Role of the United States, USSR and UNO, 1973 - 77

USA and USSR


Henry Kissinger and shuttle diplomacy
Henry Kissinger and shuttle diplomacy


The role of the U.S and the USSR:
-Both the U.S and the USSR had a lot of influence in this conflict.

The 1956 Suez-Sinai Campaign:

U.S:
Stopped the campaign because the believed that a full-scale war would result in Soviet intervention in the Middle East.

USSR:
Supported Egypt with arms, (Czech arms dealers)

The Six Day War, (1967)

U.S:

USSR:
Soviet intelligence gives a false report to Egypt that Israeli troops are mobilizing in the Sinai; this in turn makes Egypt mobilize and eventually both nations go to war. Historians debate over why USSR issued the report. Some say that the report was a mistake in contrast to others who argue that USSR deliberately issued the report to provoke a war and start up the cold war in the middle east.

The 1973 War:

U.S:
The U.S did not involve in this war because:
1. Did not want to antagonize one side as the aggressor.
2. Kissinger received a letter from Sadat that this was just a limited war and the Egypt only intended to retake the land they had lost in the Six Day War.

USSR:
-The USSR threatened to intervene in the conflict and this made both sides stop fighting.


Egyptian-Israeli peace process after 1973 and onwards:

-They USSR + US meet in 1973 in Geneva for peace talks and tried to solve the conflict, but failed. The American secretary of state, Henry kissinger, emerged as one of the ley figures promoting peace in the middle east. Kissinger undertook a series of visits (called shuttle diplomacy) in the middle east to persuade Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories in 1973 war. The results of his shuttle diplomacy are that Israel gradually withdrew from he Suez canal, golan heights, gaza strip and west bank.

The un had also a hand in the peace process. The un security council decided to hold a debate on the palestinian question and invited Arafat to speak to the UN on the behalf of the PLO. However, this had a negative impact on peace negotiations as Israelis became furious with the UN (they viewed Arafat as a terrorist). Despite Israeli discontent, the UN subsequently passed two resolutions to the crisis in the middle east. The first resolution was the 3236 resolution, which reaffirms the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The second resolution, the 3237 resolution invites the PLO into the peace process concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. This result in more Israeli anger, but the Palestinians had been internationally recognized and the Palestinian question was on the international agenda for the first time since 1948!

-American president Jimmy Carter set up the Camp David accords (peace talks in 1978) as he wanted to reconvene the stalled Geneva conferences that were started by Kissinger and intended to solve the conflict (in the Geneva conference, all sides were invited to solve the conflict, and the USSR was the mediator). The Camp David Accords led to improvements in the relationships between the Arab states and Israel.

-But these talks fail as well due to several factors. For example, in 1977, the right-wing politican Menachem Begin and his right-wing party (Likud party) win the Israeli elections and begin to advocate for a thougher foreign policy against Arab states and palestinians. Begin's victory was a major set back for the peace negotations and let eventually to their failure, as Israel became unwilling to compromise in the negotiations with its enemies.

Role of the United Nations:


UNO recognition of the PLO
UNO recognition of the PLO

The role of the United Nations:

-The British handed over the problems and issues to the UN when they withdrew from Palestine.

-UNSCOP (United natiion's special committee on Palestine) was set up in 1941 to solve the conflict.

-UNSCOP saw the Partition Plan (divide up Palestine into 2 separate states) as the only solution to the conflict. However, there were several problems with the plan.

1. The Arabs believed that the committee was biased, they believed it favoured Israel.

2. Territorial fragmentation of the states, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were not connected.

3. The Palestinians felt trapped, in the Jewish state

4. The 2 sides did not receive land proportional to their population.

5. The Zionists did not like the idea of Jerusalem being an international city.

6. The Palestinians and the Israelis both believed that territorial partition was necessary but economic unity should be retained.

-The Partition Plan did not succeed to solve the problems because of the flaws in the plan and other factors. In 1948 the Jewish Agency declared its allotted territory the state of Israel. War broke out the next day between Israel and the Palestinians/Arabs. In many ways the partition plan can be seen as a crucial factor in setting up the conditions for instability and conflicts in the region.

Resources:


Schulze, pp. 46 - 49, 51.
Schulze, pp. 46 - 49, 51.


Cannon et al., pp. 132 - 33.
Cannon et al., pp. 132 - 33.


Mimmack et al., pp. 154 - 56.
Mimmack et al., pp. 154 - 56.