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Arab Israeli Conflict Essay

3258 words - 14 pages

Arab-Israeli Conflict
The Arab League
* October 1945 Britain helped form the Arab League
* The first members were Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia
* Its purpose was to prevent Soviet progress in the region
* Others joined as they became independent
* By 1983 new members included Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Oman, South Yemen, Kuwait and Bahrain
* The 36 million Arabs had a common language and culture
* Most were Muslims and hated colonial rule
* They had similar economic problems
* Even oil rich states had unequal distribution of wealth among rich and poor
* But above all else they hated Israel

Palestine 1923-47
* ...view middle of the document...

g. Irgun and the Stern Gang
* Used bombs and gunmen against army posts, police stations and government buildings
* President Truman of USA was fighting an election and asked Britain to admit more Jews
* Bevin now handed the problem to the UN
* 14 may 1948 British forces left
* The Jews immediately announced the formation of the state of Israel
* UN suggested partition – rejected by the Arabs

First Arab-Israeli War
* Fighting began before the British left
* Jordan sent in the Arab Legion under British general Glubb
* Egypt joined in led by Nasser and Neguib
* Syria attacked too
* The Jews appealed for world help but little came
* UN officials tried to end the fighting but failed
* Count Bernadotte was murdered by Jewish terrorists (September 1948)
* The Arabs failed to defeat the Jews
* February 1949 the War ended
* Israel gained more territory than had been allotted to it by the UN proposals of 1948
* A million Arabs fled from Palestine to live in refugee camps in Jordan, Syria and Egypt

Reasons for Arab Defeat
* Their leaders were at odds with one another
* Each wanted an advantage from the war
* Their armies lacked a co-ordinated plan
* So the Jews could defeat them one after the other
* Their armies were badly led
* The Jews had the technical skills of British-trained officers
* The Jews had no option but to fight to the bitter end

1949-56
* A UN commission helped end the war
* The UN Truce Supervisory Commission was needed to police the new frontiers
* Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan
* Israel claimed the Gaza Strip and only tolerated Egyptian occupation of the Strip for the time being
* Arab terrorists made frequent attacks on the Jews
* The Jews attacked camps harbouring the terrorists
* Russia had supported Israel in the hope of securing a base in the region
* When Israel proved to be America’s client, Russia backed the Arabs and supplied them with arms

Egypt under Nasser
* Gamel Abdel Nasser – an army officer
* Fought against Israel in 1948-9
* July 1952 was one of the coup leaders that overthrew King Farouk
* Deputy Prime Minister to General Neguib 1952-4
* He overthrew and replaced Neguib

Nasser’s Ambitions
* The Egyptian leader who would free Egypt from last remnants of British control
* He negotiated the withdrawal of the 90,000 troops in the Canal Zone (1954-5)
* As a socialist leader who improved living standards in Egypt
* Land reforms – land taken from rich to give to the peasants
* Social reforms in education, health and housing
* With foreign aid build the Aswan Dam to control the Nile and help irrigation
* Unite all Arabs in an Arab Union
* Formed the United Arab Republic with Syria 1958 (broke up 1961)
* It was reformed (and to include Iraq) in 1963 – then broke up again

Reactions to Nasser
* His ambitions...

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