ABSTRACT

The USSR broke off its diplomatic relations with Israel on 10 June 1967, at the end of the military phase of the Six Day War. From that time to the beginning of 1985, when the first influences of Gorbachev’s perestroika were faintly discernible, there was little motivation for change on either side. From the Soviet point of view, the strategic decision of the early 1950s to support the Arab side against Israel appeared to retain its political validity, despite a steady erosion of Soviet influence in the Arab camp after Nasser’s death. From Israel’s point of view, the USSR was seen as an implacable foe of the Zionist state, motivated by considerations of makhtpolitik supplemented by a visceral anti-semitism that honed the edge of whatever rational factors might be turning the course of Soviet policy against Israel.