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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 20, 1967

ON SOVIET POLICY FOLLOWING THE ISRAELI AGGRESSION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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    East German Document describing the speech by Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) on the actions undertaken by the Soviet leadership before and during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Brezhnev tells the CC CPSU plenum that the Arab struggle in the Middle East has both a class struggle and a national liberation dimension. Brezhnev blames Israeli aggression for the start of the war and Arab blunders and low morale for the humiliating defeat of the UAR forces. Given the success of the Israeli Defense Forces, the Soviets were forced to consider diplomatic and political methods for saving the Arab leadership. When Israeli forces did not stop their aggression against Syria, threatening to overrun the Syrian capital of Damascus, Brezhnev claims tells the CC CPSU that Soviet leadership warned the Americans that the Soviet Army would have to intervene and, at the same time, threatened the Israeli that any further actions would result in Soviet involvement in the war. Brezhnev claims that, since the war ended just hours after the Soviets had made their threats, the imperialist powers acquiesced to Soviet demands. This German translation of Brezhnev's speech was circulated to the SED leadership.
    "On Soviet Policy following the Israeli Aggression in the Middle East," June 20, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SED Archives IV 2/1/362 https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113381
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113381

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