A common propgandised image constantly presented and accepted by many on these forums is that Israel was attacked on 6 occasions and every time
defended itself from an agressive, attacking Arab army/armies. However, a breif glance at Israel's history since its conception, primarily from
1955-1957 will hastly debunk this myth.
Dayans drums of war
With the stalled negotiations between Israel and the Arabs due to differences in negotations on land settlement and the refugee problem, Dayan (who
played a large role in determining naitonal security policy) assumed that a second round of conflict with the Arabs was invetible. As a Jewish patrior
concerned with the safety of his nation, he wanted to ensure that the conditions for the next war were convenient for Israel.
He estimated that the Egyptian army would be prepared for war by summer or autumn 1956. With this in mind he aimed to firce a showdown before the
military balance shifted in Egypts favour, using a strategy where military reprisals were utilized on a massive scale in order to provoke Egypt into
entering a conflict with Israel before it was ready.
Moderates such as Moshe Sharret ensured that such a dangerous path was to an extent avoided and a plan to capture the Straits of Tiran submitted by
Ben Gourin (priminister at the time) in consultation with Dayan (who was urging military action) was rejected by the cabinet.
Operation Kinneret is probably one of the most confusing and disapointing segments of Israeli history. Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on
December 11 against Syrian gun positions on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee (known to Israelis as Lake Kinneret). It was lead by Colonel Ariel
Sharon and resulted in fifty killed Syrians with 30 captured and six dead and 10 wounded Israelis. It was an unprovoked act of aggression by Israel.
The justification for the attack was Syrian interference with Israeli fishing on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. However, this is not
entirely true. The Syrians fired not on Israeli fishing vessels buts on patrol boaths only when they came withing 250 meters of the shore. The
Israeli's were waiting for a pretext to launch the attack, the first to such a scale since 1948.
Israel provoked the incident. On 10 December an Israeli police vessels was sent too close to the shore in order to draw Syrian fire. Shots were fired
by a Syrian soldier which scraped some paint off the bottom of the patrol boat. No single person was killed or wounded. This lead to the IDF operation
which was entirely out of proportion to the provocation as most observers agree.
French Connection United Kingdom: FCUK
Israel was on the path to war with Egypt. While Britain proved reluctant and hesitant to join Israel along with France in an attack against Egypt, the
nationalisation of the Suez Canal (well within legality) prompted them to join France and Israel in an aggresive attack.
The French and Israeli connection was far more defined. Both shared a common enemy in Egypt. France was focued on Algeria at the time (Nasser was
supporting a rebelion) and Israel passed intelligence on Algerian rebels and their connection with Israel to France. The French deemed that if Nasser
was removed from power the rebellion would face collapse. While this assumption had not real basis Israel encouraged it in order to gather
international (and power) support for an attack on their enemy. France in return became less restrictive about supplying arms to Israel even though
this involved cintravention of the Triparie Declaration signed by France, the US and Britain.
The idea of a coordinated military offensive against Egypt only came into real circulation after the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt. This
was an attempt by Nasser to achieve a strategic blow against the powers, not at Israel. Britain and France were the primary shareholders in the Suez
The Pretext for Invasion
Britain and France did not require Israels help in order to defeat Egypt. Israel was simply a pawn used as a pretext to invade. The plan was for
Israel to invade and take the Sinai up to the Suez Canal. France and Britain would issue an ultimatum which Nasser was expected to reject and France
and Britain would then invade Egypt.
However, some interesting facts appear in the process of drafting the proposed attack. During this period oil had been discovered in the Sinai and
after a discussion between Ben-Gurion and his opposite French connetion he wrote in his diary. "I told him about the discovery of oil in southern
and western Sinai, and that it would be good to tear this peninsuala from Egypt"
(this information is available from the Ben Gurion diaries) This
highlights the expanisionist side of Ben Gurion.
The casus belli for France and Britain to attack Egypt was the nationalization of the Suez Canal and the casus belli for Israel was the closure of the
Straits of Tiran, all occuring on sovereign Egyptian territory. On 29 October 1956, as planned, Israeli troops crossed into the Sinai and by 30th of
October they reached the Suez Canal. Britain and France issued the ultimatum for both sides to withdraw which, as excpected, was rejected by Nasser of
Eygpt. Britain and Rance bombed Egyptian airfields and economic targets in retaliation and invaded using paratroopers only to be forced to halt the
attack following American pressure (the US threatened sanctions and utilized UN condemnation and sanctions against all three). The act of agression
was halted by a superpower concerned with Soviet expansion in the region resulting from this act of 'imperialism' and 'agression'.
The Suex War undermined the cohesion of the Western alliance, caused the collape of British and French influence in the Middle East, and paved the way
to further Soviet advances in the region. It also debunks the myth that Israel was defending itself every time it was involved in conflit, as does
edit on 26-9-2011 by SpeachM1litant because: (no reason given)
edit on 26-9-2011 by SpeachM1litant because: (no reason