The 5–10 June 1967 Six Day War between Israel and Arab countries presented a new challenge for the competing U.S. and Soviet Union. Moscow, disturbed by the harm to its prestige and standing in the world following the humiliated defeat of its two main clients in the Middle East—Egypt and Syria—was determined to abolish Israel's territorial gains as quickly as possible. In contrast, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration considered Israel’s striking victory an American triumph as well and believed that Israeli withdrawal from the territories captured from the Arab countries prior to their recognizing Israel's right to exist in the Middle East would be interpreted as American surrender to Soviet pressure and could harm the United States’ stature around the globe. The Arab–Israeli conflict thus became a test case of the two superpowers’ determination and capability in safeguarding the interests of their respective Middle East clients. Still, both powers had a common interest in preventing further escalation between the Arabs and Israel, fearing that it risked dragging them into direct collision.
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- Six day war
- United States
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science