In January 1949 the first Arab-Israeli war ended. In October 1956 the second began with Israel’s invasion of Egypt. What happened in those intervening seven years to persuade the Israelis to attack is the subject of this book, first published in 1965. Israel’s relations with the Arab countries formed only a sub-plot in a complex, many-layered drama. The main characters were the Arabs and the Great Powers. The story moved in three main themes: the argument amongst the Great Powers over who would have what in the Middle East; the Arabs’ struggle against the West for independence and self-respect; and the dispute amongst the Arabs themselves over who should lead that struggle. These themes were well developed long before the Balfour Declaration was put in the mail and the Palestine Question became an important world issue.
1. Background to the Conflict 2. General Comments on the Armistice and Arab-Israeli Relations 3. Armistice Negotiations (January-July 1949) 4. The Conciliation Effort (February-October 1949) 5. The Armistice Regime 6. Israel and Jordan (1949-56) 7. Israel and Syria (1949-56) 8. The Arab Refugees (1947-53) 9. The Johnston Plan (1953-56) 10. Boycott and Blockade (1949-56) 11. The Blockade 12. Israel and Egypt 12.1. To Gaza (1949-55) 12.2. From Gaza to Nationalization (February 1955-July 1956) 12.3. Prelude to the Invasion 12.4. The Final Preparations (July-October 1956) 13. Conclusion