American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence


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Weird Ways Israel Won its War of Independence

By the spring of , the Israelis were retaliating forcefully against Syria, whose leaders demanded that Egypt intervene on their behalf. Though the report was false, Nasser sent large numbers of Egyptian soldiers into the Sinai anyway. In , President Dwight D. Eisenhower had promised that the United States would treat the closure of the Straits as an act of war. Instead, the President played for time. Simultaneously, Johnson implored the Soviets to intercede with Nasser and urged Israeli restraint. From the beginning, the United States sought a ceasefire in order to prevent an Arab defeat bad enough to force the Soviet Union to intervene.

Yet after June 5, the administration did not also demand an immediate Israeli pullback from the territories it had occupied. Though alarmed by Israeli decisions to absorb East Jerusalem and establish Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, U.

1964-1968, Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967

The Johnson administration did not re-enter the diplomatic fray until October, when the Soviets began to circulate a new version of the resolution that they had promoted that summer. But Beijing is ever readier to throw its weight around in multilateral institutions and its region. In Asia, it expects a Chinese sphere in which neighbors are sovereign but deferential. Mounting U. For the two superpowers, pooling efforts to end crises has never been easy. An increasingly bitter rivalry would make it much harder. China would be less likely to back either tougher sanctions against North Korea, if stuttering talks between Washington and Pyongyang break down, or U.

Risks of direct conflict remain slim, but the South China Sea is a troubling flash point. The past two decades have seen occasional run-ins between Chinese forces and U. Beijing stakes claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea, stopping mere miles from the Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Philippine coastlines, and has aggressively built bases on strategic natural and man-made islands. Others, of course, see it differently. The smaller Southeast Asian nations object, and some look to Washington for protection.

Israel–United States relations - Wikipedia

Beijing and Washington could reach some form of trade deal in the months ahead, which would help ease tensions. But any respite is likely to be short-lived. On both sides, leaders believe a long-festering geopolitical and economic clash has reached a point of rupture. Much like , presents risks of confrontation—deliberate or inadvertent—involving the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran. The first three share a common view of the government in Tehran as a threat that has been emboldened for too long and whose regional aspirations need curbing.

For Washington, this has translated into withdrawal from the nuclear deal, the restoration of sanctions, more aggressive rhetoric, and threats of powerful retaliation in the event of Iranian provocation. Riyadh has embraced this new tone, and— mainly in the voice of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—suggested it will fight back and seek to counter Iran in Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, and even on Iranian soil.

Israel has focused on Syria, where it has regularly struck Iranian and Iranian-aligned targets, but it has also threatened to target the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. So far, Iran—confident in long-term trends and deterred by the possibility of retaliation—has opted to hunker down. While it has resumed missile testing, and the United States has accused it of using its Shiite proxies in Iraq to threaten the U. But as economic pressure builds on Iran, this posture may not last. Moreover, the risk of an accidental clash originating in Yemen, in the Persian Gulf, in Syria, or in Iraq cannot be discounted.

The main source of tension, so far, has been the U. Those leaders also seem to be hoping for a one-term Trump presidency. This calculus could change. While U. Even if they comply with nuclear constraints, the temptation could grow in Tehran to make Washington pay a price for its actions by taking aim at its presence in the region, for example by encouraging attacks by Iraqi Shiite militias against U.

Any of these conflicts could escalate.


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Yemen is arguably the most dangerous. Should a Houthi missile inflict casualties in a Saudi city or if the Houthis target international commercial shipping in the Red Sea—a move they have long threatened to make—the conflict could enter a far more dangerous phase.

Noam Chomsky

In Syria, Israel has so far been adept at striking Iranian targets without prompting a wider war. Iran, no doubt aware of the potential cost of such escalation, calculates that it can absorb such attacks without endangering its deeper interests and longer-term presence in Syria. But the Syrian theater is congested, Iranian forbearance is not limitless, and the likelihood of a miscalculation or an attack gone awry remains a risk.

Hanging over these dynamics will be continued reverberations of the October assassination of Khashoggi. The murder amplified criticism in the United States of both Saudi foreign policy and the seemingly unconditional U. These feelings will intensify next year as Democrats assume control of the House. One can only hope this leads to stronger U. A Syrian child walks past the rubble of destroyed buildings in an opposition-held neighborhood of the southern city of Daraa on Oct.

As came to a close, it looked as if the Syrian conflict would continue along the same path. It seemed that the regime of Bashar al-Assad, with Iranian and Russian help, would win its battle against the opposition. The war against the Islamic State would approach the finish line. Foreign actors would maintain a fragile equilibrium in various parts of the country: among Israel, Iran, and Russia in the southwest; Russia and Turkey in the northwest; and the United States and Turkey in the northeast. It was unclear how 2, U.

The fight against the Islamic State is not over, but it need not require maintaining U. Should disorder ensue, the Islamic State could seize the opportunity to stage a comeback by regrouping and recapturing some of the territory it has lost over the past two years. In short, the real question for the United States should not have been whether to stay or go, but under what timetable and what conditions to withdraw.

Averting this scenario will require Washington and Moscow separately or in tandem to persuade Turkey not to launch an assault on YPG-held territory, to persuade the YPG to lower its armed profile, and to facilitate a deal between Damascus and the YPG that entails the return of the Syrian government to the northeast coupled with a degree of Kurdish self-rule in the area. Such an outcome would simultaneously allow Syria to restore its sovereignty, reassure Turkey by limiting YPG authority and firepower, and protect the Kurds from military attack. It might be too late to achieve this goal. It is not too late to try.

Women line up to cast their votes during the Osun State gubernatorial election in Ede, southwest Nigeria, on Sept. Nigerians will go to the polls in February to elect a president and new federal legislature, and again in March to choose state governors and lawmakers.

Nigerian elections are traditionally violent affairs, and conditions this time around are particularly combustible. The presidential contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, will be hard fought. Such protests have a troubled precedent: Demonstrations after the polls morphed into attacks on minorities across northern Nigeria in which more than people died.

The election comes atop other challenges. Levels of violent crime and general insecurity remain high across much of the country. Civilians in parts of the northeast bear the brunt of the brutal conflict between government troops and a resilient Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

Though that bloodshed has calmed over past months, it has frayed intercommunal relations—especially between Muslims and Christians—in those areas, which are likely to see fiercely fought elections, as ballots from there could swing the national presidential vote. Already, politicians are stoking divisions for political ends, including by using inflammatory, identity-based language against rivals.

The immediate priority for the government must be to avert an election crisis by beefing up security in vulnerable states and taking steps to ensure that security forces act impartially, while all parties pledge to campaign peacefully and handle disputes lawfully. But it would be a necessary start.


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In September, President Salva Kiir and his main rival, the former vice president-turned rebel leader Riek Machar, signed an agreement to hold fire and rule together until elections in Most importantly, it has reduced violence. For now, this is reason enough to support the accord. Yet the odds remain stacked against it ushering in a new era of stability. First, the deal is worryingly similar to a pact the two men signed in August , which collapsed the following year, triggering a surge in fighting.

By envisaging elections in , the deal perpetuates the Kiir-Machar rivalry until then, paving the way for another showdown. It also remains a work in progress. Most alarming, security arrangements for Juba, the capital, remain contested, as do plans for unifying a national army.

In Sudan, meanwhile, Bashir faces what could be a serious challenge to his own rule. In mid-December, protesters took to the streets in many towns and cities decrying high prices and urging the president to step down. But a prolonged crisis in its northern neighbor could be hugely destabilizing for South Sudan. Finally, donors, wary of funding deals that have collapsed in the past, are now mostly sitting on the sidelines. The United States, which until recently spearheaded Western diplomacy in South Sudan, has stepped back. Others are waiting to see tangible steps forward by Kiir and Machar before opening their checkbooks.

Such caution is understandable. But if this deal fails, it is not clear what would replace it, and the country could collapse into major bloodshed again. Some form of third-party shuttle diplomacy among regional heads of state, who back different sides and largely focus on protecting their own short-term interests, will be necessary. Without that, the fragile opportunity for peace that currently exists could evaporate. Cameroonian soldiers secure the perimeter of a polling station in Lysoka, near Buea, southwestern Cameroon, during the presidential election on Oct.

The tempo of the crisis has escalated steadily since , when Anglophone teachers and lawyers took to the streets to protest the creeping use of French in the education and legal systems. A disputed presidential election this October, which President Paul Biya, aged 85 and in power for 36 years, won and in which few Anglophones voted, hardly helped. Nearly 10 separatist militias now battle government forces, while two organizations provide direction from abroad: the interim government of Ambazonia the putative name of the self-proclaimed Anglophone state and the Ambazonia Governing Council.

Criminal gangs in Anglophone areas have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their activities. At least civilians have died in the violence. Defusing the crisis will first require confidence-building measures. These steps could pave the way for talks between the government and Anglophone leaders, followed by some form of national dialogue in which options for decentralization or federalism would be on the table.

1967 war: Six days that changed the Middle East

Cameroonian authorities made a welcome move in mid-December when they released Anglophone detainees, though hundreds, including separatist leaders, are still behind bars. It remains unclear whether this signals a genuine change of heart by the government, which has appeared determined to crush insurgents rather than address Anglophone concerns. Nor is it clear whether the release can, on its own, persuade hard-line separatists to talk rather than fight.

Without meaningful, mutual compromise, Cameroon is in danger of sliding toward a major and destabilizing conflict.

Tens of thousands of far-right activists and veterans of the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine walk through Kiev, lighting flares and shouting slogans, during a rally on Oct. The war in Ukraine continues to smolder with no end in sight. The latest flash point is the Sea of Azov, where in November Russian and Ukrainian vessels clashed and Russia effectively blocked access to the Kerch Strait, at the mouth of the sea.

The confrontation suggests that neither side sees any advantage in compromising. As Kiev sees it, the attack on Ukrainian military ships and seizure of two dozen sailors is the culmination of months of Russian attempts to squeeze Ukrainian boats out of those waters, violating a bilateral treaty that guarantees both countries free shipping. Moscow claims the boats were entering its coastal waters and that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko provoked the skirmish to shore up Western backing and his domestic base ahead of presidential elections scheduled for March Meanwhile, fighting in the Donbass continues, and civilians living along front lines—abandoned by both Kiev and the separatists—are paying the price.

Neither Ukraine nor Russia has taken steps to end the war. Kiev refuses to devolve power to Donbass—something it pledged to do as part of the Minsk agreements that set out a path to end the war—until Russia withdraws arms and personnel from separatist-held areas, which Moscow shows scant willingness to do. Proposals for possible peacekeeping missions have not gone far. Absent a meaningful shift in tack by either side, will most likely see more of the same. Russia may chafe at the cost of keeping separatist-held areas afloat, but it is unlikely to give up influence in the Donbass any time soon.

The Ukrainian elections or domestic developments in Russia might bring opportunities for peacemaking. But as the Azov spat shows, the danger of escalation is ever present.

American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence
American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence
American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence
American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence
American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence
American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence
American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence American Diplomacy and the Israeli War of Independence

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