chapter  19
22 Pages

The Gulf War and the Peace Process

WithArthur Goldschmidt, Aomar Boum

The 1991 Gulf War, in which the coalition of American, European, and Arab forces drove the invaders back into Iraq after aerial attacks caused devastation in much of the country but did not topple its leader. The Gulf War changed Israel's relationship with its Arab neighbors and with the Palestinians. Iraq arguably suffers psychological complexes about being second in the Arab world. Iraq's invasion and subsequent annexation of Kuwait ignited a diplomatic crisis. Operation Desert Storm, the allied coalition's renamed campaign, began with massive aerial bombardments of Iraq's military facilities, as well as many civilian targets. The Syrian and Egyptian governments, as Iraq's main Arab rivals, joined the allied coalition, ignoring their people's opposition to Sa'udi and US policies. Even though the Declaration of Principles brought no peace or prosperity to the Palestinians, it did open the door to political deals with Israel by other Arab countries.