The Collapse of Project Alpha
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.
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