The Effect of Outside Powers on the Arab-Israeli Conflict
The tension in the Middle East is a constant problem; originating from
both historical and religious claims to the area. It is strengthened,
as both parties have convinced themselves that they are right, and are
victims of the other side. Furthermore, it has been fuelled by the
involvement of the Western powers, as well as the stubbornness of the
Middle Eastern powers, not wanting to go the peace talks with the
political incentive to resolve the problems at hand. As the Middle
East is valuable for oil, and trading access (such as the Suez Canal),
outside powers only seem to have their own interests at heart; since
they are so dependant on these factors.
A significant involvement, with the superpowers in 1948, is seen in
the American recognition of the new state of Israel. This involvement,
would have many motives, the US wanted to have an ally, in the area,
in order to be able to have a source of oil, and trade route, with the
Middle East. The involvement will also lead to the area becoming an
extension of the Cold war, where the outside powers help arm either
side, pushing them towards peace from war, rather than peace from
negotiations. The US decided to back Israel, due to the massive Jewish
lobby in America; again showing their own self-interests, rather than
trying to find an ideal solution. Once communism collapsed, and so the
Russian influence in the Middle Easr faded, the US no longer had to
support Israel to maintain its influence; in doing so the Arabs began
a surge of attacks against the Israelis, pushing them further from the
1948 saw some drastic changes in the Middle East, the UN tried to
help, by drawing up the partition plan, this helped in dividing areas
of disputed land, however seemed to favour the Jewish settlements, as
they received the majority of land, even though they were a minority.
This led the Arabs to bitterness, as seemingly fair UN, had favoured
another side; this bitterness resulted into hostile attacks against
the Jews, spurring on the conflict in the Middle East.
These fights were supported by Czechoslovakian help in armament for
the Jews, and so hostility increased between the Israelis, and Arabs.
During the war, the Jews gained Arab land, strengthening the Arabic
resolve to keep fighting for what they thought of as theirs.
Eventually, the land they took from the Arabs was more than was
originally agreed in the Partition Plan. This made both sides more
willing to fight, as the Jews were winning, due to the Czech's help
and the Arabs wanting to regain their land.
By 1949 the Jewish territory had grown to 77%, creating 700 000
refugees; who went to refugee camps set up by the UNRWA. However,
these camps were crowded and bitter frustration, allowing the PLO to