The Suez Crisis Essay Research Paper Carleton

8 August 2017

The Suez Crisis Essay, Research Paper

Carleton University

Research Paper # 1:

The Suez Crisis of 1956- The War From Differing Point of views

Submitted to Prof. J. Sigler

In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for 47.323

Student: Neil Patrick Tubb ( # 226591 )

Date: November 30, 1995.


Among the most of import foundations in the go oning Arab-Israeli struggle was the seeds that were sown in the wake of the 1956 Sinai Campaign, or the Suez Crisis. Whatever the operation is referred to as, its effects affecting both dealingss internal to the Middle East and with the universe are impossible to disregard. Looked at merely as an nonsubjective event in history, one could observe several cardinal results of the war. It marked the beginning of the terminal of British and Gallic colonial leading in the part, and the start of an progressively high American and Soviet engagement. The war besides proved to the Arab states of the country that the Israeli military machine was non one to be taken lightly, a lesson which would be forgotten and retaught in the 1967 & # 8220 ; Six Day War & # 8221 ; . The positive impact that the United Nations would hold on stoping the struggle, through Canada & # 8217 ; s thought of making a UN peacekeeping force to assist implement the ceasefire, was another of import result.

This paper, nevertheless, will non hold the end of analyzing these specific events in relation to the war, nor will it seek to find which factors were most important. My purpose will be to derive a more complete apprehension of the consequence of the crisis by reexamining cardinal events of the war from two different positions: the Israeli and the Arab points of position, plus the experiences of the European powers every bit good. Through a brief comparing of both the coverage of the War by the differing writers and the varying readings seen throughout my survey, I will be best able to do an informed rating on how the event was, and is today, seen in the political and historical forum.

Comparison of Coverage

The war, which was begun on October 29, 1956 when the Israelis moved their units into the Sinai peninsula, has had its beginnings traced back to many historical events. Which is the most of import of these is a point of contention for the writers I have studied. There does look to be for all parties involved a consensus that the acclivity to power of Gamal Abdel Nasser to President of Eqypt in 1956, and his move to nationalise the Suez Canal as the chief precipitating factor in puting off the struggle. Why Nasser did this, nevertheless, is where my assorted beginnings diverge.

Quite predictably, beginnings used from the Egyptian or Arab point of view normally pointed to the fact that Nasser was eventually liberating a Third World state from the cleaving clasp of colonial Europe, where Britain and France continued to command much of the Egyptian economic system. There is most likely no uncertainty that Nasser did nationalise the Suez Canal for partially political motivations, and as the already crowned leader of & # 8220 ; Pan-Arabism & # 8221 ; , it seemed that he was demoing the universe that he was ready to allow his workss fit his words. Political determinations are seldom one dimensional, and my Arab beginnings besides indicated other grounds for the move- more of which subsequently.

It was with this background that all the parties involved began to analyze their options. Of their motives and purposes, I will mention to in the following subdivision, and on the point of basic facts of the struggle my beginnings are rather complementary. It is a affair of history that Israel began the struggle by their phased invasion across into the Sinai on October 29, 1956, and agreed to a backdown on November 6. None of my readings from either side of this peculiarly high political fencing attempt to challenge this. Even that the war was improbably lopsided and anti-climatic- like it seems so many of these wars were- is non contended by my Arab writers. This surprised me somewhat- as I read from some of the top Egyptian political work forces of the clip and their reading of events. One such former diplomat dispelled any historical semblances which may hold been created over clip by stating in his memoirs, & # 8220 ; ( The fact was ) , Egypt had non won a military triumph in 1956 & # 8243 ; Two yearss after the Israeli invasion, the Anglo-French military personnels entered the Suez Canal zone and started operation MUSKATEER in order to re-secure control of the country under their joint bid. These invasions were followed by a bombardment of international unfavorable judgment, the most relation of which came from the two world powers, the United States and the USSR. The weight of this force per unit area shortly became excessively much to bear for the tripatriate confederation, and Israel withdrew on November 6, followed on November 14 by the British and Gallic.

Comparison of Interpretations

It is much more interesting, in the survey of a struggle such as the Suez Crisis state of affairs of 1956, to analyze how each side interpreted the events, in hindsight, instead than merely seeing how the events were reported- particularly for such a universe broad event. First, a expression at the different motives of the leaders- beginning with why Nasser had nationalized the canal in the first topographic point. The thought that it was to penalize the West ( intending chiefly the Americans and the British ) for their backdown of fiscal support for Nasser & # 8217 ; s Answan Dam project- that the Canal needed to be put under Egyptian control so as to assist raise grosss for the Dam undertaking was strongly echoed in the Arab plants. Apparently, the move was in portion a reprisal to the moves of John Foster Dulles, who was the U.S. Secretary of State at the clip, and who had been behind the determination to revoke the support for the undertaking as a manner of penalizing Nasser for his & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; independent position & # 8221 ; .

Whatever Nasser had in head when he nationalized the Canal, both Israeli and Western beginnings did non see it as a move by an independent state to seek and work out its internal economic troubles or to assist convey the Arab peoples together. The Israelis, for their portion, saw it as the apogee of a consistent attempt by the Arab universe to free the Middle East of Israel- that this was a natural continuance of events such as the closing of the Tiran Gulf to Jewish transportation, and armed & # 8220 ; fedayeen & # 8221 ; foraies taking topographic point across the boundary line from Egyptian- controlled Gaza. Israeli leading was seemingly convinced that the Arabs wanted all-out war with them to do up for losingss in the 1948 War of Independence- but all Israel wanted was peace and therefore merely wanted adequate struggle that would be to their strategic advantage. Israel had been seeking to come on, but with such moves by the extremist Nasser who was the leader of Pan-Arabism ( which had the devastation of the Judaic State as one of its implicit in directives ) and & # 8220 ; Friend of the USSR & # 8221 ; in the country ( Nasser had received arms cargos from the USSR via Czechsolvakia in 1955 ) , it looked as if farther war would be inevitable.

For Britain, who each shared a 50 per centum interest in the Suez Canal Company, that Nasser had nationalized, this move constituted & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; the devastation of Great Britain as a excellent power and its decrease similar to that of Holland. & # 8221 ; For the other colonial power involved in the part, France, the state of affairs was less of import in the manner of doomed fundss than in the political effects it was to hold one of its last colonial ownerships in the Africa. Algeria was in the thick of an independency conflict with its Gallic oppressors, and it was President Nasser who was seemingly giving much encouragement to the motion. The loss of the canal would probably set a concluding nail in the casket of Gallic colonial attempts in this of import country of the universe. Both powers besides made comparings between Nasser and Hitler, doing the point that such bare aggression can non of all time once more be left undisputed after the lessons of World War Two. On one juncture, the British Foreign Secretary at the clip, Harold MacMillan, made mention to this, saying that, & # 8220 ; ( N ) o one wanted to see another Munich. & # 8221 ; Although I can see that these two provinces worried about their influence in this really economically important part, I find a small hard to warrant military intercession. Whereas at least Israel could entertain the thought of utilizing force as a self saving security option, for Britain and France their place was on really rickety international legal land.

Another line division among my beginnings was what precisely the Israelis & # 8217 ; purposes were upon come ining the struggle, or so on originating it when no other formal onslaught had been launched upon them. My Arab beginnings take the stance that Israel & # 8217 ; s onslaught was one that continued their evident long history of expansionism in the country. David Ben-Gurion, the Israeli Prime Minister at the clip, was to hold even said that he considered the Sinai peninsula to be portion of Israel that would necessarily be absorbed into the Judaic State. This line of believing would logically follow that Israel, of all time the territorial self-seeker, merely used the crisis of the twenty-four hours as a smoke screen in order to accomplish its oppressive ends.

The Israeli place is really different in replying why they invaded- they ever see themselves as the waiting victim in a sea of unsafe Arab states that crave their inevitable ruin. One Israeli beginning stated that although about all universe sentiment disagreed, the existent ground for the October 29 work stoppage was non collusion with the Europea

ns, neither was it expansionist dreams that fuelled the onslaught. It was launched in expectancy of a coming Arab work stoppage which events had been indicating to of all time since the 1948 War came to a stopping point. One Major General Chaim Herzog of the Israeli military concurred with this position, stating that Israel in fact had three distinguishable purposes in the onslaught: One, the remove the Egyptian menace in Sinai ; Two, to destruct the model of the fedayeen Rebels ; Three, to procure freedom of pilotage through the Straits of Tiran for Israeli vass. That the sentiments of the Arab and Israeli writers on why Israel invaded are in such contrast is another illustration of one of the cardinal jobs in this conflict- neither side is prepared to analyze the others perceptual experience of the state of affairs.

In looking at the results of this struggle, an interesting survey is to analyze how each side thought they fared in the wake. I believe this exercising to be particularly relevant to this war in that the consequences were seen more on a political degree for better or worse, for the three chief histrions. For the Anglo-French treaty, instead particularly Britain, the Suez Crisis looked as if it was one that should hold been avoided. A historical history of the matter notes that even as the United Nations and the United States had efficaciously ended the struggle and were in the thick of directing UNEF military personnels to the country, Prime Minister Eden was still filled with energy for his hopeless cause, and ready to destruct his domestic economic system in the name of British prestigiousness. Other beginnings agreed that the invasion and effort to take the Canal zone over by force had been a catastrophe, one stating that it had been an & # 8220 ; abysmal failure & # 8221 ; , another saying that it confirmed that British and French could non run anything without world power ( read US ) blessing.

One country of understanding throughout my beginnings was in the position that Egypt, who was seemingly beaten in a demeaning manner on the combat forepart in the war of 1956, had achieved a really important political triumph. Under the adept handling of Nasser, the event was non merely ( another ) military licking, but a courageous base taken against the colonial powers that little but mighty Egypt had emerged virtually unharmed. One Arab beginning spoke as if Nasser understood the state of affairs as helpless in the beginning due to monolithic foreign intervention- that at one time on October 29 the Israeli-European collusion was obvious. Nasser even refused the offered aid from Syria and Jordan in order to & # 8220 ; save them & # 8221 ; . This thought that Nasser turned down Arab aid was contrary to some Israeli studies that refer to this deficiency of aid as a ground for another Egyptian licking at Judaic hands- once more indicating to Nasser & # 8217 ; s originator of the state of affairs. In general, most of the Israeli beginnings admitted that Nasser had turned the licking into a triumph, composing that despite the intercession of both the Israelis and the monolithic British and Gallic power, Nasser remained in power and his prestigiousness as leader of the Arab universe grew.


In measuring the sentiments and prejudices I found in the readings for this paper, I find that it is most pertinent to once more analyze the opposing positions of the two cabals. Both of the warring sides in this difference, in my position, see themselves as the victim: The Israelis of a region-wide Arab secret plan to destruct them and their province and the Arabs of a Jewish/Western confederacy to deny both them and particularly their Palestian Brothers and Sisters what is truly theirs- the land of Palestine. This alone is bad plenty, but the job is compounded by the fact that neither side is at all willing, at least up until now, to seek and see the state of affairs from the others point of view- they are excessively busy seeking to sabotage what they perceive as the others motivations with both diplomatic haggle and military manouvers.

My reading done on the Suez Crisis of 1956 support this position. For illustration, when discoursing why Israel would occupy in the War, Herzog merely stated that the events of the old ages since the 1949 cease-fire along with Nasser & # 8217 ; s rhetoric led the Israeli authorities to the logical determination that a defensive work stoppage had to be launched in order to salvage the state. Riad, on the same subject, calmly wrote that it was portion of Israel & # 8217 ; s program to make out and enfold more district into their grasp- practically an imperial move.

One has to take into history, with the writers that I have studied, that they are really biased on one side of the argument or the other- many were involved straight with the authoritiess at the clip of the crisis and therefore must back up the policies which possibly they helped organize. I would hold to acknowledge that the readings I found most credible were likely found in Western ( British ) historical histories of the crisis- the book by Lucas seemed most willing to distribute around incrimination for the fiasco of 1956, particularly on the door of 10 Downing Street itself. The Judaic and Arab writers did non expose this strength of character for the most portion, nevertheless a few exclusions can be noted. An Egyptian illustration is found in the book by Fahmy, who readily admitted that it was non any effort by Nasser or his ground forces that gave a triumph of kinds to his country- it was the workers of the Suez Canal who in the old ages following the crisis showed the universe that they could successfully and productively run the waterway without European aid or control. I believe that the authors from this disruptive part were under well more emphasis to back up their state & # 8217 ; s record in the crisis than a Western writer may hold been in a comparable history, and this I did take into consideration in finishing my assignment. The Crisis of 1956 does non calculate that conspicuously in either Judaic or Arab texts or Hagiographas on the clip since 1945- possibly it was overshadowed by the 1948, 1967 and 1973 Wars- or possibly it was the European engagement that takes off from it being another true chapter in the Arab-Israeli struggle. Whatever the reading, this was so an important event both in the history of this part, and for the universe, and it seems as if more clip is needed before we can genuinely get down to analyze it from a impersonal position.

Annotated Bibliography

As stated in my paper, I decided upon get downing my undertaking to seek out the most colored of writers from both sides in the Arab-Israeli argument, which provided mention to the 1956 Suez Crisis. This was for the most portion the norm for this essay, with the exclusion of the one more European text I used to offer me a sense of how the crisis was handled from the Western side. For this I used W. Scott Lucas & # 8217 ; & # 8220 ; Divided We Stand: Britain, the US and the Suez Crisis & # 8221 ; ( 1991 ) . While Lucas wrote chiefly from the British position, his text was helpful to me in deriving a general apprehension of how the crisis was played out through a series of carefully broken down events.

Having therefore gained a fundamental apprehension of the crisis, I so sought out some colored beginnings from both sides of the Suez. After looking in vain for articles on the subject, I found that my best stake lied in the combination of memoirs of celebrated politicians of the clip from the part, and from the Hagiographas of a few celebrated faculty members, both Egyptian and Israeli. For Arab beginnings, I began by traveling to the beginning, utilizing the memoirs of both Anwar el-Sadat, the individual who followed Nasser as President of Egypt in 1967, in his book & # 8220 ; In Search of Identity & # 8221 ; ( 1977 ) . I besides used the plants of another twosome of celebrated Egyptian politicians, in & # 8220 ; The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East & # 8221 ; by Mahmouud Riad, and & # 8220 ; Negociating for Peace in the Middle East & # 8221 ; , by Ismail Fahmy. Both Riad, who served as an international diplomat under Nasser, and Fahmy, who was Sadat & # 8217 ; s Foreign Minister for so many old ages, had vivid and elaborate memories of the crisis. Add to this list the book by the celebrated Arab military adult male Anouar Abdel-Malak & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; Egypt: Military Society & # 8221 ; ( 1968 ) , a book that helped give me a better thought of how the Egyptian ground forces forces viewed and dealt with the crisis.

Finally, the Jewish writers I sought out were from an every bit varied figure of beginnings, once more utilizing politicans, military work forces and faculty members. To assist in a general rounding of the Israeli position of the crisis, I used Yitzak Shamir & # 8217 ; s autobiography ( Shamir, Yitzhak ; & # 8220 ; Summarizing Up & # 8221 ; ; London ; Weidenfeld and Nicolson Press ; 1994. ) , a adult male who was to play an built-in function in the Arab-Israeli struggle as the Prime Minister of Israel in the 1980s. My hunt for an Israeli military position was rather backbreaking, but eventually settled on the work of Chaim Herzog in & # 8220 ; The Arab-Israeli Wars & # 8221 ; ( 1982 ) . As Herzog was a major-general in the crisis of 1956, he non merely provided me with elaborate information of the invasion itself, but of the assorted significances and causes behind it. In seeking to happen Judaic academic beginnings, I shortly found myself in farther troubles, acquiring to the point of looking for, if you will pardon me, & # 8220 ; jewish-sounding & # 8221 ; names- as I was unable at first to happen any that I could decidedly spot were pro-Israeli. I finally settled on the plants of Itamar Rabinovich & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; Seven Wars and One Peace Treaty & # 8221 ; ( 1991 ) , and M.E. Yapp & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; The Near East Since the First World War & # 8221 ; ( 1991 ) . While Rabinovich was based in Tel Aviv and had stronger pro-Israeli positions, Yapp, who was a professor in London, England, who & # 8217 ; s thoughts were a small more moderate and yet, at least in this writer & # 8217 ; s perspective, seemed to tilt rather clearly towards the Jewish State & # 8217 ; s cause.

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