Israeli and Arab Conflict

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  • Topic: Egypt, Israel, Gamal Abdel Nasser
  • Pages : 7 (3030 words )
  • Download(s) : 46
  • Published : May 5, 2013
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The shared language, religion and culture amongst the majority of Arab civilians in the Middle East, have been known to deliver the feeling of patriotism and chauvinism for Arabs all around the world. Arab citizens have supported each other throughout conflicts with the west in the twentieth century and are united under a single ideology. “We swear to God that we shall not rest until we restore Arab nationalism to Palestine and Palestine to the Arab nation. There is no room for imperialism and there is no room for Britain in our country, just as there is no room for Israel within the Arab nations”. This speech made by Colonel Nasser in 1964 gives evidence to the strong anti-west essence and unity in the Middle East. There have been many influential figures that have had an impact on the political landscapes of the Middle East and the development of Arab Nationalism in this region. However, the significance of events and leaders in the Middle East during the twentieth century in developing political relationship is arguable, but for some the legacy and impact of Nasser holds particular significance. Historian Herman states “[Nasser’s] determination, the unconditional support he received from the U.S.S.R. his very ability to survive military blows and diplomatic threats fuelled the struggle for self-determination throughout the Arab world”. Whilst historian Shehata claims “torture was widely used by [Nasser’s] secret police to extract confessions from those opposed to Nasser and his regime”, there is a clear contrast to Herman’s comment as Shehata emphasises that Nasser’s presidency is similar to a dictator. This essay will examine the extent and influence that Nasser visions and politics had for political relationships within the Middle East. This will be done by examining some of the key moments in his career and what impact they had on the changing and volatile political history of the Middle East. Gamal Abdul Nasser was beyond doubt a leading figure that had substantial authority in the Middle East, critics often refer to Nasser as a true male protagonist as he managed to work his way to a higher status of becoming president. From the beginning of his presidency Nasser stated that his focal aim was to make Egypt independent "Israel is an artificial state which must disappear." This source encapsulates the sheer determination to eliminate the state of Israel. Initially, Arabs regarded Nasser as another leader who conveys incompetent tendencies who may inevitably fail in following through in his promises. Arab leaders have been criticised in the past for not putting religion before politics as Muslim cleric Bashir declared “Arab leaders worry more about making money from the profits they get from oil and gas” rather than “their neighbours [who] are being murdered”. The source is an example of the view held by influential religious figures from the Middle East and as a result should be understood within this context. Nasser understood the importance of developing political relationship within the Middle East and overseas as in 1950s he secured an arms deal with Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia in addition to recognising communist China in 1956. Fundamentally, Nasser channelled his powerful voice and vision through the Cairo Radio to overcome boundaries such as illiteracy amongst the population encouraging Arab unity as Al- Said stated “We cannot separate the policies of Nasser from the broadcasting”. Economic implication of nationalising the Suez crisis was to the fund for the Aswan Dam which was designed to improve living standards. Nevertheless, the Suez Crisis marked a significant period in Nasser’s presidency as US Ambassador Henry Byroade declared "I cannot over-emphasize [the] popularity of the Canal Company nationalization within Egypt, even among Nasser's enemies." Byroads quote is supported by historian Aburish who emphasis Nasser’s popularity as "Soon his pictures...
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