11 July 2006

Savage History: England, France, and Zionist Collusion during the Suez Crisis

Apologists for Zionist crimes often ignore its not infrequent collaboration with imperialist European nations while charging that those powers have routinely opposed Apartheid Israel during the last 60 years as it has launched one unprovoked war after another, marching from one region to the next, cleansing populations and stealing the resources. A piece in today's Guardian concerning the secretly arranged British, French, and Zionist attack on Egypt during the Suez crisis of 1956 plays a role in debunking that myth.
Contact was maintained through a clandestine back-channel between Paris and Tel Aviv. France's defence minister, Maurice Bourg├Ęs-Maunoury, was a wartime resistance hero. Christian Pineau, the foreign minister, had been in Buchenwald... The French, in the words of historian Avi Shlaim, were the "matchmakers".

[British PM Anthony] Eden had made up his mind on October 14 at a secret meeting with two French envoys whose names were excised from the visitors' book at Chequers. The prime minister told his private secretary, Guy Millard, not to take notes. "There'll be no need for that, Guy," he ordered.

Eight days later, when Lloyd arrived at a villa in rue Emmanuel Girot, a resistance safe house during the Nazi occupation, talks were already under way. Israel was represented by the prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who was deeply suspicious of the British, and his defence minister, Moshe Dayan, who sketched military plans on the back of a cigarette packet. Another of the surviving participants, Dayan's aide Mordechai Bar-On, said Lloyd "looked as if he found the whole thing deeply distasteful".

On October 24, after Pineau had been to London to see Eden, the parties drew up a protocol - typed in French in the villa's kitchen - in which Israel undertook to attack Egypt, and Britain and France to invade on the pretext of "separating the combatants" and protecting the canal. That transparent fiction was at the heart of the famous "collusion" that will always be a byword for Suez. The Israelis were to get naval and air support while they dealt with the Egyptians.
This episode is but one event among a litany of others in which tacit or outright support for Apartheid Israel by other imperialist nations paved the way for an assault against those people indigenous to the region. And, as the crimes of Apartheid Israel and its collaborators continue to the present, we cannot forget this sordid history of imperialist collusion.
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