Sunday November 27, 2016
Sixty years ago, I was home after school, sitting in our living room on New York’s Central Park West, reading a history of Rome and listening to Dvorak’s splendid cello concerto when the announcer on WQXR broke in to announced, “Israeli armored forces are thrusting deep into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.”
So began the 1956 Arab-Israeli Suez war, a conflict that is now all but forgotten though it was a major historic turning point for all concerned.
Algeria has risen up against French colonial rule. A ferocious guerilla war was raging. The Socialist government in Paris was too arrogant to admit that anyone could revolt against the glories of French rule. Instead, Paris blamed the revolt on machinations by Egypt’s nationalist strongman, Gamal Abdel Nasser. In fact, Egypt’s role was minor.