Israel considered Nasser to be a genocidal maniac, who was intent upon exterminating the Israeli people. Israel also viewed with alarm the large amounts of Soviet weapons being accumulated by Egypt and Nasser's denial of Israeli shipping through the Suez Canal.
France and England began to bomb Cairo and northern Egypt, and Israel seized the Gaza Strip and large portions of the Sinai. English and French commandos attacked Port Said and Port Fouad at the Canal entrance; however, Nasser effectively blocked it to all shipping by sinking 40 ships that were in transit when the invasion started.
Failing to obtain a Security Council resolution due to vetoes by France and England, the United Nations General Assembly acted under the 1950 "United for Peace" resolution to recommend appropriate steps to end the fighting.
The General Assembly resolution was proposed by the United States. President Eisenhower believed that U.S. support of the invasion would cause a backlash in the Middle East, which would allow the USSR greater influence in the region.
President Eisenhower received Congressional authorization to use military force to stop aggression in the Middle East, if requested by any nation (The Eisenhower Doctrine). He also supported economic sanctions against Israel, including all private support, until it withdrew from Egyptian territory.
Under threats to be ejected from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, England and France withdrew their troops within a week; however, Israel threatened to annex the portions of the Sinai Peninsula it had captured. Succumbing to international pressure, Israel withdrew to its borders in 1957; however, there was no peace settlement with Egypt.
Attack on USS Liberty. In 1967, following earlier reprisal raids into the Jordanian occupied West Bank, which were condemned by the United Nations, Israel launched a surprise air and armor invasion of the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Fearing an Egyptian military buildup, the preemptive war by Israel lasted six days and resulted in the defeat of Egypt.
On June 8, 1967, the third day of the war, the USS Liberty, a United States spy ship, was on duty in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula monitoring the electronic communications of the warring parties. The Liberty was attacked, without warning, by Israeli Air Force fighter planes and Israeli Navy torpedo boats. Thirty-four Americans were killed, 170 were wounded and the ship was severely damaged.
Officially , both governments labeled the attack a mistake due to confusion about the ship's identity; however, all of the ship survivors and the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Dean Rusk, have always maintained the attack was deliberate. Israel subsequently paid compensation for the deaths, injuries and damage to the ship.
Secretary Rusk stated: "At the time of the attack, the USS Liberty was flying the American flag and its identification was clearly indicated in large white letters and numerals on its hull. " Experience demonstrates that both the flag and the identification number of the vessel were readily visible from the air". Accordingly, there is every reason to believe that the USS Liberty was identified, or at least her nationality determined, by Israeli aircraft approximately one hour before the attack. " The subsequent attack by the torpedo boats, substantially after the vessel was or should have been identified by Israeli military forces, manifests the same reckless disregard for human life."
Spying on the United States. Israel is not included in the "Five Eyes," a designation that allows the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand to share top secret information. It is understood that the Five Eyes do not spy on each other.
Israel is a member of "Friends on Friends," which is supposed to mean that friends don't spy on their friends. That supposition is not supported by the facts in the case of Israel, dating back to the beginning of the relationship.
Israel was able to jumpstart its nuclear program in the 1960s by establishing an undercover company in the United States to penetrate another company that provided weapons-grade uranium to the Department of Defense. Israeli agents were able to misappropriate 200 pounds of high-grade uranium for its secret atomic bomb program.
After being denied access by the U.S. government, Israel secretly obtained high-speed krytron switches used to trigger nuclear explosions by going through another intermediary company in California. Fifteen shipments of 800 krytrons were delivered to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1984. The owner of the company was indicted, and he and his wife fled to Israel. They were captured in Spain in 2001, extradited to the U.S., where the owner pled guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, but was released after four years.
Commencing in 1984, Jonathan Pollard, who was born in the United States, began to serve as a spy for Israel while working for U.S. Naval Intelligence. Pollard received $10,000 cash, a diamond ring and $1,500 a month for passing highly-classified intelligence to his Israeli controller, including nuclear targeting information for the Soviet Union and detailed information about the U.S. global electronic surveillance network.
Pollard's activities were discovered and reported by a coworker. His wife and his Israeli controller fled to Israel. Pollard was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. Israel refused to turn over most of the documents that Pollard had stolen and treated the investigation with hostility. It refused to allow the controller to be interviewed and promoted him to the command of an Air Force base.