Soviet Policy toward Israel under Gorbachev

By Robert O. Freedman | Go to book overview

3 Soviet-Israeli Relations, 1987-1988: A New Beginning

Gorbachev, Peres, and the Quest for an International Conference

By the beginning of 1987, not only Moscow was , actively working to bring about an international peace conference on the Middle East; so too was Shimon Peres. When he assumed the post of foreign minister in October 1986 (after stepping down as prime minister under the government's rotation agreement), Peres began to call for an international conference, which he believed would precipitate new Israeli elections and regain him the post of prime minister. Given this opportunity to work with Peres toward a mutual objective, Mikhail Gorbachev would pursue it energetically, particularly as the United States, under an administration weakened by the Iran-contra scandal, was increasingly pressured by such Arab states as Egypt and Jordan to agree to a conference. Partly to deflect this pressure, Prime Minister Shamir traveled to the United States in mid-February, where he branded the idea of an international peace conference "a Soviet-inspired notion supported by radical Arabs."1 ( Shamir also unsuccessfully sought to persuade the U.S. government to deny refugee status to Soviet Jews to deter them from coming to the United States.) At the same time,

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Soviet Policy toward Israel under Gorbachev
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • THE WASHINGTON PAPERS ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • About the Author xi
  • Summary xiii
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • 2- Efforts to Improve Relations With Israel, 1985-1986 9
  • 3- Soviet-Israeli Relations, 1987-1988: A New Beginning 31
  • 4- Soviet-Israeli Relations, 1989-1990: Toward a New Relationship 66
  • 5- Conclusion 94
  • Notes 105
  • Selected Bibliography 129
  • Index 137
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