Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Israel & Palestine: Charting a Disastrous Century

by Derry Nairn

As missiles rain down on Gaza and rockets land in southern Israel, perhaps it is timely to consider how exactly history has conspired to lead the holy land into such chaos.

1920s - Policing Palestine

James Barker reveals how parsimony and muddle in Whitehall in the first years of the British Mandate in Palestine almost led to disaster in August 1929.

1930s - Weizmann and Ben-Gurion

With their differing approaches, the founding fathers of the state of Israel laboured to give Zionism unity, force, world respect and, ultimately, a homeland.

1940s - The Bombing of the King David Hotel

James Barker considers the role of terrorism in the establishment of Israel, on the 60th anniversary of the attack on the British military headquarters in Jerusalem.

1950s - Britain's Zionist Misadventure

Robert Carr argues that Britain's handling of, and withdrawal from, Palestine made bloody Arab-Israeli confrontation inevitable at a later date.

1960s - America, Israel and the Six Day War

The Six Day War spawned the special relationship between Israel and the United States of America. Elizabeth Stephens explores the cultural backdrop to this momentous development which resonates in the Middle East to this day.

1970s - The Yom Kippur War

Elizabeth Stephens examines how in 1973 the surprise invasion of Israel by Egypt and its allies started the process that led to Camp David.

1980s - Waltz with Bashir and the 1982 Lebanon War

Kathryn Hadley reviews a recent film which reopens debate over the role played by both sides in Israel's conflict with Hezbollah in the early 1980s.

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