Sunday, August 28, 2016

Israel's 1977 Elections CIA Intelligence Memo

A collection of more than 250 previously classified CIA documents, totaling over 1,400 pages, including some 150 that are being released for the first time, were uploaded recently.  

These documents cover the period from January 1977 through March 1979 and were produced by the CIA to support the Carter administration’s diplomatic efforts leading up to President Carter’s negotiations with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in September 1978. The declassified documents detail diplomatic developments from the Arab peace offensive and President Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem through the regionwide aftermath of Camp David.

From a file  dated February 1977:

In this CIA documents, an early February 1977 Intelligence Memorandum analyses the upcoming election in Israel. Most of the document's details are devoted to the Labor Alignment and the "key judgments" include "a victory by the ruling Labor Alignment is by no means ensured…the Labour Party will, at best, lose some seats". 

Most interestingly, "a growing possibility" is a Labor and right-wing Likud bloc "national unity government".  Due to Yigal Yadin's Democratic Movement for Change, the report identifies "serious inroads into Labor's traditional strength". The result of this is that the Labor Alignment "is at present running not better that even with, and may be trailing" the Likud. As such, the final election "scenario" is a "government of the right led by Likud with Begin as prime minister".  

If this occurs, the report sees that "at a minimum, strong and sustained US pressure would be needed to extract concessions from a Begin government."

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