02 September, 2009

Ben-Gurion and Sinai

I'm currently working (or should be working) on a piece on the Suez Crisis/Tripartite Aggression, which - as Israeli historian Avi Shlaim points out - is not only one of the most famous but also the "best-documented war plot in modern history." The deceit and lies and bizarre worldview that led up to the war is a truly fascinating (and horrifying) piece of history that makes present-day neocon warmongers like Dick Cheney look like amateurs.

The highlights are provided by David Ben-Gurion - prime minister and defense minister of Israel. At the secret conference that produced the Protocol of Sèvres, Ben-Gurion was at his expansionist best. First he floated a proposal to re-organize the entire Middle East, giving the east bank of the Jordan river (Jordan, that is) to Iraq, annexing southern Lebanon to Israel in order to help establish a Maronite Christian state in the rest of the country, and toppling Nasser and replacing him with a pro-western leader that would also be prepared to sign a peace treaty with Israel. 

Later, in a private conversation with his french counterpart, he suggested "tearing" Sinai from Egypt. On 25 October 1956, Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary: "I told him (the french minister) about the discovery of oil in southern and western Sinai, and that it would be good to tear this peninsula from Egypt, because it did not belong to her, rather it was the English who stole it from the Turks when they believed that Egypt was in their pocket. I suggested laying down a pipeline from Sinai to Haifa to refine the oil..."

Much can be said about Ben-Gurion, but at least he was a man of vision...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Per , if you need any information regarding this war , please do not hestiate in asking me , I once did a special file about during its 50 anniversiary.