The purpose of this Page is to request feedback & information, as well as provide some documents that LGF members may find of interest.
With regard to PART II, below, this seems to be the mother lode as far as documents providing first-hand info goes. The research section has several tools you can use to locate different types of info, but the most comprehensive one seems to be the Online Public Access search. For example, entering “Israel Syria Egypt” (without the quotes) brings up these results which you can then refine using various filters and sorting.
Here’s where I contribute. While seeking first-hand information on international events surrounding Munich, I landed at The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum where I found tons of previously classified documents that have been released. I ended up getting lost in their archives for hours as there was much fascinating stuff there, especially since Nixon was president during a time of such tremendous upheaval in the Middle East.
Below is a list of the documents I found, in chronological order. There are many, many more, but I was exhausted and I also have to work, so I had to stop digging and leave the rest for another time. As you can see, there are a much larger number of documents for 1973, which I assume is because of the Yom Kippur War and subsequent oil embargo. One of the documents is from the Saudis warning (threatening?) about that.
I still have much to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but of one thing I’m certain at this point: The solution is not as nearly as simple as the trite comments I often hear about how if, “If the Israelis would just do X…” or “If the Palestinians would just do Y…” then everything would be fine. No, it would not. The mess that we have on our hands today didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen in a vacuum.
There were the British, who in the late 19th century were still a major colonial power. There were all the conflicts in Europe that preceded WWI, one of which was the pogroms in Russia that prompted the First Aliyah. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, two the mainstays of that aliya were early Zionist movements that defined their goal as “the political, national, and spiritual resurrection of the Jewish people in Palestine.” The land then known as Palestine was still under Ottoman rule at that time.
Add the discovery of oil in the Middle East in 1908, the Second Aliya, WWI itself (in which the Ottomans were eventually defeated), the British Mandate, the Sykes-Picot Agreement between the British & French, and the subsequent carving up of the Middle East into pieces that suited the victors’ interests. Yes, I’m aware the Russians and the Sharif of Mecca were in on it too.
Now add all the rest (not necessarily in order): Arabs siding with the Germans; Arabs attacking Jews, and likewise the activities of Lehi, Hanganah, and Irgun; the Third, Fourth, Fifth Aliyas and the Aliyah Bet; the horrors of WWII and Europeans fighting in ME theaters. Keep in mind that the foundations for the modern Zionist state of Israel are being constructed throughout all of this turmoil.
Finally, WWII is over and we arrive at the establishment of the state of Israel. Peace? Really? Considering all the aforementioned upheaval and redrawing of lines, did anyone really think things were going to be peaceful? Is anyone really surprised that 60+ years down the road there are still seemingly insurmountable problems?
Before anyone jumps down my throat, I’m NOT blaming the Jews/Zionists for everything, nor am I saying they shouldn’t have a homeland where they’re safe. I’m also NOT giving the Arabs a pass. What I AM saying is that there’s plenty of blame to go around, and there are none among the players in the region with totally clean hands as far as I can tell (that includes us). This is not a conflict that’s going to be easily (if ever) solved seeing as how its roots go back 100+ years, the world is still dependent on ME oil, and the area has been of geo-strategic importance ever since humans started trading & fighting with each other.
Sometimes I get annoyed that the Israelis & Palestinians can’t work out their problems on their own, and I feel like just saying, “Fine. I don’t care—go ahead and kill each other until the end of time, just leave the rest of us out of it because we’re sick of your constant quarreling.” But you know what? They will never solve the problem on their own because they didn’t create it on their own.
The whole world—with its contentiousness, envy, greed, and lust for power—helped to create the mess, so the whole world needs stop being so damned selfish and help fix it lest some unforeseen or unforeseeable event triggers a global conflict that ends up being the ruin of us all.
Okay, I had no intention of writing that much, sheesh. I’ll be amazed if anyone reads this far. That is all.
White House Special Files Box 1 Folder 23, November 25, 1968
[Pan American drilling in Gulf of Suez, marked “Urgent”—things were fairly quiet, but it indicates how important the oil was/is and how that complicates the I-P issue (for the U.S.)—this would have been right after Nixon was elected, but before he took office.]
National Security Study Memoranda 33, March 21, 1969
Contingency Planning for the Middle East [Trouble was brewing and they could see it coming.]
Memorandum for Mr. [Henry] Kissinger, July 15, 1970
Re: Your Luncheon with John Freeman [U.S., British & Iranian interests in Persian Gulf & Suez Canal]
Memorandum for Henry Kissinger, August 20, 1970
Re: Message to King Faisal re Yemen
Memorandum for President Richard Nixon, September 16, 1970
Re: Options in Jordan
National Security Study Memoranda 103, September 26, 1970
Future Options in the Middle East
National Security Study Memoranda 92, November 7, 1970
U.S. Policy Toward the Persian Gulf
National Security Study Memoranda 100, March 1, 1971
Military Equipment Package for Jordan
Telegram from American Embassy, Beirut to Secretary of State
Re: Syria: Conversation with Prime Minister, June 14, 1972
Memorandum for the President from Richard Helms, February 22, 1973
Re: Middle East [U.S. oil interests and “the Arab-Israeli problem”]
Telegram to Sec. State Washington, et al., March 21, 1973
Re: British Thinking on Arab Support for Black September Terrorists
Telegram from American Embassy, Beirut to Secretary of State, March 26, 1973
Re: Call on UAE President Shaykh Zayid [Fatah and the Black September Organization]
National Security Study Memoranda 181, May 10, 1973
U.S. Policy in Arabian Peninsula & Persian Gulf
Memo for the President from Richardson, May 18, 1973
Re: Sale of F-4s to Saudi Arabia
Memorandum of Conversation between Shah of Iran, Henry A. Kissinger, and Richard Helms, July 27, 1973
[Very interesting stuff.]
NSC Country Files, Middle East October 6-13, 1973
Folder 2 [This is a report to President Nixon, sent to the Situation Room in the hours immediately preceding the Yom Kippur War.]
State Department Telegram, Saudi Arabia to Sec State, October 16, 1973
[Saudis warn EEC Ambassadors to place pressure on U.S. or face decrease in oil production.]
Memo to Kissinger Re: Arab Oil Policy, January 22, 1974
[Sadat, Saudi Arabia, and UN Security Council Resolution 242]