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Suez 1956The Crisis and its Consequences$
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Wm. Roger Louis and Roger Owen

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202417

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202417.001.0001

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The Collapse of Project Alpha

The Collapse of Project Alpha

(p.73) 4 The Collapse of Project Alpha
Suez 1956

Shamir Shimon

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the peace initiatives in I 954–5 that might have prevented the Suez crisis. ‘Project Alpha’ was a highly secret set of discussions between the representatives of the British and American governments to solve the Palestinian refugee problem and adjust the frontiers of Israel, thus redressing Arab grievances and establishing a new order of Israeli-Egyptian relations. The planners of ‘Alpha’ believed that the modified borders would have marked a slight retreat for Israel, but, since they would have been guaranteed by Britain and the United States, they would have been to the advantage of all parties concerned. This chapter argues that such a settlement would not have been possible in any event and portrays the demise of this enterprise by revealing the persistence of mutual suspicions, misconceptions, and false assumptions, especially on the part of the British.

Keywords:   Project Alpha, Israeli-Egyptian relations, Suez crisis, refugees, United States, Arab national movement

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