Israel and the Arab States

October 23, 1952

Report Outline
Dangers to Mid-East of Arab-Israeli Impasse
United States and the Palestine Problem
Outstanding Issues for Settlement
Special Focus

Dangers to Mid-East of Arab-Israeli Impasse

Unabated tension between the Arab states and Israel is a major factor making for continued instability in the generally unstable Middle East. Some four years have passed since the state of Israel was set up in the Palestine area, but little progress has been made toward establishment of normal relations between the new Jewish nation and its Arab neighbors. No formal peace has been concluded among belligerents in the Arab-Jewish war of 1948–49 and the Arabs still regard Israel as a trespasser on their lands.

The Palestine problem was already beyond the stage of reasonable settlement when first referred to the United Nations by Great Britain, the mandatory power for the League of Nations, in April 1947. A triangular conflict then raged between Arabs and Jews and between each of them and British authorities in Palestine. The confused struggle had repercussions in nearby Arab states (all of which had actively supported an Arab Palestine) as well as among Jews the world over (most of whom in Europe, the British Commonwealth, and the United States had actively supported the project for a Jewish national home). Religious interest played a part because shrines in Palestine are holy to Christians, Moslems, and Jews. Most serious of all was involvement of the Palestine problem in power rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union following the decline of British influence in the Middle East.

Uneasy Truce Since Palestine War

Against this background, the U.N. General Assembly voted in November 1947 to partition Palestine three ways—to form a Jewish state and an Arab state in an economic union, with the city of Jerusalem internationalized. The partition scheme, not wholly acceptable to the Jews, was totally unacceptable to Palestinian Arab leaders. In the face of implacable opposition from the Arab League and attendant international complications, the U.N. partition plan could not be carried into effect.

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
War and Conflict