International Involvement

Evaluate the impact of the international involvement in the conflict from 1948-1956 During the conflicts of 1948-56 there was a heavy involvement of international powers such as USA, Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. Before the war of 1948 for the fight for independence, Palestine was owned by the British but on November 29th, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Partition Resolution that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948.

Under the resolution, the area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem would remain under international control by the United Nations. The Palestinian Arabs refused to recognize this resolution, which to them had favoured the Jews and was unfair to the Arab population that would remain in Jewish territory under the partition. On the 15th May 1948 the Palestinian Arabs attacked with countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, Iraq & Syria providing them with help to conquer back to what they thought was theirs.

Israel had only just declared independence the day before on the 14th May 1948. Within a few weeks the Arab Legion had already taken back one third of Israel, by this time the UN was very hesitant on what to do as there was supposed to be peace within the Middle East so this is when the UN arranged a truce on 11th June. At this stage in time the Israelis were regaining their army by buying modern weapons from Czech’s and were preparing to fight back with much more force from the previous encounter.

The United States sought a middle way by supporting the United Nations resolution, but also encouraging negotiations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East showing that they were trying to get amongst the situation then actually trying to taking a side. A series of armistice agreements between the Arab states and Israel caused the end of the war and Israel was left standing with all the land of Palestine. In the late months of 1948 the problem of resources arrived and their wasn’t enough fresh water for all the new people that had gone to Israel.

The US interfered and made a suggestion that the people could share the water between Israel and Jordan, Syria. The US gave a huge contribution by funding Israel with $65 million to make sure they accompanied the new Jewish population. The US was trying to gain a substantial amount of interest by the Middle East people and by supporting Zionism. The Suez Crisis was a major battle but also a key part in international involvement. Gamal Abdel Nasser planned certain aims which were to get the British to give up their military base along the Suez Canal and he gave aid to the Arab rebels fighting the French in their colony of Algeria.

The British came up with a plan which was the ‘Baghdad Pact’ and it was a military alliance pact but Nasser told his fellow Middle East countries not to join them, giving the British empty handed. Nasser needed to modernise his army and made an arms agreement with the Czech’s in 1955 that were under a heavy influence of the USSR, the USSR making this move led the British and US to cancel their loans which was an agreement that they would help Nasser build a dam situated on the River Nile in Aswan.

The British and US had to make some kind of move to try and keep the USSR at bay. Leading Nasser to make an even bigger move as to nationalising the Suez Canal, this made the British and the French not very happy as they were both shareholders in the Canal and was leaving the British to scavenge at whatever they could get. In a letter the British Prime Minister said to the US President in September 1958, “These new governments will in effect be Egyptian satellites if not Russian ones”.

As the Cold War was going on at this time the US and the British were keeping a very close eye on what the USSR was getting involved in, in the Middle East as at the time they weren’t certain that there could be a WW3. The role of the international involvement had a very heavy impact upon the events in 1948-56 but also had both a positive and negative impact in which can be debated by what religious or background you look at the conflict from.