chapter  4
30 Pages

The Soviet Union and the Suez Crisis

This chapter analyses the inter-Arab dimension of the Suez affair the nationalization and the subsequent war. It attempts partially to fill that gap in the literature by using British archival material as well as Arab sources. The chapter advances three arguments: First, in contrast to the war that preceded it (1948) and followed it (1967), the Suez affair did not constitute a watershed in terms of the Arab state system. It merely accelerated existing processes, some of which Britain and France aimed to arrest when launching the war. Second, in spite of the frequent display of verbal solidarity, Arab divisions remained basically unchanged, reflecting antagonistic state interests. And, finally, the Suez affair, both in the short and the long run, enabled the Arabs, at least psychologically, to regain some of their lost dignity that resulted from long subjugation under, and in their struggle with, foreign powers. The Suez affair was also a factor in the awakening of Palestinian self-awareness.