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IPFS News Link • Israel

The story of when Israel attacked America, and the US government sided with Tel Aviv


On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked an American intelligence ship named the USS Liberty. The incident left two-thirds of the ship's crew dead or injured, in an intentional assault by the Israeli military, yet the US government's response was to move on and become closer with Tel Aviv. It could be argued that this set a precedent for Israel to kill US citizens with impunity.

It was four days into the Six-Day War. Israel had occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, defeated the Jordanian military, crushed the Egyptians, and was having success against Syria. Tel Aviv had told the US it would be a limited war, in which it would not pursue the seizure of areas such as the Syrian Golan Heights or Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. However, Israel was poised to do just that.

Floating in the international waters of the Mediterranean, off the coast of Egypt, a state-of-the-art American ship carrying around 300 crewmen was stationed to gather intelligence that was key to Washington's interests in the region. It was during the Cold War, and Israel was taking on three of the most problematic Middle East allies of the Soviet Union: Egypt, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The conflict, about to end in just a few days' time, would reshape the region in the West's favor and earn Tel Aviv its position as one of America's top allies.