By West, I mean, countries that have the majority of the population are of European descent, no matter in which part of the world the country is located.

Did they all establish diplomatic tires voluntarily? Or, like what we saw recently that four Arab countries were pressured to accept Israel, did the US pressure roped some countries in?

  • 2
    How would we prove that the country accepted Israel because of diplomatic pressure? Even if there was some Western country that had not yet recognized Israel's right to exist, and even if there was diplomatic pressure (as a side question, what, exactly is diplomatic pressure?) from the US to do so, how would we begin to prove that was what led to recognition?
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 2, 2021 at 16:41
  • Taking my side note from my other comment: how could diplomatic pressure cause a sovereign nation, in and of itself, to do anything? Diplomacy, by definition, is "the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or intergovernmental organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means." How is one country going to force another to recognize a third, where doing so is/could be contentious to its population, through dialogue and negotiation alone?
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 2, 2021 at 16:44
  • 4
    A little more historical research would probably help you answer the question yourself. First, take a look at this list of when countries established diplomatic relations with Israel. Find the countries you're interested in, and see how many of them recognized Israel around 1948. Remember that some of those "Western" countries didn't exist prior to the 1990s. Most importantly, recall that the "special relationship" between Israel and the US didn't exist prior to the 1960s. That seems to leave Spain and Portugal.
    – Juhasz
    Jun 2, 2021 at 17:28
  • @Juhasz apologies, I read this after my answer and I didn't mean to "steal" it. You really should have posted it as answer. as is, it was good enough. Jun 2, 2021 at 18:15
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica, I didn't want to post an answer because I don't have a clear picture of what was going on in Spain and Portugal. Anyway, I appreciate your concern, but I'm not overly worried about my score here, so "steal" away.
    – Juhasz
    Jun 2, 2021 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


First this is not strictly answerable as diplomatic pressure is usually kept very discreet.

Second, I suspect not. Looking at International recognition of Israel you'd see most European-descent states recognized Israel before the US got to be a very close Israeli ally (which happened in 1967/1973 and after the Suez Canal crisis in 1956 during which the US acted against Israeli interest).

However, Eisenhower (1890-1969) also issued stern warnings to the French, British and Israelis to give up their campaign and withdraw from Egyptian soil. Eisenhower was upset with the British, in particular, for not keeping the United States informed about their intentions. The United States threatened all three nations with economic sanctions if they persisted in their attack.

Sort by de jure recognition date and you see most Euro-descents, including Soviet Bloc and South America, had recognized Israel by 1952, way before this. Greece in 1990 is an exception and so is Germany in 1965 (most more recent entries didn't exist before USSR and Yugoslavia breakups). Spain too, 1986 (good catch, JamesK). From those, only Greece doesn't have obvious reasons for late recognition.

Europeans felt themselves under a huge moral pressure to make a clean break from anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. The Holocaust wasn't just Germany's fault, it was centuries of persistent rumors, religious beliefs, laws, hatreds and persecutions by Westerners that led up to it, even if it took someone like Hitler to bring it to its genocidal conclusion. Any place predominantly European but which included some Jewish people probably had some skeletons in its closets.

Now, if your question was extended to recent Arab recognitions of Israel, then yes, it would be hard to argue that the US has not had huge diplomatic impact. But to Euros? Doubt it.


All actions to recognise were de jure voluntary (how could they be otherwise) but this doesn't mean that there was no pressure from the USA and other countries

Most "Western" countries recognised Israel in 1948 or soon after. At this time much of Europe was in the Soviet Sphere of Influence and so you should really look to the influence of the USSR (and its 1948 recognition, (before that of the USA)).

There were a couple of exceptions: Among them was Spain, which retained a cryptofascist dictator, General Franco. After Franco's death there was a period in which there were internal and external pressures on Israel, not least the 1982 Lebanon war. The Soviets had, by this time, broken off relations with Israel (but not withdrawn recognition) and this meant that there were left-wing and right-wing groups that opposed Israel, for different reasons. However Felipe Gonzalez, keen to normalise Spain's position in the international order, pushed his party towards recognition.

So was this the USA forcing Spain to recognise Israel? No, absolutely not. Was their US diplomatic pressure? Probably, but the Spainish socialist workers party was hardly a US lapdog! Felipe Gonzales recognised the contribution of Sephardi Jews and others from across Europe to the International Brigades of the Spanish civil war. He was keen, when the time was right, to normalise relations with Israel, independent of any kind of US pressure.

So the answer to your question is a qualified "No". The nearest example of a country being roped into recognition is Spain, and this is on further analysis not an example at all.

(principle source)

  • 2
    Spanish socialist workers party was hardly a US lapdog Felipe González's did try to get on the good side of the USA and other EU countries (for example, in 1982 he did campaign on the promise of Spain leaving NATO, but later it ended in a referendum at which his government went all out in favor of remaining). That is not to say that he was "forced" to recognize Israel, but certainly getting a better relationship with the USA and other EU countries did probably help the new policy.
    – SJuan76
    Jun 2, 2021 at 20:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .