Sunday, July 10, 2011

Egypt's 1956 War Against Israel: 
What That Was All About and What It Led To
Nadene Goldfoot
From 1947 on, Arabs told their people that Zionists were villains and they refused to sign a peace treaty with Israel. From 1949 to 1956 Egypt launched about 9,000 attacks from terrorist cells in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.   Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser, who wanted Egypt to be the leader of the Arab states,  seized control of Egypt.  The way to gain Arab support was to destroy Israel by cutting off its arteries to the world. 

Israel obtained food and oil from East Africa and Asia through sea routes to Eilat.  The paths went through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Tiran which is between Saudi Arabia and Egypt , so Nasser cut off both routes.  He planted guns on the islands in the Strait and would attack ships going to or from Israel.

Egypt closed the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping in 1949.  On the 9th of August, 1949, the UN upheld Israel's complaint that Egypt was illegally blocking the canal.  Ralph Bunche, negotiator declared: "There should be free movement for legitimate shipping and no vestiges of the wartime blockade should be allowed to remain , as they are inconsistent with both the letter and the spirit of the armistice agreements",  and Egypt was ordered to open the Canal to Israeli shipping on the 1st of September 1951.  Egypt's response in 1954 was "The Arab people will not be embarrassed to declare:  We shall not be satisfied except by the final obliteration of Israel from the map of the Middle East." 

In 1955, Nasser started importing arms from the Soviet Bloc in preparation of war against Israel.  On the 31st of August, 1955 he announced no peace on Israel's border because Egypt demands vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death. 

He brazenly challenged the French and English by also taking control of the Suez Canal who had built and operated it by nationalizing the Suez Canal in July 1956.  All three had their shipping routes in peril which was their lifeline. On October 25 Egypt signed an agreement with Syria and Jordan putting Nasser in command of all three armies.   On the 29th of October, 1956, Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt.  The fight took 100 hours.  In an amazing show of strength, Israel conquered the entire Sinai Peninsula and Sharm al-Sheikh but England and France failed to seize the Suez Canal.  By defeating Egypt Israel ended their war of terror as well. 

World pressure, mainly from the USA and Russia,  forced Israel to return the land to Egypt without a peace treaty but they did gain the fact that a United Nations army unit was created to guard Israel's border with Egypt and to make sure that all ships could get through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Tiran. 

In 1964 the PLO was created, not to liberate the Arabs from Jordanian and Egyptian rule but to continue 40 more years of terror against Israel with the stated goal of "Pushing the Jews into the sea. First Kuwait sponsored this group, then Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and others.  The PLO, now called Fatah, declared continued war against Israel until all of "Palestine" was liberated, redeemed in "fire and blood".  It is to be noted that during all this time there were no Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria or Gaza.  Arafat was talking about the whole teeny state of Israel within its 1949 "green line" borders.  

Ten years of peace was too much for Nasser, so to remain a leader of the Arabs, he ordered the UN Emergency Force to leave and they did, then again blockaded the Strait of Tiran.  Israel's foreign Minister, Abba Eban questioned what the use of a United Nations presence was , when in effect, was an umbrella which is taken away as soon as it begins to rain?"  To have left when needed was unforgivable. The UN was useless for Israel.   No one challenged Nasser this time as the problem just dealt with the Strait of Tiran.  Neither Britain nor France stepped up to the plate, leaving Israel alone. 

This led to the Six Day War on June 5, 1967 when five (5) Arab states, including Jordan, attacked Israel. 
The attack  led to Judea and Samaria (West Bank) falling into Israel's control as they defeated Jordan who had illegally annexed this land 18 years earlier.  This led to the PLO's revision of its Covenant to include a "Palestinian" claim of sovereignty in the "West Bank" and Gaza Strip." 

When Jordan had occupied Judea and Samaria, even Arafat noted  in 1948 that the Egyptians had herded the Arabs into refugee camps, kept them behind barbed wire and sent in spies to murder their leaders while executing those who tried to get away.  None of these so called "Palestinians" were protesting this oppression or talking about any need for self-determination they felt they had been denied.    That's because there never has been a state of "Palestine" and no concept of a separate political, cultural or linguistic entity representing their combined group of Arabs that could be identified ever existed.  They had come from the many corners of the Arab world. 

Resource: Myths and Facts, a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb
Big Lies: demlishing the myths of the propaganda war against Israel by David Meir-Levi
A young person's history of Israel, 2nd edition by David Bamberger
From Time Immemorial, the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine by Joan Peters

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