chapter  10
17 Pages

The War Comes Home: Muslim-Jewish Relations in Marseille during the 1991 Gulf War


On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, unleashing the fi rst Gulf crisis. When, by January, the United Nations’ economic sanctions had failed to force Iraqi withdrawal, the United States and a thirty-four nation coalition invaded. Although Israel did not participate, this brief war, over by February 28, could not help but intersect with the ongoing Arab-Israeli confl ict. Not only did the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, choose to drop missiles on Tel Aviv, touching off a secondary crisis over potential Israeli involvement, but calls to resolve the Palestinian question as part of a regional settlement circulated widely. For Muslims and Jews watching developments from afar, the First Gulf War thus became more than a confl ict over Kuwaiti independence, oil rights or western imperialism. Rather it became a barometer of Muslim-Jewish relations around the world.