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The Less Said the Better

Western Propaganda and the Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1945–56
  • James R. Vaughan
Part of the Cold War History Series book series (CWH)

Abstract

This chapter examines how Western propagandists faced up to the challenge of the Arab-Israel dispute, perhaps the single greatest political obstacle to the successful pursuit of British and American psychological objectives in the Middle East. From the post-war crisis in Palestine through to the efforts to promote an Arab-Israeli peace settlement in the mid-1950s, the pernicious influence of the conflict was felt in almost every branch of the information and cultural diplomacy programmes in the region. The chapter first examines British and American propaganda during the 1945–49 period of crisis and war in Palestine, highlighting the paralysis that afflicted the State Department’s information programme and exposing the very different approach taken by British propagandists. A second section investigates Western propaganda in the early 1950s, the period in which it became apparent that Israel had established itself as an enduring feature of the political landscape. In particular, it examines the rhetorical strategies of silencing, distancing and neutralism that Anglo-American propagandists sought to apply to politically sensitive issues. A third section explores Western propaganda in support of attempts to engineer a long-term Arab-Israeli settlement, focusing upon the difficulties involved in forging a joint Anglo-American approach to the questions of publicity that arose in relation to the ‘Alpha’ peace plan.

Keywords

Middle East Arab World Arab State American Policy Palestine Refugee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Readers unfamiliar with the topic should consult excellent accounts such as: Cohen , Palestine and the Great Powers (1982);Google Scholar
  2. Pappe , Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1948–51 (1988);Google Scholar
  3. Ovendale , Britain, the United States and the End of the Palestine Mandate (1989);Google Scholar
  4. Levey , Israel and the Western Powers, 1952–1960 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1997);Google Scholar
  5. Hahn , caught in the Middle East. U.S. Policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1945–1961 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  6. 68.
    NAPRO, FO 1110/327/PR58/47/G, Houstoun-Boswall to Murray, 19 August 1950. The ‘moral’ aspect of British pro-Arab sentiment is intelligently dissected in Wm. Roger Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), pp. 114–18.Google Scholar
  7. 78.
    Morris , Israel’s Border Wars, 1949–1956 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  8. 141.
    Shamir, ‘The Collapse of Project Alpha’, in Owen and Louis (eds), Suez 1956. The Crisis and its Consequences (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 85.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James R. Vaughan 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Vaughan

There are no affiliations available

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