It’s pretty inconceivable after watching last night’s Republican debate with Hugh Hewitt’s attempt to attack Trump over his alleged “neutrality” on the Israeli / Palestinian problem, and Marco Rubio’s assertion that Gaza is “Israeli land”…. but…
After Egypt nationalized the privately owned Suez Canal encouraged by the Soviet Union, France, England and Israel launched an invasion of Egypt to return control of the canal to its investors, or at least neutral third parties. This conflict laid the foundation for much that was to follow. The narrative of the history of Gaza posted on Slate has no information about these entire era – nothing happened between 1948 and 1967.
The three parties to the Suez invasion of Egypt misjudged a number of things – the most important being Republican president Dwight Eisenhower’s strong opposition to the action, to the point of being willing to join with the Soviet Union in a military conflict against England, France and Israel. The same “one for all” NATO mutual defense rule regarding Turkey in 2016 was in play in 1956.
Public opposition in England and France was strong and immediate. Fear mongering that Egypt was incapable of running the Suez Canal turned out to be unfounded. The reaction in the Arab world – including Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia opened up the broader middle east to the Soviet expansion, including Syria and Libya. The Kirkuk pipeline from Iraq to Europe was blown up, Saudi Arabia organized an embargo and other Arab countries joined. Without US support, France and England would soon collapse as world powers.
The inept fighting of the French and British, and the global opposition at the united nations, with United States on the side of the Soviet Union laid the foundation for the decolonization of Africa and United Nations oversight of the middle east .
Wikipedia has a very long article on this topic worth taking an hour to read – it spends a little too much time on the minutia of the military campaign, but gives context to the events of the middle east that continue to this day. While Americans may be willfully ignorant of history, the people who live in the Middle East are not.
Gaza was not and is not currently “Israeli land”. The Sinai desert was returned to Egypt control in 1979 with UN monitoring of the checkpoint between Gaza and Egypt. In 2007, Ariel Sharon ordered the Israeli settlements in Gaza to be dismantled and control returned to the Palestinians, resulting in the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu from Sharon’s government.
What was playing out last night were the echoes of 1956. What Trump’s actual opinion was isn’t clear, but you can bet he will not be getting Benjamin Netanyahu’s endorsement, and if elected will be as cold to Netanyahu as Barack Obama is.
A President Trump Could Be Netanyahu’s Worst Nightmare. For those not aware, Haaretz is the liberal opposition newspaper in Israel, founded in 1918. As hard as this may be to believe, Jewish people in Israel and around the world do not necessarily march in lockstep with Netanyahu. European and Turkish resistance to Bebe continues to grow. I leave you to connect the dots with the events going on in Syria.