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Beyond Suez---the Anglo-Israeli relationship 1956--1958.

Almog, Orna (1999) Beyond Suez---the Anglo-Israeli relationship 1956--1958. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the Anglo-Israeli relationship from early 1956 to the summer of 1958 against the wider background of the Cold War, super power rivalries and upheavals in the Middle East. In the period under study Anglo-Israeli relations went through two major phases. The first phase, from early 1956 to early 1957 was marked by growing tension in the Middle East when relations between Israel and Britain were at best cool and at times hostile. The second phase, from March 1957 to summer/autumn 1958, was characterised by the growing instability of pro- Western states in the region and by an eventual breakthrough in Anglo-Israeli relations. Anglo-Israeli relations were overshadowed by Britain's interests in the Middle East, which were essentially to keep oil supply routes and communication with the Indian ocean open. It was only the Iraqi coup d'etat in 1958 and the collapse of the Baghdad Pact which paved the way for the change in Anglo-Israeli relations. This dramatic set of events, coupled with Israel's willingness to cooperate with the British military rescue operation in Jordan, led to a less antagonistic and distrustful relationship resulting in a definite change in Whitehall's attitudes. This development poses the question of whether the origins of this change lay in the semi-cooperation that had taken place between Britain and Israel during the Suez war or whether the latter was merely a temporary act of collusion that was followed by a retreat into old patterns of political behaviour. This study aims to demonstrate that as far as Anglo-Israeli relations were concerned it was the upheavals after the Suez war and primarily the crisis during the summer of 1958 that led to an enhanced understanding between Israel and Britain. In other words it was not the Suez war that brought an end to the traditional British interests and view of the region, but rather that the fundamental change came in 1958 due to the specific crises that developed during that year. This thesis, based predominately on Israeli and British diplomatic sources, political diaries, and memoirs seeks to provide a broad study on theses events highlight issues as they were seen from Jerusalem and London, and to deliver a comparative study which has hitherto been absent. This research takes into consideration the various components that influenced Israel's foreign and defence policy before and after the Suez war such as coalition considerations, public morale and support as well as financial, Jewish immigration and financial limitations, as far as these issues were reflected in the diplomatic sources. Furthermore most of the books and research written on Suez as well as on Israeli foreign policy, do not go beyond early 1957, and no serious study of Anglo-Israeli relations in the period following the Suez war period has yet been published.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, Middle Eastern, Middle Eastern Studies, Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2219

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