For three years following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, Egypt, with a massive infusion of weaponry from the Soviet Union, continued to do battle with Israel in what became known as the War of Attrition. The history of these years holds the key to understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict today. In this book, David A. Korn offers a detailed insider’s account of the first—and, until recently, the only—U.S.-Soviet cooperative effort to bring peace to the Middle East and an explanation of the origin of the “land for peace” formula. He relates a fascinating story of political intrigue in Washington and Jerusalem that stymied the efforts of peacemakers; of Egypt’s massing a huge army along the west bank of the Suez Canal; and of Israel’s desperate search for a strategy to hold the east bank with a token force and minimal losses. He also describes the incredible miscalculation that nearly plunged Israel into war with the Soviet Union and the great heroism on both sides of the Suez line. This book fills a large gap in the history of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors and is the first to analyze war and diplomacy in the Middle East during the critical years of 1967–1970 from the Egyptian as well as the Israeli point of view. To both, Korn brings penetrating insights based on a wealth of materials never before published. It is a gripping story by a writer who had a grandstand seat on the line.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- By Other Means -- The United Nations at Center Stage -- Between Cairo and Washington and Cairo and Moscow -- General Rabin Goes to Washington -- Nasser Goes to War Again -- To Hold the Canal Line -- Political Wars -- The Powers -- Escalation -- Soviet Intervention -- Behind the Lines -- An Electronic Summer -- To Stop Shooting and to Start Talking -- Cease-fire and Breakdown -- Epilogue -- United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 -- Resolutions of the Arab Summit in Khartoum -- Letter from U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers to Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad -- Letter from Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin to Secretary of State William P. Rogers -- Cease-fire Agreement -- Note on Sources
David A. Korn was deputy chief and then chief of the political section at the American embassy in Israel from 1967 to 1971. He later served as the State Department’s office director for Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs and as U.S. envoy to two African countries. He is the author of books on Ethiopia and Iraq.