Publication Year



Politics, history, Soviet Union, Israel, international relations, foreign policy


History | International and Area Studies | International Relations | Political Science | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies


Following a history of conflicts with its Jewish nationality and ideological quarrels with the cause of Zionism, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics surprised an expectant world audience when, in 1947, Gromyko announced before the United Nations that the Soviet Union supported the partition of Palestine into autonomous Jewish and Arab states. This was the first time in history that Russians had supported any significant Zionist interest.

What interests were at stake in the Soviets' decision to vote for the partition of Palestine, which led to the establishment of Israel? Have worsening relations between Israel and the Soviet Union since 1948 been the result of an ideological difference, or rather some pragmatic interest? Under what conditions does Soviet national interest override ideological considerations in the formulation of Soviet foreign policy?

The purpose of this paper is to examine the foreign relations between the U.S.S.R. and the state of Israel in an effort to ascertain the relative roles of ideology and national interest as determinants of Soviet foreign policy. The hypothesis is that Soviet relations with Israel, and more generally, Soviet attitudes towards the Jews as a people, tend to be dominated by a persistent concern with national interests.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Political Science