History 439

The United States and the Formation of Israel

February 13, 2007


I. World War II and Run-up


            1. The League and the Middle East (mandate system and Senate opposition; 1920s difficulties)


            2. Origins of Oil Diplomacy (Red Line Agreement—Hoover and BFDC; emergence of Saudi Arabia and significance of Depression)


            3. Origins of War (flashpoints: Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey)


II. World War II and Aftermath


            1. US Entrance (FDR strategic vision; FDR and domestic politics; Churchill and Balkans, Stalin and Second Front, decision for North African campaign; Darlan Deal and complications of Vichy diplomacy; Britain and El Alemain; pincer campaign, Rommel defeat, fall of Tunisia—German pows)


            2. Iran (origins of Cold War; wartime divisions and Soviet promises; contradictory Soviet goals: Azerbaijan and Kurdish separatist movements, Tudeh coup?, desire for oil; Shah/Qavam rivalry; US hesitation—significance of Long Telegram; appeals to UN; Soviet withdrawal and increased tensions)


            3. Turkey (World War II legacy; Soviet pressures—straits, northeast, Kurdistan; Greek civil war and US dilemmas; Missouri to Instanbul; Truman and Congress; path to Truman Doctrine; effects)


            4. North Africa (wartime legacy: British-American tensions, FDR, and question of imperialism; Egypt and US open door philosophy; fate of Libya—British desire for Cyrenaica, Soviet demand for joint trusteeship with Italy, US opposition to both; idea of Libyan independence as alternative—British support from Arab League, compromises on Somalia; independence)


            5. Israel (FDR’s record: refugees, opposition to congressional action; postwar shift in opinion—Truman, congressional pressure, displaced persons (500,000); British recalcitrance; partition proposal; pressures on Truman—Congress, American Jews, State Department Arabists, military, fear of being outflanked by Soviets; stalling policy—supporting partition, arms embargo, trustee?; decision to recognize; limitations of move; Israeli foreign policy and Cold War)