Set the stage for the 1948 war for Palestine

Set the stage for the 1948 war for Palestine. What were the central issues for the Zionist movement? How did the parties prepare to achieve their goals?

The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs came to a head shortly after the second world war after the United Nations authorized the establishment of two separate states, one Arab and one Jewish. The Jews accepted the UN plan and began to secure the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. On the other hand, the indigenous Palestinians and Arabs rejected the plan because they viewed it as a violation of their natural and inalienable rights. They also viewed it as a breach of the promises of independence made by the Arab leaders for their support during the war. The Palestinian Arabs continued to strongly oppose and frustrate any efforts by the Jew to establish their state. They even sent seven Arab armies to destroy the infant Jewish state. But the Jews were resilient, fought back, and emerged victors.

How did Gamal’ Abd al-Nasser come to power? What did the Suez crisis do for his government’s prospects and the positions of the former colonial powers in the region?

Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected the first president of Egypt on the 23rd of June 1995.  Nasser, who had overthrown the Egyptian monarchy in 1952, was the only presidential candidate. As a result, more than 99% of Egyptians voted for him and approved his constitution, which made Egypt a one-party socialist state and Islam the national religion.

A year into his presidency, Nasser nationalized the 120-mile Suez Canal, which had previously been under Britain and France’s joint control. Britain and France opposed Nasser’s decision and sought Israel help to Attack Egypt to retake the canal. However, the United Nations intervened, warning and threatening the three nations with economic sanctions if they did not cease the attacks. Shortly after, British and French troops left Egypt in 1956, followed by the Israelis in 1957 and later reopening the canal. The Suez Crisis saw the supplantation of Britain and France’s old colonial powers by the United States and the Soviet Union. Adel Naseer also become more powerful and influential in all the Arab and Egyptian movements that ensued.

Explain the events in Iran between 1951 and 1953. What roles did Iranian politics, oil, and Britain and the US play in planning and executing the coup?

In 1951, Mohammed Mosaddeq, a ruthless nationalist, was elected premier in Iran. Mosaddeq began attacking British oil companies in Iran and pushing for the nationalization of the oil fields. Mosaddeq’s actions attracted conflict from Iran and the Shah. The Shah dismissed him in 1952, but massive public riots disapproving the decision led to his reinstatement. However, the Shah, the CIA, and British intelligence began plotting a plan to overthrow Mosaddeq and his government. The British intelligence later stepped down from the plan, but the Iranian military, the CIA, and the Shah proceeded with the plan. They employed all tactics, including threatening, coaxing, to bribe their way and acquire more influence. Later in August 1953, they organized another coup that finally overthrew Mosaddeq and reinstated the Shah back to power.

Naveh, Eyal. “Israel’s Past at 70: The Twofold Attack on the Zionist Historical Narrative.” Israel Studies 23.3 (2018): 76-83.

Revell, Stephen. The 1953 coup in Iran: the US and British foreign policy in Iran, 1951-1953 and the covert operation to overthrow the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq. Diss. Canterbury Christ Church University, 2018.

Steed, Danny. British Strategy and Intelligence in the Suez Crisis. Springer, 2016.

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