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Moshe SharettBiography of a Political Moderate$
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Gabriel Sheffer

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279945.001.0001

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(p.370) 12 Non-Alignment
Moshe Sharett

Gabriel Sheffer

Oxford University Press

Non-alignment - the international political orientation that became the corner-stone of Israeli foreign policy in the late 1940s and early 1950s, was clearly, but almost as if unintentionally, publicly formulated by Shertok during a debate in the Provisional Council of State on 5 July 1948. In response to an attack on him triggered by rumours that he boasted of Israel's intimate ties with the West, Shertok hastened to explain that ‘Israel cannot adopt any slogan [i.e., policy] of an exclusive tie to any particular side. We need the support of both East and West. We are not going to give up our connection with the West, but the foundation of Israel is based on the UN [character and various resolutions]’. In his reference to the UN he wished only to emphasize Israel's strong inclination to keep a middle-of-the-road policy between the emerging blocs. Shertok expressed these same ideas when writing to Soviet and American leaders thanking them for their prompt de facto recognition of Israel immediately after 14 May 1948. These, however, were only the first shots in a long drawn-out battle which Shertok would conduct over this matter.

Keywords:   Israel, Shertok, non-alignment, foreign policy, Provisional Council of State

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