Friday, July 01, 2005


3. October 1956 - January 1961 - (from the Sinai War to the end of Eisenhower's term)

30 Oct 1956 - In accordance with the trilateral agreement, an Anglo-French ultimatum is handed to the Israeli and Egyptian ambassadors in London, with the US ambassador receiving a copy. Of course, Israel accepts the ultimatum.Eisenhower explodes in anger, tries to pass a Security Council resolution which the UK and France veto.
31 Oct 1956 - UK military intervention fails to materialize on schedule as planned, and Ben-Gurion blames Eden's faulty leadership; Anglo-French bombing starts 13 hrs late in a time-sensitive operation.
01 Nov 1956 - Anglo-French troops begin moving towards Egypt - this belated movement allows Nasser to sink ships, block the Suez Canal and ultimately enables the US to pressure the UK to withdraw. Because the UK and France have veto power in the UN Security Council (UNSC), the US moves the debate to UN General Assembly (UNGA).
02 Nov 1956 - UNGA passes a resolution demanding cease-fire and withdrawal. The vote is 64:5, with 6 abstentions; the "no" votes are casts by Israel, the UK, France, Australia and New Zealand. US suspends aid to Israel. On the ground, Gaza strip falls into Israeli hands. There is bitter irony in the fact that to bully her allies, the US resorted to the UN -- the same UN that caused Bush all the grief when he decided to defang Saddam Hussein.

03 Nov 1956 - Egyptian army in Sinai collapses. Canada's Lester Pearson, with US inspiration, suggests replacing the foreign armies with a UN Emergency Force, UNEF.
04 Nov 1956 - Because the Suez Canal is closed, Britain asks the US for oil; Eisenhower refuses. On the ground, IDF continues to advance. This episode of Eisenhower turning on his allies probably didn't go unnoticed by politicians from other countries, who may well be excused for considering the US to be an unreliable ally. Also on this day, 04 November, 1956, Budapest falls to Soviet tanks but Eisenhower can do absolutely nothing where it counts.
05 Nov 1956 - Israel takes Sharam el Sheikh. Paratroops from France and the UK invade at last, but their progress is hesitant, as the political will in the UK collapses. Soviets send threatening letters even as they crush Hungary.
06 Nov 1956 - Amphibious assault by troops from the UK and France. US refuses $1 billion IMF loan to the UK until hostilities stop. Pushed by the US, Eden accepts the UN cease-fire and forces the French to accept too. Left alone, Israel too accepts the cease-fire after 8 days of war. The toll on IDF: 171 dead, one POW, 20 planes downed. Eisenhower elected president for second term.One should pause here for a moment to note the Eisenhower-Dulles folly. Nasser had already proved himself the West's enemy, and an impediment to the Baghdad pact that Dulles coveted. The US had a golden opportunity to remove Nasser, strengthen the West's influence in the Middle East and curb the Soviet interference. Instead, the US opted for turning on her allies, weakening the two major anti-Soviet European allies, and bullying the only democracy in the region. All this, in the worship of a myth about the sanctity of the UN. As the following entries indicate, the US folly is compounded further in the subsequent months and the proof of the folly is manifest shortly afterwards.

07 Nov 1956 - Ben-Gurion delivers a victory speech at the Knesset. In retrospect, the speech is considered a grave error: because of the arrogant tone, the speech generate an international backlash. UN votes 65-1 for an immediate, unconditional withdrawal - France and the UK abstain. Hammarskjold refuses to discuss any security guarantees for Israel. Soviet threats intensify.
08 Nov 1956 - Dulles meets Israel delegates, threatens to engineer UN sanctions and expulsion from the UN. Eisenhower refuses Ben-Gurion request for a meeting. Emergency cabinet meeting in Israel. One day after his victory speech, Ben-Gurion accepts the inevitability of withdrawal. It should be noted that while Ben-Gurion accepted the withdrawal in principle, over the following ten weeks he waged a ferocious fight against Eisenhower and Hammarskjold to gain security and navigation guarantees and to prevent Gaza from turning again into a fedayeen haven. Very different from the current Israeli prime minister who seems to cave in even before the shots are fired.
Mid Nov 1956 - Mid Jan 1957 - Partial withdrawal of Israeli troops, while Ben-Gurion spells out new objectives: Presence but no annexation of Gaza, iron-clad guarantees for withdrawal from Sharm el Sheikh. US, Hammarskjold refuse these terms. Complete withdrawal of Anglo-French troops. The US position at this point is not only bizarre but smacks of egregious unfairness. Egypt had no rights to Gaza; on the other hand, Egypt had used Gaza in the past as a basis for murderous fedayeen against Israeli civilians. Israel's demand for guaranteed passage in the Suez was justified, since the UN itself passed resolutions in that vein. And the demand for guaranteed passage in the Tiran Straits was justified because even the US considered the Straits to be international waters. Yet the US refused all Israel's demands, which makes one suspect that "unconditional withdrawal" became an irrational US obsession.

18 Nov 1956 - First Israeli ship makes it through the straits of Tiran to the port of Eilat.
21 Nov 1956 - An Egyptian assassination attempt against Camile Chamoun of Lebanon. Also at this time, Egypt intensifies its persecution of Egypt's Jews: concentration camps, revocation of citizenship and expulsions; Hammarskjold refuses to take any action. Eisenhower-Dulles are beginning to reap the fruit of appeasing Nasser. The anti-Chamoun subversion is only one in a series, as indicated in subsequent entries.

16 Dec 1956 - Encouraged by the anti-Israel position of the US and the UN, Arab terrorists resume major terrorist attacks: home detonated in Tel Mond, kills husband, wounds wife and children. On Christmas eve, terrorist detonate a water pipe near Beer Sheva. It is justified, to my mind, to hold Eisenhower-Dulles responsible for these deaths, as well as for the scores that followed.

27 Dec 1956 - One of many meetings between Israel (Golda Meir) and the US (Dulles), in which Israel asks for guarantees and the US demands total, unconditional withdrawal.
06 Jan 1957 - Arab terrorists sabotage Israeli water pipes and railways. On 13 January, terrorist sabotage phone lines in the Negev.19 Jan 1957 - Fourth UN resolution demands total, unconditional Israeli withdrawal; the resolution passes 74-2, with only Israel and France voting against. UN refuses any guarantees to Israel. Nasser refuses to clear the Suez Canal until total Israeli withdrawal is achieved; consequently, the "oil pressure" causes the countries which previously supported Israel's demands for guarantees, to deserted her, as reflected in the UN vote. Also on this day, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan reject the "Eisenhower Doctrine" but on 29 January, Eisenhower receives the Saudi King in Washington (see entry below). This episode demonstrates clearly the power of oil and the vulnerability of the civilized world to oil blackmail. In the following years, the Arabs learnt to play the West like a fiddle, using the oil blackmail as a permanent feature. It is appalling to note that to this day, nothing has been done to ease Western dependence on the very same oil. Also note the way Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries thank the US for Eisenhower's continual support; at the same time, courting the Saudis ceases not for a minute.

23 Jan 1957 - 75 democratic congressmen write to Dulles against total Israeli withdrawal, demanding navigation guarantees for free passage in the Tiran Straits and in through Suez Canal. Two days later (on 25 January 1957), 42 congressmen demand that at the UN, the US support a mandate for the UNEF to prevent Egyptian re-militarization of Gaza, Sinai and Sharm el-Sheikh. Eisenhower unmoved. This episode confirms my contention that the issue had become one of an Eisenhower-Dulles obsession, as the US administration works against its own interests. It should also be noted that three months into a constant battering of Israel, some US congressmen at last stand up to the administration.

29 Jan 1957 - King Ibn Saud visits Eisenhower, ties permission for the US to use the Daharan base, to supplying Saudi Arabia with arms and ensuring Israeli total capitulation. This visit is very reminiscent of the Saudi letter which changed Bush's attitude from non-intervention to an aggressive persecution of Israel (see my IsraPundit article on the topic).
03 Feb 1957 - Following Ibn Saud's visit, Eisenhower writes to Ben-Gurion, threatening UN sanctions. Two days later, on 05 February 1957, Dulles repeats the threat in a UN news conference. The heavy US hand continues to generate a backlash in Congress, including both minority and majority Senate leaders.
06 Feb 1957 - US Zionist leaders decide to publish ads condemning Dulles' call for sanctions against Israel.
15 Feb 1957 - Eban informs Dulles that Ben-Gurion has rejected the US demands; Eisenhower, Dulles set in motion preparations for sanctions, including the cancellation of the tax-free status of donations to Israel. Shipments of surplus US food to Israel are stopped. Note that at this point, Ben-Gurion had been in an all-out fight with Eisenhower-Dullas for three and one-half months. One must admire Ben-Gurion's tenacity and steadfastness - especially in comparison with today's spineless Sharon.

19 Feb 1957 - Faced with Ben-Gurion's steadfast position, and faced with objections to sanctions by the American people, Dulles agrees to modify his position somewhat; Eban carried the modified plan to Ben-Gurion. Other factors that changed Dulles' mind include: Canada's indication that she would not co-operate with sanctions; Germany's refusal to suspend reparation payments, as Dulles demanded; and France's announcement that she is extending Israel a $30 million credit and would increase shipments to Israel. This entry highlights two important points: (i) sustained pressure on the administration can generate a change, even with the most obdurate of administrations; (ii) while at the time Israel could find some support in countries such as Canada, France and Germany, today she is totally alone. This is the situation Israel's friends must address.

20 Feb 1957 - A bi-partisan group of legislators meets Eisenhower; he demands their support and they flatly refuse. Still, Eisenhower is undeterred, cables Ben-Gurion with new threats to vote for UN sanctions. Eisenhower also broadcasts these threats on national TV.
21 Feb 1957 - Dulles meets major Jewish businessmen in an attempt to get their support; not only do they refuse, but one of the delegates states these immortal words: "for our country to try to bludgeon Israel against its own vital interests is morally wrong". It is most unfortunate that the same words apply today with regard to Bush.24 Feb 1957 - Eban returns to Washington with Ben-Gurion's reply, works out an agreement with Dulles (on 28 February); in fact, Ben-Gurion yielded on holding on to Gaza, and the guarantees Israel receives from the US about free navigation are vague and proved worthless. The only achievement was the stationing of UNEF troops between Israel and Egypt, and this too proved worthless on the eve of the 1967 War. Thus, Eisenhower-Dulles succeeded in crushing tiny, brave Israel, paving the way to more Egyptian attacks and ultimately to the 1967 War. This chapter should go down as one of the most shameful in US history. Personally, I hold the US solely responsible for the 1967 War and for the soldiers Israel lost in that campaign.

01 Mar 1957 - At the UN, Golda Meir declares that Israel will withdraw from Gaza and the rest of Sinai. The withdrawal from Gaza took place on 07 March 1957.
11 Mar 1957 - Within days of the agreement with Dulles, which stipulated that the UN - and not Egypt - will control Gaza, Nasser sends administrator and staff to take over Gaza. UN remains silent and while the US 'expresses regret', she also warns Israel to take no action. On 14 March, US resumes aid to Israel. Thus was Israel betrayed again by her "best friend".
06 Apr 1957 - A US oil tanker loaded with crude docks in Eilat, symbolizing US support for free navigation in the Straits of Tiran. On 23 March 1957, however, Nasser announced that Israeli ships will not be allowed through the Suez Canal, and "the international community", including the US, does absolutely nothing.
18 Apr 1957 - Arab terrorism continues. Fire from Jordanian positions, mines in Israeli fields, Syrian fire on Israeli positions along Lake Kinneret. On 20 April, US demands that Israel refrain from retaliation. Clearly, the US had forgotten nothing and had learnt nothing - Talleyrand words continue to dominate world politics.
19 May 1957 - An Egyptian plot to murder the Saudi king is revealed. On 07 June it is revealed that Egyptian agents hatched another plot to assassinate both King Hussein and King Saud. The wisdom of the Eisenhower-Dulles policies is being revealed time and time again.
23 May 1957 - Israeli vehicle en route to Eilat is ambushed. On 29 May, a Kibbuz member is killed when his tractor hits an Egyptian mine. On 01 June, a border patrol hits an Egyptian mine.

18 Jun 1957 - USSR equips Egyptian navy with three submarines and arms the Syrian military. When, on 25 June, Dulles denounces the submarine transfer, Nasser announces that the submarines are needed to prevent Israeli navigation in the Gulf of Eilat. The folly of the US policies continues to unfold.
13 Jul 1957 - Sources reveal that the USSR has supplied Syria with $140 million in arms and has sent hundreds of "experts" with the equipment. On the same day, State announces that the US will not sell arms to Israel to counter the Soviet supplies to Syria. A further Syria-USSR agreement is announced on 06 August: the USSR forgave a large part of Syria's debt, granted a $115 million loan, supplied two submarines. On 11 August, Syria receives MIG-19 jets. On 15 August, Syria appoints a pro-Communist chief of staff. Whereas prior to the US-generated Sinai withdrawal Egypt was the only USSR client in the ME, the policies of Eisenhower-Dulles gave birth to a second client: Syria.

19 Aug 1957 - After detaining an Israel-bound, Norwegian ship for four days, Egypt allows the ship to continue through the Suez.
12 Sep 1957 - Syrian, Egyptian armies, under unified command. Another consequence of the Eisenhower-Dulles policy. The parallel with what is happening today is startling: it will not take long before the consequences of the Bush pressure on Israel to withdraw from Yesha lead to the same consequences.
29 Jan 1958 - Syrians open fire on Israeli policemen, kill three, wound six.
01 Feb 1958 - Sowing the seeds of new problems: Syria and Egypt unite, form United Arab Republic, UAR. Yemen joins on 9 Mar 1958.

16 Feb 1958 - Jordan opens a series of attacks against Israel, including random shootings and detonating phone polls. The UAR union sent Iraq and Jordan into a deep anxiety, seeking means to counter UAR's military might. Nonetheless, Jordan attacks Israel... This is known as ME logic.
06 Apr 1958 - Egypt receives three additional submarines from the East block.
30 Mar 1958 - In an attempt to stop Israel's draining of Lake Hula, Syrian artillery opens fire. The fire continues on the following day. Another in a series of examples where Arab states attempt to prevent or stall any development in Israel.
10 May 1958 - Civil war in Lebanon resulting from Nasser subversion: Camile (Camille) Chamoun's Government is threatened, as Moslems demand to join the Syria-Egypt union. Syrian agents enter Lebanon. US sends the 6th Fleet. On 22 May, Lebanon complains about UAR to the UN Security Council. Eisenhower-Dulles continue to reap the results of saving Nasser and permitting him to continue to undermine the West. Meantime, the US allies have been seriously weakened.

26 May 1958 - Jordanians open fire on Israeli policemen in Mount Scopus, kill three; also killed is the chairman of the Israel-Jordan MAC. As seen previously, even though Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon were under threat from UAR, Jordan nonetheless attacked Israel.
14 Jul 1958 - Aabdul Karim Kassem organizes coup in Iraq. Another country is about to fall into the Soviet orbit thanks to Eisenhower-Dulles.
15 Jul 1958 - In accordance with the Eisenhower Doctrine to aid any ME country that requests help to counter Communist subversion, the US sends 15,000 marines to Beirut in response to Chamoun's request. Two days later, on 17 July, Britain airlifts troops and arms to Jordan, fearing a coup similar to the Iraqi one; on the same day, French reinforcements land in Lebanon. On 21 July, Jordan severs relations with UAR. The antagonism withing the Arab block are now displayed to the world, indicating the folly of the thesis that Israel is the source of all the tension and instability in the ME.

24 Jul 1958 - Nasser's subversion threatens Jordan; US and Britain use Israeli air space to supply Jordan. To reiterate: The danger to Jordan is another direct consequence of Eisenhower-Dulles having saved Nasser.
15 Oct 1958 - Tunis severs relations with UAR because of Nasser's subversion. In fact, Nasser subversion may be found all over the Arab world - a direct result of the colossal mistake made by Eisenhower-Dulles. The examples of Yemen and Iraq are highlighted below, in addition to the examples of Tunis, Jordan and Lebanon, which were cited above.

06 Nov 1958 - Heavy Syrian fire directed against Israeli workers who are trapped until IDF called to ensure their evacuation. On November 19, the body of the wife of the British air attache to Israel was discovered close to the Syrian border, with indication that she was shot by Syrians from short range. On 03 December, the Syrians opened fire on an Israeli shepherd, killing him, and then began shelling the Jewish communities in the valley. Note how many incidents of anti-Israel aggression occurred withing one year of the Eisenhower-Dulles success in beating up Israel.
10 Nov 1958 - Hussein's plane attacked by Syrian air-force, escapes with difficulty and returns to Jordan.

27 Dec 1958 - UAR, USSR sign the Aswan Dam agreement.
20 Dec 1958 - Aerial battle between Israeli and Egyptian planes over the Negev.
13 Jan 1959 - Syria begins new round of terrorism, kidnaps two young Americans in Israeli territory. On 23 January 1959, the Syrians murder an Israeli shepherd, blow up a water pipe. Israel complains to the Security Council with the usual results.
9 Mar 1959 - Nasser arrests a Liberian ship passing the Suez Canal with an Israeli cargo en route to Ceylon. Four days later, a German ship with Israeli cargo is arrested and the cargo confiscated. Israel complains to the Security Council with the usual results. Eisenhower-Dulles can now score yet another victory.
12 Mar 1959 - Nasser supports an anti-Communist uprising in Iraq, attacks Communism. On 16 March, Khrushchev denounces Nasser, grants Iraq A large loan. on 25 March, Iraq quits the Baghdad pact. On 22 April, the USSR and Egypt reconcile, as the USSR promises to continue providing aid. Now, both the USSR and the US that are learning the depth of Arab loyalty. The Eisenhower-Dulles dream of a pro-Western Arab alliance suffers a severe but predictable setback.

04 May 1959 - The UK announces that she will supply Iraq with heavy armaments, including bomber jets, Centurion tanks.
22 May 1959 - In Port Said, Egypt arrests a Danish ship with Israeli cargo bound for Japan.
24 May 1959 - Dulles dies of stomach cancer at the age of 71.
16 Aug 1959 - Yemen quits the pact with the UAR, condemns Nasser's subversion.
06 Sep 1959 - More terrorism: Egyptian agents murder an IDF officer near the Sinai border.
22 Oct 1959 - Mein Kampf published in Egypt; first 1,000 copies sold withing two days. This piece of info is indicative of the underlying problem which Eisenhower-Dulles refused to acknowledge: the intrinsic rejection of the West by the Arabs, coupled with a profound anti-Semitic streak.

01 Dec 1959 - US grants a $50 million loan to the UAR. Again: they have forgotten nothing and have learnt nothing.
20 Dec 1959 - In the Suez, Egypt arrests a Greek ship carrying an Israeli cargo. Nasser avers that he will continue to deny Israel passage rights.
13 Jan 1960 - US declares willingness to fund second phase of the Aswan Dam; on 15 January, Egypt announces granting the contract to the USSR. Appeasement and ingratitude - a constant motif in the West-Arab relations.
28 Jan 1960 - Following Syrian fire that killed a Jewish Kibbutz member on 24 December 1959, armed Syrians invade Israeli territory. Over the subsequent two days, Syrians engage in fierce fire fights, and Israel retaliates.
06 Feb 1960> - Sources disclose that the USSR has supplied Egypt with eight submarines. MIG-19 planes and other modern weapons stream into Egypt. Setting the stage for the 1967 - thanks to Eisenhower-Dulles.

08 Mar 1960 - During an unofficial visit to the US, Ben Gurion meets Eisenhower, who refuses Ben-Gurion's request for Hawk missiles. As far as Israel is concerned, the final act of Eisenhower's reign is no difference from the opening act.
24 Apr 1960 - Eisenhower declares that he will not act against the Egyptian blockade in the Suez.
26 May 1960 - Incursion into Israel by Egyptian planes; Egyptians chased out by Israel's air force.
11 Jun 1960 - A new series of Syrian provocation begins: mines, fire opened on Israeli patrols, illegal Syrian fishers in Lake Kinneret. On 28 June, Syrian fire kills an IDF officer on patrol. As the provocations continue, Israel complains to the Security Council on July 1, but incidents continue.

26 Jul 1960 - Following Iran's recognition of Israel, Nasser attacks the Shah; on the following day, Iran severs relations with the UAR. Another US ally joins the list of those who Egypt identifies as marked men.
28 Aug 1960 - UAR agents assassinate Jordan's prime minister, who opposed the UAR. On the following day, a time-bomb is discovered in Hussein's palace. In his UN speech On 03 October 1960, Hussein condemns the UAR subversion. When Nasser visits Syria on 17 October, he calls for Hussein to be assassinated. One is almost tempted to believe that Nasser is deliberately attempting to prove the folly of the Eisenhower ME policy, even as Eisenhower is about to leave office.
20 Jan 1961 - JFK takes over from Eisenhower.

Posted by Joseph Alexander Norland at June 8, 2005 08:04 AM
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