SUEZ: The Twice-Fought War by Kennett Love

SUEZ: The Twice-Fought War

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Love stresses ""personal"" vectors; e.g. claiming that Eden used oil as an excuse for going after Nasser. After describing the 1955 Gaza raid as a precipitant, this hefty book traces Egypt's relations with Britain, France, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., as well as with Israel (Ben-Gurion seeking sea lanes and land). Then it describes the military and diplomatic battles over Suez and Sinai, reconstructing the three-way collusion with gossipy ardor. Love is a former Mideastern correspondent for the N. Y. Times--who tends to sustain the habit of relying on petty details stitched on the bias--in this case, a pro-Nasser bias less congenial to the Times than to the U.S. State Department, whose positions he rather neglects, focusing on Dulles (""beclouded"" by Nasser's recognition of China) and Johnson (viewed as actively and opportunistically pro--Israel). Love finds Nasser ""pacific"" till the 1956 shooting began . . . as it ends, in this chronicle, with Israeli massacres of Palestinian civilians. According to Love, Egypt was more threatened than Israel; Israel was rehearsing for 1967; and 1967 was provoked by Israeli threats against Syria (which, he acknowledges, the Soviets exaggerated), forcing Nasser to ""revive a casus belli"" in the Gulf of Aqaba. Those sympathetic to the Arab cause may feel it ill-served by Love's distortions; he even takes Nasser's resignation attempt at face value.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1969
Publisher: McGraw-Hill