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Egypt-Israeli Conflict And The West Essay

  • Egypt-Israeli Conflict And The West

    Egypt-Israeli Conflict and the West

    The History of the conflict in the Middle East is long and
    well documented. To both, and to many biased observers the history
    of the Egyptian/Israeli conflict is very one sided, with one
    government, or one people causing the continued wars between the
    two neighboring states. But, as any social scientist of any reputation
    will state, all international conflicts have more than one side, and
    usually are the result of events surrounding, and extending over the
    parties involved. Thus, using this theory as a basis, we must assume
    that the conflict between Israel and Egypt is more complicated than a
    partial observer would see it. For the purpose of this paper, we are
    going to examine the basic factors of Egypt's Involvement and conflict
    with Israel, with some emphasis on the involvement of the United
    State, and the Western Nation in this conflict. Also, I wish to pay
    particular attention to the question of who, or what brought these
    countries into conflict. Were they both victims of their situation, or
    did they become actively involved in promoting conflict, or perhaps a
    third party source, such as the US pushed them into conflict?

    In 1948, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of
  • Israel was read by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv. The Egyptians, like
    most of the Arab states saw this as a creation of a Western State,
    backed by the British Empire, and thus an imperialistic entity in the
    Arab homeland. Considering the past 20 years of the Egyptian state,
    and of most of the Arab nations, was a continual conflict again
    imperial powers, the Egyptian were naturally weary and afraid of any
    new imperialistic powers developing in the Middle East. In September
    1947, the League of Arab States decided to resist by force the plan
    for the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish State, and
    when the Jewish state was created, the armies of the various Arab
    states entered into Palestine to save the country for the Arabs again
    "Zionist" aggression. The Arabs were defeated and the Arab Countries
    saved a small amount of land, the Transjordon, and the West Bank.
    Similarly Egypt saved strip of territory around Gaza.

    The causes of this war, and Egypt's involved can be examined
    in several ways. Obviously, the creation of the State of Israel by
    Ben-Gurion and his supporters provided a excuse for the Arab Nations,
    and Egypt to attack the Jewish population in Israel. As mentioned, the
    Egyptians saw the formation of Israel as an Imperialist state, and
    they were defending the land for the Palestinians, and more
    importantly for the newly developing arab unity. While the United
  • States was not actively involved in the war, either by providing arms
    or providing much assiezce, their actions did create an interesting
    and volatile atmosphere. As soon as the state of Israel was created,
    the United State quickly recognized the state and started diplomatic
    relations with the newly formed government. At the same time, the USSR
    recognized Israel, not wishing the US to be seen as the champion for
    the newly found state. Although there is no definitive proof, one can
    assume that Egypt, and the rest of the Arab nations felt the need to
    quickly react to the situation, in almost a type of fear that powers
    outside their Arab influence, such as the United States were quickly
    impeding on their territory, by using Israel as a means of their
    peaceful aggression.

    Still, Egypt was clearly the main aggressor in this inezce,
    and was not defending their own territory, but instead attempting to
    obtain territory, which they did succeed in acquiring, through the
    Gaza Strip. The Egyptian actions quickly set the tone of conflict in
    the Middle East, giving the Israelis no option but the take an initial
    purely military response in defense of their newly formed state. In
    the minds of the Israeli leaders, Egypt was nothing but a threat to
    the existence of the Jewish state, and thus, perhaps rightly, should
    only be dealt with as an enemy.

  • From the outcome of this poorly prepared war emerged Gamal
    Abdul Nasser, who commanded an Egyptian Army in Palestine. He
    organized a clandestine group inside the army called the Free
    Officers. After the war against Israel, the Free Officers began to
    plan for a revolutionary overthrow of the government. In 1949 nine of
    the Free Officers formed the Committee of the Free officers' Movement
    and in 1950 Nasser was elected chairman. In 1952, the Free Officers
    Movement led a revolution in Egypt and took power, under the newly
    formed Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) , with Muhammad Naguib as
    president and commander in Chief. Almost all leader in the RCC were
    soldiers, many who had fought in the 1948 war and this seriously
    affected the outlook of them towards Israel, and their policies
    towards Israel as a state. Most of them had some type of conflicts
    with the British and were totally, and completely against colonial
    power in the Middle East, of any kind.

    While Naguib was the head of the RCC and the government,
    Nasser was the real power behind Egypt. Although the first 2 years of
    the RCC's existence was a struggle of power, Nasser eventually won,
    and the Egyptian foreign policy was dictated by him. Within a few
    months Naguib officially began prime minister, minister of war,
  • commander in chief and the president of the RCC. Interestingly enough,
    Nasser took no direct actions during the next few years against
    Israel, but instead focused on internal colonization, by trying to get
    the British out.

    It should be mentioned that around this time, the great
    contracts against the USSR were formed and implemented. The North
    Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Southeast Treaty organization
    were supposed to contain the Soviet Union in the west and east. The
    Baghdad pact, brought Britain, Turkey, Iran, Pakiez and Iraq to form
    a barrier on the USSR's south borders. It seems that Nasser failed to
    see this importance, even when Britain initially refused to talk about
    leaving Egypt until Nasser agreed to an alliance. This decision
    affected him later, when he sough foreign aid.The United States seeing
    the growing cold war conflict in this region sought to use the
    conflict between Israel & Egypt to its advantage. While they didn't
    wish to offend either side, at the time, they couldn't yet pledge
    allegiance to either side.

    When in 1955, after the British had agree to eventually leave
    the Canal Area, Nasser started to become convinced once again that
    Egypt had to arm to defend itself against Israel. Still, the first
  • attack in 1955 was Israel, when they attacked Egyptian Military
    outposts in Gaza. Quickly, realizing his possible situation, Nasser
    sought western aid only to find that neither the U.S., France or
    Britain was willing to help. Because Nasser had refused to join an
    anti-USSR alliance, he was seen as a threat, especially by people such
    as the Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Nasser, then turned to
    the USSR and accepted soviet weapons, which put them directly against
    the western push for influence in the Middle East. This decision
    effected Nasser influence on the Western powers for it made sure than
    in later years that Israel, and not Egypt would get assiezce from
    the United States or Britain. Yet, they he had no choice, except to
    arm himself in this manner.

    In Secret Britain, the United States and Israel agreed to
    allow Israel to attack the Canal from across the Sinai Desert. When
    Israel neared the canal, Britain and France would issue an ultimatum
    for an Egpytian and Israeli withdrawal from both sides of the Canal,
    and Anglo-French force would then occupy the canal and prevent further
    fighting, and keep in open for shipping. Israel did not agree to this
    plan, unless first Britain and France agreed to destroy the Egyptian
    Air Force. British Bombing did destroy the Egyptian Airforce and
    Israel occupied Sinai. The United States was angered because it had
  • not been informed by its allies of the invasion, and realized that it
    could not allow the Soviet Union to appear as the champion of the
    Third World against Western Imperialism. Thus, the US put pressure on
    the British and French to withdraw.

    While France and Britain withdrew, Israel was very reluctant.
    Eisenhower placed a great deal of pressure on Israel with withdraw
    from all of its territorial acquisitions, and even threatened
    sanctions if Israel did not comply. The Israelis did withdraw, but
    carried out a scorched earth policy destroying everything they passed.
    For the first time in a while, Egypt saw the United States as a
    possible friend to their cause, and realized that the US would not
    always support Israel. Nasser began to look at the United States as a
    possible ally against Israel, if his connections with the USSR failed,
    and saw the possible opportunity of gaining this through the
    superpower conflict. Similarly, Nasser realized that his new found
    status as the champion of the Arab nations against the Imperial powers
    made him a more powerful figure than before.

    During the mid-1960's the Tension between Israel and Egypt
    increased. In November 1966, Egypt signed a 5 year defense pact, and
    Israeli forces crossed into the West Bank of Jordan and destroyed the
  • village of As Samu. IN 1967 Israeli leaders threatened to invade
    Syria, and serious Air Battle Begain. Soon after, Egypt attacked place
    troops on the border, but did not strike (although Nasser's commanders
    urged him to). Then, when in June 5, Israel launched a full-scale
    attack and defeated all of Egypt's forces within 3 hours.

    After the 1967 war, the first move of the Arabs was to hold a
    summit in Khartoum in September 1967. At that meeting, Saudi Arabia
    agreed to give Egypt the financial aid needed to rebuild its army and
    retake land lost to Israel. At this conference the Arab leaders were
    united in their opposition of Israel and proclaimed what became known
    as the three "no's" of the Khartoum summit: no peace with Israel, no
    negotiations, no recognition.

    At the UN in November, the Security Council unanimously
    adopted resolution 242 which provided the framework for the settlement
    of the June 1967 War. This resolution called for Israel to withdraw
    "from territories occupied in the recent conflict", for the
    termination of the state of belligerency and for the right of ALL
    states to exist in that region. In 1968 Egypt agreed to accept the
    resolution if Israel agreed to evacuate all occupied areas. By
    accepting this agreement, for the first time Egypt recognized the

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