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July 31, 2006

Israel as Imperialist

While there is no doubt lots of antisemitism in the Middle East, the hostility to Israel is far more complicated-- and it relates to Western dominance of the region during the imperialist age. And folks forget that Israel jumped on the side of the imperialists during the 1956 Suez crisis, as the Economist reminds us: When the British wanted to take back the Suez Canal from Egypt's Nasser, they used the cover of Arab-Israeli conflict as an excuse to get their troops on the ground:

Israel would invade Egypt and race to the canal. The French and British could then invade, posing as peacekeepers to separate the two sides, and occupy the canal, ostensibly to guarantee the free passage of shipping. When this plan was presented to Eden, he jumped at it. Thus was collusion born. The details were agreed on at a secret meeting in Sèvres, outside Paris. Not for nothing is the Suez crisis known in Egypt as the “tripartite aggression”. The British and French forces now had a pretext to invade.
Keep that history in mind when people wonder if the US is behind Israel's actions in the region.

Posted by Nathan at July 31, 2006 11:00 AM