Different Names for the Same Thing: Imperialism, Zionism and Reaction
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How did the United States — which had so obligingly recognised the Yemeni Republic and provided Egypt with much-needed food aid under President Kennedy in the early 1960s — manage to redefine itself within a few years as Nasser’s Public Enemy Number One? US-Egyptian relations had begun to degenerate by 1964. Kennedy’s assassination was depicted in Cairo as a Jewish plot, and Nasser perceived his successor, Lyndon Johnson, as substantially less well-disposed toward the Arab world.696 The two countries disagreed on a multitude of global issues, from Yemen to Vietnam. There was one controversy in early 1964, when, under Egyptian pressure, King Idris of Libya announced that he would not renew his air base agreement with the Americans, leading to ‘one of the stormiest meetings’ Badeau ever had with Nasser.697 The US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, identified Nasser’s support of African ‘wars of liberation’ in general — and of the Congolese insurgency in particular — as the core of the problem between the two countries.698 The Egyptian press was increasingly critical of Washington’s Congo policy, and when the US flew in Belgian paratroopers to rescue a group of Western hostages in November 1964, a furious mob attacked the US Information Agency Library in Cairo. US diplomats felt that the Egyptian authorities did too little to avert this assault at the time, and failed to apologise adequately afterwards. They were hardly propitiated when a plane belonging to a personal friend of President Johnson was shot down by the Egyptian air force the following month. As a result, the new Ambassador Lucius Battle apparently spoke rather shortly to the Egyptian Minister of Supply.699
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Arab World Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Liberation Organisation Perpetual Aggression
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