Israel's strategy in Africa, 1961-67

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research on Israel's relations with the African states has focused almost entirely on descriptions of Israeli assistance programs of the 1960s and early 1970s and the break in diplomatic relations by twenty-two African governments after the outbreak of the 1973 Middle East war. These accounts are not based on archival sources and deal little with the strategy Israel pursued in Africa in the 1960s. Recently declassified documents in the Israeli State Archive, as well as the archives of Britain and the United States, make possible an elucidation of Israel's strategy in Africa from 1961 to 1967, identification of the policies that Israel adopted to achieve its goals, and an evaluation of the measure of their success. This work argues that early achievements in Africa (the late 1950s and early 1960s) notwithstanding, Israel had by 1967 largely failed to attain its strategic objectives on the continent. Five themes in Israeli foreign policy provide the setting for this article. These are, briefly defined, Israel's diplomatic isolation during the early period of statehood and the geo-strategic dimension of the attempt to relieve that isolation; Arab-Israeli competition outside the Middle East; arms sales and the pursuit of influence; attempts to ally with Western objectives; and the quest for funding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-87
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Israel's strategy in Africa, 1961-67'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this