Middle East Conflicts

April 13, 1955

Report Outline
Tension Between Arab States and Israel
Divisions Over Middle East Defense
Western Efforts to Resolve Conflicts

Tension Between Arab States and Israel

Conflicts of interest and ambition among nations of the Middle East are hampering efforts to safeguard the peace and strengthen the defenses of that strategic region. Recurrent border clashes between Israel and the Arab states, with new manifestations of old rivalries among the Arab countries themselves, have threatened the six-year-old Palestine armistice and raised formidable barriers to needed regional security arrangements and development projects.

The recent censure of Israel by the United Nations Security Council for a particularly flagrant act of frontier violence has been followed both by continued outbreaks of border trouble and by fresh efforts to reduce Arab-Israeli tensions. Proposals have been advanced to strengthen the truce supervision machinery of the United Nations as a means of clamping down on frontier incidents. And new attempts are under way to eliminate as many as possible of the underlying causes of mutual suspicion that have prevented a peace settlement since the Arab-Jewish war ended in 1949.

Failure to solve the Palestine problem has been the main obstacle to building up Middle East defenses against Communist aggression. With Israel and the Arab states not on speaking terms, it has been impossible even to discuss an all-embracing defense plan, while dissension among the Arab nations themselves has complicated cooperative action by Turkey, Pakistan, and Iraq to bolster the defenses of Middle East countries closest to the Soviet Union. Egypt, bitterly opposing Iraq's conclusion of a defense pact with Turkey, has been trying to promote a new Arab alignment in competition with the western-oriented grouping.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Peace
Dec. 11, 2020  The Abraham Accords
Apr. 13, 2018  The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Mar. 09, 2018  Saudi Arabia's Uncertain Future
Jun. 21, 2013  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
May 2009  Middle East Peace Prospects
Oct. 27, 2006  Middle East Tensions Updated
Jan. 21, 2005  Middle East Peace
Aug. 30, 2002  Prospects for Mideast Peace
Apr. 06, 2001  Middle East Conflict
Mar. 06, 1998  Israel At 50
Aug. 30, 1991  The Palestinians
Oct. 19, 1990  The Elusive Search for Arab Unity
Feb. 24, 1989  Egypt's Strategic Mideast Role
Apr. 15, 1988  Israel's 40-Year Quandary
Mar. 02, 1984  American Involvement in Lebanon
Nov. 12, 1982  Reagan's Mideast Peace Initiative
Apr. 23, 1982  Egypt After Sadat
Jan. 04, 1980  Divided Lebanon
Jul. 20, 1979  West Bank Negotiations
Dec. 01, 1978  Middle East Transition
Jan. 13, 1978  Saudi Arabia's Backstage Diplomacy
Oct. 29, 1976  Arab Disunity
May 16, 1975  Middle East Diplomacy
Sep. 13, 1974  Palestinian Question
Dec. 12, 1973  Middle East Reappraisal
Apr. 25, 1973  Israeli Society After 25 Years
Aug. 19, 1970  American Policy in the Middle East
Apr. 25, 1969  Arab Guerrillas
Aug. 02, 1967  Israeli Prospects
Jul. 06, 1966  Middle East Enmities
Apr. 14, 1965  Relations with Nasser
Aug. 17, 1960  Arab-Israeli Deadlock
May 27, 1959  Middle East Instability
Jun. 04, 1958  Nasser and Arab Unity
Oct. 02, 1957  Soviet Threat in Middle East
Sep. 18, 1956  Suez Dispute and Strategic Waterways
May 09, 1956  Middle East Commitments
Apr. 13, 1955  Middle East Conflicts
Mar. 31, 1954  Security in the Mideast
Oct. 23, 1952  Israel and the Arab States
Jan. 30, 1952  Egyptian Crisis and Middle East Defense
Mar. 17, 1948  Palestine Crisis
Feb. 18, 1946  Soviet Russia and the Middle East
Middle East Conflicts
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
United Nations
War and Conflict