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The Middle East:. Turbulence and Instability. Arab-Israeli Conflict. Middle East covers from Morocco to Turkey as well as countries that border the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, and the Persian Gulf. Important to its strategic location and its enormous supply of oil.

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The Middle East:

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The Middle East:

Turbulence and Instability

Arab-Israeli Conflict

  • Middle East covers from Morocco to Turkey as well as countries that border the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, and the Persian Gulf

  • Important to its strategic location and its enormous supply of oil.

  • All major world powers try to have influence in the region

Jewish Homeland

  • May 14, 1948 Israel became a country

  • Created out of Palestine

  • The displacement of Palestinian Arabs has never been resolved

  • Zionism – the belief of the creation of a Jewish homeland

  • Balfour Declaration of 1917 pledged British support of the creation of a Jewish homeland

  • Gained momentum with the realization of the Holocaust

Arab – Israeli War: 1948

  • Arab nations tried a quick strike attack trying to gain advantage over a new country

  • Arabs outnumbered the Israelis but weren’t as well-trained or armed

  • Israelis got arms from Czechoslovakia (from USSR)

  • Even though the Soviets supplied the Israelis the Arab nations blamed USA due to the fact that they helped create the state of Israel

  • From this point on USA/Israel and USSR/Arab relationships were mostly the norm

  • Results:

    • Increased tension between the Arabs and Israelis

    • Loss of Arab territory

    • Refugees settling in West Bank, Gaza Strip increased tensions

Suez Crisis

  • Nasser took power in Egypt on July 23, 1952

    • Wanted to modernize Egypt's economy

    • Build up the military to fight the Israelis

  • July 26th, 1956 Nasser nationalized the canal taking Egyptian control

  • British, French, and Israelis devised a plan to take control of the Suez Canal (kept it secret from the Americans)

  • Oct. 26/56 Israelis attacked the Sinai

  • Nov. 5/56 French and British joined in

  • Resolution:

    • USA got the UN involved

    • UN:

      • Got a ceasefire

      • Withdrawal of all troops

      • Peacekeeping force present

      • Negotiated by Lester B. Pearson, who won the Nobel Peace Prize

  • Results:

    • Canal damaged not used until repaired

    • British and French lost prestige

    • Israelis had military victories, but withdrew under American threat of economic sanctions

    • Nasser a hero in the Arab world

The Six-Day War

  • Syria, Jordan, And Iraq joined Egypt mobilizing against Israel

  • These countries threatened to cut off oil supply to any country that aided Israel

  • June 5, 1967 the Israeli air force struck first

    • Resulting in the Egyptian air force being destroyed and Syrian and Jordan troops decimated

    • Israel gained the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights

The Yom Kippur War: 1973

  • Oct. 6, 1973 Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack on Israel

  • At first Israel suffered heavy losses; after two weeks Israel counter-attacked and threatened Damascus and to cross the Suez

The Camp David Accord

  • USA’s President Carter offered economic support to Egypt and Israel in exchange for peace in between the two countries

  • Egypt regained the Sinai Peninsula and established diplomatic relations between the two countries

  • Egypt could turn to domestic issues and Israel increased their national security

  • Other Arab nations denounced the treaty

Unresolved Issues

  • PLO continued guerrilla raids against Israel

  • Over 3 million Palestinian refugees still displaced

  • West Bank occupation by the Israelis

  • OIL – OPEC controlled the flow of the world’s oil supply

Iran – Iraq War

  • Both countries wanted hegemony in the region

  • Both wanted to control the exporting of oil in the region

  • Causes:

    • Iraq wanted to overthrow the Ayatollah Khomeini

    • Establish Iraq as the dominant country power in the Persian Gulf

Results of the War

  • 8 year war devastated both countries

  • USA built-up their navy

  • Iran’s industry and oil production was crippled

  • Both countries in debt

  • Both sides used chemical weapons

  • Iraq launched a program to develop nuclear weapons

The Gulf War: Build-up of Tensions

  • Iraq accused Kuwait of over-producing oil, thus causing the price of oil to drop

  • Iraq wanted to be the most powerful country in the Middle East

  • U.S. Ambassador gave no response to Iraq – Kuwait issues

  • Aug. 2, 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait

  • November 29, 1990 U.N. Security Council approved all necessary means to secure the freedom of Kuwait

  • Diplomatic negotiations failed, then in January 1991 Operation Desert Storm began

Operation Desert Storm

  • When allies finally began their ground assault they found very little Iraqi resistance

  • Defeat produced internal problems. Shi’a forces in the south and Kurdish groups in the north challenged the government.

Environmental Warfare

  • 1.1 billion litres of crude oil dumped into the Persian Gulf

    • Clean-up didn’t begin until after the war ended

  • Oil wells started on fire resulting in poisonous gases filling the air

Super Power Involvement in the Middle East

  • Neither superpower could claim overwhelming success in the area

  • Though the U.S. Has had more success than the Soviets

American Policy

  • Goals:

    • Contain Soviet influence

    • Retain access to oil resources

    • Limit Arab radicalism

    • Maintain Israel's security and well being

Soviet Policy

  • Main Concerns:

    • Maintaining the security of their southern borders

    • Rivalry with Americans in the area

    • Inability to promote communism in Islamic areas

Palestinian – Israeli Conflict

  • Oct. 13, 1993 Yassir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin accepted the conditions of the Oslo Peace Accord

  • In 1994 Palestinians returned to Gaza Strip and West Bank

  • As leadership changed acceptance of the accord waned

  • Problem has yet to be resolved

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