World: The Middle East: Shifting Into Neutral

FOR more than two decades, the U.S. has in large measure served as Israel's benefactor, a role that the Soviet Union has more recently assumed in behalf of the Arab states. Initially the U.S. position was dictated less by strict geopolitical considerations than by moral impulse—a desire somehow to compensate the Jewish people for the horrors of World War II. Politics, too, played a part, especially among Democratic Presidents who needed the urban Jewish vote. The long-term U.S. role is in the midst of a transformation, however, and the Israelis are plainly alarmed....

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