir, former operations director of Israeli spy agency Mossad; JDL begins murderous terror campaign against Soviet diplomatic and cultural activities in the U.S.

1960s, '70s

Nuclear materials and know-how smuggled from U.S. help Israel to become an atomic power, defying American-backed international strictures against nuclear proliferation; Israel’s atomic arsenal remains a political taboo in the U.S.


Egypt and Syria attack Israel to regain occupied territories; massive U.S. arms airlift enables Israeli victory; Arab states begin oil embargo; Senator William Fulbright states “The Israelis control the policy in the Congress and the Senate.”


U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George Brown, reveals Israeli emissaries pressure Pentagon for arms, promising: “Don’t worry about the Congress. We'll take care of Congress"; Sen. Fulbright defeated in Arkansas primary after heavy donations from Jewish contributors to his rival, the first of several Congressional critics of U.S. Mideast policy to be targeted and defeated by Zionist fundraisers


Seventy-six senators sign a petition warning President Ford not to diminish support for Israel


Prime Minister Menachem Begin launches invasion of Lebanon in reprisal for Palestinian attacks; Egypt and Israel reach accord over occupied Sinai at Camp David, Maryland


Israeli air force destroys Iraq’s nuclear reactor; Israel annexes Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967; Begin condemns President Reagan’s weak condemnation as treating Israel like a “vassal state,” calls Reagan administration “anti-Semitic” for proceeding with sale of AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia


Israel invades Lebanon after wounding of its ambassador to Britain; Israeli bombing and shelling of Beirut kills 20,000, mostly civilians (Israel flouts U.S. law by employing munitions supplied only for use against attacking armies); evacuation of PLO forces to Tunisia; U.S. military intervention; after assassination of Lebanese premier, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon facilitates massacre, by Lebanese Christian faction, of over a thousand unarmed Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps


U.S. embassy (80 dead) and Marine barracks (260 dead) blown up in separate terrorist attacks


Israelis retreat from Lebanon, but continue to employ mercenary force in the south; Israeli air force bombs PLO headquarters in Tunis with heavy loss of life; Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew employed by U.S. naval intelligence, is arrested as a spy for Israel, subsequent investigation revealing vast security damage and probable passage of data from Israel to the U.S.S.R.


First intifada — Palestinians riot against three decades of Israeli military rule; Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin orders Israeli troops to break bones of youthful demonstrators; hundreds of Palestinians are shot dead for trivial offenses


Israeli troops kill 17, wound hundreds of Palestinians protesting Jewish zealots' laying of temple cornerstone near Muslim shrines in Jerusalem


Accords reached between Israeli PM Rabin and PLO chairman Arafat at Oslo provide for Palestinian recognition of Israel, Palestinian self-rule on West Bank, Gaza strip; Israel continues to build and expand settlements on Palestinian territory


Rabin assassinated by Zionist fanatic with links to the Israeli security service


Israelis open tunnel under Muslim mosques in Jerusalem, triggering riots in which 70 Palestinians die


President Clinton brokers accords between Israel and Palestine, supposedly to regulate Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, near Wye River, Maryland; the U.S. and Israel reportedly reach a (still secret) strategic agreement at Wye

Sept. 28, 2000

Sharon, leader of the Likud party, visits Al Aqsa mosque, site of third holiest spot for Islam, accompanied by 1,000 police and soldiers, who fire on Palestinian protesters, igniting second, “Al Aqsa” intifada; presence and conduct of Israeli settlers, now numbering around 300,000, chief focus of Palestinian rage

Feb. 6, 2001

Sharon elected prime minister; in following months, intensified suppression of demonstrations, Palestinian reprisals, including killing of Israeli settlers, suicide bombings in Israeli cities

Sept. 3, 2001

Israel and U.S. delegations exit U.N. anti-"racism” conference in Durban, South Africa, after condemnation of Israeli policies

Sept. 6, 2001

U.S. State Department spokesman dismisses proposed enforcement of laws barring Israeli use of American-supplied heavy weapons against Palestinian civilians as “legalistic”

Bibliographic information
Author: Theodore J. O’Keefe
Title: A brief chronology of the 'special relationship' [with Israel]
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: July/August 2001
Issue: Volume 20 number 4
Location: page 6
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.