chapter  8
23 Pages

Realignment and Change

The background to the wars forms an episode in imperial history: it is an account of how Britain tried to exercise paramountcy over both Arabs and Zionists. It is perhaps significant that the Zionist founders of Israel, and its early leaders, were either east European or Russian Jews, victims of anti-Semitism and pogroms. The Arabs could not understand why they had been selected by the West for this particular treatment. The Arab states, after all, had largely ignored it for almost two decades. After the October War it was the Palestinian issue that dominated the Arab-Israel conflict. The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq was part of this vision. It was, once again, in the arena of Great- and Super-Power politics. In later years the intifada seemed to die down, but that was an illusion and it erupted again in October 1990 with the Temple Mount killings. The Arab-Israeli Wars resulted from Great-Power, and then Super-Power, policies.