Sinai Campaign (Suez campaign) of 1956 - (in Hebrew - Mivtsa Sinai) - Following the overthrow of King Farouk of Egypt by the free officers headed by Naguib and Nasser, Egypt made some moves toward peace with Israel. However, in 1954, an Israeli spy ring was caught trying to blow up the US Information agency and other foreign institutions in Egypt. The goal was to create tension between the US and Egypt and prevent rapprochement. In Israel, both Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion disclaimed responsibility for the action, and blamed each other. This incident came to be known variously as "the Lavon affair" and "the shameful business." (click here for details). Egypt became suspicious of Israeli intentions, and began negotiating to purchase large quantities of arms. When they were turned down by the West, the Egyptians turned to the Eastern bloc countries and concluded a deal with Czechoslovakia. Egyptian President Gamal Nasser also closed the straits of Tiran and Suez Canal to Israeli shipping. On July 26, 1956, Nasser nationalized the Suez canal, angering Britain and France. Israeli strategists believed that Egypt would go to war or force a diplomatic showdown as soon the weapons had been integrated, and began looking for a source of arms as well. Israel concluded an arms deal with France. A series of border incursions by Palestinians and by Egyptians from Gaza evoked increasingly severe Israeli reprisals, triggering larger raids. The assessment of Israeli "activists" like Moshe Dayan was that Israel should wage preventive war before Egypt had fully integrated the new weapons.
In the summer of 1956, Israel, France and Britain colluded in a plan to reverse the nationalization of the Suez canal. Israel would invade the Sinai and land paratroopers near the Mitla pass. Britain and France would issue an ultimatum, and then land troops ostensibly to separate the sides. The plan was carried out beginning October 29, 1956. Israel swiftly conquered Sinai. The US was furious at Israel, Britain and France. UN General Assembly Resolution 997 called for immediate withdrawal. Israeli troops remained in Sinai for many months. Israel subsequently withdrew under pressure from the UN and in particular the United States. Israel obtained guarantees that international waterways would remain open to Israeli shipping from the US, and a UN force was stationed in Sinai.
Maps - Israel - Map of Suez Campaign 1956- Initial Stages Israel - Map of Suez Campaign 1956- Final Stages
Synonyms and alternate spellings: Suez War, Suez Crisis.
Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:
'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.
ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."
u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.
a- sounded like a in arm
ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.
'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.
o - close to the French o as in homme.
th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.
q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.
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