LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Israel entered Suez War for several reasons

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

I have two clarifications to John R. Coyne Jr.’s interesting and timely book review (“How Ike eased Middle East strife,” March 29).

The review notes that Israel’s incentive for joining England and France to attack Egypt in 1956 was President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s “stated promises to wipe it from the face of the earth.” Nasser’s threats of annihilation weighed heavily, but they were not the only or even immediate incentives for Israel to go to war.

Egyptian-sponsored terrorism by Arab fedayeen infiltrating the Jewish state had killed 101 Israelis and wounded 364 others in violation of the 1949 armistice. More than a quarter of those deaths and a third of the woundings took place in 1956 alone.

Also, even before angering the British and French by nationalizing the Suez Canal, Nasser had blockaded Israeli shipping through the canal and the Straits of Tiran into the Red Sea - more violations of the 1949 armistice.

Mr. Coyne notes that then-Secretary of State John Foster Dulles advised then-Vice President Richard Nixon, out on the 1956 campaign trail, not to “single out the Israelis because ‘they may have been used.’ ” Perhaps more to the point in a book about Dwight D. Eisenhower’s statecraft was the former president’s observation in 1965. Speaking to Max M. Fisher, who became a major Republican Party supporter, Eisenhower said: “You know, Max, looking back at Suez, I regret what I did. I never should have pressured Israel to evacuate the Sinai.”


Washington director

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)


© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts